Kauai Na Pali Coast Nikon Z9 Ocean Touring PhaseOne Photography

Capturing Kauai – Cruising The Na Pali Coast with Makana

What a difference one week’s time can make. Especially when in comes to perspective.

Last week, the highlight of perspective for me is the extraordinary view provided when standing on top of Ni‘ani‘au point (summit). It is located on the Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai in the state of Hawaii in the United States.  The Post for that story and shoot are [here].

This week, the highlight of perspective for me is observing Ni‘ani‘au point (summit) from the deck of the Na Pali Kai III, a short distance from shore.

Another highlight of perspective for me is observing Ni‘ani‘au point (summit) from the air.

By Sea.

By Land.

By Air.

The images captured from the water of The Na Pali Coast contained within this Post only happen because of the graciousness of Captain Dave Asman, and the owners of Makana Charters & Tours.  Dave and Makana are letting me occupy an empty passenger seat (when available) in order for me to start scouting the coast-line for potential photo-shoots.  Once I am ready, I plan on conducting a series of private shoots so I can capture images similar to that of my other works.  For the present, I am a happy traditional passenger.

The images below are taken by me operating as an otherwise normal passenger on a Makana Tour. Makana did not have me sit in a special spot, did not adjust the course to my benefit, did not slow down or speed up such that I could capture an image I desired. On this trip I am effectively another tourist with a camera. Therefore, these are the kinds of vantage points you will observe, and shots you could capture while on the Makana Tour.

— Jeff’s Thoughts & Other Worthless Trivia —

The Trip and Route of the Na Pali Kai III

On this day The Na Pali Kai III takes us on a trip of about 50 miles in length (roundtrip).  We leave Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor in Kekaha at 2:00PM and return around 6:45PM.

On this day, most of the trip is experienced under cloud cover, threat of rain, light rain, with bursts of sun.  The last few hours of the trip are conducted in sun.  This is a positive development for experiencing the one hour of snorkeling on the coastline.

While conditions are not conducive for professional level photos, the weather allows the patrons to experience the dynamics of travelling the coast – first hand.  This is a great deal for the people who paid good money on the hope of experiencing an exotic trip.

The Na Pali Kai III

Life contains a great deal of irony. One irony – The Na Pali Kai III is close to my heart.  As a new resident of Waimea, I ran (or walked) to the Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor in Kekaha on most days. The advent of COVID-19 had shut down most of Kauai.  Linda and The Border Collies had yet to arrive. So… each day as part of the four mile round-trip, I would greet The Na Pali Kai III, and she me.  I would pat her on the hull not knowing when she would next grace the ocean and Na Pali coastline.

Today with COVID-19 restrictions at a minimum,  A trip to the harbor by Linda, The Border Collies, and Jeff occurs at least once, and often twice a day.  The harbor is active and The Na Pali Kai III is one of our key reference points.  In short, the beach walk, the harbor, and The Na Pali Kai III are part of our life.

The Na Pali Kai during COVID-19 Shutdown.

Makana Charters and Tours

For almost two years, Linda, The Border Collies, and I have ventured to the boat harbor and observed the tour operators.  One way or another we interact with most each day.  The Border Collies are known best.  More often than not, The Border Collies are a Featured Attraction at the Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor.

Makana Captain Dave Asman goes out of his way to say hello and greet us. Makana is family owned and operated.  Makana could best be described as efficient, professional, yet casual. Family member Joda, runs the show at the harbor.  It is my understanding that she and her husband now act as the primary operators.  Joda welcomed us to the area early on in our residency.

A link to the Makana Charters and Tours website is [here].

Note: I have not received any financial compensation from Makana. However, they come highly recommended.
















3 Replies to “Capturing Kauai – Cruising The Na Pali Coast with Makana

  1. Hi Jeff,
    Phenomenal photographs! Great compositions that make me excited about my upcoming trip to Kauai in a couple of weeks. I will be viewing the Na’Pali coast from the air (doors off helicopter), sea (Makana) and land. Wondering what you’d recommend for lenses for my full-frame DSLRs (Nikon D850 & D750) – I was thinking primarily a wide-angle (15-30mm f/2.8) mostly for air & land, and add my 70-200mm f/2.8 for sea. I’ll also have a GoPro for underwater shots, and a Fuji x100v for when I want to go light. Would appreciate your thoughts.

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