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“Great whale watch under challenging conditions”

Endless Summer Charters
Ranked #2 of 16 things to do in Kawaihae
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 7, 2013

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.

4  Thank Honu_Ohana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"captain bryan"
in 28 reviews
"makani kai"
in 8 reviews
"whale watching"
in 11 reviews
"private charter"
in 8 reviews
"spinner dolphins"
in 15 reviews
"kawaihae harbor"
in 4 reviews
"kohala coast"
in 7 reviews
"fried chicken"
in 4 reviews
"maui onion"
in 2 reviews
"sailing trip"
in 2 reviews
"the big island"
in 20 reviews
"pineapple"
in 6 reviews
"amazing morning"
in 3 reviews
"protected cove"
in 2 reviews
"tropical fish"
in 4 reviews
"highlight of our trip"
in 6 reviews
"these guys"
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108 - 112 of 117 reviews

Reviewed January 8, 2013

Great trips with Capt Brian. Booked two mornings in a row. First day was light on sightings - snorkeling and a cool sighting of a manta ray cruising but not much else. Capt Brian extended the trip at no charge and on a hunch headed out to sea and....we had a great whale sighting. Next morning our 9 year old daughter had her heart set on swimming with the dolphins and we got lucky early. First, saw bottle nosed and they were fun but not that engaged, and then we found the spinners. In we went and we had an amazing, prolonged snorkel with them...fantastic. And then the icing on the cake, more whale sightings, a really great trip. Not cheap, but an experience of a life time and well worth it.

Thank Alex S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Captain Brian and crew provided excellent service from the food and drinks to swimming with spinner dolphins sailing a 40 ft catamaran around the kohala coast of the big island doesnt get any better than this private charter no better activity for the whole family we will never forget it mahalo makani kai 2 captAin and crew

Thank rtkona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2012

We set sail with Capt. Brian and Randy on what was the best whale watching experience my wife and I have had. Upon arrival at the dock, we found that we were the only two scheduled for the tour. So we had a personalized, guided tour around the bay. As soon as we got out in the open waters, we had found a pod of spinner dolphins and Capt. Brian matched speed as they swam around and under the boat for quite a while. As soon as we left the dolphins, we were on the trail of the humpbacks for the rest of the tour. We were able to catch multiple views of the humpbacks diving and playing around. Being that it was just the two of us, Capt. Brian extended the trip since we were having such a great time. If your looking for friendly, curtious and informative experience, then these guys are the best (you won't get this level of service from anyone else!). Thanks Capt. Brian, look forward to the next trip when we return.

1  Thank HawaiiMikeS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 11, 2012

We went out on a 3 and a 1/2 hour trip and saw dolphins and even snorkeled with them! On our way to the snorkel sight we saw a humpback whale and it's baby breaching and splashing right next to the boat...This was before whale season so we felt really excited to see that! Then we went snorkeling with green sea turtles, tropical fish and coral gardens... the best I have ever seen. We set sail back to Kawaihae with full sails and no motor...and the captain served up some delicious BBQ and fresh cut pineapple. About a mile from the harbor we hooked up to a Big Mahi Mahi which the crew cut up and let us take back to our condo.( which we bbq'd that night and was the best fish i had ever tasted!) they provided excellent service and was the highlight of our vacation for a reasonable price with no crowds. We almost went on another boat but that one had over 20 other passengers on it. There were only 4 of us on a beautiful large catamaran. My favorite part was riding up on the nets under sail.

Thank Christopher c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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