A few weeks ago I went ocean kayaking for the first time. I was in a two person kayak, in the front position. My only experience with kayaking prior to this was many years ago on flat water. This was full on into the waves with wind blowing at me at 10-15 mph.
I went with a Meetup group that my roommate belongs to. There were seven of us in various types of kayaks. The leader of the group was quite well practiced in it but the rest of us had a wide range of ability. I had to learn on the go, watching what other people were doing.
Although we would stop occasionally to let everyone in the group catch up, it felt like a non-stop battle against the waves for four hours. While other people in the group were trading kayaks, I was trading paddles. I finally settled on one that felt a bit more comfortable about half way through the trip.
We went from Little Makapuu on the windward side of Oahu to the Na Mokalua (meaning ‘two islands’ in Hawaiian) and Lanikai. The scenery was beautiful. The Koolau mountains to the left and the Mokes straight ahead. For hours the islands did not seem to get any closer, but we eventually landed on Moku Nui.
We stopped at Shark’s Cove on the back side of the island. Bob, the group leader said that conditions are rarely good enough to enter Shark’s Cove but that conditions seemed good and that we could give it a try. I would never attempt it on my own, but the whole group of us entered the cove through a narrow opening between the rock faces. Once inside, there was just enough room for us to all fit and enjoy the rise and fall of the water as the waves crashed in. Some people ventured out of their boats to climb the rocks and jump into the pool. It’s an amazing spot that I will never forget.
After that we paddled to the other side of the island to take a rest on the sandy beach. As you can see from the photo, we weren’t the only ones enjoying the sunny Saturday.
After resting, it was even harder to make the short distance to Lanikai but I made it. Eight miles was a bit much for my first trip but it was a great experience.