My little Lady Bug and I lead a short kids hike on the beautiful North Shore at the Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau: A Beautiful Hike to a Hawaiian Temple <–click here to read about it.
Afterwards, we decided we wanted to do a little snorkeling at the nearby Sharks Cove.
It was a perfect clear day for hiking AND snorkeling!
Sharks Cove has been rated by Scuba Diving Magazine as one of the “Top Twelve Shore Dives in the World”.
Located on the North Shore, Sharks Cove is a major hot spot! The water is so crystal clear, you can see the fish just by walking in the water! However, if you decide to take the plunge and snorkel, you will be rewarded with an even better view of the mass of fish who call this cove home.
I was so bummed I forgot to bring my waterproof GoPro camera. I wasn’t able to take any pictures of the incredible fish we saw. But, to give you an idea, just imagine the aquariums you see at the zoo. Yes-it was that amazing! I promise, I will go back and take pictures some time to show you!
At one point, Ladybug screams out of excitement because she saw a fish the size of our Yorkie that was rainbow-colored. I believe it’s called a Parrot Fish. These fish start as females and transition into a male form (called the terminal phase.) This is how we saw them-in the colorful terminal phase. It might have been a Christmas Wrasse which is also very colorful! I’m not a fish expert…I just know it was huge, colorful and beautiful! She still insists it was the fish from the kids book The Rainbow Fish. I secretly wonder myself!
We also saw several butterfly fish, tang, triggerfish, wrasse and sea urchins. Sadly, we didn’t see any sea turtles which are always my favorite! Here is a fish identification guide if you are interested: Hawaiian Fish Guide.
This reef gets deeper as you go. Even though my Ladybug is only 5, she has grown up in Hawaii and is a very good, strong swimmer. However, if your kids aren’t, it would be best to stay to the tide pools. There are still great fish to see there. I was so impressed at how well she did. She usually just rides on my back while I snorkel. This was her first time actually on her own. She swam herself mostly (at one point, we held hands and I helped her along) and kept pointing out all of her favorite fishies. She really liked the big school of fish we saw all swimming together. She says there were “7, 8, 11 or maybe 15 fish.” haha I would tend to say there were closer to 20. Either way, it was impressive!
On the day we went, a preservation team was there working on clearing out some invasive plants.
We stopped and talked to one of the volunteers. She explained to us how they had planted some Hawaiian native plants which help prevent erosion along the pathway we walk down to the snorkeling spot. She pointed out which plants were invasive and explained how these plants prevent the native plants from growing where they are needed. Having these native plants is vital to not only the pathway, but the cove below as well. Without these strong, native plants, the red dirt along the path eventually can erode into to the cove. This breaks up the natural coral which is what draws the incredible fish we enjoyed swimming with. I really enjoyed learning about this from her. If we end up staying in Hawaii, I would like to volunteer and help with these projects.
It was such a fun time spent with my little adventure buddy. I’m so proud of her and can’t wait to go back-with my GoPro! ha