First-time kayakers can not ask for a higher place to pick out the basics than the Hanalei River on Kauai’s North Shore. The river is particularly flat on calm days, bending around sweeping curves as it movements from the island’s steep, lush indoors at a quite unhurried pace.
All through the latest visit to the Garden Isle, I joined an own family of four from Minnesota on Kayak Kauai’s Blue Lagoon Paddle & Snorkel tour, which began at the mellow Hanalei River earlier than venturing into Hanalei Bay, in which the water situations had been a bit extra adventurous.
“Upstream on the river’s flat surface, in which there may be no longer plenty agitation, you can briefly introduce a few methods,” said Micco Godinez, who released Kayak Kauai with his brother Chino in 1984. “By the point, they’ve paddled a truthful bit on the river, oldsters get into the swing of it quite quickly, after which we add a little rock ‘n’ roll on the ocean.”
But the olive-green river is way more than just a tremendous location for a crash path in kayaking basics. The terrific setting gives visitors a first-rate comparison to Kauai’s coastal environments, showcasing riverbanks crowded with lush vegetation and colorful plants. On clean days, you may see Kauai’s Waioli Valley and the jagged peaks of Namolokama, Mamalahoa, and Hihimanu, which host a collection of towering waterfalls if the weather has currently been rainy.
Paddling at the river additionally offers customers an intimate examine the verdant patchwork of taro fields sprawling behind the small metropolis of Hanalei in addition to a lesson within the crop’s important significance to Hawaiian culture and history.
“It is brilliant eye candy,” Godinez said, adding that his employer pioneered kayak excursions on the Hanalei River. “The concept becomes that It is a bit flavor of the river and a bit taste of the ocean.”
The mouth of the Hanalei River is reasonably nicely-protected using a far-off barrier reef. Although there can be a few interesting swirling currents around that mouth, relying upon the tides and the season, the river empties into the bay at an area wherein you commonly do not get large waves breaking. That makes the transition from paddling on the flat river to traversing the sea’s surface a noticeably easy one and enables Kayak Kauai to offer its Blue Lagoon tour pretty much yr-spherical.
On my day trip with the enterprise, everyone regarded making the river-to-ocean transition pretty without difficulty. Right away, we were headed along the coast in the direction of a favorite snorkeling spot. Moments later, our manual pulled the kayaks up onto a white-sand beach, and lots of us were quickly exploring the nearby reef in masks and fins, recognizing all styles of tropical fish on the western boundary of Hanalei Bay.
For Godinez, who spent his youth in Cuba and Puerto Rico, Hanalei Bay is one of the most beautiful places on the planet.
“While you’re at the water and looking upon the waterfalls and the rainbows, and perhaps there is a stiff wind making horsetails from the foam of the breaking waves, It’s simply a first-rate view,” he said.
You would not have heard any argument from our group Throughout lunch at the beach after our kayaks. The topaz blue of the ocean contrasting with the emerald green of the sawtoothed North Shore mountains turned into a gripping sight, and after all the paddling and snorkeling, a roast beef sandwich never tasted so top.
“What I have always discovered is human beings need a wasteland experience, but they don’t necessarily want to paintings for it,” Godinez said with a chuckle. “So this gives that with a minimum quantity of attempt, and It’s very family-friendly.”
Adventurers looking for a day out with a piece greater of the sea’s rock ‘n’ roll may want to don’t forget Kayak Kauai’s all-day, 17-mile Na Pali Coast tours. Supplied most effective in the summer months while the waves are commonly the calmest, the company refers to this trip because the “Everest of sea kayaking” is no longer for oldsters in bad physical circumstances or prone to seasickness.
Still, Godinez turned short of inspiring me when I informed him the excursion changed into my should-do listing.
“It’s going to knock your socks off,” he stated. “For those who do the Na Pali Coast, I listen to it all the time; It’s the spotlight of their excursion.
“We also get the born-again paddler,” he brought with a laugh. “They’re those who saw God At some stage in the experience alongside the coast.”