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Outrigger canoe: how challenging?

Cincinnati, Ohio
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300 posts
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Outrigger canoe: how challenging?

Hi -- the outrigger canoe trips look wonderful but I'm wondering how challenging they are.

Specifically, I'm guessing the 6-to-a-boat thing means this is less demanding than kayaking?

And then about the snorkeling -- is the snorkeling off the boat, and if it is, isn't it pretty hard to get in and out of the canoe? I ask because I'm traveling with 3 kids, 8, 11 and 12, who will be new to both snorkeling and canoeing, and a husband who has cancer. He's doing great, is basically in remission right now, but his daily meds do mean he has much less energy and muscle than he used to. I of course wouldn't be pressuring him to go on this outing, but if he can handle it, I think he'd want to...In large part we're doing the trip because he's better now than he probably will be in the future.

Also, I was thinking we'd go with a private tour with Hawaiian Paddle Sports, so that we wouldn't be slowing other people down. So what do you think -- doable and worth it or crazy to consider?

thanks

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NORTH CAROLINA
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for Oahu
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1. Re: Outrigger canoe: how challenging?

Are you talking about the Hawaiian Sailing Canoe out of Wailea? If so I have looked at their website and it says you can participate or not in the crew part so your husband could just relax. I'm not sure how you get on and off for snorkeling but I imagine they might have some type of ladder you should email them.

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Wailea
Wailea
Maui, HI
Calgary
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2. Re: Outrigger canoe: how challenging?

The outrigger can be challenging, but we went with Hawaiian Paddle Sports a couple of years ago on an outrigger trip and had an amazing experience. They are very professional and the trip is a lot of fun. I am sure they can do something for you and you are right - private is fabulous! We were even lucky enough to see a whale go right under the canoe. We did not get out for the snorkel part (I was just happy to be so near the whales in the canoe) so I can't comment there.

Calgary
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3. Re: Outrigger canoe: how challenging?

The outrigger can be challenging, but we went with Hawaiian Paddle Sports a couple of years ago on an outrigger trip and had an amazing experience. They are very professional and the trip is a lot of fun. I am sure they can do something for you and you are right - private is fabulous! We were even lucky enough to see a whale go right under the canoe. We did not get out for the snorkel part (I was just happy to be so near the whales in the canoe) so I can't comment there.

If you are concerned about difficulty give them a call. They are very receptive and will probably be able to tailor something for you. We are signed up with them for surfing lessons this March.

Orange County, CA
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4. Re: Outrigger canoe: how challenging?

I just did the complimentary paddle with the Kea Lani. It was about 45 minutes on the water, about half the time paddling, the other half government mandated whale watching. Not too challenging, and I'm out of shape. And we even had a race with a local outrigger group. I think what was said upstream is true, if you get tired, you can rest. Going out with the Andaz canoe tomorrow.

Orange County, CA
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5. Re: Outrigger canoe: how challenging?

Oh, and getting back into the boat is not easy. Last time I jumped in to hear the whales. Challenging for those without a lot of upper body strength, but not impossible. Not sure if the paid boats have an easier way to get back in. I doubt it. Best to call.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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6. Re: Outrigger canoe: how challenging?

Which company are you considering going out with? Different companies will offer different activities. There are no ladders off an outrigger canoe!! Have a link to what you are considering?

I wouldn't put kids who are new to snorkeling in a canoe then try to teach them to snorkel. Too much to have to pay attention to. How are they in deep water?

Personally, I would teach them to snorkel from shore then take them on one of the catamaran boat tours.

Maui
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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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7. Re: Outrigger canoe: how challenging?

The canoes are very heavy and large...............so no, it won't be easier than a kayak. I think instead of trying to do a lesson/snorkel type of trip (as great as those are), you should look into the one in Kihei, which is more of an 'observation' type trip. BUT--you are still expected to help launch and paddle. It may well be too much for your husband.

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Kihei
Kihei
Maui, HI
Cincinnati, Ohio
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8. Re: Outrigger canoe: how challenging?

thanks for the replies. Fishdiva asked for the tour we're considering -- here's the link:

hawaiianpaddlesports.com/outrigger-canoe-tou…

I was looking at the turtle town trip (which says it works for families with small kids...sounded reassuring) but there is also a whale watching only option. We'll be there April 5 -12...I think there will still be some whales then, just fewer than there are right now.

As far as the kids, they have used a snorkel and goggles, but just in a pool. I assume that in deeper water full of fish, it could be more daunting. I was thinking we'd do this canoe trip later in the week, and a molokini trip earlier, so they'd get the snorkeling 101 there. I haven't done a ton of snorkeling, but when I have, it seemed easier to me to go off boats than off the shore. I feel like the water's usually calmer, and you're not quite as close to the coral so less stress about making sure you don't contact it, and then of course there's avoiding the whole graceful fins-on-the-land entry/exit! But if I'm wrong, let me know if it's really smarter to teach them from the shore.

thanks for all the advice

Maui
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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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9. Re: Outrigger canoe: how challenging?

I hate to rain on your parade..............but again, the canoe are very heavy and large. These aren't little cute canoes, but 50-55 foot long monsters.

I would do a whale watch on a cat, maybe change it up and do one from West Maui if you are decided to do Molokini.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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300 posts
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10. Re: Outrigger canoe: how challenging?

swmarket -- don't apologize for raining on my parade. if the parade will be rainy, I'd rather know now than to spend the time and money mucking up the trip with something that could highlight lost capabilities

thanks much