My Wife and I were visiting Hawaii for our 7th anniversary. I have lived on Oahu twice while in the service spending six years on Oahu and visiting four of the major islands, Oahu, Kauai, Hawaii, and Maui. So since this was her first time and has always been her dream vacation I wanted to plan the trip around her interests. One of the items she wanted to do was kayaking. So after reviewing many of the options on trip advisor and other sites I decided upon Kayak Hanalei. One thing I liked was their family owned business, and the video on their website made me comfortable with booking through them. We had nine nights in the islands and were visiting Kauai for our last four nights. We booked the trip on Monday, June 11, which was our anniversary. We went out on the 8:00 to 12:00 excursion. We met up with our fellow adventures at the Ching Yung Shopping Center location of Kayak Hanalei. Goldie, owner with her husband Capt. Dave, met us there and gave us instructions on how to pack up our gear. My wife and I had our own snorkeling mask and tubes so we were fitted for fins. Once everyone was fitted for gear and had their items packed in the waterproof bags provided to us, they loaded up in the van, driven by guide Kamua, to be driven down to the Kayaks. We decided to drive since we had a rental car. Once at the kayaks we were introduced to our other guide, Harry, and given instructions on how to paddle and what to do and not to do. We then loaded onto the kayaks and began the trip up the river. There were eight kayaks in our group. My wife and I were the first ones launched so we got to move out ahead of the pack while the others were launched. Once all of the kayaks were in the water Kamua and Harry grouped us up and gave us a brief on some of the aspects of the river and the scenery we were looking at including history and language. We then proceeded up river to our turn around point. The river was very scenic and calm and we passed other individuals kayaking on their own or paddling paddle boards, a very serene picture. We were able to use our cameras to get some good shots and Harry came over and took our picture for us as well. Once we got back towards the bay we were given instructions on how to move into the bay and what route to take. Again, once we were all out into the calmer part we were gathered up and given further safety instructions for the move through Hanalei By towards, Hideaways beach where would snorkel. Also, while we were waiting, a couple of sea turtles dropped by for a quick visit which everyone enjoyed. The weather had been nice during our stay but the winds had produced some swells with waves a little larger than normal for this time of year. Harry towed one kayak across the bay since the occupants were older and needed some extra assistance. Once at hideaways we beached the kayaks and were then given fish guides and a lesson on the various fish we would see while snorkeling. After that, Harry and Kamua took those folks who wanted to go into the deeper parts of the reef out and those of us who didn’t snorkeled closer to shore enjoying the water closer to the beach. My wife went with the more adventurous group and I stayed closer but was still able to see many of the colorful fish in the reef including the famous Humuhumunukunukuapua'a. Once everyone had a good amount of snorkeling, we were brought back to the Kayaks for lunch. We had fresh fruit, turkey sandwiches, chips and drinks I went for my favorite the Guava Nectar. After lunch, Harry and Kamua played Ukuleles for us and “talked story.” I even got to discuss the fine art of Emu building and cooking the Pig with Kamua and Harry since I wanted to try and recreate a luau when I returned home. I also body surfed for a little bit prior to loading back up on the Kayaks and heading in. The trip in was easy and once in we turned in our gear and said goodbye. It was a great day, my wife was thrilled and I was more than happy having been able to fulfill one of her dream vacation wishes. Big thanks to Harry, Kamua, Goldie, and the others at Kayak Hanalei for a very memorable and fun experience. I highly recommend them to others wishing to take in kayaking during their trip to Kauai.
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