Why did the chicken cross the road? To get out of the rain...
Today was our Na Pali Coast catamaran voyage, with Capt Andy. This would take us around the island to see the stunning, sharply fluted cliffs of the Na Pali coast which is the primary must-see of the island. We opted to do the morning tour so we'd see dolphins (which Jon has never seen up close in the wild) and for the snorkeling (which Sandra loves). Unfortunately this required us to be in Port Allen, on the other side of the island, by 6:15am. (Just in case you ever need to make the drive, we left Princeville at 4:50am, reached Lihue by 5:25am and were parked in Port Allen by about 5:50). It had rained all the previous afternoon and night, but as we waited to embark the air was clear.
The Catamarans were very neat and slick-looking boats with space for about 20 or so in comfort. The crew of three (Capt Matt, Carl and Asanti) were very friendly and helpful and we left the dock under blue skies sometime around 7:00.
As we raced towards the Na Pali coast through 8ft swells (which apparently is nautical speak for "up to 20ft"), the adventurous ones lay down on the trampolines
up front, gripping the front rail and learning to fly over the rollercoaster-like swells . If Sandra wasn't pregnant I know she'd have been up there too, but we opted to sit on the cabin roof where it was a little drier and a lot less heart-stopping. The sky overhead was very varied in its cloudiness, but the Na Pali coast up ahead was ominously dark and heavily clouded. The Captain decided that the weather wasn't good enough, and turned us around. But not before we were treated to a show by the flying fish and a huge pod of spinner dolphins who surrounded the boat, frolicking in the bow wake and generally having a grand ol' time. Captain Andy gave us a full refund since we didn't get the proper tour, so all-in-all it was a pleasant morning.
We'd intended to do a helicopter tour that afternoon (also cancelled because of the rain and clouds), so we just drove around the Kalaheo and Po'ipu area. There are some truly stunning views to be had in hidden nooks and crannies of the island - from the beautiful and aromatic eucalyptus tunnel lining the road on the way to Po'ipu beach to the other-worldly Maha'ulepu trail that follows the waters around shipwreck beach (are those Douglas firs next to that palm tree?)