Friday, July 09, 2010

Shark's Cove...

Shark's Cove. So called because white-tipped sharks live around there. I dunno, I've never seen them yet, or heard of someone seeing them. All I know is it is our favorite place to snorkel. :p The fish are incredible, we almost always see sea turtles (honu, in Hawaiian), the water is beautiful, and then there are the caves to dive through, and the cliffs to jump from. Seriously, the best day out ever for the whole family...even the little babies. :p I don't have an underwater camera (yet!), so I can't show you the true beauty of the place; but I can take you on a mini tour of the above water. Ready??, you arrive on the beach, after scrambling down the cliff, either on a red dirt path, or a sharp, sharp coral and volcanic rock path. Ouch. We usually do the latter, and cross our fingers we don't eat it on the way down. Heh.

This is off to the left of the above pic, staring straight ahead of where I was standing, at the base of the big coral rock reef that forms the protected cove. I waded out to get this pic, cause it was low tide, and really shallow. See that whitewash under there? It's a cave that goes through to the deep part on the other side, where waves wash through from at low tide. I'll show that in a second. If you have nerves of steel, and don't panic if you get stuck on the roof under water when you float up, or the current runs the other way, and are also a strong swimmer, you can swim through there at high tide. I don't cause 1. I do panic a little, and 2. I really object to potentially touching something hiding on the rock while that might sting me. :p There are sea urchins in every crevice of every rock under water, so I don't like to touch without examining first. I think I might be in a minority about this, though. Nobody else seems to worry, though, but I am okay with my status as resident wuss. :p 

Notice the slippers on his feet?? People in the know don't go anywhere here without sandshoes on their feet. Local people in the know just wear their slippers. :p I even wear mine while snorkeling, cause then I can put my feet down wherever, if I need to adjust a leaky mask or something. Coral is razor sharp, and will slice clean, and slow to heal. I don't like getting cut for trying to stand. :p

If you look at the bottom of the crevice in the middle, there is a little gap there, where water comes spurting through, from the deep part on the other side. 

Scrambling to the top of the reef is best done either by coming up the back way like this, or swimming around to the point out front, and scrambling out of the water onto the little ledge there. That's tricky, though, and you have to work with the waves so you don't fall back in, or get beached halfway out. The coral is so sharp, if you get beached, you won't be able to climb to your will just be stuck there til the next wave comes that you can ride up. 

There is a third way up, which I'll tell you about in a second. 

So you reached the top, and are looking around..this is what you will see. Though, with more sunlight. Taking a photo on a superbright day, while staring into the sun...not my forte. I don't know how to do it right, lol. Basically, it looks like a miniature version of the asteroid in Armageddon. Sharp, jagged, and barren. 

Okay, at the top, and look to the right. Down a 20 foot chasm, to water and rocks at the bottom. Don't slip. Around the corner to the left, is deep water, with various caves and tunnels you can swim through...the one I put up above is there. The third way up is around here, too. The other side of this chasm is actually a large rock, which you can get onto in the same way you would climb up onto the point. If you walk to the top of the rock (with slippers!!) there is a narrow point, relatively, where you can climb across a precarious three foot gap, up to the main reef. And hope you don't slip. Ouch. I don't do that way...I'd be the one who didn't make it. :p

See that crab clinging to the wall near the middle bottom??

There he is...he's about 8 inches across, and he has a lot of friends around, all clinging vertically to the rock. How the HECK do they do that??

Now, aside from the view, this is what people come up here to do. Twenty feet up, you can launch yourself off the rock into the water below. You can do it from a lower point, or you can climb up onto a little arch, and do it from there. I had a pic of it, but the person using it at the time was in a very unflattering position, and I'd rather keep the friendship, lol. 

Oh, yeah. I don't jump off. Resident wuss, remember?? Besides, SOMEONE has to hold the camera!! Heheh.

Yes, that is the true color. Thirty feet of crystal clear water. Just bliss. I'm still not jumping off, though. :p

Another part of the alien landscape up top...these isolated salt flats, way above the water level. This one is about 2 feet across..I imagine this whole hollow was once filled with sea water, and this is all that is left..all this salt. 

This view is about where I took the pic of the little cave, but looking right, across the open section of the reef, where the deep water is. 

THIS view, is looking to the left and behind a little. THIS is where the little kids's only knee deep. To the left is a little beach, right between the shallow, and the deep. A family would be smart to set up there, so the big kids can go to the deep, and the little kids can paddle in the shallow, and mom can see it all, pretty much. :p

And THAT is basically Shark's Cove. I hope I didn't bore you to tears...I think I got carried away! :D And, if you are ever thinking of going, remember, I never even got to show you the BEST part...the world *below* the surface. Above water is fun...below water is magic. more pic...

So, back in December, when we went to see the big surf at the Eddie Aikau memorial big surf comp, we biked past Shark's Cove. This is standing up on the cliff, way back by the road...and it STILL looks that big. The edge of the reef on the right? That's the twenty foot cliff they jump off. The splashing waves behind were going twice as high; I just couldn't snap at the right moment to capture them.

Yeah, winter is NOT the time to go snorkeling here. :D

Joining in over on:

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Polly said...

This place looks amazing! and I like your guided tour :)

Tammy@ Not Just Paper and Glue said...

These pictures are just breathtaking. So very beautiful.

Liz said...

Looks amazing!

Donna said...

Not boring, just beautiful! I hope someday my kids get to see the ocean.

Donna said...

Oh, and I would very much be resident wuss hanging out with you 8-)

Holly said...

Every one of those photos makes me want to go there...the ocean, the natural is gorgeous. Thanks for the tour. I am a follower now...thought I was, but surprise, surprise I wasn't!

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