Kayaking in Hawaii
Recently our family went to a sand bar in Kaneohe Bay about a half hour from our home. It was a beautiful sunny day with trade winds blowing.
The children were so excited as we boarded the double hull boat with an outboard motor.
I had heard about the sand bar, but it was my first time actually going there. When the tide is low, you can see the sand, but when the tide is high, it disappears.
We were lucky enough to see a few turtles swimming by our boat on our way to the sand bar.
The water was so blue and the surroundings in the Kaneohe Bay never cease to amaze me.
When we arrived at the sand bar, there were several other boats already anchored there, and people had set up some tents. One family was actually having a barbecue.
It was amazing to see so much sand knowing it was just out in the middle of the bay. No roads here! No restaurants, bathrooms, or other amenities. Only sand and sea.
Not to worry. My son had rented a kayak and snorkeling gear. We had brought along our own food in an ice chest, and knew it would only be a couple of hours before the tide would come in. So, we set about making use of our limited time.
I went for a walk with the grandchildren on the white sandy beach. We saw many interesting marine life wandering around in the shallow water and sand.
You could see little holes where the crabs were hiding and we found a few shells.
I had heard there were hammerhead sharks in the waters around the sand bar, and that was enough to keep me on the sand instead of in the water.
The sand bar is around three miles long and one mile wide, so even if you can't see the whole thing, it is pretty large. Of course there are no shade trees, so we had to lather on the sunscreen, and wear our sunglasses.
The fun really began when the kayak was put in the water. Each of my grandchildren had their turn and even their mother who does not swim. Since it was my son that was the chaperone taking each person for a ride, he got a great workout.
I had a good walk around the amazing sand bar and mostly relaxed. What a perfect day to be with family.
There are parties held at the sand bar a couple times of year. Some even bring bands out on the boat and have dances.
Kaneohe Bay does not have long white sand stretches and crystal clear water that make so many of the Hawaii beaches like Waikiki so popular. Instead, it possesses a combination of unique factors that make it one of the most studied coral reef systems in the world!
Kaneohe Bay's waters are sheltered by a barrier reef. Swells generated by the islands' predominant trade winds create perfect conditions for the growth and formation of numerous patch reefs and fringe reefs (over forty)throughout the bay.
If you view the bay from a higher vantage point… like the Pali Lookout, or coming out of the windward-bound H-3 tunnels, you will see a spectrum of color caused by the varying depths and bottom formations of different areas within the bay.
You can see hues of ivory, teal, light and dark blue, and even brown depicting the different bottom conditions and water depths of each of the bay's different areas.
You can kayak, snorkel, paddle surf and swim almost year round in Hawaii, especially in Kaneohe Bay. If you are into extreme sports, there is also kite surfing (check out the video).
As for our day at the sand bar, it was an experience I shall not soon forget.