Just Saying Hi: Chanel Riva and Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay

Published in: Just For Fun

Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii

What up, buttercup? Have you recovered from turkey day yet? Today I got in the water for the first time since arriving here in Hawaii, and I brought along a waterproof camera. Here are some pictures of a place called Hanauma Bay here on Oahu.


Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii - Walking down to the water

It’s a popular nature preserve/snorkeling spot, and it’s literally overrun with cats and mongoose (mongeese?), which look like skinny blond land otters. And sea turtles (but I didn’t see any of those).

Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii - Playing in the water

Do you like snorkeling? I do alright with the fins and snorkel, but I’m always afraid of crashing into the rocks.

Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii - Snorkeling and seeing fishies

Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii - Peace
Not a lick of makeup on, eek! Notice the ghost brows…

Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii - Snorkeling and more fishies

Isn’t this beach kitty cute? He’s got a fan (don’t miss the mongoose zip by)

Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii - The open ocean

Hanauma Bay, Oahu, Hawaii - Chanel Riva underwater

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Sam says:

    Wow, Karen, great pics! Looks like you’re having a fantastic time!

    More of a scuba diver myself, but I love snorkeling as well, and this looks to rival some of the places I’ve been for sheer beauty (not to mention me loving the color on your nails… Dish on the shade?)

    Also… What camera do you use here? The pictures are absolutely stunning.

    • Karen says:

      Hi, Sam! That’s Chanel Riva on my paws. I’m so in lurve with it it’s not even funny. And the camera is a waterproof Panasonic DMC-TS2. It’s an awesome little machine. It’s waterproof up to (down to?) 33 feet, has a pretty decent movie mode with image stabilization, and the coolest thing about it is the size. It’s not much bigger than those little Canon Elphs, so about the size of a deck of cards.

      What are you up to? My in-laws go to bed early, so El Hub and I are downstairs right now quietly watching TV in the dark so as not to keep them up. Not a lot of excitement here at the momento…

      • Sam says:

        Oh, wow, now I get the title! I feel a little dumb… πŸ˜‰

        It’s a stunning shade, absolutely gorgeous on you! And there’s something so airy about it that works so well in the topics (lucky you), but I’m sure will transfer well back into cooler weather.

        And huh, sounds great about the camera! I looking to get a new one for Christmas/Channukah, so I’m always inquisitive when I see great photos.

        And I’m crashing at a friend’s place in New York. Spent the morning with my friend Caleb shopping (he’s one of the ones I mention in that article about men and makeup I sent to you earlier! He’s great; we bought so much stuff at Sephora for him today {mostly restocking his supplies, but turned him onto some new products as well}) and earlier evening with my entire family and him having a late Thanksgiving. Then we went back to his house, had some of his friends over, and went out for late burgers and fries before stumbling back to his apartment in the bitter cold.

        Me being the night owl I am, I’m just up doing some late night wish-listing and beauty net scouring, trying not to drool too much over all the new products I want but really don’t need…

        Anything good on the telly?

        • Karen says:

          That sounds like a perfect day — friends, family, fries and beauty!

          I still haven’ adjusted to the time change here. Bedtime is usually when the good stuff comes on TV, so I’m gonna have to catch up on all my guilty pleasure shows when I get home.

          Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and stay warm!

  2. Vonvon says:

    Such beautiful photos……..thanks for sharing.

    I snorkelled before when I was a kid, and that’s about it. πŸ™‚

    Have fun, Karen!
    Vonvon recently posted … Photos From My Photo Shoot – Before &amp After

  3. nai says:

    holey cow, Karen! you guys went snorkeling early, huh? I can tell bcs of where the sun is. & you look beautiful w/no makeup on, esp w/that happy grin on your face.

    my sweets & i ate visiting my mom & portland. being used to 80+ degree weather, we’re having to adjust to 20 degree cold…brrr! but the tax free shopping & plethora of microbrews are great! plus, we are pigging out on my mom’s pandit bihon…

    happy late thxgvg!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nai,

      Close — try the opposite end of the day, sunset! We got there so late that they didn’t charge us a parking or an entrance fee. The sun set behind the crater as I was snorkeling, which was cool.

      How are you liking Portland? Is it snowing up there?

