Kauai by boat

[Sorry about the posting hiatus, but life often gets in the way of blogging. This post resumes from my Hawaii trip, which you can go back and read about here.

Humpback Whale

After we spent a fun filled week snorkeling and exploring volcanoes on the Big Island, Sarah and I hopped on an inter-island flight to spend a more stereotypical vacation week on Kauai. It was neat to go from the youngest island to the oldest island and compare the two. The thing we noticed most? More tourists on Kauai.

After getting settled in our room in at the Kauai Beach Resort, we went to check out the beach out the hotel doors. We were a little disappointed that swimming conditions were not ideal this time of year at the Kauai Beach Resort, so we just relaxed and enjoyed the views.

Sarah excited to be at a nice resort with air conditioning.

The beach right outside our hotel.

The next morning we got up for a free breakfast and informational meeting the resort offers guests who have just arrived. Here, our honeymoon luck continued and we won a 2 for the price of 1 kayak tour on the Wailua River. Due the the high probability of getting wet on a kayak trip I left my camera at the hotel, but I did bring my GoPro, and the video at the end of this post has a little footage of us kayaking as well as Secret Falls, the waterfall we kayaked and took a short hike to see.

The next morning we woke up super early (4:30 a.m. early), to go board a boat and go on a boat tour of the Na Pali coast as well as a snorkel off the coast of Nihau, the forbidden island. Nihau is a short distance from Kauai and used to be a part of the same island as Kauai millions of years ago. Now, the whole island is owned by two brothers who maintain a Calvinist settlement. You can only access the island with permission, and that means you pay several hundred dollars for a helicopter ride to the island, and in turn, you are allowed a whopping 15 minutes to walk around and see whatever there is to see. The other way, and most popular way, to see the island up close is to pay a couple hundred dollars for a boat ride to snorkel just off the coast. That is what we did.

Before we reached Nihau, we were treated to a nice boat tour of the rugged and beautiful Na Pali Coast.

Na Pali Coastline

Waterfall on Kalalau beach

I had hiked the 12 miles to the Kalalau beach several years ago with my brothers, but I had never taken a boat ride along this coast. It was cool because we boated along the portion of the coast that you cannot hike, this made it seem as though I had never been there before.

Coastal Arch on the Na Pali Coast

Waterfall into the ocean

Sea Arch

Waterfall onto a beach only accessible by boat.

Unfortunately, my camera battery died before getting to Nihau, but the video at the end of the post has some footage of snorkeling off the coast of the forbidden island as well as the “keyhole”, a natural arch formed on a small volcanic crater by the crashing waves of the ocean.

The next day, we had scheduled another boat trip. This trip was originally a sunset sail along the Na Pali coast, I know, the day before we went on a Na Pali boat trip, but this trip was less adventure oriented and more romantic (a critical component for any successful honeymoon). Also, we thought it would be cool to see the Na Pali coast during sunset with the dramatic lighting most Hawaii sunsets provide. We originally scheduled this trip for our last night on the island, but the trip was bumped up because a large northern swell was moving in.

As we enjoyed cocktails and rounded the western edge of Kauai, we realized the swell had arrived early. We found ourselves on a tour boat in the largest seas I have ever seen. Waves were cresting 5-10 feet higher than the boat we were on, which was a 60 foot, two story, catamaran, it was spooky and exhilarating at the same time. Obviously, it was too dangerous to continue to the Na Pali coast, so the boat turned around.

But not all was lost. The humpback whales were absolutely going off. I had only seen a whale once, in Northern California, who had swum up the Klamath River. This evening, we saw countless whales, some even jumping only short distance from our boat. I never was lucky enough to time an epic whale jump, but I did manage a few good whale shots.

Whale waving hello

The whales were not far from the boat.

Whale raising its fin with the Na Pali coast behind.

We also had some dolphins join us.

Sunset off the west coast of Kauai.

In the end we had a great few days riding boats on Kauai, and with the Northern swell coming in we spent our last few days on the beach or hiking.

Also, I finally managed to put together a short video of our trip. I didn’t have an underwater camera, so I used my GoPro pretty much for snorkeling, so that is how the video is oriented. I also have a few clips from other adventures so I highly recommend you take a watch.