Cruising the NaPali Coast

Today is my darling hubby’s birthday. So to celebrate it, we decided to do a “touristy” activity and take a sunset dinner cruise on a catamaran along the NaPali coastline on Sunday. It was pretty exciting – our first real tourist adventure since we arrived here in May!

We arrived at the dock to find gusting winds and heavy seas. I have always been prone to seasickness (including being seasick on a 7 day cruise to Alaska we took for our 10th anniversary) so I was very concerned about spending the entire trip hanging over the side, puking. Fast forward an hour and who is ghost white and barely holding on? Not me! My poor sick hubby spent the majority of the trip sitting in one spot, sipping ginger ale and eating one saltine cracker after another. Meanwhile I was bouncing all over, feeling great. Go figure.

One day I will finally have the time and money to really research cameras and purchase a good one. In the meantime, my iPhone did a pretty commendable job considering the boat was all over the place on the swells and chop and I was pretty keen on *not* dropping it overboard to swim with the fishes. Combine that with the salt spray that coated everything and I was quite happy to arrive home that evening with as phone that was still intact and undamaged. Maybe taking an expensive camera on a boat in heavy seas wouldn’t be the best idea anyway…

This is a long post with many photos so I’ll let them do the talking for me. Suffice to say – we *will* be doing this trip again, from the north side this time. We left from Port Allen and didn’t see the last few miles of the coast. I’d love to see it coming from the other direction.

Few notes: it’s hard to tell in the photos and videos but the ocean swells were probably 10 feet or so. The cliffs reach to the skies – in some cases nearing 4000 feet. 4000 feet straight up. Pretty awe-inspiring.


getting ready to leave the harbor
the Blue Dolphin catamaran

the Blue Dolphin catamaran

sails up - but seas were heavy so we were under engine power the entire trip

sails up – but seas were heavy so we were under engine power the entire trip

on our way!

on our way!

Blue Dolphin catamaran

Blue Dolphin catamaran

looking through the dolphin to the NaPali coastline

looking through the dolphin to the NaPali coastline

some of the other passengers

some of the other passengers

a wonderful way to spend a birthday

a wonderful way to spend a birthday

the beach at Kekaha - most western town in the United States

the beach at Kekaha – most western town in the United States

along the Barking Sands Navy Base

along the Barking Sands Navy Base


Barking Sands Navy Base
the handsome hubby (before he got seasick)

the handsome hubby (before he got seasick)

getting close and personal with the cliffs

getting close and personal with the cliffs

just one of multiple sea caves along the coast

just one of multiple sea caves along the coast


waterfall and a closeup of the coast
long stretch of cliffs

long stretch of cliffs

the hubby and I (being weird, as usual)

the hubby and I

the cliffs of the NaPali coast, some reaching nearly 4000 feet high

the cliffs of the NaPali coast, some reaching nearly 4000 feet high

NaPali cliffs, stunningly beautiful

NaPali cliffs, stunningly beautiful

NaPali literally means "the cliffs"

NaPali literally means “the cliffs”

the colors were amazing and vibrant

the colors were amazing and vibrant

another view of the majestic NaPali coast

another view of the majestic NaPali coast

hard to see but the cliffs in the top of the pic are 3600 feet high

hard to see but the cliffs in the top of the pic are 3600 feet high

straight down into the ocean

straight down into the ocean

imposing in black and white

imposing in black and white

this was an amazing view - towering cliffs on each side and a gently sloping valley in between

this was an amazing view – towering cliffs on each side and a gently sloping valley in between

this area was sacred to the natives of this island (one an see why)

this area was sacred to the natives of this island (one an see why)

reaching up 3/4 mile into the skies

reaching up 3/4 mile into the skies

a deep valley stretching between towering, sheer cliffs

a deep valley stretching between towering, sheer cliffs

just as beautiful in black & white

just as beautiful in black & white

I could have stayed there forever, but we had to go

I could have stayed there forever, but we had to go

heading home after 4 hours

heading home after 4 hours

dolphins! barely got this guy leaving the water

dolphins! barely got this guy leaving the water

another dolphin leaping

another dolphin leaping


dolphins!

Apparently it’s quite rare to see dolphins in the afternoon/evening. They typically leave for deeper waters to feed and the captain said these were the first he’d seen in the evening in quite some time. Between the boat ride, the NaPali cliffs, the sunset and the dolphins – it was an amazing day. I will recommend this trip to anyone coming to Kauai – you HAVE to see the NaPali coast in person. No photo could possibly do it justice.

awe-inspiring sunset

awe-inspiring sunset

sinking into the waves

sinking into the waves

one last gasp and it's gone

one last gasp and it’s gone

remove the color and it's still gorgeous

remove the color and it’s still gorgeous

almost as beautiful as the NaPali coast

almost as beautiful as the NaPali coast

the contrast between the color shot and the black & white

the contrast between the color shot and the black & white

even without color, still a gorgeous sunset

even without color, still a gorgeous sunset

returning to the harbor

returning to the harbor

another catamaran leaving the harbor as we entered

another catamaran leaving the harbor as we entered




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