      • nai says:

        der! the cold in pdx must have addled my brain & sense of direction re sunrise/set at home. goodness knows the cold freezing my fingers is responsible for my bad spelling (well that + iPhone autocorrect).

        it’s not snowing here, at least not in the city. every winter we come, we miss snow by just a few days. this time, it snowed while we were flying over. my mom’s lived here ten years & I’ve not touched snow! *sad*

  4. Elaine says:

    WOW! You look fabulous even without makeup! Jealous!!

  5. Melissa says:

    Eek love it there! So pretty with all the fishies and the turtles…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Melissa,

      While I was snorkeling I overheard a dude telling his friend he saw a turtle, and I tried to swim over to them to get it on camera, but unfortunately the turtle disappeared, boo! I’m hoping that we go back there soon so I can have a turtle sightning. πŸ™‚

      How’s your weekend been so far? Good, I hope!

  6. diane says:

    That’s o gorgeous. It’s nice to see such lovely weather…We’re waiting for snow here in Romania :P..


  7. you are so gorge. love the nail color! have fun. Hawaii is the next place I’m dying to go.
    beautylogicblog recently posted … Clarisonic Look Good Feel Better &amp New Hope Mia Giveaway

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mildred,

      I have a long list of places I want to visit, too. I hope you get to make it out to Hawaii soon. When you do let me know — I can give you a nice long list of things to do while you’re here. πŸ™‚

      Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  8. Julie says:

    I agree with Elaine! you are really pretty even without makeup! Thank you a lot for sharing your trip with us! I live in Quebec, Canada, and we have lots of snow right now! We had a snow storm yesterday, so taking the bus to go to school was awfully long, but staying home in bed and watching all that snow is great! But my boyfriend and I are going to dominican republic in january because we will be pretty tired of snow when january comes!

    Bonne journée!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Julie,

      I’m so excited for your trip. I bet it’ll be nice to escape the snow and be someplace where you don’t have to wear layers!

      I’ve never been to the Dominican Republic before. Will this be your first time?

  9. Meg says:

    You are so beautiful without makeup! I feel like everyone also looks extra beautiful at the beach. Usually because happiness is found there πŸ˜›

    • Karen says:

      Hi Meg,

      LOL, the good natural Hawaii lighting really helps. It’s all about angles, too!

      And that’s so true about finding happiness at the beach. I don’t think you can be grumpy there on a warm, sunny day.

  10. Dijana says:

    I hate you… so lucky… πŸ™‚
    I wish i was there, Im from Canada too, from Toronto, and we are just getting a few snowflakes falling, but the weather is already freezing, so I only wish I could be where you are πŸ™
    P.S. I love the underwater shots, Id love to own a waterproof camera so I can do the same when i go on vacation

  11. bluematilda says:

    i spent christmas in kona one year with a friend and her family (eek, it was about 19 years ago, that makes me sound old!) and we went snorkeling on christmas morning-the guy running the charter boat kept throwing bread or something into the water so all of the brightly colored fishies would smim around me, it seemed like there were 30 or so of them! surrounding me! so the funny part is that every time they surrounded me, i would laugh, breaking the seal on my mask so i’d get flooded with water! i’d come up, empty my mask and go right back to it again! what a beautiful place! have a safe trip and enjoy yourself! (drink a cup of lion coffee for me πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bluematilda,

      What a fantastic story! It sounds like something straight out of a movie. πŸ™‚

      I’ve been to Kona once (and it was only a brief few hours) and was awed by its landscape. I didn’t get to go in the water, though. Someday…

      Any time you get to be in a warm ocean is a good day, but if you get to do it on Christmas morning then it’s extra special.

  12. Aracely says:

    Tabs is going to get jealous of you looking at other cats!! lol

  13. Michelle says:

    It is freezing where I am and I am so jealous of your pics! I grew up in FL, so I grew up running around in shorts in 80 degree weather on Christmas. We’ve already had a major blizzard where I am now — blah, I don’t like winter!!
    Soak up some major rays for me!! I’ve been to Kauai once, but have been dying to go back and visit other islands. ALOHA

    • Karen says:

      Hi Michelle,

      I was in Boca Raton a few years ago (for my bff’s wedding) right around Thanksgiving and it was gorgeous. The concept of being able to wear shorts and go in the ocean during the holidays blew my mind! After the wedding we drove down to the Keys and spent a few days in Key West. I enjoyed my time there and hope to go back soon!

