13 Waiahukini to Pohue Bay
remote green and black sand beaches that very few people get to visit.
They are far off the beaten path and, when accessible by 4 wheel
drive, are usually beyond locked gates. Pohue Bay
We approach Pohue Bay and the wind picks up strong (25mph+, now a headwind)
and we decide to stay at this idyllic spot making it a short
day. We enjoy the beach, bodysurf with the local kids and wander the
local area . We meet the owner of the property, I can't remember
how many thousand acres he was in charge of but are jaws were dropping as we
tried to grasp the number.
14: Pohue Bay to Honomolino:
Again we're passing deserted beaches finally arriving at Honomolino
which is a fairly isolated beach, a one mile walk, from the end of
the lightly traveled, paved road which stops at the Milolili fishing village. Finally we're
back to a familiar part of the coastline for me!
We didn't know but an article had just come out about our trip in
the Honolulu paper. I have a hard time imagining that any Honomolino
resident would get the Honolulu paper but one did, we were soon
recognized, welcomed, and a party was quickly set up with us as
the VIP guests.
We were treated to quite a party, steak, chicken, rice, salad and
assorted courses with beer and wine. I'm sure no one could believe
how much we could eat (including ourselves), but there was more
than enough and we were given zip lock bags to take with us on the
remainder of our final leg. We owe a great thank you to our hosts,
one of whom is the owner of a highly successful island manufacturing
company who I think will enjoy his anonymity.
15: Honomolino to Captain Cook Monument (20 miles)
Again reluctant to leave, our friends wishing us continued success on our journey, we head north. We cross a big bay and angle in to what we think is the City of Refuge.
Mik took advantage of the beer and wine last night when he wasn't
thinking about the upcoming 20 miles and now he's dragging a bit
and wishing he went easier on the mood enhancers. We find we are
a bit off course and get a view of Hookena Park. Cave South of Honaunau
We round the next point and find a large cave, big enough to paddle
the kayaks inside (waves permitting) and get some photos. A few
minutes further north we come into Honaunau (city of refuge). We
stop for a break and to resupply water so we'll be sure to be hydrated
for our upcoming final day.
Honaunau is a National Historic park recreating the scene where once
upon a time a law breaker could find safety, often with warriors
chasing him down and his life in the balance. Upon entering the
City of Refuge, his pursuers could not follow. After spending a
certain amount of time and receiving absolution and blessings from
the priests, he would be allowed to go free and return to his community.
Mik looks up at the mountain and can't believe that we are still rounding
the same Mauna Loa Volcano. This 13,000+ volcano has been our constant
companion since leaving Hilo and has dominated our view for more than
half of our circumnavigation.
The Kayak scene at Kealakekua Bay
We paddle on to Capt. Cooks monument. Besides being one of the major kayak tourist destinations, this is the spot where the
great circumnavigator Capt James T. Cook (certainly an inspiration
for Capt James T. Kirk of Star Trek Fame), on his 2nd visit after
discovering the Hawaiian Islands, had his godlike status tested
by the natives and was found wanting, as a Hawaiian spear ended his life.
We camp just a few feet from the spot of his demise.
April 10th Day 16 Final Stretch Capt
Cooks to Kona (16 miles)!
Our Last Day! We've had such optimal
weather the entire trip, it's not surprising that we would be tested
on our final day. A large zodiac (tour operation), comes by and congratulates
us, saying we are in the local paper again today. We pass by Coffee
and Mac nut farms up on the higher slopes. The headwind picks up
and gives us a good workout as we push in the last 5 miles to the
beach at the King Kamehameha Hotel. King Kam Hotel
We are not quite finished but we stop for a break before the final
hour and a half stretch into Honokohau Harbor which was our original starting
point. The local reporters hear that we've landed and come down
to give us an interview. Our friends show up to congratulate us,
give us leis and take us out for a pre-victory lunch celebration.
The final push. The newspaper photographer is waiting at the entrance
to Honokohau to get our photo at the finish. The headwind is stiff
and the backwash off the rocks severe. If it were up to us we would
wait for easier conditions but everybody is expecting us at the finish so we battle
upwind around the long point. Ironically on what is usually the calmer side of the island,
an hour from the finish, we are having our roughest paddle of the
Mik comes from behind passing me like the favorite on the home stretch
of the Kentucky Derby. He is apparently annoyed with our plodding
progress and starts to leave me in the dust. I boost my power up
to 100% and slip in behind him, hoping to catch any current he might
be riding. I am annoyed a bit now myself, wondering why he would
be trying to injure us so close to the finish. After five minutes
following his line I realize he's not riding any current but Mik is
still walking away.
He has finally perfected his paddling technique and that combined
with his 16 days of distance training, his superior upper body strength,
and his 30 pounds of reduced load due to his missing appendage have
created a formidable paddler. I yell at him to wait up and ask him
what the hell he's thinking sprinting for the finish. He replies
that he is just ready to be done with this headwind and wants to get
past the last point. We compromise and notch down to 75% power.
Our finish at Honokohau
We are joyous with our accomplishment as we enter Honokohau Harbor.
At the same time we are sorry the trip is at it's end and we joke
about pulling a Forest Gump and just keep on paddling around again.
We enter the harbor right on our photographic schedule, like the
swallows returning to Capistrano, which incidentally was my hometown,
where Mik and I first met (in 1970) and began challenging each other
to see beyond the majority worldview about what is acceptable and/or
We finish feeling better than we did during the early days of our
trip. It seems as though we have been out for months when we remember
all the experiences we've had and the people we've met. We freely
admit that we were lucky dogs when it came to weather. We felt the
Hawaiian spirits were with us and guiding us through a weather pattern
that has not been seen in a decade.
Our final tally was completing approximately 300 miles in 16 days
with no support crew. We figured we'd take rest days due
to adverse weather but we ended up taking none. We paddled an average
of 5 hours per day.
Calm day at the valleys
For any one interested in repeating the adventure, take into account
that we caught an escalating El Nino condition where the March and
April trade winds were suppressed, the exact opposite of the regular trade/gale
conditions that tend to prevail around the Eastern
side of the island. Don't expect anything like we lucked into. You
better be serious watermen, regardless of your kayaking skills,
capable of swimming onto a treacherous rocky or cliffy coastline
at night. Your kayaks, physical bodies and Big Island weather knowledge will surely be tested.
Don't think I'm trying to say that others are not capable of the
adventure. Just that it's a serious, more than likely dangerous, challenge
and safety/rescue gear would be wise to carry, besides having the skill
and knowledge to handle the islands wind, waves and weather.
I am tremendously in debt for the support I was given from
friends and family that do believe that dreams can become reality.
And thanks to Mik for again proving to be a fearless, talented,
athlete and friend.
A hui hoe (until our next meeting)
Kelly Kayak Surfing Kawaihae
Harrison is the son of legendary waterman Lorrin "Whitey" Harrison
and resides in South Kohala on the West side of the Big Island.
He is the owner/operator of Plenty Pupule Kayak (retail store) in Kona.
Hang Gliding above the clouds
Mickey Sarraille lives in Lake Elsinore CA, one of the worlds Hang
Gliding meccas. He recently stepped down as president of the Lake
Elsinore Hang Gliding Association and is somewhat famous in regional
hang gliding circles. Neither is commenting on the question "What's
Kona to Upolu Point (Through day 3)
Hamakua and Hilo Coast (Day 4-8)
Downwind past Puna To South Point (Day 9-12)