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Monday, March 10, 2008

Kayaking in Hawaii

It was our pleasure to publish all our Best Hawaii Vacation Blog guest authors recently. We hope to hear from more Hawaii blogs and Hawaii tourists with their exciting articles about vacation in Hawaii. Thanks for checking back what our Monday Hawaii photo of the week is all about. Our Hawaii photographer Jennifer Crites from the island of Hawaii and renowned travel writer - read here one of her recent articles for the University of Hawaii magazine 'Malamalama', quite a different outdoors experience compared to Hawaii - chose a photo showing an outrigger canoe and its crew paddling along Oahu's shore.

Kayak on your Hawaii Vacation
Outrigger canoes have been proved to be a stable and save transportation means between the Hawaiian islands in the history of the Hawaiians. These days, the outrigger canoes are used for recreation, sports or races. No wonder that most of the coastal areas and marinas have their own canoe club like the Kawaihae Canoe Club or Waikoloa Canoe Club on the Kohala Coast dedicated to promoting the art and sport of Hawaiian canoe paddling. The Hawaiian canoe clubs are definitely for Hawaii residents who live close to the the ocean and love to engage in ocean sports on a social level. That's why many prefer the 4-seater or even the 8-seater canoes.

Our Big Island neighbors Sammy (paddler) and Ed (coach) have been and still are such dedicated paddlers. This is how we first heard about the challenging paddling canoe race 'The Molokai Hoe' which is a 41-mile open ocean race that launches from Hale O Lono Harbor on Molokai and ends at Duke Kahanamoku Beach in Waikiki, Oahu. In addition to all the Hawaii outrigger canoe club teams, there are more than 1,000 canoe paddlers from Tahiti, Japan, Singapore, Italy, Australia and California.

Moloka'i Hoe (read a book about the race), begun in 1952 for men and Na Wahine O Ke Kai, in 1979 for women. Listening to our neighbors' stories each year, we have the deepest respect for those who accomplish this race through the unpredictable Moloka‘i (Kaiwi) Channel that has a well-deserved reputation as one of the roughest interisland channels in existence!

Believe us paddling the Molokai channel takes lots of practice, skills and strong physique. When you visit Hawaii and love the ocean and kayaking, we recommend to book a Guided Kayaking Tour. The kayak guides know the special area where they take you out and are CPR, First Aid and Lifeguard certified. The ocean condition can change in an instant. Always wear a life vest, no matter what a great swimmer you are.

The fun part of a Guided Kayak Tour is that tours combine a regular kayak tour with Snorkel, Whale Watch or Turtle encounters and help you encounter the rich wildlife and beauty of Hawaii. We have put together a list of a few Kayak companies for the different islands. We are not claiming the are the best Hawaii Kayak Tour companies. We've found them just through the appropriate search. Please, make sure when using their service that they are providing Kayak tours which are safe and exciting:

Maui Eco Tours provides kayak and snorkel, whales and snorkel, easy fun for kids, encounter with sea turtles. Another Maui Kayak company is Maui Kayaks which offers guided kayak tours to small groups by experienced and enthusiastic certified kayak guides.

Big Island Kayak Their guided trips are all inclusive: guides, instruction, snacks, drinks, gear and transportation . Another Big Island kayak tour company is Aloha Kayak in Kona They also provide kayak & snorkel instruction, gear, guide, & drinks & snacks.

Kayak Kauai offers a special Kayak Tour to the Na Pali Coast to the experienced kayaker. Encounter dolphins, tropical birds and if lucky, Monk Seals. The kayak tour includes lunch and rest at Miloli'i beach, you can swim, beach comb, and visit an old Hawaiian fishing heiau.

Too bad that the Hawaii YouTube video about the 2007 Molokai Hoe race has too many blackouts. But the following video about another outrigger canoe shows the challenges of ocean canoe racing very impressively. Have fun paddling in Hawaii! Aloha Pua Hawaii Vacations
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