Hasta Mānana

Hasta Mānana

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Decades ago, we used to swim from Makapuʻu Beach at the eastern end of Oʻahu in Hawaii, around Mānana Island, an uninhabited islet located 1.2 km) off Kaupō Beach and back to shore.

On most weekends, it was a difficult yet fantastically beautiful swim where every stroke was a challenge that brought lots of eye candy. The islet is locally called Rabbit Island because its shape looks something like a rabbit’s head and because it was once inhabited by rabbits. Now it is a seabird sanctuary with incredible views of uninhabited space and deep royal blue waters on its backside.

In many ways, Mānana reminds us of Sandycove Island in Ireland and the Kerama Islands in Okinawa, Japan. But Mānana rises quickly from the water’s edge and is a nice swim of over 700 meters long and 650 meters wide with one really cool sandy beach on its western side.

We never step foot on the island; it was just a circumnavigation swim because it is illegal to land on the islet without permission from the Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources.

But surfers and kayakers have been attacked by sharks in the area and swimmers largely avoid the circumnavigation nowadays.

Copyright © 2014 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones