Adventures of Lanikai
In case you are wondering what on Earth this is a picture of.. it is a sea turtle that I saw while kayaking this past weekend! This time I brought my waterproof camera on our weekend adventure, and whenever I saw some amazing underwater spectacle I just dunked the camera underneath the water's surface and hoped for a great shot. Unfortunately, this time I only captured a small portion of his shell and his foot. Once I build up the courage to go snorkeling, I should be able to capture more underwater footage with my new GoPro! First, I need to figure out how to use that camera, then I will combine it with snorkeling.
So we rented kayaks and parked near Kailua Beach to set off to sea. I have never kayaked before, so I was really excited about this new adventure. I have been on a canoe before though, so I figured it would be something like that. So we push off the beach and head out on the Pacific Ocean, and not 5 minutes into our journey another sea turtle comes to greet me RIGHT NEXT to my kayak! I could've reached over to pet his shell, but I will never touch a sea creature on purpose. I am starting to think these turtles are trying to tell me something, because with every new adventure they appear right next to me! It's really amazing and intriguing to me.
As we are paddling out towards "the Mokes" we experienced a brief 5 minute downpour. Thankfully it didn't fill up my kayak, because that's the only thing I was worried about. Once the wind and rain passed, the paddling became a little bit easier.. but not by much. On the way out toward the island we were paddling against the ocean tide, so the trip out was much harder than the trip back. It took us a little over an hour to paddle about a mile and a half. We also had to be very cautious of all the coral, because in some parts it reaches almost all the way to the top of sea level. We had to glide past a few areas of coral and be very mindful of where we placed our paddles to avoid scraping the surface and possibly damaging any living creatures or plants.
Once we arrived on the island, we settled in by diving into the ocean to cool off. Then we moved onward to our hiking adventure! The island is made up of volcanic rock, so it was all black and had the most interesting rock formations. After about 30 mins of hiking and taking pictures, we arrived to our cliff jumping destination! I do not have much experience in this type of adventure, and I will admit I was pretty nervous about it. If it was a straight shot down with plenty of clearance, it may have been a little less nerve-racking but that was not the case at this location. We had to jump far out from the cliff because there were lots of rocks below and small swells of water came in with the tide of the ocean. Thankfully the swells were low the day we were there! It seems like it could get pretty dangerous in a matter of seconds if the tide picked up. From the cliff's edge it is hard to tell how deep the water is below you, and there are rocks everywhere around you. So I finally built up the nerve to jump, after watching numerous others make the plunge, and it was a success!! A gush of water did go straight into my ear canal and it went very deep, so my ear hurt as soon as I was finished jumping. After we made our way around back to the beach part of the island, I was able to submerge myself in water again and the water thankfully came out of my ear.
We spent a couple hours on the small island filled with protected habitats for wild birds, and it was such a peaceful experience yet filled with excitement. I didn't really want to leave, but we had to go. We hopped in the kayaks and floated towards the mainland with huge smiles on our faces. It was an experience that I will never forget, and I am so thankful for this beautiful Earth that we have the honor of sharing with the wild. Embrace the beauty of your world. -Lorel
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