I stumbled upon an outrigger canoe group for people with disabilities on Oahu this weekend. I just signed up at their booth and after a quick lesson in paddling, got in a canoe and was off.
The group is Hawai’i Adaptive Paddling Association and they take people out on six person canoes. They leave Kailua Beach and paddle out to Flat Island and try to catch waves on the way back to the beach. http://www.hawaiiadaptivepaddling.com
Paddling is hard work! I always thought it looked difficult when watching from shore but now that I’ve done it, I know it’s hard. It takes coordination to keep in time with the other paddlers and switch sides at the calls. I found that I was much more coordinated when paddling on my left side. I felt pretty clumsy on the right side but I got a little better by the end of the day.
On my second trip out, we hit a wave as we were leaving the sand and took in a bit of water. Two of the crew spent several minutes bailing the canoe out with plastic scoops. The swell had picked up and I was a bit more off balance on that run but it was definitely good exercise.
I didn’t see any turtles out there this time but I will be looking again next month.