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hawaii in december snorkeling

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Feb 15th, 2011, 07:35 AM
  #1
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hawaii in december snorkeling

We are looking at going to Hawaii the first week in December but I am wondering if the water is going to be too cold for snorkeling?
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Feb 15th, 2011, 07:38 AM
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hahahaha!
Hawaii is never cold. It is very tropical year round.
The water temp is not going to be the problem. The rough water on the north shores of each island will be. Always dive or swim at life guarded beaches, get surf and rip current information from local dive/surf shops.
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Feb 15th, 2011, 07:56 AM
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The water temperature changes about 4 or 5 degrees between winter and summer. Say 78 and 73. So temperature is not a factor. We took our shorties for our January trip and used them only once. It just wasn't necessary.

The difference between summer and winter is surf. December is definitely the winter wave pattern which means there could be days when the surf prevents you from going into the water.
I had one out of five days like that this January. In May, I can't remember staying out of the water because of waves, though I am sure it does happen.
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Feb 15th, 2011, 09:23 AM
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Cold is a relative concept. A friend of mine from Houston, TX visited last July--the time of year when the water is warmest--and she complained over and over again about the cold water! I took her to Hanauma Bay, and she never made it further than 15 feet from shore, complaining about the cold water the entire time.

I would recommend Hanauma Bay as a great place to snorkel in the winter on Oahu. It is great year round, but the other places I like to snorkel, Shark's Cove and Three Tables, are only good during the summer, due to surf conditions in the winter along the North Shore.
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Feb 15th, 2011, 10:34 AM
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Another good place to snorkel is Kealakakua Bay in the Big Island of Hawaii. The problem is getting there. You need to take a boat tour, or kayak across from the south end of the Bay, or take a very steep hike down from the highway about a mile ( and of course back up). We have taken the Fairwind boat cruise every year. Our son hikes down several times during the trip. if you kayak you are not supposed to get out onto the shore, because it damages the coral and the Bay is a marine reserve. In spite of all that, the snorkeling is fantastic.

A tamer, easier snorkel on the Big Isand is in Kona, at the sheltered bay next to the Outrigger Keahou hotel. The name escapes me ( senior moment). Lots of people there as it's very popular.

But as others have said, the surf in December can be rough some days, so you may miss some days.
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Feb 15th, 2011, 11:22 AM
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I love you guys!
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Feb 15th, 2011, 12:13 PM
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Charnees - Kahalu'u Beach. very protected except in the worse conditions.

Also, one of the best places that is protected is Two Step across from the Place of Refuge National Park. This is the best place in the islands for drive-up snorkeling.
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Feb 15th, 2011, 01:07 PM
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Hawaiian waters aren't "tropical" in Dec/January. Warmer than Lake Superior, for sure, but not strictly tropical.

I found that I wanted a light wetsuit to snorkel in January, whereas I only needed sun protection in April or September.
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Feb 16th, 2011, 06:16 PM
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I agree with Placename-and was just snorkeling in Hawaii
end of Jan-early Feb this year. Wearing a rash guard shirt and shorts was perfect for what I found to be chilly waters
that time of year.

R5
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Feb 16th, 2011, 06:24 PM
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Chilly? I guess it is all relative. I live in Southern California and the water temp on a hot August day is around low 60 degrees. To me temps in the high 70's is perfect.
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Feb 16th, 2011, 06:27 PM
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Well, nanabee, I guess so - the water temp was about 72
degrees when I was there-78 would have been nice !

R5
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Feb 16th, 2011, 06:39 PM
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Yes, razzle 72 is cool. But, we've been in Oahu in December/January and the water was always comfortable.
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Feb 16th, 2011, 06:47 PM
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Popsicle toes, nanabee !


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Feb 17th, 2011, 04:50 AM
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To get to the area called Two-Step locally on Honaunau Bay-drive into the parking lot for Place of Refuge-and turn right before you get to admission booth--when that road curves right, to your left you will see people out on the lava--that is where you put it for snorkeling. Lots of fish and coral in the bay--sometimes dolphins--more crowded on weekends. Place of Refuge itself is well worth a visit. And you could make a stop at Painted Church on your way there--http://www.thepaintedchurch.org/

If you want to snorkle in Kealekakua Bay, you do not have to go to the Cook Monument side of the Bay to have good snorkeling- there are a couple of places to put in in the village of Napoopoo-this website explains about both of them. http://www.tropicalsnorkeling.com/bi...ng-manini.html I don't think the road back to Manini has a sign. But after Napoopoo Road dead ends in Napoopoo village--turn left and watch on the right for the first street-- very narrow with a rock wall on at least one side--that is the way back to Manini.
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Feb 17th, 2011, 09:31 AM
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What island? We were on Kauai one January, and it rained everyday. We put on wet suits and tried snorkeling, but were cold within the hour. And we are not wimps. At least DH is not!
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Feb 17th, 2011, 10:59 AM
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Re: two-step. I never park at two-step. I park in the national park by the admission booth and walk to two-step. That way the car is "safer". After the snorkel, we stow the gear and tour the park. In addition, if you don't want to tour the park, I have had attendents tell me the parking is free.

I stayed three days at Napoopoo this May and can confirm that there is fair to good snorkeling off Manini beach. Because of the nature of the bay, the coral is mainly coral rubble but there are some interesting fish and super eels there. The wife saw an eel catch a file fish. Very cool. I would skip Manini on weekends.

Peaceout, we were on the Big Island at the end of Jaunary at Kona Village in the north kona district. The water was 72 and comfortable. I think the north shore of any island would be a little different i.e. colder in winter.
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Feb 17th, 2011, 11:10 AM
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Returned last week from 3-1/2 weeks in Kauai. The weather was gorgeous and for me, the water temps of 72 - 73 degrees was perfect. Lots of people snorkeling at Lydgate Beach and a couple told me the snorkeling had been fantastic in Poipu.

Hot & cold are relative. It was winter in Australia when I was in N. Queensland and snorkeling at the Great Barrier reef. To me, the water temp was perfect. Locals apologized that the air and water were so chilly. If the air temps had been any warmer I would have been uncomfortable--and FYI, I live in Nashville where summers are hideously hot and humid.
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