Hawaii Solitude on Molokai
After a few days of looking down onto the Pacific from the tops of tall cliffs, we were aching to get into the water. Satisfaction came in the form of two hot-pink kayaks, which we rented at Molokai Ranch. Though the resort is not the island's only source for kayaks, it's the only one ranch guests can get to without a car. Having returned our borrowed wheels the day before, this was our only option. The downside: The ranch offers only guided kayak trips, not solo rentals.
Anyone who insists on paddling without supervision can drive to Molokai Outdoor Activities and rent sit-on-tops by the hour. If you're not sure if it's worth getting in a car, consider this: Our group consisted of just one other couple and a leader with the good sense to keep his presence to a quiet minimum. There was still plenty of solitude.
After a short bus ride from the outfitter's center, we dragged the sit-on-tops from a secluded, white-sand beach into a calm bay near the southwest corner of the island. It had been drizzling all morning, the kind of rain that's so warm and light it tickles when it hits your arms. The water near the shore was murky from the weather, so we paddled out beyond the reef, where we could see the fish swimming beneath us. Ancient Hawaiian fishponds jutted outward from the shore. Up and down the coast, rainbows connected the patchwork of gray and blue sky.
Looking onto Molokai from the water, it was easy to imagine that we were paddling the perimeter of our own private island. Not a single sign of civilization was visible along the coast. Untrimmed shrubs grew freely to the edges of the sand. The largest footprints were the ones made by deer. My husband and I paddled ahead of the others, around a bend and into a tiny bay, where we found ourselves completely alone.
This, I thought, is the Hawaii that everyone looks for and few seem to find. As we waited for the other paddlers to catch up to us, we pulled our kayaks close together and didn't say a word.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication