Sun/Weather/Other Safety, Oahu
As usual, common sense is the key to all safey issues. It is extremely important to watch out for and obey all safey signs while enjoying the beautiful pacific ocean. Be mindful of your surroundings and try not to venture out in the ocean on your own.
The pacific ocean can have some very strong currents, big waves and undertows, sharp coral reefs and dangerous sea creatures, so be on the lookout.
Throughout the islands and in particular in areas near waterfalls, rivers and ocean you will come across all sorts of signs heeding warning of flash floods and other dangers.
Take precaution and obey the signs as a sudden and unexpected flooding can occur during anytime after some rain fall.
The sun in a torpic climate is strong and even if it doesn feel like the sun is beaming down on you while you are out and about walking or at the beach, it is important that you apply sunscreen. If it is too hot out please use caution and get under some shade or inside an airconditioned location. Drink plenty of water and cover up.
Fair skinned individuals should use extra caution by using a hat, sun glasses and covering up a bit more and definitely re-apply the sunscreen throughout the day.
By using sunscreen and staying out of the sun when it's too hot will guarantee that you'll have a wonderful trip. So apply, apply, apply.
It's always important to be aware of the sun. Relaxing on a beautiful beach with a breeze can make you easily forget to check you skin for signs of a sunburn. We always slather on the sunblock; usually SPF 100 and make sure to re-apply requently. Liz and I both brings hats to ensure our faces do not fry in the sun.
The best thing to do is avoid peak burn times that are from 11am-3pm. We usaully get ourselves some lunch, drinks and shopping during this time to avoid getting crispy.
I was enjoying my hike on the muddy trail of Kahana Valley, as all of a sudden I heard a noise of something heavy, falling from the sky and landing next to me. I covered my head with my arms, although it wouldn’t help had this “heavy something” fell on me.
This is was my first acquaintance with the Cannonball tree.
If you’re visiting botanical gardens a big warning sign will be there to let you know to stay away from the tree, but in the nature there are too many trails and trees to warn the hikers.
Cannonball trees are really beautiful, with brown coconut-size fruit and pretty, red flowers with pleasant smell. The fruit doesn’t grow on the branches, but on the tree trunk itself, sometimes covering it completely. When the fruit falls from the tree it hits the ground pretty hard, it opens up and then the smell is horrible (although birds like it and eat it). Also, avoid touching the flowers, it gives people allergic reaction, oh the smell attracts wasps too, so this is another reason to admire this beauty from a distance.
Cannonball trees are only found in places with hot and sunny climate, and they blossom all year around. No matter during what season you arrive on Oahu, you will always have the chance to see this interesting tree in its full beauty.
In various places on Oahu, the soil is composed of a bright red dirt that will permanently be a part of your wardrobe if you spend any quality time near it. It's more likely when the dirt is wet, because it cakes onto your clothes. For me, this has usually resulted in soiled sports socks from hiking, especially Mount Olomana. (Worse, for U.S. Navy personnel wearing their dress whites, this is a major hazard on a rainy day) So, my advice is if you plan on hiking -- wear old socks and colored pants/shorts. The best to hide the mud!
If your coming from non-tropical latitudes during your winter, be careful of the sun on Oahu. It is strong all year round and is amplified by the ubiquitous sand and water. It is very easy to quickly turn into a bright red lobster and fail to enjoy the rest of your trip. If you are the burning type, wear lots of sunscreen and make sure you cover all your skin (I always end up with interesting red patterns on my back).
cooking pasta in your hotel room. this happened shortly after I arrived. I was cooking and slipped on the wet tile floor. Three weeks in the hospital. I was on a morphine IV during this photo. I'm all healed with a couple scars, but it was a living hell.
I look horrible here, but after being on Morphine for three days, we'd all look pretty bad.
I recommend you don't try this in Hawaii, or anywhere else. There are much easier ways to get a tan :)
On a positive note, I did get to fly on a helicopter naked to the hospital emergency room.
If you are a hiker or camper, then you should know about Leptospirosis. Any fresh water body or stream in Hawai’i, and sometimes even mud, can carry the bacterium that causes Leptospirosis.
Leptospirosis can enter the body through any cut or abrasion or open sore on the skin, or through the mucous membranes of the nose, mouth or eyes. Once in the bloodstream, it infects the heart, liver and, in particular, kidneys.
The incubation period for Leptospirosis can be as brief as two days or as long as 20 days. The onset is sudden, and the symptoms may resemble those of the flu: fever, chills, sweating, severe headache, conjunctivitis (red eyes) muscle aches, weakness, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you have been swimming in fresh water on any of the islands, and you develop any of these symptoms, see a physician immediately.
People with mild cases can recover in one to two weeks. However, the more severe cases require antibiotics and sometimes hospitalization.