Travel Blog #127 – Snorkeling at the Kaneohe Sandbar with Captain Bob

Oct 8, 2021 | Activity Information

Many people that visit Oahu leave the island thinking that the entire thing is covered in a dense urban sprawl, similar to what is found in Honolulu. However, for those that are daring enough to explore what lies outside of the city there are some amazing sites that are actually very close and easy to access. One of these places is called the Sandbar, it is located in the middle of the Kaneohe Bay on Oahus East side.

The Kaneohe Sandbar is situated in the middle of Kaneohe Bay. The area is generally very calm, and depending on the tides can be anywhere between ankle and knee deep. Today we met up with Captain Bobs Snorkeling to do a trip out to the sandbar to do some snorkeling, BBQ and beach volleyball in the shallow water.

It was not less then one minute from when we stepped outside of the Ala Moana Hotel onto the bus terminal that the bus showed up to take us over to Kaneohe for Captain Bobs Snorkeling tour. Once onboard we were entertained by the first mate with different jokes and facts about the various places that we passed on the way to the boat harbor.

Once we arrived at the harbor we got off the bus and made a short walk to the end of the pier where the boat was waiting for us. After the whole group made it onboard there was a short safety briefing before the captain turned over the motors and gently guided the boat out of the harbor and into the bay.

On the way out to the sandbar one of the female crew members gave a snorkeling tutorial on the front of the boat, while the other crew member served drinks in the back. As soon as we made it to the sandbar the captain parked the front of the boat in the shallow sand and then dropped the ladder in front of the boat for us to make our way down to explore the large shallow water sandbar. We decided to refill our drinks before we waded out on the sand to see what we could see.

We got out probably about two or three hundred feet from the boat before we turned around to circle back towards the boat. I was quite surprised to see that in the short time it took for us to walk away from the boat the crew had already set up the volleyball court. Before we got back to the boat the first game was already in progress. Shortly after, the aroma of the BBQ began to make its way towards us and it wasnt long before we felt obligated to seek out the source of the smell for further investigation.

The crewman manning the BBQ was doing a great job cooking up the burgers and keeping the serving line moving quickly. Once we were served our food we made our way back to the front of the boat to enjoy our meals under the warm rays of the sun. After everyone had finished their meals the Captain raised the ladder on the front of the boat and turned the engines over to begin the short journey to our morning snorkel destination.

Within about 5 minutes we had reached the reef that we were going snorkel at. Before we even had a chance to make it into the water we saw a family of turtles swim by the front of the boat. Within about 2 minutes of being in the water we had already seen 3 more, as well as a great deal of fish. We had enough time here to snorkel completely around the reef and by the time we got back on the boat I was pretty confident that we had seen most of what there was to see in the area.

Before the Captain began the trip back to the harbor I made my way back to the bar where I ordered another round of cold ones and then settled out the days tab with the bartender. I remember as I was sitting on the front of the boat talking with guest and enjoying the beautiful views of the giant green cliffs of the windward side of Oahu when I had one of those introspective moments where I couldnt help but think to myself……. How could life get much better than this?