Shaka Kayaks is first and foremost an eco-friendly tour. Our motto is “Take only pictures and leave only a wake”. Here at Shaka Kayaks we are proud to be the protectors of Kawela Bay and all it’s beauty. During the trip your guides will carry trash bags with them to pick up all the trash they can find both in the ocean and on the beach. All trash that can be recycled will be. We also provide souvenir water bottles for you free of charge to promote the three “R’s”. We are Reducing the amount of plastic water bottles that are used by giving you Reusable bottles that can eventually be Recycled.
Here at Shaka Kayaks we truly believe in protecting our environment and in particular caring for the endangered species of the North Shore. This is why we volunteer working with several government agencies such as NOAA, FWS and the HMSRTO. Summertime is the time for babies on the North Shore and every year we are caring for a lot of them.
NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Every day our guides keep track of the green sea turtle population inside of Kawela Bay. Kawela Bay is where the very first green sea turtle study was done back in the early 80’s by Dr. George Balazs who is the foremost authority on green sea turtles in the world. Your naturalist guide monitors the green sea turtles for their size, sex, location and behavior along with the oceanic and atmospheric conditions. This data is then analyzed for patterns and ID recognition. You can help us out on the tour and be part of this research effort by pointing out any turtles you see that the guides might have missed. Check out our Turtle Tracking page that is updated daily for the turtle spotted in the last week.
FWS – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Shaka Kayak’s owner, Captain Scott, volunteered during green sea turtle nesting season for the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge. We recently released 58 baby honu into the wild. After all the hard work volunteering it has paid off with us being able to assist in this miracle of life. Hopefully, someday soon, some of these turtles you will be able to see on our tour.
HMSRTO – Hawaiian Monk Seal Response Team Oahu – Captain Scott also volunteers for the monk seal response team. On the morning of June 29th, 2010, R5AY “Honey Girl” gave birth to her second pup at Turtle Bay. As volunteers we made sure that this pup was protected from human interaction for the 49 day cycle of weaning. This included putting up fencing, signs and a 12 hour daily monitoring program. “Au Maile” is now on her own and we expect her to make visits to Kawela Bay. If you do happen to spot a monk seal on the tour, please let your guides know immediately and avoid eye contact. Honey Girl gave birth to her third pup at Turtle Bay on July 29th, 2011 at 3pm at the exact same location! Captain Scott was the first HMSRTO responder on the scene just minutes after the birth to protect them. The new pup was named Kukui and is doing great!
Shaka Kayaks is also an environmentally friendly tour. Prior to participating in the tour guides will educate you on how to properly interact with marine life. Some of the key points on interaction include these NOAA guidelines:
Turtles – If you see sea turtles out basking on the beach or in the water while snorkeling or kayaking, admire them from a reasonable distance and do not alter their natural behavior. Please do not attempt to touch, ride, feed or harass sea turtles.
Monk Seals – When viewing a monk seal on the beach, observe them from at least 150 feet away and limit your observation time to one-half hour. Never attempt to swim with or touch a Hawaiian monk seal. They are wild animals and have been known to be aggressive and bite humans. If you spot one on the tour, please do not make eye contact with them.
Whales and Dolphins – Remain at least 100 yards from humpback whales, and at least 50 yards from other marine mammals. Limit your time observing an animal to 1/2 hour. Marine mammals should not be encircled or trapped between kayaks or shore. If approached by a marine mammal or turtle while on a kayak, stop and allow the animal to pass. Kayak movement should be from the rear of the animal.
At Shaka Kayaks we are very concerned with our local community. We honor the local community by providing a cultural tour that incorporates Hawaiian history, educates guests on the Hawaiian language by calling the marine life their original Hawaiian names and respects the Hawaiian way of life. We also understand that many of the Hawaiian marine life are their Aumakua and our goal is to research and educate without interference. There is a difference between “living local” and being a true local and we acknowledge and respect the difference.