This was my third trip to the Hawaiian Islands, having visited the Island of Hawaii (Big Island) with a day trip to Oahu and Maui on previous trips. Kauai is known as the garden island and the lush greenery lives up to that name.
The Napali coast is breathtakingly beautiful and the trails a little more rugged than my previous hiking experience on other islands. I got to experience beautiful sunny weather as well as a tropical depression and pouring rain, while beautiful it did limit my scuba opportunities and severely hampered the “super blue blood moon” lunar eclipse. I was lucky enough to catch the end of the eclipse through intermittent clear patches as the storm system moved out. The highlight of the trip was getting to see whales, so many whales! Most of the encounters were seeing them quite a bit off-shore as they breached and splashed but the closest encounter was seeing a humpback whale dive 150ft (50m) away from the boat (during a scuba trip) and on a later trip seeing dolphins surf just under waves (felt like a Planet Earth episode). Sadly, I didn’t have the right equipment to take photos of either of those experiences but actually I’m glad I experienced that moment instead of worrying about capturing it. In summary: sun, rain, waves, beach, marine mammals, hikes, and poke (a lot of poke)!