Hanauma Bay is a semi-circular cove that is the top of an old eroded volcano with lots of coral reef just below the surface. It is an underwater state park, which means that you have to pay to go in, watch a video on the things you will see, how to protect the coral and the fish, and yourself. It is shallow and safe for all ages - for the most part, and there are so many colorful fish that it is called Hawaii's fishbowl. Because of this, it gets pretty crowded, so we went early. But even as tons of people streamed in all day, it didn't really seem to get too crowded. It is a big place.
Lifeguards watch over people as well, and tell you where the currents are, where it is safe and where it is not, and conditions of the sea that day. There are buoys set out to show the safe area. Beyond the buoys, the bay has some strong currents - you could feel these currents trying to pull you out to sea as you got close to the buoys. This is where some people saw sea turtles, but the currents were
strong the day we were there, and we were afraid to venture too far out. Besides, the lifeguards were yelling at people trying to keep everyone away from the buoys - and to save them from having to go out and rescue the ones who couldn't get back. Even in relatively save places like this, you have to be really careful as the ocean is strong and unpredictable.
I can't name all the fish we saw. It was so incredible! Parrot fish have bony beaks and eat the coral - we could hear them munching away under water. They are loud! Other fish nibble at moss and whatever else grows on the rocks and coral. We stayed all day, and a couple of times when it rained a bit, we just went back out into the water. The sun was strong when it was out, so we warmed up quickly on the beach. It was a fantastic day.
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