Hawaii Travel

Outrigger Canoeing & Sea Turtles

December 16, 2015

I’m a huge fan of water sports. Kayaking, water skiing, paddle boarding, boating… If you can think of it, I’ve probably done it at least once.

But when I was in Hawaii I got to try something totally new–outrigger canoeing.

Earlier in the week, my dad did some research, found amazing reviews about the Hawaiian Outrigger Experience, and quickly booked the two of us on a tour for Thanksgiving.

We started our adventure with our tour guide, Kevin, teaching us the history and impact outrigger canoeing has had on the Hawaiian peoples for thousands of years before we pushed out to shore. From what I’ve read, I knew that outrigger canoeing played an important part in ancient Hawaiian culture but did you know that the first Hawaiians paddled all the way from Tahiti to get to the islands?? I have absolutely horrible upper body strength so I would definitely have not been able to paddle thousands of miles for hours at a time!


After pushing off the beach, our group paddled out into the open sea while constantly keeping our eyes peeled for turtles. We had absolutely brilliant weather that day and the water was so clear that you could see down 20-50 feet down to the ocean floor! I don’t think that I’ve ever been in water that clear, which is saying something because I grew up pretty close to the beach!



We’d periodically take breaks from paddling to hear more stories about the ancient Hawaiians and so that we could just take in our gorgeous surroundings.


It’s been a few weeks since I got back home and I still can’t get over how blue the ocean and skies were when I was in Maui. I just wanted to stay out on the outrigger all day, which I may have actually done (or at least rented a paddle board) if I wasn’t so prone to getting horrible sunburns… The struggle of having fair skin is real! Plus I had a spa appointment at The Fairmont later that day that I was really looking forward to. So, instead, I just leaned back and took in everything around me and thanked my lucky stars that I had the chance to experience first-hand nature’s beauty.



Mid-meditation though, I was interrupted by excited shouts that a turtle was heading our way! I quickly whipped out my phone, prayed that I wouldn’t drop it into the ocean, and blindly started snapping away since I couldn’t actually see much because of the sun.



Amazingly the turtle swam right under me which was one of the most incredible experiences that I had in Maui.



We didn’t get to see any dolphins while we were out but we did see plenty of other turtles, one of which our guide said had to be about 50 years old. Totally mind blowing!

Looking back, I really can’t think of a better way that I would have wanted to spend my Thanksgiving morning in Hawaii. It was really the most amazing combination of my favorite things–sea, sun, and turtles!

Bloglovin ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest

You Might Also Like

  • This is an amazing adventure with sea turtles.
    Your very lucky to have try it.

    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin | Snapchat: bandwagonchic

    • Courtney

      I can’t believe how close we got to the sea turtles while in the canoe! It was definitely one of he highlights of my trip to Maui!

  • Caitlin Lee
    • Courtney

      Maui was beyond gorgeous!! I definitely wouldn’t mind spending my days laying out on the beach!

  • Amy Ann

    Wow, looks amazing! We snorkeled in Hawaii near turtles and it is one of my all time favorite experiences.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • Courtney

      How incredible is it to be so close to them? I was in awe the entire time!

  • So beautiful, want to do that too!!!

    • Courtney

      I’d definitely take another tour, or maybe snorkel or paddle board, out to see the turtles if I’m ever in Maui again! Such an incredible experience!

  • That looks amazing, what an experience!! 🙂

    • Courtney

      I still can’t believe how close to the sea turtles I got! So incredible!!

  • wow these photos are amazing!

    • Courtney

      Thank you so much! These are some of my favorite pictures from my trip!

  • Wow!!! What an amazing experience!!!! Those sea turtles are beautiful!


    • Courtney

      I’m still pinching myself looking at these pictures! Never in a million years did I ever think that I’d get so close to one of my favorite animals!

  • That turtle is so cute! I’m jealous of your time in Hawaii!

    • Courtney

      The turtle really was so adorable! I can’t wait to go back and explore more of the ocean!

  • That looks like so much fun! That water is absolutely gorgeous!


    • Courtney

      I can’t believe how clear the water is in Hawaii! We could literally see down 20+ feet from the canoe!

  • Alyssa R.

    Amazing photographs!

    • Courtney

      Thank you so much!!

  • Beautiful! And great shots of that sea turtle!!

    • Courtney

      I can’t believe how close we got to the turtles! I’m still wowed by the entire experience!

  • Oh my, this is beautiful! I love how close you get to the turtles!!! I’ve always wanted to see Turtles, I’m planning a trip to Hawaii next year and this has made me excited, such a beautiful place!


    • Courtney

      I’m so jealous that you’re going to Hawaii next year!! All of the islands are absolutely gorgeous and you’re going to have an amazing time!

  • Rose

    Wow those sea turtles are so close to your boat! I wish that I’d been there too xx

    • Courtney

      I can’t believe how close the turtles got to our canoe! It was such an amazing experience!

  • Absolutely adorable turtle… What a great experience 🙂 -Maireem

    My Fair Autumn | Instagram

    • Courtney

      This is definitely one of my favorite memories from our trip!!

  • theemasphere

    Sounds like such a beautiful day lovely!! Those turtles are soooo cute!! I’m so prone to sunburn too, it’s so annoying isn’t it?! But disappearing for a spa treatment does sound fabulous! Xx


    • Courtney

      Being pale is such a hassle sometimes because I have to wear so much sunscreen! And the spa treatment was amazing!

  • looks like a fantastic trip! you guys got really up close to those sea turtles

    • Courtney

      I can’t believe how close to the turtles we got that day! I did not think that would happen when we first got into the canoe!

%d bloggers like this: