Paradise Cove

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Ko’Olina Resort is one of the more famous resorts on the Leeward side of the island (that’s the desert side.) It’s a big place that is reserved for hotel guests, but there is a small parking lot that is open to the public.

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Paradise Cove is very shallow, but there is break in the reef that you can swim through. DO NOT do this if the ocean is not calm. The break in the reef is small, and swimming in and out is hard.

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I like to snorkel first thing in the morning. There are two reasons for that:

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1. It’s not like when I lived in Guam. It’s very crowded here. It’s better to go early before the tourists and everyone else is up. The crowds scare away the turtles.

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2. The turtles swim into the cove to eat algae off the rocks in the morning. It’s nice to catch them during breakfast. Sometimes you can even see them crawl up onto the rocks to get at the algae.

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It’s really a very shallow spot so I recommend trying to go at a time when the tide is high in the morning. Snorkeling is all about watching all the factors like weather, tide, surf height, and jellyfish. Make sure to check everything before you go.

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Manuawili Falls

As you know, I’ve moved from Guam to Hawaii and I’m trying to learn about the island. The hiking here is so much nicer because it’s not tropical heat all the time. It’s cooler and there are breezes. So he’s some stuff about Manuawili Falls.

This is another hike that has a lot of mud if its been raining. It’s along a river, so there’s even more swampy areas than on the Likeke Falls trail. You definitely want bug spray.

Go early. Drive there when it is still dark, and do the hike right after sunrise. This is because there is no parking lot. You put the name of the waterfall into your GPS, and it takes you to a trail head in a neighborhood. The little bit of street parking that is available goes very quickly, so you want to be the first one there.

 

In addition, this trail is pretty clearly marked except for the first part. First you walk along a raod and come to a sign that tells you to go up into the trees on a small path. Do that. Then, you go up beside a road, and it seems like you should go down onto the road. But, you just keep going straight into the trees and over the hill. Then you’re on the trail. It’s easy to follow it from there.

You will notice little paths going off from the main trail. Those are formed when it’s VERY muddy and people walk along the side to avoid sinking in to the mud. They all join back up with the main trail, so no worries about getting lost.

Once you cross the river, it’s all stairs. It’s a good workout for your butt. Go up, and then down, and then up again, and then down again.

In the end, you’ll get to a river again, and have to cross one more time and then do some rock hopping. I recommend either bringing water shoes in your pack, or just wearing them the whole time. Because, for the last part, your feet are probably going to get wet.

When you finally get to the waterfall, there is a pool to swim in. If you want to swim in it, bring a towel and try not to get it in your eyes or swallow any. People have been known to get leptospirosis on this hike because rats, wild pigs, and other animals urinate upstream and the bacteria stays in the mud and water. So no barefoot hiking, and no swallowing the water.

It’s a pretty place. I just sat on a rock and watched the water for quite a while. Since I did the hike early, I was the only one there and I had the place to myself. I hear that later in the day it really fills up.

On the way back when the sun came out, I got to enjoy the views more. It’s almost as amazing as the view from the Pali lookout, and it looks over the same part of the island (towards Kailua and the Marine base.)

It’s a harder hike than Likeke Falls because it’s full of stairs. Bring a snack and a half gallon of water, and definitely be ready for mud.

Electric Beach on the Leeward Coast

The Leeward Coast of Oahu gets a bad reputation because it is the desert side of the island, and so it’s not as pretty on land as it is on the rainy side.

However, I think this reputation is undeserved. The water is always calmer there, and the visibility is always better because there is less sand and more rocks (so sand doesn’t get kicked up into the water.)

You can find Electric Beach by putting Kahe Point into your GPS. However, this will take you to a park which is the second left after Ko’Olina. You want the first left after the 93 passes Ko’Olina and joins the coast.

You will know you’re in the right place because you’ll see a power plant coming up on the right, and a small building (which is bathrooms and showers) on the left.

Once you park (get there early or it will be full) you walk down to the small patch of sand just past the bathrooms. Sometimes the waves can get kind of high, but it’s fine once you get past them.

Swim out and slightly to the right. You’re looking for the line of rocks that are piled along the bottom. You want to follow them.

