Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day 5: Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay...

The morning after the luau, we woke up and had our breakfast of champions again: Beef Jerky and an oatmeal bar (blech, but you gotta do what you gotta do to catch The Bus) and headed to the bus stop to go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay.  Little did we, or any of the other tourists, know that The Bus was running on the holiday schedule and that we had time to eat a real breakfast that morning.

When The Bus finally arrived, we rode on an extremely crowded bus, where Ryan and I stood for most of the 45 minute ride (note to self: if we ever get the opportunity to go back, Hanauma Bay is closed on Tuesdays, so everyone likes to go on Wednesdays like we were doing).  After we arrived, we immediately saw Hanauma Bay, it is BREATHTAKING.
Beautiful isn't it?

Everything in the water that looks "brown" is all reef
We stood in line to pay the entrance fee ($7.50), and then we got our tickets to enter.  Before you are allowed to walk down the quarter mile hill to snorkel, you are required to watch a short film about Hanauma Bay- it is a living coral reef and the video tells you where you can stand up and not stand up, and what you can touch and not touch.  Then, we trekked the quarter mile down the hill and rented snorkel gear for ourselves (they do have a tram that you can pay to take you to the bottom and back up for like a dollar).
It was a little windy, if you look at the palm trees
There are VERY few things that I can do better than Ryan.  Swimming is one of them (seriously).  When we had staked our location on the Bay and set out our towels, the lifeguards were announcing that the tide was coming in, that there was a strong undertow and that children and non-strong swimmers should not venture far out into the bay.  They even stressed that children should not be more than an arm's length away from their parent at all time.  With that said, we ventured down to the Bay with our snorkel gear and put it on.  At first, I took the lead, but I wasn't comfortable with that, as I couldn't keep Ryan in my sights and if he got into "trouble" in the water, I would have no way of knowing.  We spent about an hour out in the Bay and then came back to the beach to drink some water and rest.  The fish and corral were beautiful.  There were some places that were so shallow that you couldn't kick your legs for fear of touching the corral.  In fact, I scraped a part of my foot on the corral and it took almost a month for the cut to heal.  We discovered, ironically, that the prettier fish were closer to shore and that if you went out to the deeper parts of the bay, you didn't see many fish, so the next few times we went in, we stayed closer to shore- and I didn't feel the need to keep an eye on Ryan as much.  We don't have an underwater camera, so I took these fish pictures off of their website- these are the fish we saw:
A milletseed butterfly fish swims by the surface.
You could swim so close to the fish you could almost touch them!
Picasso triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus). Not photographed in Hanauma Bay. Photographed by Adrian Pingstone in December 2005 and released to the public domain.
Whitespotted Surgeonfish
After several hours, the Bay got busier and warmer, and it was time for lunch.  We weren't sure when the next Bus was going to come since we didn't have a copy of the holiday schedule, so we hiked back up to the top (and saw why some people paid to ride the tram-it's straight up!) and grabbed some cheap lunch from the snack bar.  We went and ate at one of the picnic tables near the bus stop and were harassed by a rooster who kept crowing at us and running away.  Just as we finished our lunch, The Bus we needed to take pulled up and we got on.  As Ryan tried to pay for our tickets, the VERY cranky driver yelled at him, "Do you have transfer stubs?!?"  I said, "Yes, but they are expired by 2 hours."  The cranky driver yelled back, "Are they transfer stubs or not?"  Me: "Yes, but they aren't good any longer, we need to pay."  The driver: "Go sit down now!" and refused to take Ryan's money.  So we found seats and sat down.  When the next person got on and said their transfer stub was expired he made them pay.  We didn't get understand what the difference between us and the other person was.
Our lunch time stalker
On the bus ride back I mentioned that I was sad that we hadn't seen any sea turtles.  Don't get me wrong, the fish were beautiful, but Ryan had seen a sea turtle on the first day we went paddle boarding (don't worry, I will discuss that on a different day, because that is one of my new favorite activities now!) so I wanted to see one too.  That night, when we took our walk along the beach before dinner, we noticed a crowd of people gathered by one of the sea walls.  When we finally got to it, there were 2 gigantic sea turtles just hanging out there in the water!  It was so cool, and I was thankful that God gave me the opportunity to see some more of His creation.
How cool is this?!?

1 comment:

  1. Was that one of the turtles from "Finding NEMO"? Way cool...
    I love the stalker rooster. The bay is beautiful. Love, MOM