Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bali Hai

The day started off with a double rainbow, how could it be anything but perfect!

The weather was gorgeous, the seas calm(ish), and the boat within walking distance of the house. We wandered down towards the dock at 7:15. Just as we got there the van was pulling up with all our other boat buddies coming in from Hanelei and then we all watched the boat as it was launched into the water. It wasn't long before we were all aboard and heading down to the Na Pali coast. The boat's name is the Seabreeze and truly, the day (well, morning) was as perfect as the name implies.

Isn't that a great picture! Don't thank the parents, Aidan took that one. His photography class skills have shown all trip. There were 14 of us aboard and two captains. The Seabreeze had it's annual Coast Guard inspection immediately after our trip so our Captain Bob
had his friend Capt. Rick there to help. That way we had two very knowledgeable tour guides and the trip was the better for it. Each had their own take on the tour and since Steve and I were sitting in different parts of the boats we heard both. Capt. Bob focused on the history and land forms, while Captain Rick made sure we knew exactly which celebrity lived where. I can now somewhat confidently say that Julia Robert's house has a green roof and is is NOT on Anini beach but is still close by.

The sea was full of swells on the way down the Na Pali coast, otherwise known as Bali Hai. From the sea, we saw the beach where Mitzi Gaylor washed that man right out of her hair and the scenery that National Geographic considers the second most beautiful coast line in the world. You have to admit, it is pretty spectacular, even with our amateur photography skills. The water is at least this gorgous.
And every bit of the scenery breathtaking. We saw valleys that looked virtually inhabitable they were so steep and rugged, and yet thousands of ancient Polynesians lived there for centuries. We saw the 'warrior' cliffs where the young boys would train for their lives as warriors diving off one cliff and swimming up to a virtually unswimmable beach only to have to reclimb a cliff for some other test of their manhood. Impressive stuff. As Capt. Rick said, this was when men were men! Speaking of that, I forgot to mention that Captian Rick (easily a man in his 60's) makes a yearly swim/run down and back the Na Pali coast in some kind of race...8.5 mile open water swim (with flippers and mask and snorkel and then an 11.5 mile run back up the Na Pali coast trail where parts of the trail are 18 inches wide and if you misstep once you fall down a very tall cliff! The swim part that sounded okay to me.....

When we reached our lunch spot, we immediately saw some turtles swimming in the waters around the boat. Yea! I love turtles. Capt. Bob declared the waters calm enough to swim so we donned our snorkel gear and jumped off the boat for an hour long snorkel. We saw plenty of fish and another monk seal sunning itself on the reef. We also saw a few of those beautiful turtle friends up close. Thanks again to Aidan for capturing them with the camera. It is much harder than it looks to get beautiful underwater shots.
On the way back we saw an entire pod of dolphins swimming along side the boat, jumping and playing. Quite a sight. I even saw a baby swimming right in tow with its mama and a friend. So cute. And then just as we were about to head in over Fringe Reef (the reef surrounding Anini beach that happens to be the largest living coral reef in Hawaii) we saw a baby humpback whale surface. Capt. Bob stopped the boat and we waited and watched until mama and baby came up to the surface again. Quite a sight to see them so close. The water over the reef was shallow the mama whale couldn't flip her tale when she was surfacing and diving because that would have taken her deeper than she was able to go. All in all, it was an amazing morning. Steve however was raring to go more, so as we are walking back up the beach he's planning our next big adventure--hiking above Princeville. Aidan and I stayed home savoring the last one while Steve went by himself and took this picture of some interesting tree he saw on the hill. That boy can go and go forever, Just like the energizer bunny!

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