Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Windsurfing Diamond Head

This area is just east of Waikiki in front of Diamond Head and an easy walk down a trail to beach and public showers. Parking is not always so easy

The best spot to windsurf on the south shore is diamond head by far. The tradewinds whip in down the front of the crater and out to sea creating awesome power. Also a great surf spot, diamond heads waves make for an added bonus for experienced windsurfers to perform airial manuevers on the way out and catch so extra speed on the way in.

Quiet beaches along the bottom of the cliffs for walking, swimming or sunbathing

Public shower and shave - after

Web page with a few more pictures

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

North Shore Oahu

The North Shore of Oahu stretches from Kaena Point in the west 17 miles east to Kahuku Point. Fifty-one beaches occupy 11 miles or 66% of the shoreline. The remainder is dominated by basalt outcrops and raised Pleistocene reef, with beachrock outcrops along much of the sandy shore. The western half extends for 9 miles from Kaena Point to Haleiwa and faces due north. The eastern half faces northwest, finally curving south at Kahuku.

I drove up the east side of the island after a week of rain and found very few beaches with the blue water that you usually associate with Hawaii. Mud from the rivers colors the ocean for miles and there are some good sized rivers on the north shore. Hence the ocean coloring in these fotos.


Sunset beach

Sunset Beach

Waimea Beach Park

Waimea River



Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sandy Beach

Oahu's Sandy Beach is known all over the world as a top body boarding and bodysurfing spot. It's also known for its unfortunate high proportion of ambulance calls.

Sandy Beach, or Sandy's, as the locals refer to it -- is a wide golden sand beach that lies at the base of Koko Crater, which, at 1,208 feet, is the highest crater on the shoreline of Oahu. On its west end is the famous Halona Blowhole. Those mountains lead down to Sandy Beach with a moderately steep, sloping foreshore. However, what Sandy's is truly famous for is the ocean bottom that drops quickly beyond the shore to overhead depths. The quick change in depth creates steep, hard-breaking waves that form a pounding shore break. Many of the experienced shore break bodysurfers (locals and tourists alike) find that its waves have no equal anywhere. Be careful though if you're a newcomer. The locals will make it look so easy at times that many newcomers often seem to get hurt trying to emulate them.

Those Sandy breaks are the reason that this beach is so popular, and at times, slightly crowded. Shore break builds up quickly forming a tube that's perfect for an adrenaline-boosting fast ride. For the amateurs, the best time to test your skills at Sandy's is when the waves are two to four feet. Anything higher than that and you're advised to leave the water to those most experienced. Annually, Sandy's wins in the most injuries category, so it's smart to obey all posted warning signs.

If you're not looking to test those waters skills, this beach still gets a high rating at almost every other level including sunbathing and people watching. At the north/east end of the beach, waves also break on a rocky point and further offshore there's an outer reef that provides a base for local fishing. There's also a large kite-flying area on the east side of the beach with well maintained grass and a couple picnic tables. The beach is located only about 20 minutes from Waikiki and the beautiful drive along Oahu's east coast is a pleasure in its own. It is rare not to see crystal clear blue waters along your drive. The trade winds keep Sandy's comfortable and cloudless on many days so make sure you apply plenty of sun block.

There are no shops or restaurants near so pack a picnic unless you want to take your chances with the local lunch wagon. There are public restrooms and cold water showers to rinse of the sand when you are finished for the day. Parking is free but can get crowded, especially on the weekends.

Link to lots more Sandy Beach fotos

Friday, February 09, 2007

Hanauma Bay

This "Curved" bay was declared a protected marine life conservation area and underwater park in 1967. This is THE BEST protected cove if you are new to scuba diving or snorkeling with a diverse population of marine life and a large, rich coral reef. Advanced snorkelers and divers can also enjoy the beauty of this bay as the reef extends throughout the cove into deeper water. The bay floor is actually the crater of an ancient volcano that flooded when the exterior wall collapsed and the ocean rushed in.

The curvature of the bay usually provides protection from large ocean waves and allows swimmers a great opportunity to view the marine and reef life in a safer, protected environment. Always monitor the ocean conditions at all times and obey lifeguard warnings and postings.

Hanauma Bay from the air

Hanauma Bay beach

The ticket entrance lines

The mouth of the bay

Snorkeling amongst the reef

Take Kalaniana'ole Highway east from Waikiki for approximately 10 miles. Entrance to the preserve is on the right. Frequent buses from Waikiki

Useful Information:
* This is a Marine Life Conservation Area: no pets allowed; no alcoholic beverages; no fishing or feeding the fish; do not remove, harass, or harm any marine life
* Call 808-396-4229 for recorded message with all current fees, times, conditions
* Currently OPEN from 6am - 6pm (winter - October thru March) and 6am - 7pm (summer - April thru September)
* Currently OPEN every Saturday from 6am - 10pm throughout the year
* Currently CLOSED every Tuesday
* $1 per car parking fee - large, paved parking lot - arrive early as the lot fills quickly and lines may be long
* $5 per person admission fee for 13 year old or older; Free for children under 13 years and for Hawaii residents and military stationed in Hawaii with proper ID
* Visitors are required to watch an educational film about the bay, the marine life and the preserve prior to going down to the beach.
* Paved walkway from entrance down to beach
* Optional shuttle bus available to bring visitors up and down the hill to the beach. - currently fee is $1 per person each way. Handicap accessible.
* Do not stand or walk on the coral reef - this is a live reef. Do not feed the fish. *Avoid walking on the rocky ledges on the sides of the bay where waves are breaking - lava is porous and it crumbles easily. Caution must be taken during seasonal high surf.
* Lifeguards
* Reef and sand beach area
* Picnic facilities with tables, grassy areas and shade located near the parking lot
* Concession stand located near the entrance
* Restrooms located at the top and bottom area
* Showers
* Phones
* Snorkel, mask and fin rental available on the beach
* Locker rental available on the beach
* Educational information center and theater located near the entrance
* Gift shop
* Wheelchair Accessible via shuttle bus or trolley

Link to more Hanauma Bay fotos
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Most of my favorite Oahu places for surfing, hiking and hanging out. The list has to include Waikiki and Honolulu but mostly centers around the Hawaii Kai - SE side of the island