Snorkeling Sharks Cove During Winter - Oahu
We snorkeled Sharks Cove on November 30, 2010 during usually the winter stormy season, but the sea was unusually calm, much to the chagrin of the surfers waiting for the big waves.
I climbed down to the water's edge, and got in at a rocky area right at the bottom of the trail, but maybe should have gone over to the left a bit more, as there is a bit of a sandy area that seemed to offer an easier access to the water.
Having previously spent a week on the north shore of Kauai with my two sons, my youngest was the only one who hadn't seen a sea turtle. As he got into the water first, my other son told him to tell us if he saw any turtles. In waist deep water, he stuck his head in and saw one right away. It was the first of four turtles we saw that afternoon. None were as big as the ones on Kauai, but they were very tolerant of the snorkelers. There were some people that insisted on touching them, which got them swimming away, but most just viewed from a close distance without invading their space.
There were LOTS of fish to see, including some schools closer in to shore that would completely envelope you. You didn't need to be a great photographer to get a good picture when surrounded.
We went outside the cove area and tried to swim around the outer reef to the left (west) and get to Three Tables beach, but it was farther than we thought and we ended up going back to the cove. It was 30-50 feet deep just outside the reef and, although we saw a turtle, I was thinking that we may see a shark in this area. We didn't though.
My wife and I went into the small ponds to the left of the main cove and there were some deeper areas that had more fish than I expected. Some of the best pictures that I took were in this area, as the fish didn't have a lot of getaway options and seemed resigned to pose.
This was one of the better snorkeling experiences that I have had, and I credit this website with helping to find it.