Zach’s been chomping at the bit to go surfing again with Cousin Benny. In just a very short while, we’re back at Benny’s house. Benny’s happy we’re back. “Cousin Zach: You want to go surfing tomorrow? There’s been a hurricane at the
The next morning, we get into Benny’s truck, load the boards and start heading towards Hanalei. From a distance, we can see the big ocean swell. Benny reassures me he will find a sport where Zach can safely surf. When we get there, I station myself on the pier that serves as a good vantage point: I can keep an eye on Zach and also watch the pro surfers that are gathered to ride the big waves breaking "right."
My adrenalin starts to pump as I watch these brave souls ride the big ones. When I glance over to check on Zach his expression tells me he's got an adrenaline rush going as he tries to avoid getting clobbered by the five and six foot waves. It can be pretty scary around big breaking waves - they can bite you! The sky is beautiful; mostly cloudy with broken patches of blue sky against the rich chocolate brown mountains and lush green hills. Hanalei is as close to paradise as I've ever seen.
After several hours of hanging-out at the beach, we head back to Benny's for dinner. Now we only have one more day left on
Our instructions from the tour company read, "drive to the Industrial Harbor, park your car, and register at the office. From there you will be escorted onto a large catamaran."
There aren't any roads to the Na Pali Coast. Its sheer cliffs that drop straight down, thousands of feet into the sea, making it accessible only by boat or hiking through the mountains.
Our Captain, young, tall and tan. Captain Dave, introduces himself. He says although the hurricane brought big swells, the weather radar shows things are settling down. "Our afternoon tour should be quite nice." After everyone gets on the big cat, our sail out to the coast is pleasant. We pass a Navy base with long beaches that are closed to the public. We see a convey of tour helicopters taking tourists on an aerial view along the coast and inside the Na Pali valley.
Kauai’s Na Pali Coast is one of the most awesome sites I've ever seen. Captain Dave says many big movies like
Suddenly, a bright blue flying fish lands on the boat. A young Hawaiian boy, with a beautiful bronze tan, his name is
As our tour continues, we are being followed: It’s a school of bottlenose dolphins flanking both the port and starboard sides of our boat. They’re happy and are playing. We watch as they jump and spin before crashing back into the water. All they want to do is play. They certainly know a different way of living than me. I see the smiles on their faces as they enjoy being together and entertaining us. They’re motivation isn't about materialism – it’s about the love of being free and part of nature. I love it! Make a mental note: Something to learn here.
After awhile, they lose interest and move on. Their magic has spread among all of us and now we're really having a good time. As our Cat hugs the Na Pali coast we get to view some awesome sights. For one, the ocean is a deep turquoise color and is crystal clear. The rich brown volcanic cliffs and fertile green hills look this way because they receive their daily dose of rain. The colors are beautiful. As our tour continues, the Captain steers our boat way away from the coast and towards the ocean, Captain Dave calls our attention to a
A brief history lesson: To Hawaiians, the whale is a representation of the Hawaiian God, Kanaloa - the God of animals in the ocean. Humpback whales (na kohola) are found in all of the world's oceans, although they generally prefer near shore and near-island habitats for both feeding and breeding. A large percentage of the North Pacific whales migrate to the main
Before heading to the airport to catch our evening flight home, Benny and Kaikala want to take us to Duke's Canoe Club restaurant. The hostess, who Kaikala knows, finds us a nice table with open air seating. Benny suggests we order the Ono fish, a local fish of caught in the Hawaiian waters. When I take my first bite, it has a texture like Tuna. It’s full of flavor and is delicious. During our meal, we're entertained by two local Hawaiian women. One plays a hand painted Ovation guitar and the other plays a ukulele. They’re smiling as they lovingly play and sing traditional Hawaiian songs. After our nice dinner and a re-cap of how great it's been getting reconnected, we thank our hosts, say our goodbyes, and head to the airport.