Twice this summer I’ve hired a babysitter so I can practice paddle boarding by myself, so I’d already been out to Flat Island and gotten knocked off my paddle board by overly enthusiastic waves beyond. This paid off with Chris and the kids; we backed into a spot near the boat ramp, pulled out our boards, launched, tossed on the kids, and off we went. Well, off the kids and I went. Chris came in his own time. Someone told me that Chris told them that…shhhh…I’m much better at this than he is. You didn’t hear it from me.
But the tradewinds were, let’s say, brisk. So I look over and Isaac’s snorkel pack is floating away behind us. Then Isaac jumps in to get it (in a life jacket, but still). Then Eloise freaks out because she thinks we’re leaving Isaac is getting to swim, so she wiggles off the front of the board and is unhappy when I grab her by the life jacket and haul her back on, while getting blown farther and farther from my son.
“I NEED TO SWIM!” Eloise howls from the front.
“Mom!” Isaac is doggy paddling 10 feet away.
“Splash!” Far, far, back towards shore, Chris leisurely tumbles off his paddle board.
I retrieve The Boy. Eloise shoves off into the water again. I retrieve The Girl. We lurch to the left as Isaac decides now is a good time to redistribute his weight so that all four limbs and his snorkel-covered face are now hanging off the board.
Fortunately, through some dedicated paddling and firm parenting (or, “panicked yelling,” or whatever), the three of us staggered onto Flat Island like shipwreck survivors—or rather I did. The kids bobbed about the shallow leeward side of the tiny island, laughing as they got caught in the current and almost got swept away. Chris was so far behind we couldn’t find him.
Once he arrived, he took the kids to explore a sandbar created by the current converging on the leeward side. Then we walked around the island, which is a protected seabird sanctuary. I spotted a real live protected seabird down in a rock, sitting on a nest. Isaac found a real live seabird egg down in the rocks. We found little lagoons, lots of fish, a blowhole in the rocks, and Chris found another nesting seabird.
Isaac opted to sail back to shore with Chris, which resulted in loads of adorable antics in the form of exaggerated falls off the board. Eloise and I missed that memo and beelined for the boat ramp, then waited 45 minutes for the boys. What can I say, we are speedy.
The morning was made complete with a stop at Lanikai Juice to refuel. Perfect!