17 miles

One of the perks of living in one of the most beautiful places in the world is that 

on any given day there is an adventure waiting to happen.

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On our check list of “things we must do while living on Kauai” has been to kayak up the Napali coast.

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Last year we swam a teeny tiny portion of it {you can read about it here}

and even though the swim was something i never really wanted to do……

i did it.

I probably won’t do it again

{call me chicken sheet if you want}

 i’m not a swimmer but there are things in life that you just can’t pass up on doing

because it gives you a notch on that tree of life that just proves you can conquer .

When and if that day comes that we leave our life here……..

i want to look back at it and smile that those were the days of our lives.

Like sands through the hourglass….

{raise of hands people on who watches that soap???}

I’m more of a Young and the Restless sort of groupie……if you must know.

Anyhoo

tap tap tap

This year on our list of things to do was to kayak 17 miles up the Napali coast

two arms

open ocean

17 miles

OMG

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{up above is Bryan’s super secret hand sign for get me out of here…asap}

do people actually WANT to do things like this???

We’ve seen the coast by boat……numerous times…..but to kayak it…..

holy sheet people….holy sheet.

The shop i work at a few nights a week shares it’s space with two guys who own Napali Kayak

a kayak company that will take the fool  people who actually wants to kayak the 17 miles up the coast.

I’m there working when the van pulls back in around 730 pm bringing back all the kayakers and their gear.

The people get off and high-five each other……showing off their blistered hands and proving that they could do it……

so why couldn’t i do it? 

I like blistered hands

I like high fiving people.

This last June my aunt, uncle and grown cousins came to Kauai to spend 2 weeks with us.

We did some amazing hiking….showed off the island and even talked them into doing the kayak trip with us.

The day before we were supposed to head out a northeastern swell came in and the wind picked up.

The guys cancelled two days of kayaking……and we were one of the cancellations.

oh thank you god

i prayed that day because deep down i really didn’t want to commit.

did i mention 17 miles

blistered hands

chapped lips

no vodka?

Fast forward to this last monday when i show up at work and all i could hear was how

EPIC

the water conditions were going to be on wednesday.

EPIC EPIC EPIC

My boss said it was going to be EPIC

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The kayak guys said it was going to be EPIC

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so i called bryan at home and asked him if he was feeling

EPIC

and he said yeah.

I asked if he felt epic enough to want to kayak the coast the day after tomorrow and he said hell ya.

so i walked out and asked the guys what are the chances that us two could get in on that

EPIC wednesday kayak trip.

We were the last two openings they had…..it was meant to be.

so i went home and cried because i’m a sissy inside and needed to prepare my mind that we were really going to

do this and there was no backing out now.
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my biggest fear really wasn’t that we were going to be lost at sea

or that there would be sharks

and i was really ok knowing that i would be so blistered that i would need a hand transplant one day

no….none of that really bothered me.

what really scared me was that i was going to do something that i wouldn’t be able to finish

that i would set myself up for failure.

What bothered me also was that we were going to be gone for 13 hours and i needed a crew of people

to take over the home front so that me and the mister could do something like this.

We had to be at the Kayak shop by 6 in the morning…which meant my kids were going to have to get up themselves

feed themselves

clothe themselves

maybe brush their teeth and god forbid should they possibly make their beds

but to get out the door and onto the bus without me there.

that is freaky

because we were going to be out in the ocean with no communication for 12 hours.

but i had friends in place to cover all the checking in and making sure no one was lost

or never made it on a bus.

It took a village….seriously……

it took 4 different friends and one babysitter to make sure all my kids

made it to where they had to be and so on and so forth.

good lordy

I had to have a cocktail just to figure out all the arranging.

but guess what

no one cried and no one got lost or left on a bus or anything.

{except for Fin who called a little after 630 to tell us he wanted us to come home…..

but i told him where the chocolate chips were and all was good in the world}

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after we checked in at 6 am….we loaded up in the van with all the kayaks and headed up to Haena 

where we went over safety rules and all that good stuff.

There were 5 Kayaks all together……and that included one of the kayaks which had Annie who was our

fearless leader for the day.

One kayak had 2 locals who had done this before…….and the other two kayaks had tourists.

Each kayak had 2 people in it.

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There is no way we could have done it solo

no way

no how

but that’s not to say it can’t be done.

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When i tell you that the day was going to be EPIC …..the guys were right.

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There are only a handful of days over the summer that the water is like glass and the wind is so light

you aren’t fighting it…..nor were there any swells…..which meant we were able to go into 

every

single

sea cave

and explore to our hearts delight.

