Hawaiian Adventure

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Before I moved to Guam, I had only been to Oahu once on my way to Maui. However, every flight to the mainland US from Guam seems to go through Oahu. So, I have gotten to know it over time. At first I went to the tourist spots that I had heard so much about, like Waikiki Beach.

I also got a chance to glimpse the serious feral cat population problem when I went to a scenic overlook. We have a feral dog problem on Guam so I completely understood how that happened.

I also did the food tour. I had pineapple chicken and other Hawaiian BBQ. However this trip, I drove around.

Dole

I already wrote about snorkeling at Electric Beach and The Three Tables. The underwater explorations were a lot of fun! I have never seen so many turtles in one place.

There were also lovely things on land, though.

I tried a Pineapple Shake at the Dole Pineapple Plantation. It had never occurred to me to put pineapple in a shake before, but it was good.

Tip for visiting the Dole Pineapple Plantation:

It was very crowded when I was there, which was a Thursday. I feel like it is always busy. If you want to do the tour, play in the maze, eat at the grill, and really enjoy it; you want to get there early and plan on spending the day there.

It is certainly the place to get all the pineapple you want.

I stayed at The Navy Lodge, which is on Ford Island. I found it amusing to stay on an island off the coast of an island.

Obviously The Navy Lodge isn’t something fancy like the resorts you see on Oahu. But it seems silly to pay for a fancy hotel room when you will only be there to sleep.

Besides, the flowers around the hotel were beautiful.

navy lodge on ford island

Passion flowers are actually my favorite, but they were not in season. None-the-less, there were plenty of flowers around to appreciate. The hotel had a lovely collection of bromeliads.

Of course, we have most of the same flowers on Guam. However, everything looks nicer when you are on vacation, doesn’t it?

weird red plant thing

I know there is a lot of really amazing hiking in Hawaii, and I hope to get the opportunity to do some hiking at some point. However, this trip was short, and we wanted to spend most of it in the water.

If you are interested in hiking, there are lots of really excellent websites that are devoted to hiking in Oahu.

The weather is cooler and less humid than the weather in Guam, so I imagine it is exactly as beautiful and not as sweaty.

purple antherium

Also, although I wrote about Electric Beach, Pupukea Maine Conservation District, and Turtle Beach; there are many other wonderful places to snorkel on Oahu.

There are some lovely websites devoted to places to snorkel, in case you are planning a trip there yourself and want to take a look.

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The very best thing I finally found was Leonard’s Malasadas Truck. I had heard wonderful things about it from my Portuguese side of the family.

A malasada is a Portuguese donut which is a kind of sweet bread that is fried and rolled in sugar (or other things.) It is a tradition to eat them in Portugal of Shrove Tuesday, which is like Fat Tuesday in New Orleans.

malasada truck

In my family, we ate malsadas on New Year’s Day because we were already together for Christmas. There were my favorite part of the holidays.

Biting into a malasada was like biting into a little piece of my childhood, and I am really glad I finally came across Leonard’s. If you have never had a malasada, I highly recommend that you try one. They’re fantastic!

malasadas

Overall, it was a really nice trip to Oahu. I saw a lot of things I hadn’t seen before, and ran into things I didn’t even know I wanted to see.

Hopefully we’ll go back soon, because we have a friend living there now. Time to take advantage of someone else’s spare room the way people take advantage of ours.

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Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach

While Oahu, I also visited a place that the locals call “Turtle Beach.”

There is not a lot of sea grass or algae in the water for the sea turtles of Oahu to eat. However, on Turtle Beach, there are several rocks that are covered in algae.

Turtles

Every day at low tide, the turtles slide themselves out of the water, and come up onto the rocks to eat.

I was always led to believe that turtles are really awkward on land. However, these turtles seem to have no trouble at all scooting around.

You could even see turtles that were not up on the beach playing in the waves.

Turtles in Waves

The lifeguard on the beach sets up a barrier to keep people from getting too close to the turtles, and you can’t go swimming in the water directly in front of where they come ashore.

However, it is magical to watch them from behind the barrier and enjoy seeing sea turtles in a whole new way.

Kalua O Maua “Three Tables”

While in Hawaii on the island of Oahu, we went to a place called The Pupukea Maine Conservation District.

Within that area, there are a few places that you can snorkel.

We initially tried to go to Waimea Bay, because we had heard good things. However, there was no parking.

Instead, we followed the road a little farther, and parked in front of the Kalua O Maua, or “The Three Tables.”

I was really glad that we ended up where we did, because we saw so many green sea turtles!

Turtles are one of my favorite animals, and I adore sea turtles. There is one back home in Guam that I love to go visit.

You do have to be careful. The waves are strong, and it would be easy to get pushed into one of the “three tables” (which are just big pillars of volcanic rock.)

They aren’t sharp, but they are full of baby sea urchins, so you wouldn’t want to touch the rocks.

However, as long as you are careful, there are a lot of really beautiful things to see. There are some flat corals, and lots of fish.

The turtles looked a little worse for wear. Quite a few of them had shell of flipper damage.

However, they were reasonably calm around us. We didn’t get too close (obviously) because of the restrictions in the endangered species act.

Seeing them from a distance and being able to zoom in and get video was pretty magical, though.

The waves were high, but the water seemed calmer than on the other side of the island.

There were certainly more people swimming, and we didn’t see any dramatic rescues of screaming people like at Electric Beach.

Electric Beach, Oahu

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I recently went through Hawaii on my way home to Guam. We were only on Oahu for a few days, but Electric Beach at Kahe Point was one of the best things I saw.

You park across the street from the Power Plant, and then walk past the bathrooms onto the small strip of beach.

There are a lot of signs on the cliff side as you walk down, warning you of the dangerous water conditions.

There are also signs on the little strip of beach, telling you not to go in the water in front of the power plant.

The signs have a point. What you want to do is go to the ramp, and swim straight out from the ramp for about 200 feet. Then, bear to the right just a little.

There are pipes (that are buried) with some coral on top. Follow those out.

You can see the bubbles from where the pipes let out.

The water from the power plant is warm, and it attracts a lot of different sea life.

It’s important to be careful. If you get down in front of the pipes, the rushing water will push you out to sea and you will have to swim back.

The best place to be is right before the opening of the pipes, so that you can watch the animals that come to hang out.

We saw lots of amazing things, including a black trigger fish and several schools of baby fish.

Of course, the best thing we saw was a sting ray, which hung around and played in the water with us.

However, there were all kinds of things to see. The are pillow star fish, sea urchins, trigger fish, and much more.

If you stick your head out of the water facing shore, you can see the power plant. This is what it looks like.

And the best part?

When you get out, they have showers!

If you snorkel often, you know how awesome that is. I hate having to drive home salty.

Again, I should caution you about the dangerous waters.

We saw some people get caught in a rip tide and pulled into a rocky area. They had to be rescued.

Make sure you are a strong swimmer before you try Electric Beach.

Safety First!