      When did you visit Kauai? What did you do there? I went once a loooong time ago (1999) and was awed by all its natural beauty.

      • Michelle says:

        We went to Kauai about 2 years ago. It really has a gorgeous raw beauty. I think it is the most under-developed island. We stayed in Poipu, but I really liked the northern part (Hanalei) of the island better (so lush and green!). We mostly parked our butts on the beach — but we did surf lessons, snorkeling, a luau (of course, you have to go to a luau once!). They also have kayaking, ziplining, hiking. I loved the gorgeous waterfalls!
        Have you tried Lamberts ice cream? Oh, I could die of yum eating that stuff!! I want to see tons more pictures of all the fun stuff you are doing/eating there. I am living vicariously through you right now! πŸ˜‰

        • Karen says:

          Hi Michelle,

          I have tried Lambert’s! There’s actually one about 20 minutes away from me in the Bay Area (crazy, huh?). I’ve taken a few random pictures of food I’ve eaten and will try to put some up today. πŸ™‚

          How’s your weekend? Been up to anything fun?

  14. knownever says:

    Haha I love that last pic! Only a true beauty die-hard would think to compare her nail polish to the ocean when surrounded by all that natural splendor.

  15. Marian says:

    Ohhhhhh….I’m so jealous! Hawaii looks so lovely! No wonder every makeup I see looks perfect on you; you look fabulous without any at all!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marian,

      I’m telling you, it’s the amazing Hawaii light. It works wonders!

      Hope you’re having a lovely weekend so far. What are you up to?

  16. Shannon says:

    Spectacular photos – thanks for sharing. Looks like paradise πŸ™‚

  17. Rae says:

    Lovely pics, Karen! Glad to hear you’re alive and well (and the sharks haven’t gotten to you yet) πŸ˜› Enjoy the rest of your trip!

    P.S. Riva looks gorgeous underwater, LOL!
    Rae recently posted … Mac Marcel Wanders

  18. steph b says:

    Wait, you are staying in Kaneohe and went to Hanauma Bay to look for turtles? We always went to Kailua beach for that. That is such a gorgeous beach, too. I used to work at the little marine lab in Kaneohe Bay. Very jealous of your trip. The pics and video from your new camera look fantastic.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Steph,

      We started out in Kailua (had lunch at Maui Tacos… didja ever eat there?), but the beach was way windy and cold, and the water was really choppy. After 15 minutes of shivering with a beach towel wrapped around me El Hub and I decided to look for someplace more mellow. We tried Bellows (closed) and the beaches on the Waimanalo side but they were all windy and choppy too. Haunama wasn’t perfect (still super windy), and the sand was all kicked up beneath the water, but it was the best option at the time. Ideally I’d love a day at Shark’s Cove with glassy water… but that’s more of a summertime thing, I guess. Every single time I’ve hit it up during the winter it looks like a churning cauldron.

      • steph b says:

        The northern beaches are awesome in the summer. There is something so surreal about being able to jump off the rock at Waimea Bay into bathtub calm waters that a few months before were so boiling they wouldn’t let you stand on the beach. Shark’s Cove has killer tidepools to snorkel.

        I have eaten at Maui Taco — Hana burrito is muy bueno.

        • Karen says:

          You’re right about the northern beaches. I haven’t been here in the summer in a looong time, sigh.

          Yesterday we drove up to the North Shore and visited the hotel where we got married (Turtle Bay) and had lunch. We didn’t quite make it up to Shark’s Cove yesterday but are hoping to today… it’s raining like crazy outside right now, so we’ll see.

          What’s your favorite beach on Oahu?

          • steph b says:

            Kailua Beach hands down. Gorgeous stretch of soft sand. Good barrier reef. Plenty of turtles. Great seasonal windsurfing, kite boarding, kayaking. And it has that little market that was in the Snapple commercial.

  19. snoopysteph says:

    I’ve never been to Hawaii but it looks beautiful! My cousin is moving there in January so I might have to schedule a trip to visit her. πŸ™‚ Have a great time!

  20. ElaineA says:

    Oh so jealous! I love snorkling, so fun. We just got back from Jamaica and saw this crazy fish but we didn’t know what it was. When we got back home we looked it up and it turns out it’s the most poisonous fish in the ocean….eeek!
    ElaineA recently posted … 12 in 1 Eye Palette

    • Karen says:

      Hi ElaineA,

      Yikes! That sounds exciting and scary. I’ve never been to Jamaica but would love to go someday! Where would you recommend staying?