At the end of the rocks are two HUGE pipes. Warm water from the power plant comes out of these pipes. Fish love this, and so do things that eat fish!

I’ve seen a sting ray and lots of turtles, but people have told me that they saw dolphins, and other larger sea life.

For those who are afraid: Remember that sharks are nocturnal so you’re not likely to see one during the day. I’m telling you this because when I took my friend, she heard “lots of fish and things that eat fish” and she immediately got worried about sharks.

Sharks are terrified of people and they don’t want to hurt you. They do bite surfers sometimes, but that’s only because a surfboard looks like a seal from underneath and they think they’re seeing food. They have historically always let go once they realized they didn’t have a seal.

So please, don’t be afraid of sharks.

This is the view looking back towards shore from the pipes. You probably won’t be the only snorkeler there since it’s a cool spot. It’s often kind of busy.

I recommend long fins, since the current can be bad sometimes. Because of the current, swim to the right (assuming you’re standing on shore facing out) if you want to look at some of the rocks and coral around the area. If you go with the current (left from shore facing out) then you’ll run into some pretty sharp rocks and it’s best to avoid those.

Anyway, always be careful and don’t swim out past the pipes because the currents are too strong. Check the weather to make sure there are no storms coming, because rip tides get stronger when a storm is coming, and it can get pretty dangerous on all the beaches when that happens.

Be safe and have fun!

 

Lanikai Beach

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I’ve been trying to get out and see as many beaches as possible since I moved from Guam to Hawaii. Oahu is a beautiful island, and it will take a long time for me to explore it all.

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One of the most famous beaches is in a town called Kailua; it’s called Lanikai Beach. Off the coast of the beach, there are two islands you can kayak to. They are a bird sanctuary, and tours are offered. However, it’s a little dangerous to swim to them (since it’s past the wave break.)

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I only went as far as where the waves break. It seemed wise since I’d been warned about currents and rip tides.

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So far, this is the beach with the most coral. It’s shallow for hundreds of feet out, and the corals are beautiful. (Though you can see evidence of bleaching- same as everywhere.)

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Unfortunately, Lanikai is very sandy. This means the water quality isn’t often as good as it would be in a rockier place. The day I went, the visibility was only about 15 feet, and I wasn’t thrilled with it.

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I saw three turtles. Two sped away pretty quickly. Maybe it was too early (it was shortly after sunrise.) But one let me swim with it and take some pictures, which was cool.

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There are showers nearby at the Kaulia Beach Park, but I went to Lanukai Beach specifically and there are no amenities there. I suppose you could drive over to Kaulia Park after you swim, since it is only about a half mile away.

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There is no parking lot, but your GPS will take you to a neighborhood that has street parking available. There are no lockers. If you don’t have a car key that is separate from the key fob, I suggest getting a keypad door lock for your car. Snorkeling in Hawaii is great, but it’s not a good place to hide your key somewhere on your car.

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Anyway, if you’re here on vacation, make sure to check out Surfline to make sure the waves are not too high, and to also check the jellyfish report. As always, be safe!

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Dreams for my New Life

Jenifer DeLemont
From the top of Mount Lam Lam

I move in less than a month. It’s also our anniversary month, and my birth month. So, there is a lot going on. Rich and I are not looking forward to living apart for six months while he goes to school and I set up a home for us in Hawaii, but that’s just part of the military life, so we’ll make it work.

Jenifer DeLemont
The Wooden Show Tulip Festival on a trip back to Oregon from Guam.

I have really enjoyed everything we have done here on Guam.

I loved the work I did to help the animal shelter here (called Guam Animals in Need.) I loved the volunteering I did with NOAA to help monitor the reef, and to donate photos for promotional materials. I loved the friends I made and the reefs I snorkeled. And, when I was working, I loved Sea Grill and everyone there.

I also wrote novels while I was here, and it was great to have the time to do that. The Vampire’s Sister is still on Multi-Path Audio books in the app store, and the rest of the books are on Amazon.

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At the coast on a recent trip back to the states.

