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Trip report # 3. hikes, snorkeling and exploring

Kauai, Hawaii
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Trip report # 3. hikes, snorkeling and exploring

We recieved some scoops from Donna, the owner of # 210 at Napili Bay.....there was a coastal trail that we could walk to, and take us along Kapalua Bay, adjacent snorkeling spots, lava paths along the coast line, and to Oneloa Beach and beyond.

No need for the car, we could walk to this delightful path, as nice way to greet the maui morning . I believe we did this two or three days during our stay.

Erica has some wonderful pictures. We also spotted a snorkel tour, lead by a guide in a kayak at the small cove like bay, just beyond kapalua bay. To the right of the small peninsula.


Recon of Wahe'e Trial:

High Clouds, and mountains capped with low clouds, but we had intended to head over to the WAIHE'E trail.

Drove until just before the paved road ended, and a small narrow paved road led up to the trail head. One thing is that this road, as it begins is very narrow, and no way for two cars to pass head on.

Or any other way for that matter.

No worries, we did not have a problem.

But, after the narrow section , it does open up to where the up hill and down hill vehilces could probably make it OK.

The trail is about 2.5 miles, with an up hill grade to the end where there is picnic table.

Even tho it was cloudy , we decided to give er a go, and see what we might expect. We hiked about a mile, up to the ridge, and the beautiful valleys were in mist and clouds.

So, we did a 180, and headed back to the car. We will return on a sunny day...and we did.

Since it was overcast, we went to plan B. Stop at the Napili Market, for some more provisions, and then drive up and reconoiter HONOLUA Bay, a few miles north of Napili. Had good reports from this forum on snorkeling there.

Then we would continue a few more miles north to check out the blow hole.

We found parking at the trail head that leads to Honolua Bay.....what a beautiful walk along the forested trail to the very rocky beach.

We were standing there, looking at where the snorkel boats had their people swimming, as well as the best and easiest place to enter.

All of a sudden, this local haole fellah comes up in front of us...and blows a conch. Maybe two or three feet away.He calls for attention for everyone on the beach.

Maybe someone here knows him, he told me his name was Jobe.

The gist of the presentation was to take care of the " habitat ", using good rules of swimming and snorkeling, and not to put spray sunscreen on any bodies that were going into the water.

Apparently, spray on sunscreen, damages the reef.

Then came the pitch for dontations. He implied that he represented the owner of the land, and that the snorkel boats charged $ 90.00 to each passenger to snrokel the bay via ocean tours.

He added that the owners of the land were allowing all of us to gain access to the beach, and that we should drop some cash into the locked box that was set up as we approached the beach.

He was doing some good, as to getting good scoops to those planning on going into the water. But, in all of our island adventures, from the caribbean to the south pacific, and most of the hawaiian islands , I had not experienced , ever, any display for dontations before. He also was catching people as they walked past the donation box several yards from the beach.

Any thoughts from the locals on that. We did return the next day when the sky was clear, the sun was lighting up the coral.


We departed honolua bay, and drove up to the blow hole, which is a short and easy drive further up the coast.

Wow ! Kind of tricky and one of those "pay attention to where you put your feet trails"...which became rocks, and steep sections down to the volcanic flats and the blow hole.

Would suggest at least sturdy tennis shoes, but we did see visitors in flip flops.

The ocean water was entering a lava tube and tossing a tower of spray way the heck up into the gray overcast sky...which kind of deminshed the photo op, since gyser of water blended into the gray of the sky.

Down at the blow hole, Erica did her best for photos, and we do have one selected and stored in photo shop.

Oh, on the way back, not too far from the blow hole was a small tiny building, that sold banana bread. We picked up a small loaf, for desert, as we were bbqing steaks that evening. Hmmm hmmmm tasty.


Next day back to Honolua Bay: Snorkel time !

Jobe accosted us again, and wanted to know if we knew the rules.

I told him that we had been there yesterday, and also were certified divers, and aware of ocean safety and preservation of the reef. Acutally , I had a small donation, wrapped up in a baggie, to drop off in the box after snorkeling.

Great snorkeling on the right side.....excellent.....fabulous coral formations, and fish from wee rascals to good sized travale.Erica seemed to think that it was great enough to challenge capt. cooks on the big island. suffice to say, it was pretty darned special.

Excellent, excellent variety of all kinds of colorful fish, and lots of em. Wonderful living coral formations covering a rather extensive area.

After finning about and ogling the finny population for a while , we headed back toward the place where we entered. The whole area is rocky, and the easiest place , looking out to sea, for entry, was just to the left of the long flat cement area they call a boat ramp.

Take your time. Low center of gravity, and no worries in using the larger rocks as a brace. We carried our fins into the water, and once we were about chest high, we put on our fins, and slowly headed over to the right side of the bay.

I truly believe that Honolua Bay is a DO NOT MISS, if one is into snorkeling.

Leaving the coral reef area, we were finning back across a long sandy bottom...when....Wham ! A tumbling , twirling, spinning , rolling huge school of fish appeared before us. Whoa !!!!

