The are two new Ladies in Waimea Town and the West Side. Amelia W. and Billy have joined the fleet of Makana Charter Tours. Both boats are elegant and powerful. Both conduct their maiden voyage on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai in the State of Hawaii in the United States with me (and my wife Linda) as observers. What a privilege.
Different than with most Posts, I am simply a passenger on the trip.
Happy faces and hugs are an indicator of the day on the water. There are big smiles with this group at the beginning, and at the end.
The key to enjoying any trip on the Na Pali is having sun, some clouds for visual context, a chance to take a dip in the pond, and time spent at a variety of distances from the shoreline. Another critical aspect for enjoyment is the Captain and Crew. Historically, Makana is known for having Captains’ and Crew that are passionate for and knowledgeable about the area. Also, they are skilled and disciplined as it relates to seamanship.
My measuring stick for success on a tour of the Na Pali, is experiencing being close to shore, but at the same time having the full coast line in view for perspective. On this day, the passenger’s on Billy get a full dose of it.
This trip is essentially a Shake Out Tour or Maiden Voyage with Passengers on the Na Pali for both boats. Given the situation, Makana decides the entire fleet should meet up at Polihale and make a run together up the Na Pali Coast.
This is a day for occasional Show Us What You Got runs performed by each of the boats.
This is also a day for cruising and floating.
The debut for Billy and Amelia K. was a load of fun. Below is a digital scrapbook of pictures I grabbed as one of the passengers on the trip.
*** Jeff’s Thoughts & Other Worthless Trivia ***
So how long is one of these tours and where does the ship go?
The trips are normally 4-5 hours in length. For the South and West sides of the island, the trips on the bigger boats (e.g., Amelia K.) begin at the Small Boat Harbor in Port Allen. For the smaller boats, the trip begins at the Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor in Kekaha. As an example, below is a map of a trip I recently took as a passenger of the Na Pali Kai III.
Would you recommend Makana Charter Tours?
I recommend Makana Charter Tours without hesitation. For the record, I am not paid by Makana for making a recommendation and do not receive any compensation for people making reservations after visiting my site. My wife Linda and I walk or run with the Border Collies to the Kikiaola Small Boat Harbor in Kekaha almost every day. We experience how the Charter Tour operates and how their staff treat the passengers first-hand.
Below is a link to Makana’s website.
Are the new boats custom built?
Yes they are. Both were built by ACI Boats. ACI is based in Port Townsend, Washington. ACI Owner Cory Armstrong attended the launch party. According to Armstrong, Billy’s concept and initial design is the mastermind of Makana’s Owner, Cain Robinson. The Legend goes that Robinson created Billy and its sister ship Seiko drawing on a sketch pad with charcoal.
ACI sells production products for Commercial and Recreational use and will build from custom designs. I have been to ACI’s website. I have changed what is #1 on my list to Santa for next Christmas. A link to ACI’s website is below. As with Makana, the same goes with ACI in terms of compensation.
Are either of the boats named after a real person?
I do not know about the origins of Billy. As for Amelia K. the answer is yes, and the storyline is compelling. Amellia K. is named after Amelia Keaweamahi. Keaweamahi was a high chiefess of Kauai, and its Governor (Governess) from 1839-1842. Keaweamahi and her husband, Kaikioewa, lived in Waimea. Kaikioewa was Governor of Kauai from 1825-1939 – his passing. They built a Palace of Stone in 1826. It remains standing and acts as parsonage of the pastor of the Waimea United Church of Christ.
The double hulled sailing canoes of the Na Pali from 200 years ago (70′ to 90′ in length), docked on the Waimea River right behind where Makana’s offices sit today. Those canoes sailed within 100 yards on my home.
Keaweamahi, or Amelia, is Makana Charters xxxxxGrandmother. A story in the Garden Island is located [here].