Paddle Through History
Centuries before the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock, Polynesian seafarers travelled over 2,300 miles to the shores of Earth’s most remote archipelago: the Hawaiian Islands. Capable and daring, they ventured across the ocean in outrigger canoes, at a time when Western boats rarely went out of sight of land.
At Four Seasons Resort Maui, you can follow in the paddle strokes of Hawaii’s ancient forefathers, even if you are a malihini (newcomer) to the sport of outrigger canoeing. The Resort’s championship paddling team oversees a complimentary outrigger canoe programme, offered two to three times a day, four days a week.
After you help launch the canoe from the beach, and rhythmically propel the canoe forward across the calm surface of the Pacific, you’ll start to feel as if you’re travelling back in time. For in between canoeing commands shouted in Hawaiian, your guide will share Polynesian culture with you through a wala’au (talking story).
With hoe (paddle) in hand, you’ll start to learn how to read the ocean from the feel of blade as it slices through the water, how to steer your course by the patterns of wind, swell and current. Na Oli (the chants) helps connect you with your fellow paddlers.
After a while, you might wonder what would possess the ancient Polynesians to traverse the ocean in an outrigger canoe. And then it all becomes so apparently clear as you journey through a magnificent reef system. Before you, a bale of green sea turtles; passing underneath, a school of manta rays; and during the season, the strong possibilities of humpback whales. Then you’ll wonder if there’s an opening in the next session.