Hui Wa'a Kaukahi

Nui a lehulehu na mokupuni, 'a'ole lawa ka manawa

So many islands, so little time!

People walking on Ahu o Laka, the Kaneohe Bay sandbar

He‘eia Kea to Ahu o Laka 2024

Story and Cover Photo by Joe Hu

Other photos by Terry Shimabukuro

June 9, 2024

It was a great day to paddle to Ahu o Laka, the Kāneʻohe Bay sandbar. Eight paddlers met at the Heʻeia Kea Canoe Hale. This was the first club paddle for new member Susan Wilcox and the first after a brief hiatus for Marie Stuart. It was low tide so we had a sandy beach to set up our kayaks. At our captain’s meeting we did our radio check on channel 72 and outlined the route we would take using the red then green channel markers.

Launching a little after 9am, we headed north to our first waypoint the red channel marker marking the entrance to Heʻeia Kea Harbor. We had to stay away from the marker itself as there was a submerged shallow reef around the marker and a northeast wind was trying to push us over the reef. With Kepapa Island to the north, we proceeded NNE towards the green channel marker which marked the ocean side of the Kāneʻohe Bay Channel.

As we crossed the channel, we waited for a few motorized boats to pass across our path. Always good to paddle as a group when crossing a busy channel. After passing the green channel marker and some white poles marking shallow areas, the water turned a light blue as we could see the sandy bottom of the sandbar coming up to us. We then began to pass coral heads easily seen through the crystal clear waters.

Norm joined us with his power boat and Terry anchored his boat in ankle-deep water with the rest of us rafting up to his boat. Most of us got out of our boats and appeared to walk on the water as we explored Ahu o Laka. Stan McCrae passed us on his super fast Hobie Kayak sailing to Kualoa where he reported traditional waʻa anchored there for FestPAC.

We then walked the sandbar looking for snorkeling sites. A number of turtles skirted by the edge of the sandbar passing almost under us. We rescued a kayak that started to drift away from Kat as she followed one of the turtles.

Rested, we got back into our boats and headed south back to Heʻeia Kea, identified by the tall white masts of boats anchored there and the dock buildings nearby. The bay was calm with little wind and waves. The tide was higher as we landed with a little of the beach left. A fresh water shower and Terry’s water hose ended this pleasant EZ Glider paddle.