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snorkeling at Tunnels or Kee- which one is safer?

Chico, CA
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snorkeling at Tunnels or Kee- which one is safer?

My swimming skills are not so great, so I would like to be where I can touch the ground with my feet if needed, and away from strong currents. With this fact in mind, which place would be better/safer for me for snorkeling: Ke'e or Tunnels?

I snorkeled on Maui a couple of years ago for several days on shallow waters and plan to snorkel on Poipu and Lawaii prior to going to the North Shore, will have floaters. Since parking is difficult on those 2 great beaches (Ke'e and Tunnels) we might need to choose 1, and would like to do it based on the safety for snorkeling. Which one would you recommend?

Edited: 26 July 2014, 07:51
pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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1. Re: snorkeling at Tunnels or Kee- which one is safer?

Ke`e is guarded and more protected than Tunnels. Po`ipu is guarded, but neither it nor Lawai is particularly easy snorkeling. Lawai is not shallow where the fish are. You might consider Lydgate, which is guarded and very protected. Another option for you might be Anini; no guard, but fairly shallow. Bear in mind that the only place you should stand up is on sandy bottom, and you're not going to see much in the way of fish there.

Edited: 26 July 2014, 08:23
Chico, CA
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2. Re: snorkeling at Tunnels or Kee- which one is safer?

pzp, thank you

Philadelphia...
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3. Re: snorkeling at Tunnels or Kee- which one is safer?

if you're not a strong swimmer then a guarded one is probably better at KE'E. The emerald green backdrop at KE'E is spectacular and is what I imagine when thinking of paradise. but as pzp said, the shallow parts don't have much to see. I thought from one of your prior that you were going in with a flotation device in which case you shouldn't have much to worry about. I have seen people being rescued when they drift too far out so just pop your head up every few minutes to get your bearings

Kauai, Hawaii
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4. Re: snorkeling at Tunnels or Kee- which one is safer?

Time of year that the OP is going to be visiting is very very important as to snorkeling the north shore.

In october haena on up to ke'e beach there usually is a stong long shore current that is extremely fast moving and looks like river rapids.

Snorkeling at ke'e for experienced snorkelers has never been a choice of ours....well, we did snorkel there once and it was pretty much void of marine life.....have not been back, but PZP updated our experience as well.

If the OP's swimming skills are not so great, totally agree with the guarded beaches, but do not know which ones to recommend due to not knowing the time of year that they are visiting.

The OP can check on the computer by searching KAUAI EXPLORER BEACH AND SURF REPORTS after 9 am when the lifeguards call in their reports of actual conditions. Lots of other information is on this website as well that pertains to ocean safety.

Philadelphia...
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5. Re: snorkeling at Tunnels or Kee- which one is safer?

i think OP will be there next week, not october.

Buford, Georgia
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6. Re: snorkeling at Tunnels or Kee- which one is safer?

Kee would be my choice of the 2 for a not strong swimmer. As mentioned, Lydgate would be great, too, and there are lots of fish there. You may want to try the cove in front of the lifeguard stand at Poipu, too. It's very shallow there and if you turn over a rock or 2, you'll have lots of fish following you. Lawai does get deep right away, then gets shallow again a ways out, but it can have a pretty good current running through it. Anini can be great if you look in the right place, which looks pretty far out, but is still shallow.

La Mirada...
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7. Re: snorkeling at Tunnels or Kee- which one is safer?

I'm an excellent swimmer, but I still managed to get caught in a current at Tunnels...more just not paying attention to where I was until it was too late as the current carried me into shallow water. I lost a fin and ended up cutting my foot on the coral. Idiot me.

Moral of the story.....pinpoint something stationary on the shore in relation to where you are in the water and look up often.

Chico, CA
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8. Re: snorkeling at Tunnels or Kee- which one is safer?

Very helpful info, thank you everyone for your input.

I bought a floating devise, will be in Kauai on August 6 for 12 days, will split the stay between Marriott in Lihue for 4 days and Pali Ke Kua condo on North for 8 days. Will always check surf reports.

will visit Anini for sure, probably spend most of our swimming/snorkeling time there due to shallow waters and ease of parking.

So I guess for my North Shore snorkeling: Tunnels are out, Ke'e is ok.

For South Shore stay: Lawaii is out, Poipu and Lydgate are in. I will have time there only for 1 beach so I guess it would be Poipu in front of lifegueard station.

9. Re: snorkeling at Tunnels or Kee- which one is safer?

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