I’ve always liked the feeling of bouncing across waves in all types of vessels from catamarans to zodiacs to cruise ships. Here are some of my personal favorites. If you are an adrenaline junkie, you might enjoy these as well:
1.) Honolulu, Hawaii – Along the Waikiki beach there are a couple of catamarans offering sails throughout the day. I prefer the MaiTai for a long list of reasons, the main one being the design of the boat. The railings go out to the front of the hulls giving you a great riding place. As soon as you get on board, go claim one of these front corners and be prepared to hold on! Typically one way the ride won’t be very rough but the other way (depends on the wind, waves, time of day and other factors) will be an fun – and WET – ride. While in Hawaii it’s not unusual for me to go out several times over the span of a few days. It’s reasonable (cost) and quite the rush! I even signed up for sailing lessons when I returned to Seattle but sailing in Puget Sound does not have the same “rush”.
2.) Kauai, Hawaii – There is a zodiac tour, the NaPali Day Expedition from Ele’ele, that takes you around to the north side of the island and it’s not to be missed! There are few pictures I had to share from the ride because we were moving so fast, bouncing so high that holding on was the priority. They give you a glove to hold the rope line that goes around the inflated part of the zodiac and they have you nest your foot under another safety line inside the zodiac. Yes, these are necessary precautions – without them you would definitely end up overboard. The north side of the island is towering cliffs. You can see the goats perched on narrow trails way up high. When we came upon a school of dolphins, they stopped so we could enjoy them and later, we looped through a cave that only small boats like our zodiac could enter. That’s where the only picture we have was taken!
3.) Antarctica – the Drake Passage – This narrow body of water at the southern tip of South America is often one of the most treacherous bodies of water on earth. It’s necessary to cross it to get from South America where passengers board cruise ships to Antarctica to the mainland of our southernmost continent. Sometimes it’s a couple of days of BIG waves. When we crossed, it was “The Drake Lake”. I was so disappointed. I already admitted I love to ride big waves so I was looking forward to this crossing. My wife had made the trip before and she told tales of her crossing that included a railing around the dining room table and damp tablecloths to try to keep the dishes on the table. When we crossed together with the family – nothing. Unexpectedly though, our route from South Georgia Island to the Falkland Islands more than made up for it! Chairs slid across the dining room, a walk down the hall became a walk on the walls – it was wild! Photos simply do not do it justice! The very best!
4) The northwestern tip of Africa – We had just cleared the Straits of Gibralter and turned towards the Canary Islands when the sea conditions changed. From the protected waters of the Mediterranean to the open Atlantic Ocean, even our 784 ft. cruise ship with stabilizers was no match for the power of the ocean. Take a close look at the two pictures of my wife below. She hasn’t moved, but check out the water line you can see out the window where she is sitting. That was the change with each wave! Yes, there were barf bags conveniently located throughout the ship that night – something I’m happy to report we did not need. Many passengers didn’t sleep too well that night. I kept trying to stay awake to enjoy the ride but the rhythm of the waves managed to lull me into a sleep of vivid dreams.