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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Sea Kayaking on Molokai

Water splashed into the kayak as we rocked back and forth. In an attempt to sit more comfortably, I had shifted my weight in the back and the boat had suddenly turned angry. My partner in the front seat let out a big “whoa” sound as I attempted to regain our balance. I knew we were going over, though, and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I could only hold on and hope to keep my camera above water.

Wading out into the ocean an hour earlier, I wondered if I was mad. As a child I took swim lessons like everyone else, but I quit after a nasty episode of Ring Around the Rosie. Things were just never the same for me after that. But nearly thirty years later I agreed to climb into the world’s biggest swimming pool on a sea kayaking adventure.

I knew full well that I’d make a jackass out of myself on this Molokai Visitors Association trip activity. But I wanted to be a trooper and give it a go. After all, I wouldn’t know what I was missing in life if I didn’t get out of my comfort zone on occasion and at least try.

The day was pleasantly warm and bright. I knew I would get sunburned somewhere on my body that I forgot to cover in lotion. In the end, it turned out to be the inside of my right ankle. I was trying to avoid that while shifting my position in the kayak, thus causing water to come rushing over the sides and into the little boat.

Everything had been going so well, too. I was confident I could handle this. It was no big deal. The wind was at our back, we were flying along, and all I needed to do was make the occasional turn with my paddle. The waves were doing the rest, sending us off at a record pace.

It was fantastic. And for a moment I had some Leonardo DiCaprio-King of the World Titanic moment. A big grin was stretched across my face and I could not have been happier. A huge charge was rushing through my soul, all because I decided to take a chance and try it.

Sure, when I agreed to it I knew there was a chance I would flip over and drown. I took lessons as a kid, but there was no way I could swim as an adult. Hell, I’m pretty sure I’m the only person on the planet who can’t even float. But I was assured by someone who I had never met before – so how bad could it really be? – that everything would be alright.

I recalled this comforting note I had received as I bobbed from side to side in the kayak. Damning myself and damning her, I knew full well I was going in and about to ruin my camera. Holding on, I tried to steady the boat. I set the paddle on my lap and put my hands out, even going so far as to hold my breath.

Yeah, as if that would do anything. Sure, I could put my hands out, but it’s not like I could really grab onto the top of the ocean and catch my balance. And there’s no way holding my breath would have kept us from rocking. Only an idiot would think that could work.

But it did work.

We slowly regained our balance in the slim kayak and continued on dozens of feet out from the shoreline. It was a good feeling, too, and I became that much more confident. In the end, I would thank my now-known comforter for getting me out into the unknown to try something new.

It was a special experience, gliding across the ocean enjoying the scenery of Molokai, singing songs, and getting kissed by the sun. I couldn’t believe what I was doing nor could I be happier about it. And then I looked down.

Our kayak was flooded. The water that had spilled over the sides when I lost our balance was all around me. If I didn’t do something quick, we’d sink.

“Don’t worry,” I shouted to my fellow kayaker in the front. “I’m scooping water out with my hands. We’ll be just fine.”

Then it hit me. I stopped. How I hadn’t noticed this earlier I did not know, but the joke was most certainly on me. We weren’t sinking. I was just oblivious to my surroundings because, for just such a situation, someone had purposefully created holes in the bottom of the kayak.

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4 Comments on “Sea Kayaking on Molokai”

  1. prwahine April 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    Jason, I’m so proud of you for stepping up to the challenge! And look how greatly you were rewarded:) Gazing back at Molokai from the ocean certainly can make you forget your worries!

  2. 2findingthebalance May 24, 2012 at 2:03 am #

    The down wind run is really the way to go..beginner or advance!…Way to go for stepping out and taking on the adventure..:)


  1. Maui Canoe Sailing on the Pacific Ocean | Jason's Travels - June 25, 2012

    […] Sailing Canoe as part of my Visit Maui-sponsored trip. And once again, just like my recent time kayaking on Molokai, I was on the water and out of my comfort zone. An horrific Ring-Around-the-Rosie incident during […]

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