Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Oahu, Hawaii...day three

day three

I had read about Hanauma Bay and there were TONS of travel sites that offered tours and packages, but as I read the fine print I realized we'd still have to pay for the entrance fee to the bay on top of all the fee's for the tour. Apparently there are 300 public parking spaces that usually go pretty fast so most people opt for the tours. We decided to take our chances and head over to the bay early on our own. 

Hanauma Bay was once a volcano, long dormant the crater caved on the ocean side letting in the sea water and created a protected reef.  There are more than 450 species of fish along with octopus, crabs, eels and honu, also know as sea turtles. We arrived at 7:15 am, low tide, and after watching the mandatory video for how to treat the reef (ti's now a Nature Preserve and a Marine Life Conservation District and they take the preservation of the reef very seriously, it's even closed every Tuesday so it's not over used) we sought out shade on the sand and prepared our snorkel gear.

I had never snorkeled before so the first time we went out I was sans camera. I just wanted to get the feel of it. We wandered out into the shallow water and put our faces down and I instantly felt as though I'd just swam into a large fish tank. There were fish EVERYWHERE!! It was amazing.

I did not have my Nikon with me for the trip, instead I brought two underwater cameras. When the film is developed I will continue this story...but for now on to:

dukes menu

There is a Dukes in Malibu that I used to love going to at sunset. The happy hour was great and during sunset I could sit at the bar and look out into the ocean and watch the dolphins dive in and out of the water. The original Dukes is in Waikiki and I just had to check it out. Named for Duke Kahanamoku, an Olympic gold medalist swimmer, surfer, actor and Hawaii's Ambassador of Aloha. There are statues of him on Waikiki Beach and there is even a street named after him.

mai tai at Dukes

We waited for the tall one's friends at the Barefoot Bar, which unfortunately no longer has sand, drank mai tai's and watched the colors of the sunset dance across Diamond Head. A couple catamarans came up on shore and that was a pretty cool sight to see. They just push full steam towards the beach, surfers be damned.

I had started to feel the sunburn after we got back to the hotel from snorkeling, seven hours in the water will do some damage, but honestly I had thought that we applied enough sunscreen to be safe. Like an entire bottle of waterproof SPF 50 safe, reapplied every couple hours safe...but no. My entire back side was fried. The pain from sitting (as I had been badly burned on the backs of my thighs) was not relieved by the alcohol. The tall one's friends arrived and we went up to wait for our table, at which point I almost passed out from...oh, I have no idea. The pain from the sunburn? The dehydration? Exhaustion? All I can remember from that moment is ow.

The dinner was great though! I continued my exploration of seafood by ordering a sauteed macadamia nut and herb crusted manchong. It's a cute little fishy. I had to call the restaurant today and ask how to spell it because I kept pronouncing it mah jong, which is a game, not a fish. That wasn't the only seafood I'd eaten for the first time; in addition to ripping the heads off shrimp and prawns I also had smoked marlin and mahi mahi! I was pretty proud of myself because I've never really been adventurous seafood wise. 

We headed back to the hotel, quickly fell asleep and dreamed of floating sea turtles in a deep turquoise sea. 

to be continued...

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