Saturday, March 5, 2011

Paddle Log #23: Hickam Beach

For my last weekend on the island, I made an effort to get out and enjoy Hawaii while it lasted.

View of Kaneohe coming out of the H-3 Tunnel

Saturday I took two of my shipmates on a drive around the northern end of the island.  We visited Tropical Farms and Waimea Valley.

As I've stated on previous visits to Tropical Farms, every time I got there I learn about some new fruit that I'd never heard of before.  This time around I got to learn about the Star Apple.  It looks more like a plumb on the outside, but when you slice it open you see the star pattern on the inside.

Star Apple

We stopped and had lunch at the famous Giovanni's Shrimp Truck as we drove around the northern end of the island.

Mmmm, Giovanni's :-9

I continue to be amazed by the quantity and variety of tropical flowers I see at Waimea Valley.  Every time I go, I notice some spectacular new flower that I hadn't previously seen there. As usual, I took a ton of pictures, but I'll just share three of them here:

 Not sure what this one was.

 Ruellia Chartacea

Finger of God

We got to Waimea around 4:30 and they supposedly close at 5 p.m., so we didn't bother taking our swimming suits in with us.  However, the staff didn't seem to be in any hurry to push people out the gate at 5 p.m.  I think they just close the entrance and don't let anyone new in at 5 p.m., but there were still plenty of people swimming under the waterfall when we left.

 Waimea Falls 
(standing in front of my eldest son's favorite rock)

Sunday I made a point to get out on the water one last time.  I wanted to try Kaneohe, but the forecast called for scattered showers all day on the windward side.  So I went to Hickam instead.

Hickam Beach

You aren't allowed to go very far from Hickam Beach.  You pretty much have to stay inside the box formed by the taxiway and the runway of Honolulu International Airport (see Garmin track below).  Even though it was a fairly short paddle, I'm glad I got one last trip out on the water to enjoy warm water and the peaceful lapping of the water against the kayak hull.

This is as far as you are allowed to paddle away from the beach.

It was cool to watch the jets taxi by to the runway. Actually, as I sit here finishing this blog post, I am in the San Francisco airport.  Just this morning, I was on a plane just like that, looking out the passenger windows toward Hickam Beach.

On item of note:  In hindsight, this is an excellent spot to take your kids and give kayaking a try.  It is a lot easier to get in and out here and not have the winds pushing you away from the marina like at Rainbow Marina on Pearl Harbor where I first tried kayaking with my eldest son. 

Stats for the paddle log:
  • Date: 27 February 2011
  • Time In: 3:20 p.m.
  • Time Out: Approx 4:00 p.m.
  • Elapsed:  40 min
  • Moving Time (GPS): 34 min
  • Stopped Time (GPS):  6 min (had difficulty getting watch to stop after getting out of the water.  Had to rinse with fresh water and dry off before it would accept the "stop" command.)
  • Mileage (GPS): 1.8 miles
  • Sea State: 1
  • Winds: Very little
  • Air Temp:  77F
  • Water Temp: Not sure.  Warm.  Bathwater.
  • Current:  None.
  • Gauge Height:  N/A.
  • Avg Speed (GPS):  3.2 mph
  • Max Speed by (GPS):  4.5 mph
  • Rapids?  None. 
  • Hazards?  None.
  • Kit: Rental kayak (Ocean Kayak Scrambler). No hat, NRS paddling gloves, short sleeve shirt, swim trunks, Keen sandals.
  • Configuration: Solo.
  • Route:  Put-in at Hickam Beach Kayak Rental hut, clockwise around the rectangular basin formed by the Honolulu Airport taxiway and runway, then counterclockwise back to Hickam Beach.
  • Other comments (such as wildlife spotted): Many crabs on rocks, coral, sergeant fish.