We woke up at 5am, and began to prepare for another all day adventure in Kauai. Today we were hoping to see dolphins, and boy were we in for a treat! It was day 6 of our familymoon, and we were going on a 6 hour trip on a raft along the Na Pali coast. First order of business after checking in was buying Dramamine for Jessica. She gets sea sick, so ginger gum and Dramamine were in order. After that, we put our belongings in a waterproof bag, met some of the other people that would be on the raft with us and met our Captain and tour guide.
The tour guide was super friendly, energetic, enthusiastic, and very passionate about Hawaii, and her culture and hawaiian history. We loved listening to her talk to us about the ancient fishing villages along this coastline, stories about the Polynesian triangle, and Pele, the goddess of fire and the Polynesian triangle. At the beginning of the tour, maybe about a half hour out on the ocean, we came upon a very large pod of Spinner Dolphins. Some of them swam right alongside our raft! It was fun to hear everyone on the raft oohing and awwing, and especially to hear William. It's very sweet to hear a kid excited about something so precious. The water is so clear and turquoise, so it was easy to see them swimming around us. It was definitely a highlight of the trip.
We also went to the cave where Robin Williams was filmed in the movie Popeye, and many other films and music videos have been filmed at. This coastline is also the coast that was used for the movie Jurassic Park and Pirates of the Caribbean. It is a famous place, an ancient place, gorgeous, and only accessible by boat or looking down on from a helicopter.
The raft was fun to ride on, but scary too, at least to Jessica. You are on an inflatable raft, sitting on the edge, with only a rope to hang onto. It is a fast, bumpy ride along the waves, and only recommended for people that are physically fit, no heart problems, pregnancy, etc. The afternoon ride back was rough. A small rain had started, and the waves were higher and rougher, and there was no way to film anything on the way back as all of us were hanging on tight. Jessica was really seasick on the way back, but the beauty and wild ride was still fun. We sat towards the back so we got pretty wet on the ride back, which wasn't bad, considering all of us were wet already from snorkeling.
Before snorkeling we went on a hike through a beautiful area off the beach that had many Noni trees, and if you haven't smelled fresh Noni before, well it is quite an acquired smell and taste. we walked past an ancient burial ground, and the place where Pele was supposedly buried, as well as pondering on the giant X on the side of a mountain that is taller than the Empire state building. Hawaiians believe that Pele marked her favorite places on Earth, and formed the Polynesian triangle, this place was marked with one of the 3 X's found in this triangle. It's a really interesting story. After the hike, it was time for lunch. The crew had made a delicious deli sandwich and cookies, paired with guava and passionfruit juice. After that it was time to snorkel in one of the most pristine and gorgeous places on Earth.
Jack didn't snorkel, as he cannot swim, and it took Jessica some time to get over her fear of being in the open ocean, in deep water. William was really excited and wanted to snorkel with everyone right away. Jessica swam out a few times with William, not far from the raft, but no where near out where everyone else was, but when she saw how badly William wanted to go explore with everyone, she worked up the courage to swim out further and deeper than any other time during this trip. Although we had visited Anini beach to try and snorkel, we never went where we couldn't touch, so this was a big hoop to jump through for Jessica. She quickly became comfortable, as she always says when she has her camera and is doing something that pushes her outside of her comfort zone, as she says, " my camera is my super power."
William and her had a blast swimming around seeing a vast variety of fish. William was overjoyed to spot a "Dori" and a "Nemo" fish. After this snorkeling adventure, both William and Jessica were excited to do more snorkeling, so when the raft trip was over, we headed out looking for more beaches and adventures!
Jessica didn't bring her good Nikon gear for this trip, but instead used an Olympus Tough, which held up nicely, and took quite a beating throughout the whole Kauai vacation, and still works well.