Virtuoso Traveler - June/July 2017 - 48
HANGING TEN IN HANALEI BAY
Surfing was a favorite Polynesian pastime
before Europeans arrived on the islands in
the late eighteenth century, and it remains
one of the most popular ways to enjoy the
ocean. For beginners, Hanalei Bay is the
ideal spot - the surf is calm, water temperatures are comfortable most of the year,
and the easygoing instructors are intimately
familiar with the bay. Beginners learn three
simple rules: Face the shore, keep your feet
in position, and don't look down.
I'm in my 50s and had never surfed, but
during a two-hour lesson in Hanalei Bay, I
learn you're never too old to catch a wave.
After about an hour in the water, I'm up
on my board and riding one all the way
to shore, a thrilling moment. "You had
a rough start, but you came a long way,"
my instructor tells me. "I don't feel
satisfied unless you get a good run in."
Most first-timers, he adds, have at least
a couple of good runs, and many say
surfing is one of the highlights of their
time on the island.
SAILING & HIKING THE NA PALI COAST
There's no place quite like the Na Pali
Coast, a series of verdant cliffs and clefts
sculpted by rain and the incessant pounding
of the sea along Kauai's north shore. (Imagine a 4,000-foot-high accordion at an angle
covered in vibrant green vegetation.)
One of the best ways to see and access Na
Pali, which means "the cliffs" in Hawaiian, is
on a sailing tour that includes opportunities
to snorkel. In winter, excursions often leave
from Port Allen Harbor, a short drive from
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa at the
island's south end; in summer months, you
can depart from Hanalei near The St. Regis
Princeville Resort. Vibrant sea life (look for
big blue parrot fish, purple triggerfish, and
long slender needlefish) highlights snoroften
keling sessions. Dolphins and
frequent coves along the coast as well.
"An excellent way to see Na Pali is by
helicopter. Mornings are the best time to
view this magnificent coastline."
- Suzanne Perun
As a counterpoint, our advisor suggested
a brief hike on Na Pali's Kalalau Trail,
where lookout points offering panoramic
vistas are located at the trail's quarter- and
half-mile marks. After two days of sailing,
we take her advice and set out from Ke'e
Beach. Steady rain, a frequent occurrence
on the lush north shore, makes it a different
kind of watery adventure, but we watch
our steps as we ascend.When we arrive at
the half-mile lookout, a double rainbow
arcs over the sea, a lasting image that we'll
remember long after we're home and dry.
Hiking the Na Pali Coast's Kalalau
Trail and (right) surf's up.
4 8 V I R T U O S O T R AV E L E R
(HIKING) GRANT ORDELHEIDE/TANDEMSTOCK.COM,
(SURFING) SERGIO BALLIVIAN/TANDEMSTOCK.COM
I'm in my 50s and had never surfed,
but during a two-hour lesson in Hanalei Bay,
I learn you're never too old to catch a wave.