I've read some of the poitive and negative reviews and think I can help sort them out. We went five times over 10 days late January and saw most of what has been reported good and bad. First, What can vary from day to day. Light: when bright and sunny, more cool stuff is visible and it seems to come to life, other times it seemed brown and dingy with less to see unless you got close to the rocks and white water. Water Clarity: likewise, when calmer surf, small waves and mild wind prevail, more cool stuff is visible. Fish: now some days there were lots of fish and even an eel, others there were less around, but by my count never less than 12-15 varieties. Turtles: we saw turtles at the point three out of five days, always a perk, no rhyme or reason. One day it hung around for 5 minutes, once it cruised by me 3 feet away and dove deep and was gone too fast to pass the word to my family 10 feet away. Now, what doesn't change from day to day is of course the rock and coral structures: same every day (we thought Makena Landing had better coral varieties and more turtles but is an hour away), but whatever is there looks way cooler on bright calm mornings. In the end we had both great snorkeling and lousy snorkeling all at the same spot depending on the light levels, clarity, time of day, and whether the fish and turtles put on a show. What we found was that if the snorkeling was poor at least there was a nice beach for sunning, a nice evening show, the occasional whale breaching just off the point and constant whale songs a couple feet under the water, and a great sunset view. Sure a lot of people go there, but there was room for everyone and begins to clear out after at dinner time. Parking however was a bugger, only one day we waited around and got one of the coveted free spots right near the beach access. The rest of the time we parked at the whalers villiage and walked the block and a half, something they say they do not allow, but seemed to me like we saw a lot of people doing it. The first day we paid $16 to park there for 4 hours, ouch! Afterwards we just bought stuff we were going to buy anyway from the stores who validate your parking ticket in 3 hour chunks, but a 6 hour maximum for validation. We would often throw on a shirt and go to the ABC store and buy $15 in small gifts (they have $15 minimum to stamp), then go to the Haagan-Dazs ice cream store and spend another $15 (also their minimum purchase to stamp). And our 6 hours parking was covered. We thought it was fun and stuff we would have gotten anyway. Other options, some of the other hotels have some parking further down from Black Rock, and there is a shopping area up above called Fairway Shops, and a trolley runs a route and can take you up or down the road. We never did it, don't even know if they charge but saw some doing so. For those families with varied interests Black Rock and Ka'anapali Beach seemed to hold a lot of options, at least they did for us.
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