Cruising the Napali Coast

Trip Start Nov 16, 2011
Trip End Nov 27, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Some time ago, a large part of Kauai just fell into the sea.  I was told that scientists estimated the seismic tsunami to have been 1,000'.  Regardless, what is left on the west shore of Kauai is its signature look -- the high cliffs, or Napali, coastline.  That was today's destination by catamaran: a late afternoon 20-mile cruise.

After breakfast in the apartment, I drove a bit west and spotted a secluded beach.  Most here are, but then Kauai has more beaches than any of the other Islands.  It's easy to find a small off-the-beaten-path one.

The HoloHolo held about 60 passengers and scooted right along at 22 knots as we headed west then north up the coastline.  The seas were running with an 8' swell so the ride, even on a good size craft like this, was very bumpy at times.  We spotted a humpback whale blowing her geiser, some Pacific dolphins feeding (look for the circling birds) and lots of sea turtles sunning on the beach like a bunch of lost boulders.  

While most of the coastline were sheer cliffs and sharply eroded green valleys, there were some small sandy beaches.  Hollywood has used the scenery on Kauai a lot: King Kong, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean.  (Remember when Johnny Depp runs under a volcanic arch along the beach when he was being chased by the natives?)  Some of the original Hawaiians lived in the steep valleys here that were only accessible by sea; they offered the best protection.  You can still see the lava stone terraces that they used for cultivating food.

They provided free beverages.  Funny how every group always has one rummy-faced guy who manages to put away a case of Heineken, even on a rollercoaster boat.  There was a C with flames logo on his baseball cap!  Ha!

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