This is the island of Mokoliki'i, more commonly known as Chinaman's Hat. On low-tide days, you can actually walk/swim out to it. Our local friends had planned this venture and, of course, told us that this was a very easy hike.
I really have to look up the definition of the word "easy" in Hawaiian, because it clearly doesn't mean the same thing on the mainland as it does here.
I did ask before we went out, "How deep will the water be on the way out?"
"Oh, about waist high," I was told.
I had planned to take my camera out there with us. I figured if the water was only waist high, I could hold it over my head if need be. Then I realized the memory card wasn't in the camera, so I wouldn't be able to use it any way. I was quite aggravated over that, but it turns out God knew and was just protecting my camera for me.
We brought a boogie board for Katie in case she got tired. Kerry brought a second boogie board "just in case". I told him he should just leave it on the beach since we weren't going to need it and would just be dragging it around with us but for some bizarre reason he decided to drag it along with us.
Again.....Thank You God for knowing what we need ahead of time!
Luckily, another family had brought along a bunch of floaty noodles and someone handed one to me at some point. I couldn't even touch the bottom a large portion of the time. If I had taken my camera, it would have been ruined.
We were walking across dead coral and lava rock most of the way out there (all of the time we weren't paddling, that is). This is not a stroll across a sandy bottom. Tennis shoes or reef walkers are a MUST. The coral and rock have sharp jagged edges that will easily cut you. The surface is very uneven and there are sudden drop offs. Imagine trying to walk across a field of loose Legos. Although the ground doesn't shift around like Legos would, the water distorts everything, making it impossible to tell where you should place your foot on your next step. I stubbed my toes dozens of times because I couldn't see that the rock was suddenly higher. I stepped into a hidden hole and cut my ankle on both sides. And I stepped off an unexpected two foot drop and did a face-plant right into the water. I came up sputtering and warned Kerry and Katie, "Watch out! It drops off right there!"
"Thanks for finding that for us, honey!" Kerry gleefully replied.
It is possible to climb to the top of Mokioliki'i but it is not a clear-cut, easy trail. Plants and bushes nearly obscure the trail in many places.
Billy Goat Ben.
There are places where you have to use hand-holds and toe-holds to climb up the rocks.
This was about the point where I said, "I'm good. I don't need to go any higher."
Kerry, Katie, and Ben made it all the way to the top.
In addition to the cuts on my ankle, Katie fell and cut her knee, and Ben put quite a nice gash in his foot.
The swim back was even deeper because the tide was starting to come in. It was actually easier that way because we weren't damaging ourselves on the rocks.
This is the group at the top although Kerry and Katie had already started for the bottom. There really is a great view from the top!
Or so I'm told.