Travel Hawaii suggestions for a weak swimmer?

Jan 10, 2009
827
136
FL
My husband and I are going to Oahu and Maui for 9 days. I'd like to try snorkling, but I am a weak swimmer and scared of the rip tide. Can someone suggest place I should try? We'll be renting a car and I am willing to drive.
 
Mar 3, 2010
4,195
603
Honolulu, Hawaii
Hanauma bay
Since it's in the bay it's pretty tame
There r lots of fish. I remember going as a kid and feeding them frozen peas. But now you can't feed them :sad: they make you watch a video now about the fish and their Eco system.
It's about 30 minutes from Waikiki but you may need to go early because the parking lot fills up quick. They r closed one day of the week I think. Cant remember which day.
But a lot of people go there to see the fish.
 

Swanky

Admin
Admin
O.G.
Jan 12, 2006
87,225
9,336
Just go early in the morning - like before 10am. It gets windy mid-day from my experience and the water gets choppy.
 

kayti

Member
Jan 21, 2010
1,729
3
IST
Hanauma Bay. It's so peaceful and shallow you can feel really safe in the water. It was my favorite beach in Oahu!
 

klj

O.G.
Jul 27, 2009
6,879
1
Portland, OR.
Just go early in the morning - like before 10am. It gets windy mid-day from my experience and the water gets choppy.
Agree with Swanky..best time to go.
I also found the bays on Maui were very easy to snorkel in.I was new to snorkeling a couple of years ago and didn't have any issues.
Some of the beaches that you can go out of to snorkel were a bit trickier for me..more waves, etc.
 
When we went to Hanauma, my friend was nervous about getting tired from swimming, so she bought a cheap inner tube from ABC Mart (they're EVERYWHERE) and wore that to keep her buoyant while we swam. It was great for us too because when we got tired we'd just hang on to her and float for a bit before continuing on.
It IS more tiring to swim with it though.
Oh and if you're really fair, wear a tshirt and a swim cap or hat of some kind. I burnt my scalp really bad from being out in the water all day :sad:
 

Elissabeta

I always smile...
Jun 28, 2009
636
1
USA/Italy
I agree with all Hanauma Bay an Oahu is perfect ....if you are beginner dont have to worry is deep for snorkeling about knee to waist . That was my first time there ...most beautiful place . Take a photos with the fishes around you and enjoy ....all Oahu ( my favorite place to live and black sand beach an Maui )

http://www.hanauma-bay-hawaii.com/
 

thepoppet

wind sylph
Jul 25, 2010
3,217
6
Upon a Zephyr High
Everyone is right about Hanauma Bay. I am a weak swimmer too (I almost drowned in the French Riviera!) but Wikiki, while not for snorkling, is really easy to swim in. The tides are gentle and go towards shore. My brother and his wife and kids live there and we used to take the boat out and go very far out and then my brother and I would dive off and swim to shore. It was very easy. And let me assure you, I am a very weak swimmer plus have no proper form because I'm self taught.

But stay away from North Shore. There's also this bay where everyone likes to boogy board (can't remember the name of it) near the north and it is very treacherous.
 

cheermom09

O.G.
Apr 18, 2009
850
69
USA
Another suggestion, you could just buy a "noodle" to help you float while snorkling. We went to Shark's Cove and it was totally peaceful in July.

Here's a link to a page on the cove. It says "Sharks Cove is a wonderful reef located on the North Shore where a large variety of marine life can be seen in their natural environment. The reef can only be accessed during calm seas. During the Winter, the reef cannot even be seen due to the large waves. As the name implies, some white tipped reef sharks call this cove home. Sharks are generally not aggressive so DO NOT approach or molest them. Turtles are frequently seen in this cove. This is a wonderful beach for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving during the months of March through October when the seas are calm. There are no lifeguards. Wear shoes at all times due to the sharp coral and rock formations. The Ocean drops off to about 25 feet at the end of the reef."

We didn't see any sharks (we did see turtles), but after reading this I'm not sure I would feel safe!! It was so calm in July and there were others there as well. It was much less busy than Hanauma Bay and was recommended to us by friends who had gone there too.

Anyway, just relax and have fun snorkling!! I'm not a good swimmer but loved the experience once I got a hang of it! :smile:
 

KikiLovesBags

Member
Jan 2, 2010
89
0
I totally agree with everyone's suggestions for Hanauma Bay. I'm not a strong swimmer and I have a fear of deep water, but I was able to have fun snorkling there. I would recommend getting those float noodles. They helped me!
 
Jan 10, 2009
827
136
FL
Thanks everyone! I will check out Hanauma Bay. We're going to be there for Xmas, so I assume some stuff might be closed.
 

thepoppet

wind sylph
Jul 25, 2010
3,217
6
Upon a Zephyr High
Thanks everyone! I will check out Hanauma Bay. We're going to be there for Xmas, so I assume some stuff might be closed.
Stuff should still be open, weather permitting. The only thing is that it rains a bit down there this time of year (especially on the north shore). Also, just so you are prepared, weather that time of year is high '70s F. Maybe be prepared not to swim in a bikini unless it gets a heat wave (or you're inured to milder temps; I get cold easily so I couldn't swim unless the temps were in the high 80s at least ;))
 

Vinyl

O.G.
Dec 1, 2007
4,351
4
New York
^ Actually, when I go home for winter break, the weather doesn't feel any colder for me -- I can't recall ever not wearing a bikini in December! It definitely does get a bit rainy though. Right now, looks like the weather is around the 80s & drops to 70s at night.
 

thepoppet

wind sylph
Jul 25, 2010
3,217
6
Upon a Zephyr High
^ Actually, when I go home for winter break, the weather doesn't feel any colder for me -- I can't recall ever not wearing a bikini in December! It definitely does get a bit rainy though. Right now, looks like the weather is around the 80s & drops to 70s at night.
That's awesome! My family complains about how cold it is in winter (heh, they need to come to the East coast and see what winter really means!). When I am there in winter, I definitely feel colder and it's a bit to get used to swimming, but then I'm very sensitive to cold and even minor temp differences. :smile:
 

Swanky

Admin
Admin
O.G.
Jan 12, 2006
87,225
9,336
I've been to Maui in Dec. It was a little cooler and kinda windy. It was cold when you got out of the pool because of it. By "cooler" I mean upper 70's.