This was our second trip with Capt. Bryan on Makani Kai II, Endless Summer Charters’ large sailing catamaran based in Kawaihae. (We had gone on in January 2012, see that review below as well for more info. The harbor is about 15-20 minutes’ drive from the Kohala resorts.)
We had originally booked a morning snorkel sail, hoping to see some of the sites north of Kawaihae. However, the day of our trip was marked by high surf and roaring trade winds. (As a note, the boat handles very well in swells and wind, so it was a very comfortable trip and we felt very safe.)
As we noted last year, Captain Bryan is a good skipper, knowledgeable about the ocean life and snorkel spots in the area, and really cares about his guests being comfortable and having fun. Although he and the crew searched diligently both south and north of Kawaihae, the combination of wind and surf made underwater visibility poor and snorkeling conditions unsafe, so we and the other passengers agreed to make the trip a whale watch instead.
That was a great success…we saw many whales, some of which came quite close to the boat after we hove to and were watching them. We also saw several pods of spinner dolphins. Afterwards, my husband we made our traditional stop at Anuenue in the shopping center at Kawaihae Junction to get some of their great shave ice.
The boat carries a variety of sodas and juices and water in the coolers; I believe there is BYOB for adult beverages, so you might check about that when you book. We definitely will book again on our next trip and look forward to snorkeling at some of the interesting spots we saw north of Kawaihae that are not readily accessible by land due to steep and rocky shorelines, cliffs, etc.
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