As the Coronavirus numbers rise in our state, we continue to be mindful of crowds and indoor spaces. At the same time, we are trying our best to get outdoors and stay active.
Recently, a friend of ours mentioned that she has always wanted to go kayaking. We decided that now is the time to go since Hawaii still has a 14-day quarantine order in place for transpacific travelers and businesses that rely on tourism are struggling. So, we are doing our part to support local!
Water sports are not my favorite since nearly drowning as a child. As a result, I have never learned how to swim. In fact, the trauma of the incident makes it difficult for me to feel comfortable in water that is deeper than 4 feet. (Okay, let’s be honest, I go into full-blown panic mode if I can’t touch the bottom. The ocean is especially scary for me.) But the desire to experience this with my family overruled my phobia and we decided to make this happen.
Hubby did a bit of research and found Kama’aina Kids Eco-Ventures which does kayaking/snorkeling tours and rentals out of the gorgeous Heeia State Park on the windward side of Oahu. (Right now, Kama’aina Kids are running a 25% off promotion for all Hawaii residents and military!)
We were joined by another family in our “pandemic bubble.” Our group consisted of 4 adults and 3 children (ages 11, 11, and 6). We rented 3 tandem kayaks and 1 single. They also equipped us with anchors and dry bags, which both proved to be very helpful. They also provided lifejackets for everyone, which is imperative for this non-swimmer.
I paddled both the tandem and the single kayaks and found them both to be very stable on the water. One of my fears going into this was capsizing in the open ocean, but thankfully, the water was relatively calm inside the bay and I never felt like I was in danger of tipping. There were points where we encountered ocean currents that made steering more difficult, but they were manageable even for newbies like us.
We paddled over coral reefs and shallow patches of sand as well as portions of very deep water, where the water turned dark and appeared bottomless. It was during those moments when I had to put mind over matter, remind myself not to look down, and just appreciate the beauty that surrounded me.
There were sandy patches where we could drop our anchors, jump out of our kayaks, and stand comfortably in waist-high water. It was a welcome break from the paddling and gave my nerves some reprieve from being on the open water.
Two of the adults took the kids snorkeling, going to the edge of the drop-off where they saw reef fish. I was content to stay near the kayaks, enjoy the pleasantly warm water, and chat with my friend.
The slightly overcast skies afforded us enough cloud cover so that we were not roasting in the sun and the tradewinds blew gently. Kayaking on the ocean and taking in the stunning views of the windward side of the island made me appreciate being a resident of this beautiful place.
The day could not have been more perfect. Even with my phobias, I would definitely do it again.
This was not a sponsored post.