Kayaking Cook Bay
14 July 2008 | Cook Bay
Nobu and I took off this morning in the two man kayak. We headed to windward mostly so we could take it easy on the way back but also because we wanted to explore Cook's Bay. Our Kayak is a Clear Blue Hawaii with see through plastic in the foot wells so that you can see down into the ocean. After a couple of years on the road the clear plastic is a little fogged up but it is still useful for checking the bottom. The kayak draws about 4 inches with two adults in it so you can pretty much paddle anywhere that things aren't breaking through the surface. It also has little rubber strakes underneath which make it track pretty good. Not as high performance as a hard plastic job but the best of the inflatables and it is really nice to be able to fold it up and put it away.
We paddled up to the Sheraton resort and around the outermost overwater bungalows. The water was amazingly clear and the coral was simply vivid from the perspective of the kayak. We noticed lots of Polynesians out on the water enjoying themselves. I couldn't blame them but thought it was weird this being Monday, a normal work day. Then I remembered that it is Bastille Day. Like us, the locals were certainly making the best of it, enjoying the sun and the beautiful water.
As we rounded the point into Cook bay I noticed that, like Opanohu, it is a very deep and fairly wide bay with lots of room. Unlike Opanohu however, Cook Bay is pretty built up, with resorts and houses all along the waterfront. We paddled down to the Bali Hai resort on the east side near the end of the bay. It is a very traditional looking Polynesian resort, not as fancy as the Sheraton, but perhaps more authentic. The water in the bay is not as dazzling as the water out in the lagoon but it didn't seem to bother the many swimmers enjoying the beach and bay.
Some pleasant folks directed us to the fuel dock. I had been wanting to check the fuel dock out because it is getting to be that time. If I can fuel in an un-crowded paradise for the same price as Papeete I certainly will. Unfortunately, as best as my limited French could tell, they only pump gasoline on the dock. The Mobile station has diesel but there was no one around to ask if it could be had on the dock so we just headed back.
It was a three hour paddle round trip and a great work out. I think Nobu needed about three minutes to recover while I needed about three days. No mind, when we returned to the boat we set about using the forward halyard to swing over the rail and drop into the water for a bit. Shortly thereafter we got out the bong (10 foot diameter giant inner tube with a trampoline on it). We got to play on it for just a few minutes before the cruiser kids in the anchorage came and took over.
Shortly thereafter Dave on O'Vive came by and invited us to go diving. We were planning a dive ourselves so we happily joined the group. Hideko, Nobu and I buddied up in a group of about 10 cruisers. Just northeast of the Opanohu pass there are two blue dive moorings. We all tied up to the moorings and dove up current and back. It was a nice dive site with lots of coral (it is of course a barrier reef) and we had a wonderful visit from a fearless turtle who inspected Nobu very closely. We saw a black tip reef shark and lots of other fish.
It had been a great and very active day.