Water Sports, Oahu
If you decide to take a tour company to get to Hanauma Bay to snorkel be very specific with your questions. We chose this option because Kris had never snorkeled before and did not want to snorkel in open water from a boat.
We booked through Hawaii's Ocean Promotions for a snorkeling excursion. They would provide snorkel gear and a ride to and from Hanauma Bay.
They picked us up at 7am in a huge bus filled with tourists all heading to Hanauma Bay, as we made our way out of Waikiki, the bus turned into a shopping center. He told us to exit the bus ad go upstairs to the store (the place was teeming with a lot of other people in various stages of waiting to go to Hanuma Bay, most had been there 1 hour already),they told us to watch a video, then get fitted for gear and finally to wait in a line to be put on a 9 seater van to go to Hanauma Bay, and oh by the way, we have to see another video at the Bay and it is about anoother hour wait!!!! What??? How many hours? We would have been better off taking our chances with the city Bus!!! We decided then and there NOT to stay, they were a bit shocked that we wanted to go back to the hotel and it took us another hour to get back there.
Learn from our mistake: Ask how long is it going to take for the tour to actually get to Hanauma Bay and get in the water. Needless to say we were a bit disappointed. We did not have a car on this trip otherwise we would have gone to Shark's Coveup on the North shore.
Known as one of the best bodysurfing spots around, Sandy's is also generally considered the most dangerous beach on Oahu. Injuries are handed out regularly here, so this beach is no joke. If you don't know what you are doing, stay out of the water. The shore break is nothing to mess with. If you do want to experience Sandy's, ask the lifeguards for advice.
8800 Kalaniana`ole Highway
Especially if you are a ha'ole (white), you need to be careful where you choose to surf if you are going by yourself. If you enter the water without being there with a local, it's possible you might earn the ire of locals who consider it their own spot and don't want the place to get overcrowded like many areas around the island.
Don't be arrogant or stupid. It doesn't matter how in shape you are, how much you work out, or how strong you are. Surfing many of the waves on the North Shore and other areas takes skill, practice, and experience. I've seen guys who were in seemingly perfect shape, and they could barely get ten feet in the water because the waves and water were pushing them around because they didn't know how to handle the faster, larger waves.
According to the law you must be 15 feet away from seas turtles - they are a protected species. Don't get a hefty fine. Be aware of your surroundings when snorkeling, they can sneak up behind you. On that note - they also bite.