Just as the day work is done, it’s time to join the biggest party in the ocean with the Pau Hana Sunset Sail by the Ocean Sports, where every day’s an adventure. “Pau Hana” is a Hawaiian phrase, which means “finished work.”
If you’re looking for a thrill in Big Island, try this unforgettable 2-hour cruise, sailing through the Big Island waters, overlooking the stunning seascape. Aboard one of their smooth-sailing catamarans, feast on complimentary crunchy snacks and refreshing beverages, while spotting marine lives such as humpback whales. The USCG-licensed captain finds the best spot for you to watch them closely but not very close. Meanwhile, their knowledgeable Naturalist on board will explain interesting information about these gigantic mammals, including their behavior.
What to Expect?
After checking in, you need to walk through the water to access the boat ramp at the shoreline. Sometimes the water rises to your knee level or higher, especially during undesirable wind and sea conditions. But don’t worry, the crew is more than happy to help you. The vessel is docked nearby, and you’ll climb up three short steps to board.
Upon boarding, the accommodating and friendly staff offers you drinks from the complimentary bar as you look around and find your spot. There are bench seats both inside the cabin and on the deck. If you want to feel the warm breeze of the ocean, stay in the open-air outdoors. However, sitting inside the cabin with clear glass windows allows you to sit on a table while sipping your cocktails. At the bow, you’ll find two large net trampolines, which is perfect for lounging. This is a beautiful place to sprawl and watch the water splash as the boat glides through the water. More benches are situated alongside the cabin, as well as the stern. So, everywhere in the ship caters to you according to your needs.
Before departing, the captain introduces you to the boat and crew and provides a short safety briefing. When the team pulls the sail, it signals the start of your exciting sea escapade. More drinks are available from the bar, where you find tropical brews on tap, captain’s island-style cocktails, white and red wines, juices, and soft drinks. You have to try Kay’s Cosmo. It’s one of the best cocktails you will taste in Hawaii! And you can munch on their crispy assorted pupus (appetizers), too.
Along the way, as you search for humpback whales, enjoy the unparalleled sights of Big Island. When it’s sunny, you can see the afternoon sunshine’s reflection on the pristine, blue waters. Did you know that Big Island (the largest island in Hawaii) was initially formed by five volcanoes? And it is interestingly continuing to grow as the active Kilauea spews lava into the ocean. Its waters are alive with many amazing sea wildlife such as manta rays, dolphins, and sea turtles. So, prepare your camera because you might spot one of these.
When the captain reaches the perfect area for whale watching, he maneuvers the boat and positions it 90 meters away from the humps. Ocean Sports is proudly operating, following the federal regulations that protect the whales. According to studies, noises from vessels interrupt whales’ natural behavior. Anyway, the expert naturalist on board discusses these fun and informative details. He explains everything about whales, including their behavior. And if the weather permits, the captain stops the boat and deploys the underwater hydrophone so that you can hear the most mysterious songs of the Humpback Whales!
Here’s a little trivia for you: Humpback whales produce grunts, moans, shrieks and blasts of high and low frequency. Researchers believe that the latter can travel more than 10 000 miles in some levels of the ocean, and we don’t really hear it. Experts said that we only hear a part of their sounds. While odors and colors don’t travel well in the waters, sounds do. So, marine mammals use it to communicate. And whale songs are the most famous, which hauntingly echo in a melodious manner.
When the skies begin to emanate vibrant reds and oranges that we call sunset, the captain safely directs the boat back to the harbor. What an unforgettable adventure indeed!
- Unlimited drinks from the open bar
- Live commentary on board by an expert naturalist
- Highly trained and attentive crew
- Hotel pickup and drop-off (selected hotels only)
- Crunchy snacks throughout the cruise
Know Before Booking:
- Departure time changes based on the weather condition but usually from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm (this information will be indicated in your voucher upon booking).
- Check-in at least 30 minutes prior to departure time. For Mondays and Fridays, check-in is at the Ocean Sports Beach Hut in Anaeho’omalu Bay. Whereas, for Wednesdays and Saturdays, head to the Whale Center at Kawaihae, located at 61-3657 Akoni Pule Hwy, Kawaihae, HI 96743.
- When departing in Anaeho’omalu Bay, walking through a knee-deep or higher water level is needed to reach the vessel, where you climb three stairs up again to board.
- The operation is from April 16th to November 30th.
- This tour caters to guests of all ages, but not wheelchair-accessible.