Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay

There are many amazing things to be found on the island of Oahu. One activity definitely worth mentioning is snorkeling in Hanauma Bay. The name Hanauma is actually derived from two Hawaiian words, “hana” which means bay, and “uma” meaning curved. The curved bay is actually a natural pool that was formed inside of a volcanic crater many thousands of years ago. Hanauma Bay has long been considered one of Oahu’s most precious jewels in the Pacific.

For a real underwater adventure, go snorkeling in Hanauma Bay.

Historically speaking, Hanauma Bay was well known by the earliest islanders to be an excellent place to fish. Records show that during the 1800s, Hawaiian royalty would visit the bay to fish, relax, or simply go to be entertained. Today, Hanuma Bay is still a place to come and enjoy its cool blue waters. With all the fanfare about this place, Rebecca and I decided to grab our snorkel gear and explore both above and below the waves.

Another great thing about Hanauma Bay is it is an excellent place to see a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle. The turtles are a huge part of Hawaiian mythology and culture. Unfortunately, when Rebecca and I visited the bay, we did not see any of those amazing creatures.

Red flags were flying to warn visitors of the bay’s dangerous rip currents and sudden drop offs. 

Although the waters can be dangerous at times, there is very little risk to those who stay within the boundaries and know how to swim. The park is also staffed with highly trained, professional lifeguards. I never worry about any of that stuff though. I wouldn’t dare enter the water without inflatable swimmies on my arms!


Haunama Bay is one of Oahu’s jewels of the Pacific!


You can easily see from this photo how Hanauma Bay got its name. 


Hanauma Bay is a perfect place to just kick back and watch the day float away!


Big Johns throws on some fins and goes for a swim.


The coral of Hanuma Bay is home to over 450 varieties of fish.


This is a Tang fish and it feeds on algae growing on the rocks and stones.



He’s wearing stripes so he must be a convict!


This is the princess fish. Although they can’t swim fast, they know how to shop and use credit cards.



I think this ugly sea creature must have scared all the fish away!



Is that Jaws in the left-hand corner?


I was lucky to have spotted this chunk of coral.


Although I failed to capture it, she was throwing me the shaka sign.



These surgeonfish can grow up to 22 inches long.


Just look at that adventurous, daring, and dashing man! I believe that must be Jacques Cousteau down there?


Hanauma Bay on the island of Oahu, Hawaii

As you may have guessed, we had an amazing time swimming with the fishies in beautiful Hanauma Bay. Thank you for visiting my post and feel free to explore more of Big John’s Adventures in Travel.

Mahalo and happy travels,

Big John

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The Trail to the Summit of Diamond Head Crater

Aloha from Waikiki!

Rebecca was already five months pregnant when we landed in Oahu on that warm and sunny day in April. That being said, all of our recreational opportunities on the island have been far more tame than what we would typically do when exploring a new place. With things like surfing, parasailing, and getting eaten by sharks out of the question, we have still been able to find some pretty amazing hikes to do as a couple.  One such hike, that’s definitely worth mentioning, is no other than the trail leading to the summit of Diamond Head Crater.


An aerial view of Diamond Head Crater (Image courtesy of

Diamond Head Crater, known as Le’ahi by the Hawaiians, was believed to have formed some 30,000 years ago during a single, brief eruption. The crater covers 350 acres of land and it is easily the most recognized landmark in all of Hawaii.


The trail to the summit was built in 1908 by the US Army Coastal Artillery defense system.  With its panoramic view from the Koko Head to Wai’anae, the summit of Diamond Head was a choice site for defending the coast of Oahu. Beginning in 1910, Diamond Head Crater was home to several seaward facing batteries. During WWII, an additional battery was placed on the crater; however, no guns were ever fired from the site during the course of the war.


From the trailhead to the summit, visitors will hike 0.8 miles one way and climb 560 feet from the crater’s floor.


Diamond Head Crater is a perfect hike for couples!


A steep set of 74 concrete steps leads hikers to a fun narrow tunnel along the path.


This dimly lit tunnel leading to the top of Diamond Head Crater is 225 feet long.



The trail to the summit had no shortage of stairs!


The view along the way is magnificent!


The many pillboxes still perched atop Diamond Head Crater’s summit were once a major part of Oahu’s coastal defense.



The Diamond Head Lighthouse, built in 1899, is a US Coast Guard facility.


The summit is a great place to get a glimpse of the Honolulu skyline.


Another amazing view of the blue Pacific waters!


Well look who made it to the top…. and she did it carrying two!


The inland view of Oahu from Diamond Head Crater’s summit.



Next to the beautiful scenery, this tiki hut was the best thing about Diamond Head Crater!


After our exhausting hike, Rebecca found the chilled coconut to be a refreshing treat!


My sweet tooth got the best of me and I couldn’t pass on the rainbow shave ice!

Rebecca and I had a wonderful time hiking to the summit of Diamond Head Crater. I hope you enjoyed the pictures we captured along the way. Please visit Big John’s Adventures in Travel again soon to see more of our travels and adventures in the Aloha State.


This vintage postcard from Waikiki shows the famous Diamond Head Crater in the backdrop.

I hope this post inspired you to get off the couch and go explore somewhere new! Before you go, please feel free to explore more of my site, subscribe, or show me some love on social media.

Mahalo and happy travels,

Big John

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Never Go Caving with a Bun in the Oven

Never go caving with a bun in the oven,

It’s just not the safe thing to do.

Since you can’t see your feet,

You might slip on some peat,

and at the very least, blow out a shoe.


The view from the upper Makau Cave.

Never go caving with a bun in the oven,

You really shouldn’t even wander that far.

You might get lost along the way,

which would ruin your day,

’cause you left all your snacks in the car.


Never go caving with a bun in the oven,

It’s much easier just visiting the zoo.

You might get bats in your hair,

Rouse an angry bear,

and be miles away from a loo.


Never go caving with a bun in the oven,

When you could just take a stroll in the park.

The baby might kick,

And then you’d have to move quick,

To avoid being trapped in the dark.


Never go caving with a bun in the oven,

When you could stay in bed watching Netflix.

You might step on a snake,

Your water could break,

and then there’s those darn braxton hicks!


Big John at lower Makau Cave.

Thanks for visiting Big John’s Adventures in Travel . I hope you learned some valuable lessons as to why one should never go caving with a bun in the oven. Whether with child or not, feel free to explore more of my site.

Mahalo and happy travels,

Big John

Posted in Adventurous Places, North America, Scattered Thoughts, Travel Tips and tagged , , by with no comments yet.
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