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Snorkeling -jelly fish and eels phobia.

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Sydney, Australia
posts: 63
reviews: 2
Snorkeling -jelly fish and eels phobia.

When I was younger I was attacked in a river by a swarm if jelly fish. It took years to get me back in open water and still today I have hesitations.

6 years ago I snorkelled whilst on holidays at Turtle Bay and loved it. I did it again 2 years ago and have even managed a snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef.

No matter how much I love it or how often I do it, this fear comes over me about jelly fish and eels.

We leave tomorrow for 2 weeks on Oahu and no doubt I will want to snorkel. Can anyone tell me if it is jelly fish season? Also, (and this is where my irrational fear kicks in ) whilst I have never seen an eel, I know they are there hiding in the rocks. Are there any areas to avoid where there are more eels than average?

I feel silly even typing this (that's why it's irrational) but have to ask.

1 more sleep to go!!

Oahu, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Oahu
posts: 9,912
1. Re: Snorkeling -jelly fish and eels phobia.


Here is a box jellycalendar.


Most sightings are on the south shore....Waikiki-Ala Moana-Hanauma Bay.

Stay out of the water if the signs are out at lifeguarded beaches.

You probably wont even see an eel.

Have a great time,


Edited: 1:55 am, May 12, 2014
posts: 2,638
reviews: 18
2. Re: Snorkeling -jelly fish and eels phobia.

The full moon in May is the 14th. You can expect jellyfish 9 to 12 days after that. Watch the beach postings and look for them washed up on the beach.

You will see more eel on restaurant menus than while snorkeling.

BTW, they are quite tasty. (A little revenge perhaps?)

Honolulu, Hawaii
posts: 395
reviews: 26
3. Re: Snorkeling -jelly fish and eels phobia.

I would say that seeing eels are pretty rare on Oahu. I've only seen them while scuba diving, and even then, it was rare. They were more common when I went snorkeling on the neighbor islands.

South Coast NSW
posts: 2,052
reviews: 50
4. Re: Snorkeling -jelly fish and eels phobia.

I have a similar fear of sharks. :) Also not a fan of jellyfish at all.

There are some things I have found that help reduce my fear re this - while it is always there in the back of my head - the more comfortable I am with what I am wearing and the gear I am using, the less worried I seem to be re sharks.

One thing I would recommend for you to help be more comfortable would be a rash vest and leggings - sort of like a stinger suit which they wear on the barrier reef - this way much of you is covered and cannot be stung by jellyfish. If you want to protect your hands and feet, gloves and socks might be worth investing in as well.

For kayaking I have a sharkskin which is like a wetsuit but with fleece on the inside. I can use it for snorkelling as well and I always use the sharkskin socks because they keep my feet super warm - I can stay in the water a lot longer with those on.

The last time I snorkelled was on Oahu with rented gear from Snorkel Bob and that is the most comfortable and least fearful I have ever been. Seriously the Moflo 2 snorkel he has is amazing. Usually I am constantly having to clear water from the snorkel - I never once had to do it with this one. Plus the Seamo Better meant I could see clearly which I think has always been a part of the fear in the past as I do have trouble with long distance sight.

The gear was so great I ended up buying it for myself. I came home ready for a summer of snorkelling but pulmonary embolisms meant I was banned from snorkelling. :(( I am about to be cleared to snorkel but now it is winter :( But I recently heard about a thing the Sydney Aquarium are doing re snorkelling with sharks and I might celebrate my return to snorkelling by shouting myself that as a birthday present.

So it might be worth a trip to Snorkel Bob if you don't already have your own gear. :)

Philadelphia, PA
posts: 694
reviews: 19
5. Re: Snorkeling -jelly fish and eels phobia.

If it helps at all, the eels in Hawaii aren't creepy eels! And no, I'm not describing their personalities, it's just that when I was growing up the eels I had encountered were typically writhing around in masses close to the docks at places like Baltimore Inner Harbor. Those totally creeped me out and left me with a somewhat fear of anything long and snakelike swimming in the water. In all my times snorkeling on Oahu, Kauai, and Maui (actually the Caribbean too) I have to say that I have never once seen an eel swimming along. A couple times my husband has pointed one out to me hiding between rocks and all I could see was a head, so I totally wouldn't have even known they were eels! Not creepy at all, kind of mysterious. And yes, to AlandRoberta's point, once I got that initial image out of my head, I found they are delicious as well! Just had sushi yesterday, and the eel & avocado Maki was my favorite roll we ordered:)

Princeville, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
posts: 34,118
reviews: 2
6. Re: Snorkeling -jelly fish and eels phobia.

Keep your eye on the jellyfish calendar. You can also get reports on the local news in the evening.

There are also Portuguese man o war that frequent the windward side, Kailua for an example. Usually they come in on the currents when the trade winds are strong. There is no way to predict these ahead of time like the box jellies but if you walk the beach and they are present you will see them.

I'm a bit surprised about the amount of people saying they don't see eel's. We see them all the time. Mostly hidden in the coral or rock but they are out there. There is even a couple in the MLCD in Waikiki.

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
posts: 29,534
reviews: 35
7. Re: Snorkeling -jelly fish and eels phobia.

That is what I was going to say fishdiva - I see eels all the time snorkeling. The very first time I saw an eel, I about had a heart attack, but I then a local guy told me that as long as I didn't go poking around in their holes, they wouldn't bug me. I have noticed that many people snorkel fast and don't see them . . . you need to hover around the rocks/coral and then you notice the eels. I have only noticed one swimming free once, but it was in deeper water and it was down low on the ocean floor. :)

I have only seen jellyfish once in Maui, after a big storm.

Edited: 4:00 pm, May 12, 2014
Sydney, Australia
posts: 63
reviews: 2
8. Re: Snorkeling -jelly fish and eels phobia.

Thank you Jet for the calendar. I will also look out on the shore for signs of them and will watch for signs posted as well.

We leave Sydney in 5 hours!!!

So excited!

Thanks everyone. I know it's irrational but at least I am better informed now.

Oahu, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Oahu
posts: 9,912
9. Re: Snorkeling -jelly fish and eels phobia.


Your going to have a great time.

The eel or in Hawaiian is called Puhi, which is my families Aumakua or family guardian.

Have a safe trip,


Oklahoma City...
posts: 829
reviews: 3
10. Re: Snorkeling -jelly fish and eels phobia.

I know everyone has their own phobias and they are not rational, but people without an eel phobia should consider themselves lucky to see one.

The eels of Hawaii are beautiful creatures and it's always a treat to spot one. As long as you leave them alone they are not dangerous to humans.