- What should we bring with us?
Bring everything that you would bring for a day at the beach, including: swimwear, towels, a change of clothes, footwear that can get wet, reef-safe sunscreen, your phone or camera, and your adventurous spirit!
- Do you have lockers or a place to leave valuables?
For all of our guided and self-guided packages, we provide waterproof dry bags to take anything you want to take on the water that cannot get wet. We also have a secure lock box at our office to store any valuables that you bring but don't want to take on the water.
- Does the guided kayak tour go to the Sandbar?
The guided kayak and snorkel tour does not go to the main sandbar for a couple reasons, but mainly because the main sandbar doesn't have a lot of coral reef or the best snorkeling out there. The guided tour goes to a separate but similar patch reef that has a lot more coral and makes for much better snorkeling and more marine life. If you want to go the sandbar, a self-guided option is the way to go.
- When is the best time to go to the sandbar?
It is always a good time to go to the sandbar! But if you want to experience the sandbar when it is a dry, exposed beach, that only happens during the lowest tides of the day right around full and new moons. The time of day that occurs changes throughout the year. You can always call us when planning your adventure to get an update of the tide predictions.
- Can I (or somebody in my group) ride on the escort boat?
We are not permitted to have guests ride on the escort boat unless it is an emergency or evacuation situation. The boat can always tow you if the kayaking is too strenuous, but we are not allowed to let anybody but our guide ride on the boat.
- Will we see sea turtles?
While we can never guarantee any wildlife sightings, Kane'ohe Bay is home to many Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. There is a good chance of seeing turtles and a lot of other marine life, but you have to be in the right place at the right time. The longer you spend searching, the better your chances are.
- Are there sharks/will we see sharks?
Your chances of seeing a shark are very, very slim. While Kane'ohe Bay is known for its hammerhead population, they are very shy, timid, and reclusive. If you are afraid of them, they are more afraid of you. They stay away from people and boats. Consider yourself extremely lucky if you see a shark. Seriously.
- Why are we closed on Sundays and federal holidays?
We apologize for the inconvenience. Kane'ohe Bay regulations prohibit us from operating any tours or rentals on Sundays or federal holidays.
- Will we get cold out there?
It is never too cold in Hawaii's tropical environment to go kayaking and snorkeling.
But, believe it or not, sometimes even in Hawaii it can get a little chilly out there, especially in the winter months. Especially if you spend time snorkeling or in the water, it can feel chilly when you're wet and in the wind. We recommend bringing a light sweatshirt or jacket, and a light wet suit top or rash guard to have just in case.
- Why doesn't the guided tour go to the sandbar?
The sandbar is an awesome destination that we highly recommend kayaking to on your own. But it is not the best snorkeling area, and since snorkeling is a big part of the guided tour, we take you to a different patch reef that is similar to the sandbar, but with less boats and people, and far more coral reef and marine life viewing opportunity.
- How do we get in and out of the kayaks?
We have sit-on-top style kayaks that are very easy to get on and off. It's easiest from a shallow area like the sandbar or the other patch reefs. The best way is put a hand on either side of the kayak, turn and sit down rear end first into the seat, and then swing your legs and feet in.
- Do the kayaks flip over/capsize?
While all of our kayaks are very stable, recreational style sit-on-top kayaks, flipping over is not likely, but it is always possible. If you do flip over, it's okay. You just flip the kayak back right side up and climb back on. Don't worry. It's all part of the fun, and it happens to the best of us!
- Where can we leave the kayak to go snorkeling?/Is there anywhere to land?
There are times when the sandbar is a big, dry, exposed beach that you can land on. However, most of the time the tide covers the sandbar and other reefs. They are shallow enough that you can get out and stand in the sand, but you won't be able to land/beach the kayaks anywhere. We recommend renting an anchor in order to be able to leave the kayak unattended.
- Where can we anchor or stand?
Only in the sand! For your safety and for the safety of the coral reef, never stand on, sit on, touch, or anchor on coral or rock. The coral is alive. It is a very fragile and easily damaged animal, and its exoskeleton is very sharp and jagged. Avoid contact with coral at all costs and only stand and anchor in sand.
- Where do we go to snorkel?
Kane'ohe Bay is home to many different shallow patch reefs that offer amazing snorkeling. Many of those have shallow sandy areas where it is okay to get out of the kayak and anchor in the sand. The best snorkeling is right on the reef's edge where it drops off. If you're renting and going on your own, we will give you a map of the bay and show you exactly where to go.
- What is considered "reef-safe" sunscreen? And why are some sunscreens bad for the coral?
When looking for reef-safe sunscreen, check the active ingredients. Be sure the only active ingredients are either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Many chemicals found in many popular sunscreen brands have been found to be toxic to coral, which is very fragile and easily damaged. The chemicals to avoid include, but are not limited to: Oxybenzone, octinoxate, avobenzone, octisalate, homosalate, and octocrylene. If your sunscreen contains any of these in the active ingredients, it is harmful to coral. In short, if you have only zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredients, your sunscreen is okay.