Kauai, Hawaii: Cruise the Napali Coast by Bonnie and Bill Neely

We arrived at 7 at Kilauea for Napali Tours, North Shore Charters, owned by Gary West. This Zodiac cruise of the Napali Coast had been recommended by several people as the best and safest available, and we are so glad we took this excursion to see the incredibly beautiful sea cliffs, which are not accessible by car. Although a few adventurous, well-conditioned, brave people hike part of this rugged coastline, and a few others prefer to see it from a helicopter, we knew a boat was the most enjoyable way with the best views and photo opportunities.
We departed from Anini Beach on the place North Shore in the extremely well-designed and safe 26 foot Zodiac craft, which has a wood-reinforced platform bottom with a three-foot fiberglass V-hull below water level and seven air bladders for a safe and exciting ride. Two reliable Suzuki four-stroke, 150 horsepower engines were off-set behind, giving quiet, reliable service. Our captain Glen and his mate Kevin were excellent hosts, as well as trustworthy seamen, having many years experience on these waters. Napali Tours offers two tours a day, with the other professional captain being Gary, the owner. This is one of only five Coast Guard certified, and inspected tour companies on the North Shore and strictly abides by safety laws, which include cancelling the tour if ocean conditions aren’t safe. Dangerous sea conditions can happen even in beautiful weather. Because the vast, open Pacific can be fickle, tourists should appreciate these precautions for their own good. When conditions are tranquil, the Zodiac can go into the large sea caves along the shore, and tourists can stop for snorkeling in the clear waters over the reef. All equipment is provided, and the four to four and a half hour trip includes a delicious lunch.
We delighted in watching for whales and sea turtles. For a long distance we were accompanied by a pod of playful spinner dolphins, who cavorted alongside our boat, putting on quite a show to delight everyone.
Captains Gary and Glen, who grew up in the placeHawaiian Islands, have a wealth of information to share with their visitors, making the trip fascinating. We saw the place where in ancient times girls came to a hula dancing school and another site of ancient burials and another place of terracing where ancients lived and grew crops. Whether we asked about history, winds, ocean animals, birds, Hawaiian stories and the translation of Hawaiian words, our captains were very knowledgeable and fascinating.
This is a MUST DO trip at Kauai’s North Shore. The trips are scheduled daily from March through part of October, depending on the water conditions. Whales give birth here in winter and the best months for seeing humpbacks are March and April and some in early May. We would not recommend this ride for anyone with back problem. For reservations call 1 808 828 1379. On the rare occasion these beautiful blue waters in Paradise are too rough, Gary will try to accommodate you the next day or refund your money.