Day 4 Kauai - NaPali Sea Cave fast boat tour

Date: 2006-06-17
Location: Hawaii 06

We got up and made reservations with the NaPali Raiders, then rushed toward Waimea. Once checked in we went and ate some breakfast in a local coffee shop. Around 10:00 am, following the others, we drove to Kikiaola Harbor and perched ourselves inside the raft. There were about twenty some of us. A couple pairs of newly weds. Seyo no doubt was the smallest passenger onboard, maybe even the smallest ever. With some swift maneuvers, the captain took the boat out to the open sea. Once out in the opening, he cracked up the engine. The rubber raft roared to life, jumping up and down, dashing in and out of the waves, as water splashed around us. All passengers gasped as a couple of big waves hit the bottom of the boat, and the boat went skyrocketing into the air then smashed down on the water. Surprisingly, all passengers seemed to be holding on to the rope, no one had fallen overboard. Even sitting all the way on the back of the boat with the assistant captain right behind me and my right hand gripped tightly around the rope, I felt no safer. I hold Seyo closely to my chest, and I locked my both of my arms cress-cross in front of him. Lured by the beauty of sea caves and the possibilities of entering these beautiful openings in the mighty NaPali coast, the idea the ride might be a bit too rough for us, especially for Seyo, had not occurred to me until then. To my amazement, he seemed to actually enjoying the whole ride. In my arms, he was busily snapping pictures of people around us. I was too relieved to see his delight and not to worry about these bad pictures he had been taken (assuming most of them would be snapshots of someone’s foot, someone’s hand, a piece of something…).

Soon, however, I realized that I shouldn’t have eaten the breakfast at all. The rolling motions of the boat during each stop send waves of nausea through me. Once in motion, I feel a bit better. The small raft was fast and the captain maneuvered it amazingly through the sea caves with tremendous speed. First was the open ceiling cave, a round shape cave with one entrance. Once inside, I was temporarily blinded by the intensive sun light cast down from the top of the open ceiling. As if Pinocchio been swallowed by whale, I examined the surrounding with awe. Sea water lapped the jiggered rocks around the cave. In the middle of water was a small piece of land, large enough for a couple of people to stand there, protruding out of the otherwise blue sea water. Before I could snap a picture of it, however, our courageous captain had zoomed our robber raft out of cave in top speed, leaving only a trail of bubbles, foams, and waves behind us.

After that, we encountered a few more sea caves. At the entrance of couple of caves, newly wedded couples were dosed by the water fall that cascaded down the mountain side. Though I had many shots at the breathtaking views, the splashes from ocean and the jerking movement prevented me from taking any good pictures. I also used one of the disposable under water camera in most case here. Unfortunately, either because the film had been exposed during custom inspection or was there too much abrupt movement, the pictures were of very poor quality. In one occasion, I attempted despairly to snap a picture or two while we seemed nearly flying through a mysterious dark cave from one side while existed from another side.

Asides from sea caves, we also came across several beautiful beaches nested on the boot of Na Pali. A few of them was inaccessible from any trails. One of them was actually an secrete ancient burial site for the natives Hawaiians.

By afternoon, the boat turned. Near a beach with smooth surface, the captain dropped anchor as we drifted on the rocking sea. At this time, the passengers were allowed to jump down into the sea, either to swim around or to snorkel at their pleasures. Under some strange spell, my little boy had fallen asleep during the return trip despite the thunderous noise from the engine and the jerky movement from the boat. His little head rested peacefully on my chest even though his little body has been thrown into the air several times while the boat ran from one wave to the next. I had no choice but sat on the boat and held him. Once stopped, the afternoon heat immediately become unbearable. As the boat rocked back and forth, I was overcome by a full blow of sea sickness. I begged the boat would start move again soon.

It wasn’t until some half an hour later, we started to move again. By then, my legs were so weak I barely able to move myself to the back of the boat. The rest of the trip went by without been noted much, for I just wanted to be back to the hotel and lay down. At one point, I almost panicked when both of our engines failed. We sat there for at least ten or fifteen minutes before one of them then the other roared back to life. To me, the waiting time was like eternity. As we pulled into the harbor, I noticed the surf was huge here. Several times, I though the powerful surf was going to catch up with us and toss the boat over. Despite all these, we made to the pier safely.

Magically, once the boat was docked, Seyo opened his eyes. He smiled at me as if he had just waking up from a beautiful dream. We return to our car and drove back to the hotel.

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