Mum and I spent a lot of time considering the various tour options. According to the group we eventually chose, there are 12 operators who take groups into the Na Pali. There are many variations in the offerings. Some have larger boats, some go in rubber ducks, some start at the North, some at Port Allen and some at Waimea. We chose Liko Kauai Cruises because they allowed kids of 4 years of age and had good reviews elsewhere.
They did not disappoint.
|Wetting our feet at the bow|
Frost and Wren were very excited as the catamaran rose up the faces of huge swells and then launched up to catch a bit of air at the front and fell dramatically. This was very exciting for a child but for someone who gets seasick and has nightmares about large waves and sinking at sea, it was ... ahem.... alarming.
I was thankful for the Bonine (anti-emetic) I had taken the night before but concerned and worried enough that the staff on the boat asked me if I was okay. I told them I dislike large waves.
Later, we pulled in close to the cliffs. They are truly remarkable and I began to enjoy myself. The swells were less intense close to shore, although the streaming breaking waves from behind gave me pause. I was distracted by the turtles, the 1500 ft cliffs, the hidden valleys and the signs of the ancient Hawaiian pathways carved into the cliff so they could travel between valleys which were not joined in any way but through their opening to the sea.
Apparently, the verdant valleys were safe haven for these civilizations who lived in fear of invasion and attack. The proximity of sea and fresh water (many waterfalls plunging straight into the ocean) was impressive.
|View down the Napali Coast to the South|
|The shore break at the end of the Kalalau Trail.|
|Narrow plunging valleys crowd to the coast.|
On the return journey we enjoyed sandwiches, chips and softdrinks. Wren and Frost did very well on the 5 hour trip, neither having any motion sickness medication but not showing signs of illness. I am pleased that they have Josh's genetic inheritance in this regard. We pulled close to shore and saw 6 green sea turtles and then swung out to sea and saw many whales breaching, blowing and splashing their tails. We also followed some spinner dolphins - and saw them jump and spin. Closer to home we anchored off a reef and snorkeled (although there were very few fish).
I was glad to be on dry land again but it was an adventure and I would recommend this view of the Na Pali Coast - or a helicopter trip if you are that way inclined. We saw many helicopters overhead while we were out on the water near the coast itself.
|Boys watching spinner dolphins|
|Me, being happy to realize we will not die at sea.|