Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Paddling around Oahu on a SUP- 124 miles in 3 days- by Robert Stehlik

Ok, we did not do it on consecutive days and it was not a circumnavigation but Jeff Chang and I paddled around the entire coastline of Oahu, 124 miles total in 3 days, here is the story.

Originally we had talked about circumnavigating Oahu in 3 consecutive days,  we were waiting for good conditions (light wind) to be able to paddle all the way around Oahu.  Unfortunately it is very rare for the winds to shut off for three days in a row and for us to be able to make time to do it.  
So, this mission started as just a long day of paddling, we wanted to see how far we could paddle in one day and how we would feel afterwards.  After Stand Up Paddling all day for 47 miles, we decided that we would try to paddle around the island in three days, just not consecutive.  We would wait for good conditions and choose a day when we would both be able to go.

Jeff Chang was training for the OC1 Molokai race so he paddled on his outrigger while I was using an 18' Ohana SUP board that Jared Vargas left here when he moved back to California.  This board is not very good for downwinders and quite tippy but it's fast and smooth in calmer waters, one of the fastest SUP boards in flat water I ever used, actually.  We launched at Pinky's Restaurant in Kailua before sunrise and started paddling towards the Mokulua Islands.  The wind was light and the water was fairly calm until we got closer to Makapuu, where the water was rough and choppy, as usual, and I had to paddle on my knees around Makapuu point.  

Here are some pictures and GPS tracks of the three day journey:
Sun rising behind the Mokulua Islands outside of Lanikai
Stand Up Paddle adventure
Day one: 47 miles from Kailua to Ko Olina

Day 2: 42.6 miles- Kailua to Haleiwa

Our launch area on day 2 was where President Obama comes for his Christmas vacation, you can see the Mokulua Islands in the distance before the sunrise.

The point at the Kaneohe Marine Coprs base reminded me of Ireland for some reason

Paddling along the Windward coast, the straight line took us pretty far out.
Finally approaching Turtle Bay after paddling almost 30 miles. 
Re-fuleing stop  at the Turtle Bay resort 

Day 3: 35 miles- Haleiwa to Ko Olina

Launching in front of Surf 'N Sea on our third day
Launching in Haleiwa

There were some big waves rolling in at Avalanches

The channel marker outside Haleiwa
Stand Up Paddle technique
An efficient stroke is key when paddling for 8 hours+ 

Coming around Ka'ena Point

Getting closer to our final destination, Ko Olina

A pod of dolphins passes directly in front of me outside Mokuleia

Coming around Ka'ena Point to the Westside was spectacular

We saw lots of sea creatures, including whales, sharks, dolphins and turtles.  A huge whale surfaced about 20 feet away from me, which freaked me out.
GPS summary of the three days of paddling
Day 3: Haleiwa to Ko Olina

Aloha, Robert Stehlik

1 comment:

  1. Love you stuff Bro! We are doing the same thing over here in Seattle, so many places to explore, and when you paddle around new areas you have a completely unique and intimate experience with the place.


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