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About 12 miles into the adventure and right when you really think you might die

and your lips are getting chapped 

we pulled into Miloli’i beach for a picnic lunch.

We had a whole hour and a half to explore

or sleep

or sleep

or drink a cold beer that bryan stuck in our pack at the last minute

then sleep

before we had to load back up and finish the last 5 miles

two arms

open ocean

only 5 more miles to go.

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we pushed off after lunch and about a mile into the last five….

we saw a little boat up ahead of us and the people were waving at us…

so of course i was all like

waving back at them

let’s go high five everyone a bit early but i’m down with it blistered hands and all

when we realized they weren’t waving at us for the hell of it….

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they were waving at us to let us know there were 2 monk seals in the water playing

{wink wink}

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very rarely does one ever see two of them…..

mostly they are alone and lying on the beach in the warm sand all happy

with no blisters or chapped lips.
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 it was one of the highlights of the entire trip……

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after that little display we knew we had to forge on…..

just a few more miles to go…..

and as you can see in the next photo…..some people started to poop out.

note to self: next time sit in the back so no one knows you aren’t paddling

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and just as we were thinking we really couldn’t make that last two miles….

we rounded the corner ……the winds picked up

and i mean picked up so much so that the winds brought us right into view of our landing beach.

oh happy day

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we all lined up and took turns coming in for the landing…..

and i would like to happily announce that we did not flip the kayak over once….

nope…..

zilch…..

nada….

not climbing in and out while we were in the ocean

not coming in for the beach landing at Miloli’i  

and not coming in for our final landing at Polihale beach.

DSCF0110We did it.

17 miles of open sea kayaking up the Napali coast.
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all 17 miles were so worth the blistered hands….

the chapped lips….

the shoulders that felt like a semi truck ran over them…..

the no vodka.

This was one of those times that we can look back on and know we did it together….as a team….

and we lived to talk about it.

We got out of the van after the 2.5 hour drive home and we all high fived each other….

like i knew we would…..

blisters and all.

Comments

  1. Oh, Kasey, there you go being all inspirational again. You make me want to be brave.

  2. This is fabulous. And you are soooo brave. You are my current hero. And might I add, the photos are
    amazing!

  3. Again, YOW! That’s me howling like a wolf for you because this sounds so bad-a** that I think it deserves a howl or two. Seriously impressed over here. I’ve done a boat trip there twice and those mountains just stay with you, how lucky that you explored all of the little caves and coves so up close. I can only imagine the magic!!! Now go have your self some boxed wine.

  4. MARILYN ADAMS says:

    you…..are…….amazing!! I cannot even begin to imagine paddling all that way. When the zodiac rafts ran out of Hanalei we did that a couple of different times (many many years ago), and I thought bouncing on the side of that raft was exhausting. I cannot even imagine paddling! so what’s next?

  5. Jamie Parker says:

    Holy Moly! I don’t have to kill you! You came back alive!!! I read each word of this slightly holding my breath. I’m so happy I have a friend that did this, because that’s about as close as it gets for me. Wow, we live in an amazing place. I love you, friend.

  6. epic! holy cow girl. that’s a big giant check mark you just made on life:) so happy for you!!

  7. i am so glad you did it too! love the pictures, love the can do , most of all love you can say ‘we did it together!’ 17 miles is a long trip!
    this’ might’ give me the courage to kayak out into the gulf of mexico from here in sw FL. but then again, i will admit i ‘am’ afraid of the creatures in the water, and i ‘am’ afraid of the water itself as i am not a strong swimmer. but next time i think of it i am going to say ‘Kasey’ took the plunge and so can i!
    thanks for the push! xo jody

  8. Awesome!!! So glad you got to do it…now my turn!!!

  9. that’s flippin awesome!!!!!!!

  10. Wow!! You all are so adventurous I’m totally jealous of that gorgeous scenery and awesome experience!! You all really know how to live life to the fullest… You all ooze Epicocity (I may have just made up that word)

  11. Loooove your island adventures!

  12. great job! Love the pictures! thanks for sharing your adventures with us!

  13. That is really something to remember! Wow. The colors are so beautiful, bright, and cheerful. Must have been amazing in person. Good for you!

  14. Wow! My wife were there in June and felt we could not handle that Kayak trip for all the same reasons you cited! Love your pictures of my new favorite place on earth – Hanalei (I love just saying “Hanalei”).

  15. you are living the dream and the fact that you know it makes it even more fabulous!
    also y’all look great!!

  16. totally awesome! I want to do that!

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