      • ElaineA says:

        We stayed at the Grand Bahia in Runaway Bay. It was our first time in Jamaica too. This is one of the most popular resorts (5 people I know had been here so that’s why we chose it!). I guess it all depends on your preference of resorts (small or big).

        If you do plan a trip email me and I can send you info πŸ™‚
        ElaineA recently posted … 12 in 1 Eye Palette

  21. Nina says:

    <3 the pictures … and you look like youre having the time of your life! πŸ™‚

  22. Tish says:

    That is gorgeous! I was out on vacation for four days last week for my mum’s birthday and was so bummed I had no waterproof camera or even that little protective thingy for digicams so I can use them in the water (my sister only thought of buying that protective thingamajig while at the airport waiting for our flight! too late!). The fishes and corals were beautiful as always (only my second time going snorkeling) and I even got to see Nemo!

    Oh, and Chanel Riva looks lovely on your tips. I was feeling the summer vibe (it’s pretty much summer all year round in the Philippines, anyway) with Orly Orange Sorbet on my tips and toes, and I gotta add that it lasted a good 10days with minor chips πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tish,

      Bummer that you didn’t have a waterproof camera, but it still sounds like you had a lot of fun snorkeling. Where did you go?

      Orly Orange Sorbet sounds like a yummy shade, btw. πŸ™‚

      • Tish says:

        We went to Bohol for our vacation. But we went snorkeling, dolphin watching and island hopping somewhere close to Bohol and Cebu. I think we went to a total of 3islands. Virgin Island (formerly Pungtod Island) still takes my breath away (it’s just a strip of sand suspended in the middle of the ocean).

        Hope you’re having a good day!

  23. Indi says:

    oh that makes me miss Hanauma Bay so much! I went snorkeling there for the first time and had a blast! I was terrified of the rocks and hurting the coral. I did however skin my knee on a rock because i couldn’t really gauge depth underwater.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Indi,

      I hear ya. It gets hard when it’s cloudy and low tide, especially. I always get freaked out by getting poked/scratched by the rocks.

      Did you see a lot of fish while you were there?

  24. Audrey says:

    wow i wish i was in hawaii! i went to costa rica last year for the holidays and i love spending christmas at the beach, wish i could again this year. i love the chanel riva on you-perfect for a beach vacation, i’m thinking of getting it myself! hope you had fun snorkeling!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Audrey,

      Costa Rica is on my list of places to visit. Where did you stay? Got any good recommendations of things to do if/when I go?

      BTW, you absolutely need RIVA!!!

  25. Mallory says:

    That’s 5 minutes from my house! Glad you’re having fun in HI!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mallory,

      No way! πŸ˜€ You’re so lucky to live nearby. Afterward we drove to this nearby shopping center in Hawaii Kai (where El Hub lived when he was a kid) and grabbed some ice cream at Bubbie’s. Do you ever go there?

  26. Tiffany says:

    Karen, I am SO jealous! I went on a father-daughter trip to Hawaii (mainly Maui, but we flew over to Oahu for one weekend) back in late July and one of the places we visited was Hanauma Bay! I was just thinking how much I miss it:( πŸ™

    I can’t wait to go back. Best vacation ever!

    Stay safe and enjoy yourself! xoxo

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tiffany,

      That sounds like a fun trip! Did you like Maui? I’ve been there a couple of times and enjoyed it very much. What did you see?

      Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

  27. Katie says:

    I am so jealous! I’ve always wanted to go to hawaii. The bird of paradise flower is my absolute favorite, which I think grows naturally in hawaii.

  28. o0Stacey0o says:

    Oh my gosh, I snorkeled in this bay *gasp* almost 11 years ago!! Its so much fun and you had a great day to do it! I remember when I went with high school band (lulz) all you heard was muffled screams coming from snorkles in the distance. Everyone was scared sh**less of all the huge fish! Definitely an experience to remember. Great pics, Karen! Happy Thanksgiving! <3 Riva under the water…the two belong together. hehe

  29. saku says:

    Aww so pretty. I so miss the island beaches. Looks like you had fun.

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