While we were staying at the Disney Aulani resort in Ko Olina, this colorful outrigger canoe by the lagoon kept grabbing my attention. So, I went by Makiki Joe’s water sport hut to inquire about it. I found out that I could go sailing along the Ko Olina coast this beautiful outrigger canoe with Hawaiian Ocean Adventures for $99 per person. I immediately booked a sailing for Andy and me.
The hour long sail took us out of the protected lagoon and into the open water. We first went south, hoping to see some honu (Hawaiian sea turtles) and we did see two or three. I love seeing the honu surface to poke their heads out of the water.
Next, we sailed north on the look out for dolphins and we found a nice-sized pod coming towards the shore. What a show they put on – leaping and spinning out of the water. We saw some baby dolphins arching out of the water by their moms – oh my goodness, they were adorable!
The owner, Nakoa Prejean, was born and raised in Hawaii. As he navigated us along the coast, Nakoa told us about how he perpetuates the art of Hawaiian canoe building and sailing. He builds his own canoes in the same fashion as ancient canoes, but with modern materials. Not only does he build canoes, but he also donates his time to teach this skill to aspiring, young canoe builders and sailors.
While we were on this excursion, there were a few points when Nakoa used a motor to help get us to where we were going, but we also had some really awesome moments of just paddling and sailing like ancient Polynesian explorers would have done. We caught some really nice wind in the sails that was absolutely exhilarating to be gliding so quickly just a few feet above the water’s surface.
Andy prepared this excellent video of our tour that includes coastal scenes and dolphins swimming above and below the water:
(Email subscribers use this link to access our video of canoe sailing with Hawaiian Ocean Adventures.)
This tour can take up to six guests at a time. Andy and I were lucky that no one else had signed up when we did, so we essentially had a private sail. We loved this sail and highly recommend it.
Here’s what to know when you go:
- Mornings tend to offer the smoothest sailing.
- Wear sunscreen.
- Bring a waterproof camera
- Hang on to your hat when the wind picks up.
- It’s best not to wear or bring anything that you wouldn’t want to get wet. There was an place for us to store stuff away from splashes.
- Hawaiian Ocean Adventures also offers canoe sailing tours on the windward (east) side of Oahu.