Unique Na Pali Experience
By Nathaniel Fisher
Na Pali Experience
Please tell us about your business.
Na Pali Experience is the best of both worlds. We conduct tours of the coast on a 24-foot power catamaran that is the size of a zodiac. So we are comfortable like a catamaran, but we are able to do what the Zodiacs do, like traveling into sea caves. In addition, we only have six passengers. So we get a lot of families and parties that have private tours. It’s affordable and it is a new way to see the Na Pali.
What kind of tours do you provide?
We have two five-hour tours. They are conducted in the same way — the same route, sea caves and snorkel spots. The only thing that’s different about them is that they depart at different times of the day and return at different times. One is called the “Morning Magic” tour with a 7 a.m. departure.
The second is called the “Afternoon Adventure” that leaves at 2 p.m.
What are the differences in the tours?
They definitely have different strong points. In the morning, the water is generally a lot calmer and the dolphins are much easier to find. The strong points of the afternoon tour is that you don’t have to wake up at 5 a.m. in the morning. Also, the sun is no longer behind the coast, it’s in front of the coast and the lighting goes from a casted shadow that turns into “fire.” So it’s a great time for people who are into photography or people who just want to see the coast at its best lighting and don’t mind the wind and splashy seas.
What are some of the stops that you make?
On the morning tour, our first stop will be at the first pod of dolphins we see. We continue on and stop at different valleys and talk about the different folklore at each valley. There’s a lot of history at Na Pali. The movies are also something we like to talk about. As we work our way up the coast, we come to the sea cave section which we explore and it’s always a highlight of the tour. The spot that we snorkel at is Nualolo, which is special because only a certain amount of people are allowed in the area at a time and only smaller boats are allowed. It is one of the best spots to snorkel on the coast.
Why do you do what you do?
This is right up my alley — it feels right. I’ve also been business-oriented since a very young age.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your business?
Without question, above any dollar amount is being able to bring a new method of touring the Na Pali Coast to people and seeing their reactions. Sometimes I like to go down to the harbor and watch the boats come in after their tours, and it’s the coolest feeling in the world to watch people come off the boats, hugging and taking pictures with the kids. To me, that’s the ultimate.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your business?
The maintenance behind anything that has to do with salt water — it’s non-stop. It’s all-consuming, and if I didn’t love my job it would not be worth it.
When do you offer these tours?
We open May 1 and go out every day until Sept. 30. The reason we are not year-round is because the whole thing behind our tour is the snorkeling spot at Nualolo and the sea caves. In the winter, you can’t really visit those locations.
What makes you get up every day and go to work?
I love my job. There are four of us captains and we’re all passionate about what we do.