Thanks for the memories, Fair Wind. This year, the company
celebrates its 35th anniversary of providing guided ocean
adventures for visitors and residents of Hawaii’s Big Island.
What started off as a brief rendezvous in Kona on a cruise from
Monterey to the South Pacific evolved into a lifetime adventure on
the western coast of Hawaii’s Big Island for the Dant family.
In 1969, Michael Dant built the original Fair Wind vessel, a
50-foot trimaran that he began sailing the next year from
California to Hawaii with wife, Janet, and a crew of nine.
Their South Pacific excursion was cut short when the Dant’s vessel
was damaged. Repairing their trimaran in Kona, the Dants noticed
how the local community pulled together in true "aloha" style.
Numerous acts of kindness prompted the Dants to reconsider their
journey. They never left Kona.
After a year of hard work, the Fair Wind business launched with
snorkel cruises to Kealakekua Bay. Soon after, dinner sails were
added to expand the company’s appeal.
By 1974, Fair Wind began focusing more heavily on snorkel cruise
operations. Historic Keauhou Bay served as Fair Wind’s homeport for
its exclusive cruises to Kealakekua Bay, site of the historic
Captain Cook monument and treasure chest of colorful marine life.
Fair Wind had found its niche.
Then in 1975, it was all about change. The vessel’s cabin was
raised and a water slide was added for additional fun. The
traditional main meal of tuna fish sandwiches was replaced by the
current menu, Fair Wind’s hearty barbecue lunches of cheeseburgers
and garden burgers.
In 1983, the Dant’s son, Puhi and his wife, Mendy, purchased the
Fair Wind business. In 1994, the company introduced Fair Wind II, a
custom-built, 60-foot aluminum catamaran with covered deck. The
craft features a 15-foot water slide, high jump platform, on-board
restrooms, freshwater showers and a staircase descending directly
into the water for easy water access.
By 2001, Fair Wind’s fleet had grown to include the Orca Raft
Adventure and a custom-designed, 11 1/2-foot mini-vessel tagged the
Fair Wind Tug.
Today, the next generation of Fair Wind’s ocean adventures begins
with the recent launching of Hula Kai, a 55-foot Technicraft power
catamaran that’s lauded for its luxury, comfort and technology.
Hula Kai’s five-hour Deluxe Morning Snorkel and Dive Cruise covers
a light breakfast, gourmet barbecue lunch, no host bar, gear and
two snorkeling destinations (sea caves and lava tubes) for $139
plus tax. Through August 30, a similar afternoon cruise with sunset
barbecue is $119.