Alaska to Hawaii
text & photography by Ryan Stikeleather
Of Course I want to see Green Sea Turtles!
Hawaii (O’ahu, to be more precise) on the other hand, is almost as predictable as you can get. 72 for a high, slight chance of rain, sunrise at 6:30pm, sunset at 6:30pm…everyday of the week. Which is great for planning your day outside or just knowing when to be on the beach to see a sunrise or sunset.
I was staying on Schofield Barracks and only 20 minutes from the North Shore of O’ahu. The North Shore is world famous for its big waves and perfect sunset views, they don’t call Sunset Beach, Sunset Beach for nothing. Being so close to the North Shore beaches gave me just the right amount of time to finish my “day” job and rush off to find a perfect sunset. O’ahu is a very popular tourist destination and North Shore is very busy, but if you are willing to explore a little bit, you can easily find a secluded spot, removed from all the hustle-and-bustle.
I started my sunset quest at Laniakea Beach. Laniakea Beach is also great spot to see Green Sea Turtles. I had about 40 minutes before sunset and used this time to scramble over the rocks and enjoy the scenery. Just walking a few yards from the main beach left me secluded from the other beach goers and gave me a great place to watch the sunset.
This process was repeated each evening for the next several days and I was rewarded with fantastic sunsets at Sharks Cove and Waimea Bay. And, once you get your sunset picture…hang around for awhile and enjoy the setting. I will often get so caught up in the rush to get my photograph that I forget to stop and enjoy the scene.
If you are looking for great sunrise pictures, stick to the windward side (east side) of O’ahu. Since the sun rises in the east, this makes perfect sense. You will also have most of the beach to yourself at sunrise. Honolulu is very close to some of the more iconic locations: Halona blowhole, Rabbit Island, Makapuu tide pools…the list goes on and on. So, if you are staying on Waikiki, you are in luck! There are a ton of picture-perfect spots along the windward side and even if you are not a morning person (unlike me) it will be worth the extra effort to see that amazing sunrise.