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Circumnavigate The Big Island

Monday, April 1, 2024, 9:00 AM until Friday, May 31, 2024, 5:00 PM
Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Carl Kuhnen
HASK Paddle Trip
Registration is required before Friday, March 29, 2024 at 11:00 PM
Payment In Full In Advance Only
HASK members + spouses or significant others only - no obligations or outside communications for the 60 day duration of the trip
Available Slots:
No Fee
No Fee

This will be a supported circumnavigation of Hawaii's Big Island in about 60 days with an optional 20 day extension to recircumnavigate the island by bicycle. Our leisurely schedule will allow plenty of time to explore the fabulous natural features of the island. Registration is limited to HASK members and their spouse or significant other. HASK will pick up your airfare and land accommodations and also arrange sufficient paid vacation time with your boss and a pass from your spouse or significant other if they can not participate. Here's an overview of where we're going:



We will depart IAH with our boats and gear at noon on April 1st for on a chartered Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner and be transported to our villas at Mauna Lani Point in Kohala, where we will stay for two nights, touring the local land attractions and preparing for our voyage.


Our first day will feature a VIP tour of local scenic and historical sights, including a private tour of Pearl Harbor and a close look at the inside of a nuclear submarine. A traditional grass skirt and Hawaiian shirt will be issued to each participant to wear duing our time in Kohala - Kona. Our second day will be spent distributing and packing our initial portion of provisions, which will be waiting for us when we arrive. Please keep your second and final night in Kona free for a gala luau reception and sendoff hosted by Hawaii's Governor Josh Green. Early on Wednesday April 3 we will depart Kona with a traditional Hawaiian ceremony of blessing conducted by local schoolchildren. We will paddle our first 36 miles from Kai 'Opua Canoe Club in Kona to the Kawaihae Canoe Club in traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoes.





There we will pick up our own boats and gear and paddle clockwise around the island, past the famous Pololu Valley and along the Hamakua Coast, to take advantage of the a 'e (trade winds) on the east side. We will overnight where we wish and will make a number of scheduled stops at special places and to take delivery of food, water, beverages, ice, and clean laundry. HASK's expert fishermen will keep us supplied with a variety of fresh fish for dinners. We will pause to snorkel the reefs and soak in the geothermal tide pools. The following photos show just a few of the scenic gems we will visit.


a typical Pololu Valley wahine 


 Hamakua Coast 




Makalawena Beach 



 Paddling with whales



If lava is flowing into the sea for us at Hawaii Volcanoes NP, rolling classes will be cancelled.


Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Gardens 


This is a Level 3 trip only because of the 300 mile distance. Your trip leader has arranged for an ample number of Level 2 paddling days to comfortably complete the journey. On days when it is neccesary due to Level 3+ conditions or to accommodate other users (such as surfers and sailors), we will rest, explore, and discuss weighty topics over good wine and food. Caution: as a Level 2 - 3 trip, surfing is officially not part of this trip. If you choose to do so, you must be properly equipped with a helmet and you are on your own. A reliable roll is recommended.



Upon our return to Kona, we will paddle into the harbor escorted by spinner dolphins and the U. S. Coast Guard and be welcomed by a Marine honor guard and a US Navy band from Pearl Harbor. We will enjoy a few well-deserved days at leisure before the ticker-tape parade on the morning we fly home.


Details for the optional 20-day extension for bicycle circumnavigation will be developed if there is sufficient interest.


Hazards............................................:  none

Third Party event requirement.........  DO NOT EAT FROM THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL



Trip Leader……………......:  Carl Kuhnen
Assistant Trip Leaders ........TBD
Emergency Initiator............. TBD

HASK Trip Rating*………..:  Level 2 conditions, Level 3 distance
Ready to Launch at..........:   9:00 a.m. April 3, 2024

Duration…………………....:  60 - 80 days
Paddling Miles……………..: 300 miles 
Maximum participants…....: 100
Emergency #s, Leader #. ..  713-444-3315 cell


Distance from Houston…. .:  3822 miles
Fees (excluding ACA)…....:  None mandatory. Voluntary gratuities for trip leader.


Every participant must wear a PFD and sign an ACA Waiver. Please complete prior to the trip so we can all get on the water a little quicker.  HASK members who have provided a waiver to the HASK Membership Director in the past year do not need to complete a waiver. If you not have a current waiver on file, please download and print an ACA Adult Waiver. Read the waiver, fill it out, and sign it to save everyone a few minutes at the put-in.