Kayak Hanalei's departure and return is visible from the river as there are only 2 turn offs on the entire lazy river between the Wildlife Refuge & Kayak Hanalei. The sign, large Hawaiian flag, and canal is just past the only homes you will see on the river when returning from the Wildlife Refuge.
The 1st double kayak of 2 returned at 5pm. The customer stated his wife had been just behind him but must have missed the turn off. If paddlers miss the turn and continue paddling downstream to the ocean, but turn around a soon as they see Hanalei Bay, it should take no longer than 20 minutes at most to return to the dock. If paddlers continue to the beach and pull up on the beach or choose to go out into the bay, it will take 45 minutes to return to the dock.
All equipment is due back at the dock by 5:30pm. Upon closing & prior to leaving for the day, Kayak Hanalei messaged the customer that office staff & dock personnel would wait until 5:45pm for the kayak to return and if they were not back by that time, to pull all equipment up on our dock and an employee would return later in the evening to put all equipment away.
All rentals are self guided rentals. Staff remain on the dock during business hours of 8am-5:30pm to assist customers. If customers return late (we've had people return up to 2 hours late for various reasons- loss of time, wanted to stay out later, etc) they will have to pull their own equipment up. This is in consideration to employees that we do not expect to work more than a 10 hour day waiting an extra 30 mins to upwards of 2 hours for late returnees.
As Kayak Hanalei has security cameras throughout the property, we were notified when the last double kayak returned to the dock at 6pm. The customer was notified via text that we were aware that the final double kayak had returned at that time.
We have the exchange between owner and customer on video and the owner definitely did not say what is stated in this review. The owner stated, "You should never leave your family (wife & child) behind and stick together." As it is a summer month and the ocean is flat and calm, many customers paddle in the bay and most turn around prior to going out into the bay or pull up on the beach. Office staff go over a map with all customers indicating turn offs and time frames. The final kayaker was not in any danger as the Hanalei River and Bay areas are very calm this time of year.
The customer did not want to pay the late fee, but as stated on the waiver form signed, all late returnees will be charged the listed late fee.