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Posted on: Saturday, May 8, 2004

200-mile canoe trek to raise environmental awareness


By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Staff Writer

Marathon canoe paddler Donna Kahakui is planning a five-day, 200-mile ocean trek early next month to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the ocean environment.


Kahakui has been doing long-distance solo paddles since 1998, and next month's paddle is her seventh and she says it's her last.

She will paddle a one-man outrigger canoe from O'ahu to Kaua'i and around Lehua, Ni'ihau and Ka'ula, then back to Kaua'i.

"The goal is for all of us to stand together in sending the message that we need to care for our ocean and each other," she said.

Her previous long-distance paddles have taken her across the other channels of the main Hawaiian Islands, on courses in Tahiti and New Zealand and along 55 miles of the Hudson River in New York.

Kahakui heads the nonprofit Kai Makana organization, which seeks to encourage people to preserve and protect the ocean.

Kahakui will have friends and associates paddling alongside her during parts of the voyage. She will leave from Hale'iwa on O'ahu on June 3 for Kalapaki Bay on Kaua'i.

The next day, she will paddle to Kalihiwai, and on June 5, to Nu'alolo on Kaua'i's Na Pali coastline and then across the channel to Lehua, a small island north of Ni'ihau, and to Ni'ihau itself.

She will travel from Ni'ihau to the rocky islet Ka'ula on June 6, and then back to Kaua'i on June 7.

Other paddlers are invited to join in, particularly on the coastal paddle from Kalapaki to Kalihiwai, she said.

For more information, write Kai Makana at P.O. Box 22719, Honolulu, HI 96823, call 261-8939 or visit www.kaimakana.org.