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.
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.
I like to snorkel first thing in the morning. There are two reasons for that:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
I only went as far as where the waves break. It seemed wise since I’d been warned about currents and rip tides.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Now that we have orders to Oahu for three years, I find myself looking for a job and a house there. We will leave Guam this summer (2018) and, after a brief vacation, move to Oahu. After four years here on our humble island, I am a little nervous to move to such a bustling place!
Perhaps you can help me. I am appealing to all of you fabulous people whom I know through my Facebook, my LinkedIn, and my YouTube Channel. Surely some of you have some connections in the area that would benefit by knowing me, and I from knowing them? Why not help us out with an introduction?
Specifically, would any of you wonderful people know anything about property on Oahu and what neighborhoods to look in? Maybe about what things we should be considering when we go to buy? I know I am looking outside planned communities, and towards more out-of-the-way gems that might be found at a bargain due to needing a little love?
Then of course, what about a job? Do you maybe know anyone who is looking for a Social Media Manger or a Public Relations consultant? I do also have experience in Restaurant Management, Photography and Journalism as well. And, I suppose I have written a few novels. But if it were up to me, I think I would like something in Public Relations or Social Media Management.
I don’t ask for much. But, this is a big move and I am anxious to make the transition smooth. As you all know, moving is hard. And Ohau is a very developed island with extremely expensive property; most of which is well out of our price range on a military salary. It’ll be up to me to make up the difference. Hopefully I am equal to the task.
In the meantime, enjoy the pictures in this post, which are some of my favorite photos from our time in Guam.
For the second time, I went to Electric Beach on Oahu. This time I went on a Sunday, and boy was it crowded! Apparently weekdays are much better.
I was extremely upset to see two random men come along and punch a sea turtle on the back. I have no idea what that was about, but it seemed like some kind of macho thing. I wish people would respect endangered species and keep the required two meters away.
Anyway, as I have said before, Electric Beach is where the heated water from inside the power plant on the shore pours out of big pipes.
Lots of things like to come there. Last time I saw a sting ray. This time, several small green sea turtles.
The coral is small. It’s not like Guam, with huge coral stacks that build reefs that dwarf me. There are mostly rocks, and then some small corals living on them.
Even without big corals, there is no shortage of interesting sea life. There are some very pretty sea urchins that live among the rocks.
If you go to Oahu, take the trip out of Oahu and up the coast. It’s worth it.
Particularly if your goal is to see turtles, Electric Beach is a good spot. I noticed that most of the people on the Great Barrier Reef tour with me were out to see turtles. They really are some of the cutest things in the ocean.
I am still sad about the loss of our resident turtle by my house at Fish Eye, whom we called “Larry.” The other turtles here are great, but they are strangers who come and go. Larry was like a friend who was there every day to go for a swim and play.