Archive for October, 2010

Hanauma Bay- waiting for The Bus to Waikiki

I have really been wanting to write about our Hawaii trip but working at the haunt sucks up all my energy and time.  I can’t post any more pictures on here or Facebook, new media rules don’t allow.  But I assure you we still look as gruesome as ever.  But on to one of my favorite places in Hawaii: Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.

Caity and Paul (our friends getting married in HI) dropped us off at Hanauma Bay after a morning tide pool hike.  We were starving so we had snack bar food at the entrance to the park– not very good but there were nice places to sit if you had a picnic.  There was a really nice education center with friendly educators.  One guide gave us a tip on where the sea turtles could be spotted, we later saw one!

A sea turtle blends into the rocks

Hanuauma Bay was “rescued” in 1990 when the practice of allowing 10,00+ people a day onto the beach was stopped.  Now it focuses on conservation and marine education.  I really liked the education kiosk they had on the beach.  You could check out posters to name the fish you saw or talk to more expert guides.  I would love to manage that volunteer program– office on the beach? Yes please!

Clear blue water

We rented snorkels and fins and swam from one end of the bay to the other.  I felt like a gigantic fish as we skimmed above the reef.  We saw sea cucumbers, urchins and schools of the most colorful fish I’ve ever seen.  They seemed pretty unfazed by all the snorkelers and kept busy feeding on reef.  Worn out after a day in the sun we took a short walk to the far end of the beach and then headed toward The Bus which would take us back to Waikiki.  On the way out of the park we saw a crazy sight– a couple of chickens just roving around!


Of course I had to get nice and close for a photo-op, who doesn’t love a few wild chickens?  (Actually I just found this blog, apparently flightless birds aren’t as fun when you live on an island) 

bawk bawk!


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Diamond Head Crater

Our first “hike” in Hawaii was to the top of Diamond Head, a volcanic crater.  We set out from our lovely hotel on Waikiki beach toward the crater, following the coast road. 

Someone's back yard

The walk to the entrance was much longer than we expected.  But pedestrians get a discount so I guess it was worth it!  Pat and I thought these recycling “cages” looked like modern art:


The hike is .75 miles and paved the whole way.  There was one really steep set of stairs, good thing I use my “stairmaster” at work daily (4th floor office…)  A tunnel inside the crater and then a spiral staircase lead you to a great lookout point.

It was pretty dark in there

This picture makes me dizzy!

Waikiki beach-- our hotel was on the end closest to Diamond Head

Ahhh, fresh air, sunny skies and beautiful scenery!  A lot of our programs at work focus on Earth Science so I was excited to be standing on a volcano on top of another volcano.  Whenever I talk with visitors about plate tectonics I make sure to spend extra time on Hawaii’s formation– it’s going to be even worse now that I’ve been there!

Diamond Head is still home to a U.S. miliary base and the platform on top was once an artillery observation platform.  It offers a great view of the southern and eastern sides of the island though it was pretty crowded when we got up there.  We bypassed the man selling “authentic” certificates of achievement and hailed a cab back into Waikiki.

The same series of volcanic eruptions that formed Diamond Head also created Hanauma Bay, now a National Wildlife Preserve.

snorkel City!

More on that later!  The haunted house is getting crazy– but it three weeks it will all be over and I’ll feel like I just woke up from some really, really strange dream.

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