Probably the fish were in the hundreds. Lurking below the massive twisting ball of little guys, were four large travale, just calming circling below the school. Eyeing lunch, no doubt.

Must say that HONOLUA BAY is mighty impressive as far as snorkeling goes. As to sitting for hours on a beach, not so hot, since it is rocks and rocks and more rocks. But, we did bring some tasty wraps, and bottled water, and had a little short picnic after snorkeling. Found a flat rock to sit on, for a while.

If you should have your own open heel fins and booties, those booties come in handy for walking over the rocks to and from the water.

Time to go, so we grabbed our dive bag, and headed back to the car. And yep, I dug into the velcro pocket of my board shorts, and pulled out the soggy $ 5.oo bill, and stuffed it into the almost toatlly empty cash box.

I figured that Jobe was doing good with helping the visitors to be aware of taking care of the marine habitat, and the snorkeling was truley amazing.....

I guess it was the desperation, and almost ordering everyone to leave money. Any scoops on any of that from you all would be appreciated.


Denny and Erica

Sun City West...
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1. Re: Trip report # 3. hikes, snorkeling and exploring


love your trip reports!

we had what i would call kind of a strange experience at honolua bay in '07. we had walked there from the highway (beautiful trail btw) and encountered what appeared to be a hawaiian gentleman in the area who told us we were on private property (no signs). i saw a 'worn house' in the distance, so we figured it must have been his. he was pleasant enough and suggested we come back in the morning to snorkel when the turtles and octopi were plentiful. he suggested we make a donation to pass thru his land to swim there.

when we returned to our condo, we asked the folks in the office about this and they told us, "yeah, he tells everyone the land is his...don't pay attention to it." so we're still not very sure what to make of it, but i guess what you experienced is nothing overly new.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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2. Re: Trip report # 3. hikes, snorkeling and exploring

This happens time to time. There has been legal issues with access to Honolua Bay for a long time. I don't know the ins and outs but am surprised they are back with the donation box. It used to be to help pay for the porta pottie they put up out there. After getting the potties donated (and away from the beach), up on the hillside, the donation box disappeared!! A few years back, a few in the family were actually arrested for harassing visitors. I think one (don't quote me on this), may have had a weapon. After a long court battle, they were exonerated. I know a few people on Maui who have adopted this bay (they are the ones responsible for getting the signs put up on the right side of the boat ramp) and there usually is at least one person at an information table teaching ocean and reef awareness to visitors. Apparently she wasn't there the day you were? Anyway, I'll keep my ears open for some more info!! Don't let this keep anyone away from snorkeling Honolua Bay. I just drop a dollar in the box and away I snorkel!!

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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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3. Re: Trip report # 3. hikes, snorkeling and exploring


Denny, more great reporting. Your reports are very descriptive!! I am really sorry to hear you ran into the creep.

The Honoluau Bay creep is not legal. He has no right to do this and has been busted several times. Because it's not travel related, I won't go into any further details.

Honolua is a Marine Conservation District and NO ONE has the right to bar access or charge for it. Nuff said, please......not looking for a debate here.

Sun City West...
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4. Re: Trip report # 3. hikes, snorkeling and exploring

msfuzz & sw,

i knew at the time that all beaches in hawaii were public and assumed that pertained to all shorlines...

the guy came across as a bit of a huckster, but there was a shanty kind of house/building there, so we weren't quite sure what to make of it. we didn't donate any money, so it was no biggie. one of the people in our condo office said he was squating there and this had been an issue for a while.

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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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5. Re: Trip report # 3. hikes, snorkeling and exploring

Ack.........Billy, don't get me started---

Shoreline access can be limited by landowners.

It can't be limited by those who have no title to the land....or Kuleana Deed, on and on..........

Dallas, Texas
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6. Re: Trip report # 3. hikes, snorkeling and exploring

Aloha Denny! Great reporting as always. Maui has always had some "characters" around..part of its charm!!

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for Maui
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7. Re: Trip report # 3. hikes, snorkeling and exploring

My crew has been lucky enough to miss the "donation" box (probably too "wild and windy" when they snorkeled, anyone going in better know what they are doing) But I've heard enough to warn them!

Scottsdale, Arizona
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8. Re: Trip report # 3. hikes, snorkeling and exploring

I had the same experience with the guy on the 7th, I'll post about it in my last TR later tonight.

I just ignored him.

Nice review!

S W Arkansas
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for Kihei, Maui, Hana, Haleakala National Park
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9. Re: Trip report # 3. hikes, snorkeling and exploring

He (Joe) was pleasant, friendly and gave some good advise. The big mean looking dog is chained. All was quiet at 7:45 when we arrived. When we left about 9:30 he and his buddies were busy with a card game.

Denny..agree about the beauty of Honolua Bay. glad you were here when the bay was calm so ya'll could enjoy.

Huntington Beach, CA
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10. Re: Trip report # 3. hikes, snorkeling and exploring

Aloha Denny! I just found your #3 report so I will go back for #s 1 & 2! I haven't snorkeled Maui so the only way I get to enjoy it is through others' experiences. Weird about the Jobe guy. I wouldn't have given him anything I don't think. You're nicer than I am!

See you in #s 1&2!