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CSULB Geospatial Research and Mapping (GRAM) Field Program
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Day 21 – Day off, exploring Oahu

Posted on June 25, 2013 by Greg Hosilyk

So, we had the day off on Sunday. I was invited to go along with a group renting a car so that we could be free to do whatever we wanted. So, we caught the bus to the rental place which happened to be at Turtle Bay resort on the north shore. It was beautiful, if I ever come back to Oahu and I don’t rent a house, I could see my family staying there. Anyway, we hung out there for a bit while we waited to get our rental, but once we got our minivan, we started heading south.

Turtle Bay Resort

Turtle Bay Resort

Turtle Bay Resort

Turtle Bay Resort

We drove for a while before we started seeing new things as we had to back track a bit, but eventually we started checking out some sights. We saw a beach from the road that looked really nice so we stopped to check it out. It was really cool, it was almost completely local, and really not crowded. As soon as we stepped onto the sand, we  noticed a turtle swimming along the shore, only 2 feet away, it was awesome. After seeing the turtle, I decided to check out what else I could see, so I snorkeled around for a while. It wasn’t the most abundant place I’ve snorkeled, but it was cool because the coral was beautiful. In most snorkel spots the coral gets pretty beat up from all the people touching and standing on it, but this place was in pretty good shape.

Turtle

Turtle

First fish of the day

First fish of the day

We only stayed at that beach for about an hour and headed out, shortly after that we came upon a vista point at Waimanalo Beach Park and we stopped to take some pictures, it was an incredible view. After taking in the view and snapping picture after picture, we headed to see the Halona Blowhole, but the surf wasn’t very high, so that was kind of anticlimactic.

Waimanalo Beach Park

Waimanalo Beach Park

After the blowhole, we stopped at the Kona Brewing Company for lunch. Some of the others really wanted to go there and get souvenirs, but to me it was really nothing more than an overpriced BJ’s that wasn’t as good. After eating, we were underwhelmed by the restaurant and headed out to see more of the island. I had expressed a desire to go snorkeling at a good spot and on Oahu, that spot is Hanauma Bay. It’s an old crater that is a wildlife preserve. It’s become so popular that they charge a nominal 2 bucks to get in, and they limit how many people get in, so you have to get there early. So, I pretty much knew I wasn’t going there and sure enough, when we drove by it was sold out already, after all it was a Sunday and we were there around lunch time. No big deal, I had already been looking up alternatives on my phone while we drove and I had decided that Sharks Cove in north shore was the place to go. So, I convinced the crew to go back to north shore. From where we were near Honolulu, we took a scenic routh through the middle of the island and got to see the Dole plantation and some coffee groves and a few other interesting spots.

Within an hour we were back in the north shore area. The guys, Howard, Peter and myself decided to snorkel Sharks Cove while the girls went to do some shopping in the north shore area. For an hour and half we got to explore the cove, it was pretty amazing. We saw lots of different fish and crustaceans. While exploring, we found a huge rock on the ocean floor with a hole in it. We investigated and found that you could swim under the rock and come out the hole. As soon as I got down that deep my head felt like it was going to implode, so I didn’t go for it, but Howard and Peter borrowed my fins and made the swim, it’s in the video.

 

 

After snorkeling, we headed back to the barn to change and we headed back to Honolulu and saw the night life there. We were all pretty tired at that point so we only stuck around for a couple hours, we got our souvenir shopping done and headed back to the barn to crash for the night. So, we saw a lot in one day, and pretty much went around the island twice. I have to say, it was a really good day, we got to see and do a lot of things and we managed to keep the stress level down.

 

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