A Rainy Day's Drive to Yokohama Bay

A Rainy Day’s Drive to Yokohama Bay

Hawaii is best known for its sunny skies and warm balmy breezes, but today it’s raining. And you know what? It’s not so bad. The rain is warm. The breeze is still warm. And when you step in the sand, that’s warm too. Visitors from the mainland, where the snow is falling in areas that haven’t had it for years, are thrilled to be here. Those of us who live here have got to stop taking our paradise for granted.

Do you know that there are people who live on Oahu who have never been to the West side? Or taken a drive to see the treasures of Wahiawa in the center of the island, or even Hau`ula on the windward side? Unbelievable! Such a relatively small island begs us to discover every corner.

Yokohama Bay is at the end of the road, the farthest you can go on Oahu’s west coast. And it’s spectacular. I don’t know how long it is, but it looks like it stretches for miles. Hardly anyone is on the white sands today, possibly because of the weather, but we’ve been here on fair days and it’s the same. Unspoiled, vast, beautiful, unpopulated. The locals would rather keep it to themselves, but if the occasional visitor shows up, they’re willing to share.

For the adventurous among us, from Keawaula Beach (Yokohama Bay’s other name) is a great hiking trail to Kaena Point State Park, the island’s northwestern tip. Bring your hiking boots or at least running shoes—you don’t want to walk it in slippers. It’s pretty rocky. Bring water, too, and a sandwich, because you’ll want to stay awhile to see the monk seals that are protected here. Turtles, dolphins and sea birds also hang around, and in whale season, like today, you’re in for a treat. You can see for miles, and whales are bound to show up.

In the winter months this beach is no place for a novice. High, powerful surf pounds in, and the pros are the only ones allowed in the water by the lifeguards. In the summer, though, swimming, snorkeling and diving are dazzling in the clear, flat conditions. Don’t go out alone, as sometimes the swells can take you a little further out than you expect!

What’s its name mean? Known originally as Keawalua Beach (red harbor), large schools of squid used to gather near shore in mating season. Normally transparent, muhe’e change color to bright red during this time. The more common name of Yokohama refers to the home town of the Japanese workers who immigrated to Hawaii to work in the cane fields and often came here to fish.

Oahu has many sacred locations, and Kaena Point is one of them. In Hawaiian legend, the point is a "jumping off" point where souls join the spiritual world. Also nearby is Makua Cave, also known as Kaneana Cave, another sacred spot. Named after Kane, the Hawaiian god of creation, legend says that mankind emerged from here. The cave is 100 feet high and 450 feet deep, although most of us stay near the entrance since it’s kind of spooky. If you’re one of the brave ones, bring a flashlight and wear covered shoes.

Rain or shine, Yokohama Bay is a treasure you’ll want to discover. Take a drive! It’s less than a couple of hours no matter where you are on the island.

1 comment:

***Sharon*** said...

One of my most favorite places in the world - Makua beach and Yokohama's! (And you are right....I'd rather keep it a secret! LOL)