Every day we were in Hawaii we were either in the water or out on it, sailing, snorkeling, paddling and swimming. Ben even tried surfing, and we both had a bash at paddleboarding.
Some of the highlights:
Sunset Cruise (Maui). Our first night on Maui we got on a sunset cruise, which was romantic and fun, and reminded us exactly why we love Maui so much.
We got our sea legs pretty quickly.
The views of the coastline were beautiful, but it was this that blew us away at the end of the evening:
We enjoyed our ‘champagne’ out of plastic cups, and dancing to old tunes (no easy task on a rocking yacht), but mostly were both we thrilled to be back out on the water. Our holiday began with a bang.
Beach bumming (Maui and Kaua’i). We didn’t spend too much time just laying on the beach with the occasional dip in the sea. We spent just enough. We got our Vitamin D, we chilled out, and we got a little tanned.
We even brought our ‘boys’ down so they could get the sun they’d been missing in Seattle.
(Yes, I know they aren’t real, but don’t tell Ben.)
On Kaua’i we got secret directions to Secret Beach. It took us a couple of U-turns, but we found it. When we arrived, we were the only ones there.
The view back along the coast was incredible.
And Ben is becoming quite the body surfer.
The water is an incredible color! We did read later, much like the information we discovered after our hike in Waimea Canyon, that the rips off the coast of Kaua’i have been responsible for a few casualties. There was one moment when I looked up from my book, and couldn’t see Ben in the surf. My heart leapt into my throat, mostly because we were alone, and I would not be able to rescue him without drowning myself, but he waved and called out from further down the beach.
Snorkeling Molokini Atoll (Maui). This trip took most of the day, and began by sailing out to the atoll on a double hulled catamaran.
Once there, we geared up, and got to the business of snorkeling one of the clearest and best snorkeling spots in the world.
Ben took some terrific underwater shots:
Our next stop was ‘Turtle Town’, where we swam with the sea turtles. At first I was doubtful we would see any, but I spotted the first one, followed it with Ben until we found a much bigger one, then we followed that one. I saw 4 turtles, and one of them was only a few feet from me. Ben has some terrific shots on his Flickr page of our last jaunt with the sea turtles (April 2007), so check them out.
I love sea turtles. They have such grace, and seem so wise (perhaps because some of them are over 100 years old). The native Hawaiians believe they are spiritual guides. I know that I feel a special kind of peace when I swim with them.
Kayaking Waimea River to a waterfall. This was a terrific afternoon on Kaua’i where we paddled up river about 2 and a half miles,
tied up our kayaks,
hiked another mile into the rain forest to the waterfall,
and then swam in it.
Our guide was a Hawaiian native who happily works for the family-run business. Terada knows her stuff, and loves her homeland. She tackled the hike (through mud, streams and over rocks) bare-footed. And she filled the hike with lots of interesting information about the terrain.
We hiked out on a different path, where we saw this waterfall.
We loved the whole thing; it was a terrific excursion.
Sailing up the Napoli Coast (Kaua’i). We took a sunset cruise off the coast of Kaua’i that took us up to the Napoli Coast (accessible only by boat or by foot).
The coastline is THE most beautiful I have ever seen. Our skipper took his time, and pointed out landmarks along the way. I think its beauty speaks for itself.
And yes, the water really was this brilliant aqua color. We could 80 feet to the ocean floor, and watched sea turtles swimming between the boat and the shore.
Ben wants to hike to this cave and camp here on our next trip to Kaua’i. I’d be up for that.
After we turned back, and the sun started to set, our skipper saw some spinner dolphins leaping out of the water not too far off our bow. He made his way over there, and Ben got some terrific footage as they swam off the wake of the bow.
I felt like a little kid. I couldn’t stop smiling.
Boarding (Surfing on Maui and Paddleboarding on Kaua’i). Ben had a go at long board surfing on Maui. He took a lesson with two other guys, and while they practiced their moves on land, they looked a little like the ‘Surfettes’.
He stood his first go, and continued to ride the waves. Not bad for a guy who grew up landlocked!
Paddleboarding was a whole new sport. You stand on a specially designed long board and paddle. You can catch waves, but must change to the surfer stance, and it takes a lot of practice. Ben had a lesson, and the next day taught me. On my birthday we spent a couple of hours paddling around Kalapaki Bay.
Lounging at the pool. We spent little time at the Marriott resort pool, but we made a point to swim, spa and sun ourselves. Wouldn’t you?
Hawaii was a brilliant time. We squeezed every moment out of our time there. And it is always a pleasure to travel with my best friend.