When I arrived off the plane four years ago, having just finished a Recreation degree at the University of Georgia, and jumped in my buddies truck headed for Kailua, I knew about as much about the bay as you probably know now. Arriving on the scene at Kailua Beach Park quickly had me in wonderment at the large, brightly colored kites littering the beach. Edging over the sand I caught my first glimpse of the spectacle of kite-surfers and windsurfers flying through this unbelievably gorgeous U-shaped, turquoise bay. Guys were jumping 20 feet in the air, surfing waves and screaming around on their boards at 30 miles an hour. I quickly learned that this is where many modern wind sports made their début, or at least were popularized, include windsurfing, kite surfing and in part, catamaran sailing. At this point I knew that this was a dream for wind lovers, no way around it.
The following day the sea calmed. I started my first day at work for Kailua Beach Adventures, a small shop by the beach, which had evolved from a hardcore windsurfing company in the early eighties to now, one of the most successful kayak rental operations in the Hawaiian Islands. I went along with my old college buddy and white water kayaking cohort, to lead a guided kayak tour of some 8 kayakers out to the bird sanctuary islands that lay just a half mile offshore. The transformation was stunning, from the windsurfer’s paradise to the epically glassy sea kayaking conditions that we had this day. I was in continuous shock through out the day as sea turtles came out to look at our kayaks cruising around the coral reefs with a dramatic backdrop of the kind of lush, weathered mountains that can only be found in Hawaii.