Kaena Point (Southern Trail)

You’ll find the start of the trail at the the western end of Farrington Highway

I was born and raised here on Oahu. But, despite calling Oahu home for 25 years (after deducting those 5 years spent in MN), I have never made it out the most western point of the island. Since moving back to Honolulu last fall I’ve been slowly working in a few hikes to enjoy the beautiful outdoors. While the southern trail to Kaena point is more of a walk down a dirt road than a hike, it still affords some stunning views and the rare opportunity to encounter wildlife such as monk seals and albatross.

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Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay

Overlooking the beautiful bay from the entrance of the nature preserve

Undoubtedly one of the most visited sites on Oahu, the nature preserve of Hanauma Bay provides one of the easiest accesses to a coral reef teeming with fish. Upwards of one million people visit the bay each year. While many of these visitors are tourists, locals still make it out to enjoy the waters, snorkeling, and the beach. Since we live nearby, it was easy enough for us to get up early to beat the crowds and enjoy a morning of snorkeling and sun.

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Niu Valley Middle School Cleanup Day

The Rotary Club of Kahala Sunrise turned out to help clear up yard debris (photo credit: Ryan Kawamoto)

I really enjoyed our last half-day community service project, helping to clear invasive mangrove trees at a fish pond in Kaneohe Bay. For this month’s project we stayed in the East Oahu area and helped Niu Valley Middle School with a campus cleanup project. About a dozen of my fellow rotarians turned up early this past Saturday to pitch in and help!

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Parasailing

Floating on a parasail 700 feet over the ocean is our idea of a good time!

During out trip to Cancun last year, we wanted to try parasailing with a vendor who set up every day right out on the beach in front of our hotel. On the day that we finally decided to give it a try, the winds started to come in too strongly and the vendor unfortunately had to close up shop for the day due to safety concerns. This was a disappointment, as the azure blue waters off the Cancun coast would have been beautiful thing to enjoy.

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Diamond Head Summit Trail

Starting on the trail early is key to avoiding the crowds

This morning we woke up early to tackle a very easy trail as part of my quest to slowly work myself back up to hiking shape. Diamond Head, one of Hawaii’s most photographed and recognizable landmarks, is one of those hikes that we as locals don’t get to very often. I’ve typically avoided visiting Diamond Head because of the crowds of tourists that flock there everyday. Despite the crowds, Diamond Head Summit Trail offers one of the easiest and fastest hikes on the island, with a great view of the ocean and Waikiki at the top.

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