From the Captain’s Log: Hawaii
This week, we’re diving into the Captain’s log for a look at a week aboard the Safari Explorer. With year-round operations in Hawaii, the 36-guest Explorer and her crew are no strangers to adventure. Read on to see what this week had in store…
Guests embarked the Safari Explorer, with a lot of returning UnCruisers this week. Smooth departure from Kona.
We started our trip with a Snorkel 101 at Pawai and it was great. We were able to make a snorkel happen for a guest that hadn’t been in 30 years. Great job team!!! After the snorkel, we went for a blue water wildlife search throughout the afternoon. The guests enjoyed a presentation about fish after dinner. Meanwhile, we had spinner dolphins at sunset that were being very playful and riding our bow wake. Evening crossing in the Alenuihaha.
Headed up to Lana’i today and it was spectacular! There was a NW gale, so we anchored up at Manele for a snorkel and it was fantastic, so good! We had great visibility and had octopus, turtles, and pretty much every species of butterflyfish. Guests were so excited. After lunch, we went ashore to Lana’i and to the Cat Sanctuary. Then we all hiked to Sweetheart Rock before heading back to the vessel for dinner and happy hour. The night ended with a whale presentation from one of our guides.
This morning we tucked into Olowalu for stunning flat clam conditions. We offered kayak and skiff tours, and both were very heavy on humpback encounters. The kayak group followed a slowly moving group with maybe six or seven animals that started to get surface-active. Meanwhile, the skiff tour bounced between several very active groups of whales. After the morning activities, we had a swim party on the back deck. We got the stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) down and had several takers on SUPing. After lunch we cruised, looking for whales and found lots of active groups throughout the afternoon! In the evening, we offered a presentation on Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. After, we anchored up at Launiupoko for the evening and were still surrounded by humpbacks whaling around in the sunset.
Today was our sunrise whale watch day on the skiffs. Such an amazing skiff ride with lots of good encounters. Right off the bat, both groups had a surface-active group with lots of chin slaps and very impressive behaviors. One of the skiffs had a mom and baby swim right up to them under their skiff! After the early morning whale watch, we went to Mala for snorkeling and had all the usual highlights - turtles, frogfish, and reef sharks. We spent the afternoon in Lahaina checking out the town and then got back on for our happy hour guest speaker. He is the founder of the Kohola Film Project and gave a captivating talk on his work and new humpback findings. The guests were enthralled. After dinner, I played some tunes for the folks, which also was well received.
This morning we started at Kamaiki Point over on Lana’i, with a kayak and skiff tour from Armchair to Manele. Both groups came across spinner dolphins around Manele Bay. After lunch we cruised offshore looking for spotted dolphins and found them a few miles off the Pali stretch of southwest Lana’i. After spending some time with the dolphins, we headed into Dinosaur Cove for an afternoon snorkel. When the skiffs were on their way back from the snorkel site, they both found bottlenose dolphins, which completed our dolphin trifecta for the week. After getting back to the boat we got underway and did a scenic happy hour cruise. Our evening program was Trivia Night and guests seemed to really enjoy it.
Halawa Day! We had a nice sunny day for our adventures at Halawa Valley and the hiking group was able to make it up to the waterfall today. Many of the guests chose to stay and do the Hale option with Greg and it was spectacular as always. After getting back aboard we had a happy hour and got guests out to the Pa’ina for dinner. After arriving back on the boat, we watched the slideshow from the week.
Disembarkation day, where we said a hui’ hou to some very happy UnCruisers.