Overview of Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge

Place of Refuge
The Big Island
Hawaiian Islands


Site Review by
 Barry Fackler
Date: 01/20/2003


Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

Name:  Barry Fackler Entry:    5.00
Email:   Click Here Bottom:    4.00
City:   Captain Cook Reef:    4.00
State:   Hawaii Animal:    5.00
Country:   USA Plant:    3.00
Diving:   19 years Facilities:    3.00
 Dives:   1500 Solitude   2.00
    Roads:    4.00


*Average:    3.96
As a Big Island resident, I've found Honaunau to be one of the best sites on the island. The diversity of marine life here is amazing. Green Sea Turtles can be seen every day. Other big animals I've seen at this site include Manta Rays, Eagle Rays, White-Tip Reef Sharks and (on numerous occasions) Spinner Dolphins. The entry here is easy and convenient. A natural Two-Step formed in the lava rock that you can giant-stride off of. Exit from the Two-Step is also easy but I recommend wearing gloves as Rock-Boring Urchins are on the step. The entire shoreline is lava rock and entry/exit anywhere but the Two-Step is dangerous for the diver & bad for the littoral environment. You can go as deep as you want here. At 130' on the north end of the bay is a rock on sand bottom that is alive with Bicolor & Longfin Anthias. The shallow reef has numerous cleaning stations which allow great photo ops as the colorful reef fish spread their fins to be cleaned. The drop-off has impressive plate coral formations. It's best to get there early as this relatively small bay can get crowded. Also ascend with extra caution. In addition to motorized craft from the boat landing, this bay is home to a local canoe club. You can't hear an outrigger coming! Also, this general area is sacred to the Hawaiians and some common-sense respect for the land & the water should be observed. Don't litter and don't impose your values on the locals. Spearfishing is occasionally practiced here as it has been for centuries without damage to the ecological balance. It is a local custom that will be vigorously defended if challenged. With the variety of depth, terrain and marine life, this is a good place for a two-tanker. Especially if you are making the trip from Kailua-Kona or the Kohala resort areas.    

Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:    5.00
Beginner:    5.00
Intermediate:    5.00
Advanced:    4.00
Night diving:    4.00

Seasonal Information

Season:    Winter
Year:    2003
Visibility:    4.00
Current:    5.00
Surf:    4.00

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