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Three Good Things about Kayaking on Kauai

How my first kayak trip looked from a beginner's perspective.
By Candace McCann

I am not exactly what one would call the "athletic type", but you don't have to be to enjoy on Kauai. One evening recently, my honey and I slipped two into the Kalihiwai River and had an intimate commune with nature bordering on the mystical.

The first thing I noticed about kayaking is: KAYAKS ARE LIGHT. This makes loading and unloading them from the car much less of a chore, not to mention getting them in and out of the water.

The ocean was serene as a nun in prayer as we paddled upstream, away from it and the few remaining beachgoers and campers. Past the first curve in the river we paddled into a realm of incredible beauty where we were the only humans, but not the only animals.

The hau trees were so thick they lay in the water on each bank. Papyrus formed large clumps here and there, making me think of the Nile (a very small Nile). The mountains rose up round us casting dark shadows in the setting sun.

My second pleasant discovery was: KAYAKS ARE EASY TO PADDLE. It takes very little effort to glide along on top of the water. Even people with the upper body strength of a mollusk can do this!

Coming around a gentle curve in the stream, we beheld a lone tree alive with egrets perched there. It was quite an impressive sight but a little farther upstream we understood that the lone tree was only a reststop on the way to the "egret hotel". The stand of guava on the river's edge was so big and so thick, it easily housed 100 or more egrets, each noisily finding its place for the night and oblivious to the kayakers paddling by.

My jungle experience ended as we came to the place where the water cascades over rocks big enough to signal it was time to turn back. It was dark by the time the campfires on Kalihiwai Beach welcomed our return to civilization.

The next day the muscles in my arms did not even hurt from all that paddling ... my third pleasant discovery about Kayaking on Kauai.

Kalihiwai River on the island of KauaiA humble, sit-on-top kayak. Great for Hawaiian waters.

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Experienced Paddler or a First Timer?

Information by Type of Activity

 
If you have never paddled a kayak, take heart, there are great group kayak tours, with expert guides on most islands. They will take you choice spots and make sure you have a great time and are safe. Believe me you will be absolutely thrilled by the scenery, the wildlife. Read the article by a newbie in the left hand column. Does is seem that she had a good time?
For people who have kayaked before, you can rent what you need any of several outfitters, near both ocean and flatwater rivers. Be aware that landings can be tricky and wet. The ocean swells can make it dangerous to land, even on sandy beaches. Currents are very strong in many locations. Rely on your own wisdom and local knowledge.

 
   
   
You can reach me by e-mail at: stephen@imagine-hawaii.com
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