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Look Underneath the Waves to Explore the True Wonder of the North Shore

Our North Shore insiders have amazing tips on where to go in and around Kahuku. O’ahu local and Turtle Bay employee, Nathan, shares his reasons for exploring the ocean from underneath.

When people think of the ocean on the North Shore of O’ahu, they often think of big waves and the surfers that conquer them in gladiator-like awe. However, there is so much more to be seen underneath the barrel rolls and breaks. Exploring the ocean underneath the surf is a great way to find a new perspective on the place we call home. With peak surfing season occurring from October to April, this leaves half of the year to enjoy the ocean in North Shore native Nathan’s favorite way, snorkeling at Sharks Cove

“One of my favorite spots for snorkeling is Sharks Cove,” says Nathan. “Don’t be alarmed by the name. I still haven’t seen a shark there. The Cove got its name from a popular legend that says that the outline of a reef outside looks like a shark when seen from above. This is truly one of O’ahu’s best snorkeling destinations.”

With countless species of sea creatures in the Cove, you’re bound to see something new every time. Keep an eye out for different reef fish, crustaceans, monk seals, octopi, and even a green sea turtle or two. 

Unexpected Reason to Visit: 
“Sharks Cove is a protected reserve caught in between Waimea Bay and Pipeline,” says Nathan. “Being a protected area, the wildlife flourishes here.” 

Along with the protected wildlife, there is also incredible underwater topography, including lava tubes and tunnels. A lava tube is a lava cave that forms when lava flows beneath the surface of hardened rock. This creates a surreal seascape that only those who snorkel below are privy to see. Keep an eye out for other tunnels, caverns, and arches on your journey down.

Travel Tip:
Be careful walking down the lava rocks surrounding the area. They can be very sharp, but worth the trek. On a hot summer’s day, after getting lost in the wonders of the ocean floor, enjoy some lunch at one of the neighboring food trucks!

Find Sharks Cove
Sharks Cove
Haleiwa, HI 96712