outrigger canoeing


Yesterday morning’s outrigger canoeing was the highlight of this trip, possibly the highlight of my year so far.

We made the plan very last minute. When we got to the site, the sun was not yet shining. However, the warm Hawaii ocean water was still very welcoming. There were 6 of us. A whole lot of people came and helped us putting the big canoe in the water.

I was a bit nervous, as I don’t swim well, but I didn’t let that show. Instead, I just announced it as a fact to make sure that I could be rescued quickly if we were to get into a situation.

Then off we went, into the picturesque sea. We saw many whales breaching and lobtailing in and out of water. The sun came out and one of my fellow rowers started singing/chanting Hawaiian traditional songs. It was perfection.

I sat on the outrigger with my body entirely out of the canoe when we stopped rowing to watch the whales. And I felt a tremendous amount of gratitude and happiness. It would be inconceivable for me to do this 15 years ago, let alone enjoying it. I grew from someone needed care from others constantly to an somewhat independent being who enjoy the company of people. I was proud of myself.

On the way back to shore, we stopped a few more times. At one spot someone jumped off the canoe to swim; at another stop we all just looked at the beautiful reefs through clear ocean water in awe.

It was early morning, and these days that annoying feeling always appeared in the morning. But yesterday morning my heart was all clear, with no gloomy thoughts of any kind. I loved that feeling.

Later at lunch, one of the rowers said to me that he spent the last two years focusing on meditation. He said that he realized through meditation that he was carrying a heavy burden from the past. He could still climb the mountain, but he would be so much lighter if he let it go. My little demon came back later in the day, and I wanted to find a way to let it go, to leave it behind in Hawaii. At least I tried.