So many of my favorite memories from my childhood include going to Hawaii on family vacations. Growing up in California, I’ve been fortunate to spend quite a lot of time in Hawaii, mainly between Maui and Kauai. I love Kauai for it’s subtle but dominant presence. Kauai is rustic. It stays true to its natural beauty, and has the incredible Napali Coast. A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to take on a five-day trip to Kauai. Every time I’ve travel to the lush island I make it a point to take some kind of tour to the Napali Coast. Whether it is a snorkel cruise, a zodiac tour or a sunset cruise, I make sure it’s included in my plans. This time I would be sailing the Napali Coast with the wonderful Captain Andy’s tour company.
Capt. Andy’s four and a half hour sunset catamaran tour to the Napali Coast was the perfect way to spend an afternoon in Kauai. We showed up at the doc promptly at 1:45 pm and prepared for an afternoon of fun in the Hawaiian sun. The sunset tour incorporated dinner, drinks, sea life sightings, and of course the gorgeous sunset, all while sailing along the world famous Napali coastline.
Before dinner the staff was very accommodating, handing out Hawaiian juices, soft drinks and even provided some light snacks.
The buffet style dinner included choice of chicken, beef, salad, and drinks. The food was tasty; especially the pineapple chicken and the drinks were strong but too easy to drink. My favorite of the cocktails was their “Sneaky Tiki.” These Sneaky Tikis were fruity and dangerous. Taking the name Sneaky Tikis because they’re so good that people drink them so quickly.
Although the tour isn’t necessarily considered a whale or dolphin-watching tour, we were able to see both! Dolphins are present year round while the whales can be seen when in season, November through April. Within twenty minutes of the boat ride we saw whales breaching only a couple of hundreds of yards from our boat. It was incredible!
A few minutes after the first whale sighting our captain pointed out some turtles swimming slowly in front of our boat. We then saw their tiny heads bob in and out of the water as they came up for air periodically. If the whales and turtles weren’t enough, next came the dolphins. The spinner dolphins were playful, gliding in, out, and around our catamaran. I was able to get some amazing video footage of the dolphins swimming right along our boat.
Considering it rained every other day we were in Kauai during our trip, the weather during our catamaran tour was fairly nice. It was sunny, however, the water was very rough. Despite the roaring water, the crew went above and beyond to make sure everyone was comfortable and had everything we needed.
When we finally reached the Napali Coast every single person on the boat, no matter where they were sitting, was wet from the waves coming up and over. For the young people, we loved it. Many of us sat down in front on the trampoline area, having the ride of our lives. With waves splashing over and the sun beating down on us you couldn’t help but hear everyone laughing around the boat.
The older passengers tried to stay dry on the back deck. Although everyone got a little bit wet, the crew couldn’t have been more accommodating. They spent their time circling the boat asking if we needed bags for our cameras, or if we needed anything else to make our ride more enjoyable. The crew was so great.
When we reached the Napali Coast it was one of those “aha” moments. As we turned the corner and the mountains appeared larger and larger, and cliffs looked steeper and steeper, I couldn’t help but gawk. With the stunning sun setting behind us, and the dolphins enjoying themselves playing next to our boat, it was the picture-perfect end to a beautiful afternoon on the water.