Boat­ful of Fun

If you’re look­ing to get more than just your feet wet, head out to sea and make a splash!

Waikiki Magazine - - IPLAY - By Christina O’Connor

Tak­ing ad­van­tage of one of the many boat-based ac­tiv­i­ties that O‘ahu has to of­fer is a great way to en­joy the ocean, as well as to ex­plore lesser-known ar­eas of the is­land.

From play­ing un­der­wa­ter to float­ing far above the sea, here’s a run­down of some of the is­land’s ex­cit­ing boat ac­tiv­i­ties that are ei­ther based in Waikiki or of­fer round-trip trans­porta­tion.

Whale Watch

Ev­ery win­ter, hump­back whales mi­grate to the warm Hawai­ian wa­ters. From De­cem­ber through April, thou­sands of whales make Hawai‘i their home, mean­ing that we’re cur­rently in the midst of whale watch­ing sea­son.

To spot whales as they jump out of the water, spout, or flap their tails, hop aboard the Na­vatek I, which de­parts from Pier 6 at Aloha Tower Mar­ket­place.

“We go where the whales are,” says At­lantis Ad­ven­tures di­rec­tor of pub­lic re­la­tions and ad­ver­tis­ing Loreen Ma­tushima, ex­plain­ing that the pow­er­ful ves­sel can weather rougher wa­ters and travel all the way to Mau­nalua Bay or to­ward the air­port—wher­ever the whales may be.

As the Na­vatek I cruises along search­ing for whales, there is an ex­pert nat­u­ral­ist on board to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion about the an­i­mals.

“What I think is really won­der­ful is the keen in­ter­est in this mag­nif­i­cent an­i­mal,” Mat­sushima says.

“We pro­vide that op­por­tu­nity for vis­i­tors and kama‘aina alike to see [whales] in their habi­tat … there is a real con­nec­tion when you see them in their home in the water.”

In ad­di­tion to whales, Mat­sushima says that dol­phins are of­ten spot­ted, and sea tur­tles and fly­ing fish oc­ca­sion­ally make ap­pear­ances. De­parts from Pier 6 at Aloha Tower Mar­ket­place (round-trip trans­porta­tion from se­lect Waikiki ho­tels avail­able), (808) 973-1311.

Catch a Big One

No need for fish tales here, even if you come up empty-handed, you’ll have gar­nered a great ex­pe­ri­ence

with un­beat­able views of Waikiki, while boat­ing along O‘ahu’s south shore.

Great for fam­i­lies, begin­ners are wel­come aboard the Sashimi and Sashimi II. Th­ese tours in­clude ho­tel trans­porta­tion, sight­see­ing, rod, bait and tackle. Dur­ing the day­time and sun­set bot­tom fish­ing tours, guests are treated to a lo­cal-style BBQ, where the day’s catch can be served up from the grill (catch-and-re­lease is also avail­able). Fish­er­man’s Warf, (808) 955-3474 (FISH), www.808955fish.com.

Race the Waves

Get the rush of your life aboard the Honolulu Screamer. This twin-jet, water-pro­pelled boat races across the ocean’s sur­face at speeds up to 40 mph. The ac­tion-filled thrill ride is punc­tu­ated with high-speed turns and twists all set against a sound­track boom­ing from the 20-speaker au­dio sys­tem. Dur­ing the half-hour ride along Waikiki shores guests are treated to views of the coast­line as well as sights of lo­cal sea life, in­clud­ing honu (sea tur­tles), and pos­si­bly, hump­back whales. (808) 5978669, www.hon­olu­luscreamer.com.

Sail the Ocean Blue

If you’re ex­hausted af­ter all of your ad­ven­tures in boat­ing, cata­ma­ran sail­ing is a nice, re­lax­ing trip on the ocean.

Spirit of Aloha is a 54-foot cata­ma­ran that pro­vides an ex­hil­a­rat­ing ride while cruis­ing past the pic­turesque Waikiki shore­line. Set­ting sail from Port Waikiki, lo­cated at Hil­ton Hawai­ian Vil­lage, the cata­ma­ran heads out to sea to­ward Di­a­mond Head.

The cap­tain and life­guard-cer­ti­fied crew are on-hand to an­swer ques­tions about the sea life that abounds in the area. It’s a mag­i­cal, sail­ing along the Waikiki coast with the ma­jes­tic Ko‘olau moun­tains loom­ing in the dis­tance. For evening sails, Honolulu’s city lights are a twin­kling de­light.

For a truly idyl­lic ex­pe­ri­ence, try Spirit of Aloha’s Sun­set Cock­tail Sail, which pro­vides a front-row seat to a Waikiki sun­set. The sun­set sail also snacks and two cock­tails. Port Waikiki, Hil­ton Hawai­ian Vil­lage, (808) 234-7245 (SAIL), www.port­waiki­ki­cruises.com.

Peek Be­low the Sur­face

Catch a glimpse of what lies be­neath aboard the Glass Bot­tom boat. Equipped with three view­ing bays, pas­sen­gers are treated to sight­ings of co­ral reefs and the fish that in­habit them, sea tur­tles, rays, dol­phins, sharks and more. It’s the per­fect alternative for those who want to see the un­der­sea beauty of O‘ahu’s south shore, but don’t want to get their hair wet. Fish­er­man’s Warf, (808) 955-3474 (FISH), www.808955fish.com.

Photo: courteSy at­LantiS ad­Ven­tureS

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