Day 7 - Kayak at Wailua, Secret Fall, disaster

Date: 2009-03-05
Location: Hawaii 09

It was a strange day. We left the place Poipu late, but somehow decided that we would go kayak today. We rushed back for swimming cloth, we didn't truly expect it would take a hour just to go one way from Wailua to Poipu. When we got back to the boat rental place, we were already about an hour and half behind the schedule. We hauled our triyake (rather than normal two-seater, this one has room for three people) to the river edge. The renter advised that we should just paddle around without tempting the Secret Fall, but somehow we failed to heed to his advice, thinking that we could easily walk back and forth from the 1 mile hike with relative ease. We were partially correct.

The lake surface was smooth. Even though the sky was cloudy, we enjoyed the peaceful scenery. When we reached the smaller river that led to the trail, we found the water was rather fast. A muddy red rush of water made us hard to paddle upstream. We paddled really hard and was finally able to park the triyake along the left side of the rapid. I noticed all the boats were parked on the shallow right hand side of the river. People rather waded across the rush water. I thought it was a bit of strange, but didnít think much of it since we had very little time. We walked quickly along the muddy, slippery path. Nearly everyone along the trail seemed to slipped at one point-most of the pants were patched with mud. Magically, we reached the Secret Fall without any incident. Here we sat under the splashing water and enjoyed a quick snack before we started to turn back. I was just amazed to see a large dead fish along the side of river. Just before we took off, we had heard that few days back, while a tourist swam under the current, a fish was carried down by the strong current and hit him on the head. The fish was dead on the spot, but the man was also badly injured and was rushed to the hospital.

The return trip was even quicker. We reached the boat with a little over a hour to spare. We got in and started down the river. Then disaster struck. We hardly had a chance to turn the boat around and looked ahead, the boat was on a collision course with this large tree branch that was stretched into the river. We tried to turn but it was too late and the water was too fast. We sided into the branch. For a few mili-seconds, it held there unmoving, then it tiled to the left and rolled over. All three of us fell into the icy cold water. In a panic state, I struggled and felt by foot touch the ground. I steadied myself. As I had turned around, my husband had fetched the little guy out of the water. He was wet, scared, and sobbing . I took his little shaking body and held against mine while my husband and a few nice bystanders rushed into the water and fetched up the belongs.

Shook by the incident, we were lucky to find that none of us suffered any injure. My digital camera was soaked and my husband lost his prescription sunglasses. Other than that, we were relatively okay. We made back. The little guy was both quiet and fearful. We both worried that the incident would damp his spirit and led to a fear of water.

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