Beaches / Coastlines, Oahu
Fresh water in Hawaii may look inviting but it can exact a heavy price as it has been known to harbor leptosporosis, a possibly-deadly flesh-eating bacteria. But even if you avoid contact with water, you can still even get it from mud, which is impossible to avoid on some hikes. The good news is that leptosporosis is very very rare and people hike and swim in fresheater pools all the time and never get it -- including us (so far). But you should be aware of the potential so that if lepto symptoms develop you head immediately to your doctor. And if your doctor is not in Hawaii, you inform him of the potential for lepto so he gives it proper consideration in making his diagnosis.
What are the symptoms. Well, I really don't know but I promise I'll research that.
Hawaii doesn't like to publicize it too much, but each year several tourists drown because of carelessness or just bad luck. About 45 people a year die in saltwater incidents every year (almost one a week!). Hawaii is just a bunch of rocks in the middle of a vast ocean whose waves don't feel the need to provide warning or follow the regular patterns of the ones before. Therefore, lots of unsuspecting tourists or even locals get swept off coastal rocks by rogue waves they never saw coming. Strong currents and undertoes also take the lives of swimmers -- not all beaches are safe for swimming. Many beaches will have signs posted if there are known dangerous conditions -- respect the ocean and heed them.
Sandys beach is located on the south side of Oahu, is a great beach for surfing, bodyboarding, sun bathing, and checking out hot, hard bodies.
A local favorite in the islands, its also known for its dangerous shorebreaks. When the surf is big, waves pound the shore and put a lot of people in the sand hard. Many people have suffered broken bones, broken backs, and broken necks at this famous beach.
Lifeguards are there everyday of the week and try their best to warn people as best they can on dangerous days, but still everyone doesnt listen and under estimates the power of the ocean.
Please take caution at Sandy beach, and if u have any questions, dont be afraid to ask the lifeguards on duty.
Located at 8808 Kalaniana'ole Highway. about 12 miles from Waikiki. take H-1 highway east bound until it turns into Kalaniana'ole Highway. it will be on your right hand side. Enjoy the beach!
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There are a few warning about Halona Blow Hole and Halona Beach.
#1 Do not leave any valuables in your car while at the scenic point or beach. Auto break ins, and theft is very high at this tourist spot. Make sure car is always locked no matter how short the visit.
#2 Do not climb down to the Halona Blow Hole. The rocks are very sharpe, and secondly, it is very easy to get swept off the rocks by big waves. Dozens have not followed the warning and have lost their lifes in these waters.
#3 When swimming at Halona Beach, do not swim out to the mouth of the cove. Currents can be very strong, and can suck you out to the open ocean, and then slam you into the sharpe cliff walls. Many have also lost their lifes at Halona Beach.
Oahu may be paradise to you, but it's not for about the 4,000 people who are estimated to be homeless on the island. Don't be surprised in your nighttime wanderings of some of the downtown beach parks or your journeys to the Waianae Coast to see whole communities of people who live outdoors.
Why is it so bad? Well, we've heard lots of reasons, from the high cost of housing to the competitive nature of the job market. One story we've heard often is that some states on the mainland were giving their homeless people free one-way tickets to Honolulu, figuring that wa cheaper than what hey were spending on services for the homeless. We don't know if this story is true or if it is urban legend, but Texas is often mentioned as the offending state. Another story that we've heard often is that people, desiring a life in paradise, come here without jobs or skills and hope to catch something, but fail -- ending up on the beach. But, whatever the cause, you're bound to see homeless people on Oahu, so don't be surprised.
The ocean is a beautiful sight and fun to swim but it can be dangerous. String currents in the water can be dangerous even to powerful, experienced swimmers. MAke sure to swim in areas where there are lifeguards and pay attention to surf conditions.
Sharks Cove is one of Oahu's best summer spots for snorkeling, but during the winter months, this peaceful cove, turns into a snorkelers nightmare.
Be very cautious when snorkeling at Sharks Cove. Make sure there are no warning signs up about dangerous surf, or strong currents. The rocks within the cove are very sharpe, and when water conditions at the cove are dangerous, you do not want to go anywhere near the water.
Respect the ocean, and enjoy the great shots you can get of the huge waves smashing down into the cove.
Jellyfish can be a problem when enjoying the water. Portuguese man-of-war and box jellyfish are common causes of stings. Be aware of the water and look for tentacles to avoid a trip to the hospital and a bad sting.
Growing up in Hawaii, we're always taught to respect the ocean. It's a very powerful force of nature. Study the wave sets, tide, and current before jumping in. If you're not a strong swimmer, be sure to swim near the lifeguard shack, or at a beach where there are lifeguards. Never face your back to the ocean! You never know when a big wave will knock you to your feet or drag you in. If you get caught between wave sets, don't panic. Just keep diving under the waves until it's safe to swim back to shore. Keep the ocean clean - don't litter in the water or on the beaches! Mahalo...
As with any big city or tourist destination, rentals cars are prime targets. Be sure not to leave any valuables in plain view in your car. Either keep them at your hotel, or lock them in the trunk. Beach parking lots are prime targets for robbery, since people leave their cars for long periods of time.
At Hanauma Bay Beach Park there is a lava pool called the Toilet Bowl, when I was in Hawaii there had been a few drownings here in a short space of time. The attraction is that when you get in the pool the water surges in and flushes you out underneath....not unlike a toilet. The people had drowned when they were unable to get back out of the pool. The authorities couldn't stop people going there but advised not to go there alone. Best to watch the other idiots really!!
Every year we lose a few tourists to the power of the ocean. Listen to lifeguards. Stay back from the edge of the ocean since waves can come out of nowhere and take you with them. Always swim with a buddy.
North Shore - Winter. Need I say more? Those "No Swimming" signs are for real. Waimea Bay is usually open for swimming and boogey boarding, but use your head. If the waves look scary - that's because they are dangerous. Ladies - leave your bikinis at home and opt for the local look - t-shirt and shorts. My bottoms were around my knees after my first wave. One swimmer had his forehead gashed open during my visit. Don't swim after the lifeguards leave at sunset. If you're not confident in your abilities - don't swim at all. Google Oahu surf reports on-line and forget hitting the waves if the swells are over 10 feet unless you're an int/adv surfer. If swells are 20 feet, check out the pipeline and bonzai surf areas to watch experts catch the big ones.
Sunset beach has crazy undertow and massive wave breaks in December and winter months. I would suggest only extremely strong swimmers and surfers only swim there....all others practice your sunbathing skills.
Based on every year’s reports this is the beach where most injuries occur. Located on the Southeast Oahu, not so far from Hanauma Bay and the Blow Hole, this beach attracts some very daring surfers that are not afraid of the powerful waves.
Mostly occupied by locals Sandy Beach divides its visitors into two groups: Surfers that line up on the shore and wait for the perfect wave and locals that line up to watch these fearless surfers. Occasionally a third type of visitors can be spotted; these are tourists – the only ones that try to swim in the mighty ocean. Quite often they emerge out of the water with bleeding arms, legs, or foreheads being either hit by a surfboard and simply dragged and rolled by a wave.
Unless you’re really looking for a trouble, try to avoid swimming at the Sandy Beach area, just drive 5 minutes north, pay a few bucks and enjoy the most beautiful Hanauma Bay with its calm water and colorful sea life.