Now, it’s time to look forward. I am so nervous to look for -and try to buy- our first house together! I’m already looking and it’s scary to take on so much debt (and to see how small the places in our price range are.)

I guess we won’t be able to be as eager for visitors in Oahu as we were in Guam. We had more space in Guam, and I had time to show people around. I am afraid those are luxuries we won’t enjoy in Hawaii.

We’ll do our best, of course. But I think if you visit us in Hawaii you’ll need to get a hotel near by and see us on the weekend. Different island, different life.

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At GAIN helping a puppy calm down after surgery.

Even if I will have less time for writing and visitors, I am excited to find a job. I want something I will love! I am so hopeful that some hotel in Oahu will need someone to manage their social media or do photography for the weddings they host. Maybe I’ll get a government job doing public relations and actually get to use all that stuff I learned in college. I can’t wait to find my new job and meet my new co-workers. I do hope we’ll be friends!

I know I shouldn’t be excited to look for a job. Don’t get me wrong; I have loved writing and doing volunteer work! I just missed that feeling of being useful that you get from a job. There are so few options here, but it looks like Oahu will be full of opportunities! That is exciting!

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On a trip to Maui where I went on a black sand beach tour.

Plus, Oahu offers all new hikes and all new reefs. I am looking forward to that as well. Guam has been lovely, but it is very hot and tropical here. The cool breezes of Oahu will seem like a dream come true!

I am sure I will spend a lot of happy weekends under water and out on hiking trails, which is something I am really looking forward to.

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Last summer we went to the family reunion and then visited the glacier on top of Mt. Hood.

I guess what I am trying to say is: the future looks bright.

I may not update this blog for awhile because I’ll be buys with the house-hunting and the job-hunting and the move. However, I adore you all very much, and I promise to tell you all about my new home once we settle in. Until then, be patient. If you want updates, you can always keep an eye on my YouTube Channel and my Shutterstock account. I’ll do my best to add content when I can. And of course, you can always get in touch on LinkedIn as well, if you need to.

Love to all my readers!

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Summer in Seaside, Oregon for the family reunion.

Favorite Under Sea Photos

I am now selling select photos on Shutterstock. I would be amazing if you could spread the word. You can also always check out my YouTube Channel. A lot of my under water adventures are on there.

Since I have been volunteering at NOAA doing reef monitoring, I spend a lot of time in the water. As long as I am on the reef swimming anyway, I may as well snap some pictures for myself, right? So here are some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them!

Green Sea Turtle by Jenifer DeLemont

Green sea turtle diving. 

Hawksbill sea turtle by Jenifer DeLemont
Hawksbill Sea Turtle

 

School of Convict Surgeon Fish
Convict Surgeon Fish Schooling

 

Green Sea Turtle
Green Sea Turtle breathing

 

Masked Puffer by Jenifer DeLemont
Masked Puffer

 

Hawksbill
My husband Rich having a closer look at a Hawksbill

 

Hank the Octopus
An octopus hiding in a rock

 

Oval Butterfly
Oval Butterfly Fish over stag coral

 

Just reef
Just a Bit of Reef

 

Octopus
Octopus!

I don’t take a lot of pictures on land anymore. I am sure that will change in Oahu. It’ll be cooler, so hiking won’t be as unpleasant.

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Don’t Rely on Facebook

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A lot of people rely on Facebook to keep in touch these days. They think that it’s a safe way to keep in touch with family and friends even when they are far apart.

It’s not.

I want to tell you my story as a cautionary tale, because Facebook is full of arbitrary rules that mean you can get blocked or banned just because a group of people decide to start attacking you. And if that happens, you may lose your account forever. Here’s my story.

I joined Facebook in 2009 after having had a Myspace page when I was younger. As the platform has become more monetized, I have been less and less enthusiastic about it. But, since I live overseas, I kept the account as a way to keep in touch with people that I was geographically separated from. After all, when I lived in Korea it would have cost a fortune to keep in touch  with people back home by phone or in-person. And that is still true in Guam.

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The first time it was a problem was in 2015. I was on a military spouse page and everyone was talking about how the locals were thieves and would steal your stuff if you left it alone for even a moment. They were also claiming that the locals will break into your house and that they are all criminals.

