While Marvin spent the first day of 2012 just a few clouds away from Heaven, I decided to spend it at arguably the most famous surfing beach in the world, Waimea Bay. Located in Haleiwa on the North Shore of Oahu, Waimea Bay is known as a world class surfing spot and the backdrop for the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau, or, as it is affectionately know, The Eddie. The Eddie is currently being held this year, waves cooperating, until February 29, 2011 (the event started on December 1, 2011).
The winter season is a favorite time of the year for Hawaii surfers, mainly because of the waves that the winter swells bring. However, if instead you are looking for idyllic and calm “beach” experience then look no further than the Ko Olina Lagoons located at the ritzy J.W. Marriott Ihilani. These mini beaches are actually four man-made lagoons (Hanu, Naia, Kolola, and Ulua). The rock walls surrounding the lagoons keep the waves from venturing in and therefore you’re left with a relaxed water experience. It’s like swimming in an open ocean pool – it’s chill, very chill.
We’ve featured the easternmost point of the island of Oahu on this site before (see Makapu’u Point), but what about the westernmost point of the island? That distinction belongs to Kaena Point. Located just beyond Waianae and Yokohama Beach, Kaena Point is actually a nature reserve and bird sanctuary that is managed by the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.
The Legend of the Shapeshifting Shark-Man of Makua Cave is the first post of a series that we call Exploration: Hawaii Chicken Skin Legends, Locations, and Stories. These posts will explore some of the chicken skin (hair-raising goosbumbs for you mainlanders) inducing locations and stories that Hawaii has to offer. Since it’s October and Halloween is right around the corner, you can expect to see a couple of these posts throughout the month. And remember, you should always respect Hawaiian legends, spirits, and stories as spiritual Hawaiiana is something that should be respected and taken seriously.
Watching the sunset on a beach in Hawaii is great. Watching the sunset in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with Israel Kamakawiwaole playing in the background and a drink in hand is even better. The Welakahao Outrigger Catamaran [Update 12/1/2011: the catamaran was recently renamed the Waikiki Rigger]. offers just that and I got to experience this sunset cruise this past Sunday with Michelle.
I’m someone that is simultaneously intimidated by the ocean, and yet fascinated with various, perhaps somewhat slightly dangerous, activities. I know that the former feeling comes from the fact that I’m from Toronto, and that, as a result I am simply unaccustomed to dealing with tides, currents and the possibility of sharks. The later feeling, though, pushes me to do things like confront the former head on. As a result, I decided to get my SCUBA certification and spend some time under the sea getting to know it more intimately.
I have a friend that is from Hawaii, but moved away to the mainland for graduate school. He mentioned to me that he had never seen a Hawaiian Sea Turtle in action at the beach while he lived on the islands. I was blown away because they are so numerous … if you know where to look. One of the places on Oahu where you are guaranteed to have an encounter with a turtle is at Papa’iloa Beach in the North Shore town of Haleiwa. The beach is actually tucked away behind residential homes and so it is often the perfect place for a secluded beach experience.
Hanauma Bay (pronounced “ha-na-OO-mah”, in Hawaiian) is one of those places that you must visit when vacationing in Hawaii. Hanauma Bay is located on the southeast coast of the Island of Oahu. Hana means ‘bay’ and uma means ‘curve,’ hence the translation of Curved Bay. It’s basically the next door neighbor to Koko Crater, remember that place where you can get a crazy good cardio workout?