The plan was to take my kayak by bus to Kailua, launch from the beach, navigate around the Mokulua Islands, and get in a little snorkeling.
"TheBus" (Honolulu's bus service) has a few buses that go to Kailua on the Windward Side (as it's known) but you have to first transfer to Ala Moana first. I boarded the bus with my 60 pound bag, which took up its own seat. A friendly old lady (who later said she was age 85) tried to explain many times I had to place my bag under the seat, etc. though there were free seats. With such a large bag, of course it would not fit anywhere else. But despite sounding a bit upset about my bag, she still talked to me about this and that, where I was from, etc. I was friendly back, somewhat afraid that she'd make a fuss with the driver. There's something inconsistent about how some old people can be so bossy, yet keep up a friendly chat.
Eventually I made it to Kailua, but the bus 57A dropped us all off in the main shopping area, which turned out to be a mile to the park. And so I had little choice to carry the bag (60 pounds) in the sunny 85+ degree weather. As I've been told so many times, what does not kill you makes you stronger, but mostly I got sweaty and sore. (There was a bus I could have taken, which runs every hour.)
Set up and on the water around 12PM, I headed towards Mokulua Islands and arrived about forty minutes later. A significant beam wind, shallow water, and lots of chop mixed with swell made it a bumpy journey. When I got in sight of the shore, I noticed quite a few sit-on-tops already on the beach, and I figure it must have been some sort of tour gathering. But before putting in, I went around the southern island, pushing through the steep waves which peaked but did not break. Being tossed around was about half exhilaration, half discomfort. Eventually I did land and my boat got tossed about in the steep shore break, but getting wet wasn't a big deal.
Steep rocky drop-offs make for more interesting underwater conditions. I brought my snorkel gear (fits well every time) and found the water quite peaceful under the chop. I can't say I'm impressed with the coral in Hawaii (not that colorful and not at all plentiful) but the underwater formations mostly made up for it. The fish like it better as there's more places to hide. Places my family went in Kauai and Maui were fairly flat boulder fields.
Then, I launched again and went around the northern island and headed back towards shore. Sriram, who I planned to meet during the day, said he could come by with a rental car and join me, but as I later heard got caught up with shopping and dealing with his daughter and wife. Fair enough. I took my time snorkeling some more, checking out a few beaches further south.
Something occurred to me to come back next year and kayak around Kauai. I'd either take Kevin or Hitomi, or both. The ocean doesn't seem nearly as rough in summer as in winter, and 95 miles in a week is not inconceivable.
Around 5PM, I again walked with my kayak. The bus took me back to Ala Moana, where there's a mall where I finally met up with Sriram. The food court had a ton of Japanese places, as well as the usual mall fare. I had a giant okonomiyaki with a bottle of cool green tea. I was eating out of a Styrofoam container, but I felt like I was having a great meal.