I had the tremendous privilege to photograph a traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoe race on the island of Maui from one of the escort boats. We left Kahului Harbor and followed along the canoes along the North coast until we reached the finish line at Black Rock on Ka’anapali Beach. One of the racing boats ended up being one person short, so they invited me to swim over, jump in and give it a go. We’ve been watching these types of canoes from the beach in front of our condo for years and always wanted to give it a try so I put down my cameras and without hesitation leaped into the water. I paddled for what felt like about an hour. It was beautiful. Although we were a great distance from the shore, we paddled over shallow reefs and deep, blue water. After I ran out of energy and my hands were sore from the paddle, I ditched and got back into the escort boat where we helped tow a few of the teams, got a visit from a few lively bottlenose dolphins and finished up the race with a blessing on Ka’anapali beach. A great way to end our trip! Now I’m back in Portland, gleefully working on several different assignments. Aloha!