We woke to grey skies and a gusty wind today. We didn’t want to go too far away as we had to be at the small boat harbour at 2.30pm.
We decided to go for a bit of a drive and found ourselves in the Tree Tunnel. This is a part of the road where the trees growing on both sides meet way up high and form a tunnel. It looks very cool. We kept driving - just choosing left or right as we came to an intersection and found ourselves at Nawiliwili Harbour. There was a huge cruise ship docked here. It was the Star Princess which I am pretty sure was the boat we went on when we cruised Alaska. Next to the harbour was Kalapaki Beach. There were a stack of stand up paddle boarders in the water which was very still.
We drive around a bit more looking at the beautiful scenery. Everything is so green here because the island gets a lot of rain.eventually we headed back to the hotel to change into long pants before heading to Port Allen Marina. It was only about 25mins away. We checked in and waited fir the captain to come and walk us down to the boat for our sunset cruise. It was still grey and windy and Captain Rich told us the ocean would be “exciting” but he never goes out when it is rough as it is too dangerous.
We got a seat at the back of the boat where it was a little more stable and we wouldn’t get as much sea spray. As soon as we moved out if the harbour, the bar was opened and the crew came around with mai tais, beer, margaritas etc. The water was pretty rough but it was ok. We came to a sudden stop after a while. The captain had seen a pod of spinner dolphins off the bow. These dolphins are only found in the waters around the Hawaiian islands. The are called spinner dolphins because of the spinning movement they make. It was very cool to see them all around the boat spinning and jumping. The scientists aren’t sure why they spin but one theory is to remove fish that get on them.
The next time the boat suddenly slowed down was because there were some humpback whales nearby. We saw the spouts and their backs come up to the surface.
After that, we quickly learnt that when the boat suddenly slowed, we were about to hit a big wave followed by a face full of sea spray. By now it was like being on a wet roller coaster. The salt water stung our eyes and even though we had rain jackets on, our pants were soon pretty wet and our faces covered in salt spray. It was really quite funny because it was the polar opposite of the video I watched before booking the cruise. That showed sunny skies, smooth seas and people walking around the deck with cocktails. We occasionally got a glimpse of sun but it was very obvious this was going to be a sunset cruise without a sunset. Unfortunately there were quite a few people suffering seasickness. The crew were very good at looking after everyone.
The crew served us pupus which is the Hawaiian word for snacks. These were cheese & crackers, vegetable sticks and dips. It was really hard to hold a plate of food and a drink while trying to hold on.
We eventually got to the beginning of the famous NaPali coast. This is where the sea cliffs tower above the ocean. It was quite spectacular but would have been even more beautiful with sun on them. The cliffs go for 17 miles along the coast but we couldn’t make it all the way along. It was just too rough. Once the boat turned around, it was much calmer and we could get up to take photos. The captain told us a few of the stories and history of the cliffs. It was hard to believe people used to live in the valleys as it looked so uninhabitable. We stayed around the cliffs for a while and then the captain said he would take us to see some whales as he had spare time. It wasn’t long before he spotted 6 humpacks in the distance. Some of them were very active on the surface. I have finally seen whales breaching fully. We saw quite a few breaches, fun slaps and tails. As we got down a bit further, we found a family - mother, father and a baby whale. They were taking it in turns to breach. The tiny baby whale was so cute when it breached!
Once we started heading back for the harbour, the crew set up a buffet dinner for us - fish or pork tacos with all the trimmings and fresh pineapple. Once that was eaten, they handed around cookies.
When we were nearly back to the harbour, the crew came around with champagne so we could toast the sunset! Pity we didn’t have a visible one tonight.
I am very glad we have seen the NaPali Coast, even if it wasn’t in the best conditions.