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Review Date       AVG       ShoreDiving Site
09/28/2012        2.91      Marine Room California South, USA West
I went to this site late this summer- snorkeling. It is amazing for seeing leopard sharks in droves during this period. Sandy bottom and only about 15 ft visibility the day we went. We saw dozen of the sharks. Other than that it does not do much for me. The cove is a lot better for marine animal variety and plant life.
01/01/2008        3.92      Place of Refuge The Big Island, Hawaiian Islands
This is my favorite Big Island spot. Really breathtaking with lots of species of fish, corals and plants due to the several depths you can enter. I like it best early in the AM as you can get good sunlight, and also because it can get crowded later in the day. Visibility is almost always great; I am guessing I could see 100 ft. We enjoyed snorkeling above divers in very deep water and still seeing them below--and the schools of dolphins seemed to be teasing them by swimming above them undetected. Turtles were everywhere as well…but the spinner dolphins were the stars- so many schooling and playing around us one day you just lose count . Very special place. We stayed at the Manago Hotel in Capt Cook as a base camp, and it was a good choice because we wanted to return several times while on the Big Island.
01/01/2008        2.51      Poipu Beach Park Kauai, Hawaiian Islands
This beach is very pretty, however it is a sunning beach at best (that is if the sun ever comes out). Winter is not the best time to come to Kauai I guess. Apparently it is not uncommon to get weeks on end of heavy rain and wind. When the sun finally broke through for 10 minutes, we gave snorkeling a shot. The reef was pretty dead here, only a few straggler fish, no schooling, heavy washing machine currents (I made that word up, but I am sure you know what I mean) and terrible visibility-- I assume in large part from the all the rain and subsequent run off from unchecked condo development in the area.
01/01/2008        2.82      Lawai Beach Kauai, Hawaiian Islands
We snorkeled here 12/31/07. It was better than the previous day at Poipu beach. Needless to say, I think the heavy rains, winds (normal for this time of year I am told) coupled with what looks like poorly planned development along the coastline makes for poor snorkeling and shore diving conditions. The beach is tiny and crowded. There were a few paltry schools of tangs, and some parrots and needle fish, but not much else. Overall, this made us realize Kauai is not the best island for Winter water activity. If you like golfing or shopping (I don't), maybe it is ok….I guess that is why my aqua heart is on the Big Island. I am no marine biologist, but the few reefs I saw on Kauai look to be near dead or in trouble...I hope they do something.
06/04/2006        2.63      Trunk Bay St. John, Caribbean
I have been to Trunk Bay a few times to snorkel in the winter. Each time I noticed the beach may be a bigger draw than the snorkeling or diving. You must beat the cruise ship passengers there because it gets swarmed. One time we went early in the morning and we were the only ones there. It is a moment I will never forget, and it's possible for you if you get there first thing. This is the most lovely place I have ever seen. Lush mountains dotted with donkeys overlooking the sea. The visibility was not the greatest either time, the surface was choppy, and there was considerable damage to coral, as well. They do have an underwater trail for beginners. Despite all this, I enjoyed it. I think that St John probably has some other great shore diving spots. We chartered a boat and went around the island away from Trunk Bay and saw amazing animal life: a nurse shark and turtles, all just yards from the shore. I wish I could be more specific (so people could have entry points), because the conditions were great (both visibility and quality of reef). Do be careful though. Our guide, seeing we were strong swimmers, took us to a spot near the channel, and we got sucked into it and literally flew through the water. The captain had to catch us with the dingy. Lots of current in places.
06/03/2006        3.27      Hanauma Bay Oahu, Hawaiian Islands
Since I am returning to Hawaii in 2007, I thought I would check in on this site. I have to say I am tempted to return to Hanauma Bay as it was lovely above and below the water when I was there in 2004, but the devastation happening to reef is heart breaking. Despite an educational film in several languages that was required watching, literally dozens of people were standing and walking on the reefs, and laughing loudly about it. I am always the first person to rag on American tourists, but I have to say it was the international tourists that were the worst. It also got really crowded and slicked with suntan lotion. I wonder if it is best to get there first thing in the AM. I cannot imagine how this must have been before it was damaged and abused. There should be heavy fines for stepping and walking on the coral - they would make a fortune. I guess you should go because one day this will be completely destroyed if there are not measures taken to stop the abusive visitors.
06/10/2004        3.15      Kealakekua Bay (Old Wharf) The Big Island, Hawaiian Islands
Lots and lots of tangs. There were few people early in the day. We must have exited at low tide, because the exit was not easy. Steep slippery rock stairs covered with urchins (I guess if you have shoes/gloves on you would be fine). The fish were gorgeous and visibility great even in January. You can rent Kayaks if you go through Captain Cook and enter the water and paddle to the right to get to the monument (it would be quite a long swim). We also saw a lot of spinner dolphins. All in all a great spot. We had no problem snorkeling for hours and never seeing the same area twice.

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