I said this wasn’t true, and that I left my sandals and towel on the beach all the time when I went snorkeling and never had a problem.

That little comment lead to a torrent of harassment and bullying from several people who called me a lot of very bad names that I won’t repeat here. In addition to the awful names they called me, they said that I was lying, that I was disloyal, and that I deserved to get robbed and killed. Then they started reporting everything on my account to Facebook, and I was locked out.

That is when I discovered that there is no appeal process. If you are locked out of your account, there is no one that you can protest to. You cannot explain that you were just being bullied and haven’t done anything wrong. In fact, you have no recourse at all.

There is not even a phone number or an e-mail address. If you get banned for an arbitrary thing, Facebook’s policy is: Fuck you.

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So, that scared me, since I am far away from people and I don’t like to feel isolated.

After the 30 day ban was up, I contacted my friends and reminded them about this blog, my YouTube Channel, and my second Facebook page as J.D. DeLemont for promoting The Jamie Johnson Trilogy, (a series of romance novels that I wrote.)

I hoped that everyone would save my contact information, since I had discovered that I could not trust Facebook. They are bias, and often let the victims of bullies be attacked while they do nothing. I had been bullied by racist military spouses, and they let it happen because there were more of them than me, and I didn’t report them first so obviously I was wrong.

My second encounter with Facebook being bias was just last month, in July of 2018. I had seen a video attacking FLDS Mormons for being a cult. As a person who grew up in Arizona around Mormons, I have seen a lot of sad stories of children being abused and women being kept from having any freedom or hope.

I simply said: “Don’t separate the FLDS out. I have never met a nice Mormon of any description.”

That is true, and I stand by it. I have had to help too many women out of abusive situations and help raise too many kids. I have seen what it does to teach women that they are inferior and deserve to be abused, and I don’t agree with it. I will not be shamed for that opinion.

A Mormon saw my comment, and it turns out that they are bullies just like military spouses. They reported it as “hate speech” and got all their friends to do the same. They also went to my page and started reporting every photo, post, and video. I will probably never be able to get back onto that Facebook page because of it.

And again, there is no appeal process.

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However, I assumed that my friends would find me on my other page which I use to promote my romance novels, since I had posted a lot about it.

They did not.

Then, I thought I would try to add them with the new page that I made to promote my latest book, The New Testament of The Flying Spaghetti Monster; Dinner 2.0. (which you should definitely by because I am a starving artist.) It’s under a different name because I thought starting a religion under my real name might be a bit much, so I used the pen name “Violet Johnson.”

However, most of them denied the friend request and some even blocked me, in spite of my posting since April 2018 about my new book and the pen name I wrote it under.

(By the way, the page I made to promote the new book is here. Please “like” it. )

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Will I ever talk to the people who did not follow me from my old account again?

Maybe not.

I don’t have any way to get in touch with them. I gave everyone my contact information, but no one gave me theirs. It is possible that we’ll just never be in touch again. It would be a shame if that were the case, but you can’t say I don’t put myself out there. I am all over the internet, and you only need to search my name to find me. It’s not like I worry about my digital footprint being too big.

I would like to point out though (for the record) that neither my defense of the Chamorro people of Guam or my dislike of Mormons should be against Facebook’s “community standards.” Their policy of banning you if enough people report you is ludicrous, and it makes me wonder how all that racist and sexist stuff stays up. Clearly people support that stuff while reporting far less awful things.

It is worth noting that I have had plenty of people attack my Unitarian Church of Pasta page and say horrible things. I reported them to Facebook, but it does not violate their “community standards” to call Pastafarians “ignorant cunts” or “dumbshit libtards.” So you should all know where you stand. You can get banned forever if you say that you never met a nice Mormon, but if you say something bad about Pastafarians you’re fine. Apparently it’s only hate speech if it is against people who want to take away women’s rights and move society back 200 years.

Anyway, my e-mail is still jendelemont@gmail.com and you can still always reach me on Skype on any of my social media for The Unitarian Church of Pasta. The Unitarian Church of Pasta which is, you’ll note, not protected under Facebook’s “community standards.”

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