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Bella’s AIF: Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay

Posted Apr 07 2014 12:00am

I was really looking forward to my plans on Monday – snorkeling in Hanauma Bay.  I’d heard that Hanauma Bay had the best snorkeling in Oahu, and arguably the best in Hawaii.  I’d snorkeled before when I came here 25 years ago, and again in Jamaica, but it had been years.  Still, I hoped it came back to me the way riding a bike does.

I’d signed up for the snorkeling online through a Go Select Pass.  Since I wasn’t staying at a hotel in Honolulu, I had to drive to the Queen Kapiolani Hotel and wait there for the shuttle to pick me up.  Which meant a 45-minute commute from Kaneohe in heavy morning traffic.  I was told to park across the street, at the Honolulu Zoo parking lot, which was inexpensive at $1/hour.  I’d decided that morning to leave my debit card at home, because I didn’t want to leave it unattended while I was snorkeling.  This turned out to be a major mistake.

I got to the parking lot and discovered that the parking kiosks only took debit/credit cards.  Great, how was I going to avoid a parking ticket?  As if the stress of the drive and the parking situation wasn’t enough, I realized, after 45 minutes of waiting for the shuttle to arrive, that the company had lost my reservation.  I just got off the phone with the manager, who arranged for another shuttle to get me when the meter maid pulled up.  I told her about my situation, only have cash, and she said the kiosks also took quarters.  So I headed into the Queen Kapiolani to get a roll and avoid the $96 ticket. Even though the snorkeling adventure started out on a bad note, it all worked out ok in the end.

Once on the shuttle, I let all the stress wash away.  I was excited to be heading to the snorkeling adventure.  Because of the trouble I’d gone through, the company gave me a free underwater camera and a special breathing tube for the snorkel. Plus, seeing the beauty of Hanauma Bay made me even more anxious to discover what I could find in the ocean.

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I’ll post the photos I took with the underwater camera if any of them turn out well when I develop them, and I really hope they do.  I saw tons of fish and beautiful coral.  Floating around under the water was so serene.  It’s amazing that all of these creatures live just beneath the surface of the water. And just as I’d hoped, snorkeling came really easy to me.  I was only slightly concerned that I didn’t have a safety buddy, but I made sure that I was smart about where I was in relation to the shoreline, and just enjoyed myself.

The day was so much fun, and even the pouring rain as I came out of the water didn’t dampen my spirits.  1536554_10151950278295426_4683110617201285249_n

Throughout the day, I was reminded of all the things I can do now that I’ve lost all this weight.

  • First of all, I found swimwear that is comfortable and looks good so that I was not self-conscious, which is huge.
  • I had plenty of stamina to spend over an hour snorkeling all around Hanauma Bay.
  • I could walk all the way up the fairly steep hill back to the entrance with only a little bit of effort:

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The day was wonderful, and renewed my love of snorkeling.  I think part of the appeal, besides being able to see all the exotic fish in the ocean, is that fact that you can only do it in a few tropical locales.  The rarity of it makes it all the more special.

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