April Fool’s or not, I got to fool around with dolphins! Now for those of you out there with dirty minds (myself included), I’m not bragging about my lipstick case, but rather bragging about an unforgettable sail along Kauai’s Napali Coast. Want to live vicariously through my journey? Why not? Come and follow me along the mystical Napali Coast via catamaran. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, both in and out of the water. There are spinner dolphins, humpback whales, and sea turtles in the beautiful, crystal blue waters, but also mountain goats on the steep cliffs of the Napali.
Leaving from Port Allen on the West Side of Kauai, I boarded a fifty-seven foot catamaran early morning for a five-hour adventure. Minutes after boarding and before officially leaving the port, I witnessed off the stern a sea turtle or honu, which is sacred in Hawaiian culture. Not shortly thereafter, the captain quickly spotted the first pod of spinner dolphins that entertained us by their characteristic rapid corkscrew-like jumps out of the water. Continuing North, we passed the towns of Waimea with its boardwalk, Kekaha and its old sugar mill, and past Barking Sands, the military base, and the end of the road, Polihale Beach, thus, approaching the most impressive coastline I have seen thus far. Take a peek!
|Having moved to Kauai last year, I have had the opportunity to do three catamaran adventures. Each has been very different depending on the time of year, ocean swells, and marine life migration. Over the summer, when the ocean is the calmest, I rode through six foot swells. I had to mentally prepare to keep my dinner down given the seas. Needless to say, I would have appreciated the amazing sunset more without my iffy stomach. At the beginning of fall, I took another ride, which was rather chilly, rainy, and wet. The waves were not the obstacle this time, but rather mother nature’s decision to rain. All passengers, including myself, spent more time drinking Mai Tais than viewing nature. However, finally on my third time, I took a gamble going during winter, which is the roughest time of the year for the Napali Coast. Against all of the odds, I had a picture perfect ride. The ocean was like glass. There was not a swell nor rain cloud in sight. I saw numerous pods of spinner dolphins (hundreds of them), breaching humpback whales (numerous times, but not caught on camera), and honu (a handful). I would call the day, my Napali Coast SuperBowl beer commercial, both spectacular views and outstanding entertainment from the seas.
With that said, at our turn around point, Hanakapiai Beach (or what there was of it since it disappears in the winter), I grabbed a Longboard beer and sat at the stern in awe. Having hiked the Kalalau Trail to Hanakoa (almost to the end) just a month previous, I enjoyed witnessing the trail from a vantage point of leisure without a thirty-five pound pack on my back and a beer in hand. Cheers to the beauty of Kauai, its waterfalls, Napali Coast, Waimea Canyon, beaches, and even red dirt!
Have you traveled to Kauai? I always love to hear from other adventureros/as about your travels.
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Here’s to more good times and good stories. Aloha!