What Lies Beneath: Snorkelling Oahu & Video

Having been to the island of Oahu three times I consider myself well versed in its fluctuating snorkelling conditions. Lanikai Beach, for example, was the ideal place to snorkel when I first visited its vibrant green coral reefs and schools of fish that got bigger as your ventured further. My first time on Waikiki Beach also brought sightings of three sea turtles which I found odd since it is such a touristy area. But there they came into the shallow depths occasionally gracing your calves with their strong fins. There’s nothing more frightening nor more thrilling than seeing a dark figure growing larger as it comes toward you beneath the water.

The second visit a few years later was not the same. Lanikai Beach was extremely wavy and difficult to see anything with the tides heaving sand back and forth creating a foggy mess. Waikiki Beach held no sea turtles so close to the shore, but there was a sea lion that hobbled on to the beach and laid himself out amongst the tanning tourists. 

I love snorkelling and during that second visit we were desperate to see more. We booked ourselves on the catamaran tour located just outside of the Outrigger on the Reef Hotel for $80 per person and set out a mile or so away from the Waikiki Beach. As we dove in there were huge schools of fish greeting us waiting for their chum to be tossed overboard. We also saw three sea turtles that day and shared a drink with our captain as we made our way back to the shore. 

What Lies Beneath: Snorkelling Oahu with @wandertraveler

This third visit was even more different than the previous two. There were no fish to see around Waikiki Beach besides a few angel fish. Lanikai was a little murky I was happy to see what emerged (see video to find out!). And I was talked into going to the west side of Oahu by a very pushy sales lady looking for commission. At $130 per person I booked the Ko Olina Snorkelling adventure which promises sea turtles, whales and dolphins (or at least one of those). The pushy woman said that this particular tour was 100 times better than the one I had taken the previous year and 90% you do indeed see dolphins or whales. I was a sucker and I booked it. 

Okay, maybe I am being a little hard on myself. The tour wasn’t all bad (again see video to understand why). The staff was very friendly, lunch was provided with two drink tickets and a cruise on the ocean at sunset in a large yacht like catamaran is never a bad idea. But where were the dolphins, sea turtles and whales? Probably back at Lanikai.

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Want to see more of what lies beneath?
Check out The Occasional Traveller’s amazing video featuring scuba diving  & snorkelling in the Maldives.

6 Responses to What Lies Beneath: Snorkelling Oahu & Video

    • Hi Megan,

      It’s definitely a work out. I really enjoyed it but got so scraped from the coral lol. I’ll be trying it again in my calm lake.
      Thanks for your kind words!

  1. What a fun video! I especially like the way you’ve used it to tell the story. Great choice of music too. It really gave it that island-vibe.

    It’s been a long time since I was in Hawaii but snorkelling at Hanauma Bay was one of the highlights for me. I didn’t see a sea turtle and I scraped my belly on the coral rocks, but I loved it anyway 🙂
    Laura @ An Uneducated Palate recently posted..Happy New YearMy Profile

    • Thanks Laura!
      My first go at a snorkelling video/blog video {my next video I am heading to Pulp Fiction Coffee House then Sandrines!}
      I have yet to go to Hanauma Bay! Next time.
      I tried SUP boarding for the first time and the amount of scrapes I got after falling off the board!

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A combination of her first trip abroad to Italy and living in the heart of Canada’s second largest wine region inspired her to live the Wanderfull life. When she can’t get away she tours her home of the Okanagan wine valley in British Columbia for food and wine. Wander full with her whether it’s on a VIP tour of the Louvre in Paris or hiking a vineyard trail in Kelowna.

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