Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sailing and flying......................

Our last adventure in Hawaii was taking the sunset dinner sail on the Southern Star Catamaran along the world famous coastline of Napali (Na Pali) on Kauai, Hawaii's oldest inhabited island. 

Barnacle-nosed breaching/spouting humpback whale - yeah! I snapped a nose at last!

The weather was iffy all day following heavy rains and local flooding. They decided the sail was a go, so we kicked off our flip-flops, donned plastic ponchos (brought back memories of Vietnam in December for Paula and I - we have done a lot of wet sightseeing lately), clambered aboard with about 20 other brave sailors, a jolly crew of five including the chef, and by early afternoon we were heading out to sea. Not long out of the dock and on our way toward the northwest coast, we were soon seeing humpback whales........

........and spinning dolphins.

By the time we reached Napali's 16 miles of rugged coast, the weather had changed for the worst with driving rain, fairly rough seas, and heavy fog.

Even with these conditions, the coastline - inaccessible to vehicles but visible from the sea, by helicopter, or some tough hiking - rose to 4,000 feet above the Pacific, and the views were otherworldly with the drifting fog and crashing waves.

Later, dinner was served, but sadly sunset was not visible. As darkness fell fast, we headed back to shore in horrid conditions - driving rain, crashing thunder, and huge sheets of lightning flashing across the heaving Pacific Ocean.  Our captain did a fabulous job bringing us safely to harbor and as we debarked the catamaran, we all agreed it was a great sail despite the lack of sunshine and smooth water.


San Francisco Bay and the city - Golden Gate Bridge just visible in the center.  Photo taken from the plane as we headed home.

Returned to the mainland on Sunday, leaving poor Kauai in the grips of torrential rain and severe flooding.  Today I heard that the Governor has declared Kauai in a state of emergency - I just hope all the wonderful people we met there are safe and that the weather improves very soon for both locals and tourists.

35,000 feet above the Colorado Rockies - snow covered mountains from the window.

After a couple of nights at Paula's home, and that wonderful drive to Napa Valley, we headed to Raleigh on Tuesday afternoon................arriving here very late without our bags, and creeping, somewhat exhausted, into a house with no water due to a break in our main line from the street!!!  At 2:00 AM the bags showed up, BUT the water was never coming back without the help of a friendly plumber. Thanks for all your good wishes - fortunately we have no water inside the house - just in the garden.

You'll never guess where I'm writing this post!  Stay tuned - I'll tell you next time.


  1. The scenery looks wonderful but I'm really glad I wasn't with you if the sea was rough:)

  2. I have been whale watching a few times, but never managed to get as good a shot as you have here. Somehow the dark brooding clouds add to the atmosphere very well.

  3. I am glad you had such a nice time, the pictures of the coast of Kauai were wonderful, we loved the island when we stayed there, so sad that they have problems due to the rain.

    I hope you manage to get your water restored ok, so glad there was none in the house.

  4. That sounds like quite a sail! Glad you are home safe....hope your water gets fixed quickly!

  5. The rains made for some gorgeous coastline photos! Wow, to be in that on a catamarand! Hearing Kauai was declared a state of emergency after you left had to worry you. I do hope all was well with those good people you left behind!

  6. These photos of the coastline are gorgeous even in the nasty weather. So beautiful! Sorry you had to come home to no water but I see by your latest post all is well now. Your flowers are so pretty! Hugs, Pamela

  7. My how time has passed and I haven't visited you. Another wonderful trip and I will have to remember the catamaran trip when we go to Kauai in two years. Love, love, love seeing the humpbacks.


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