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Lava Boat tours for person of size.

Lava Boat tours for person of size.

Old Nov 22, 16, 9:51 am
  #1  
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Lava Boat tours for person of size.

Looking for a recommendation off the learned fellows of the board please.

I am out in Hawaii next March and would like to he out photographing the lava flows (if they are still flowing of course) from the ocean. The worrying aspect as far as I am concerned is that every one I have come across so far appears to have, in their T&C's a personal weight limit.

I have no problem with the general health aspect, can walk several miles, climb ladders etc (just done the climb to the Big Budha in Hong Kong), and will try to lose a bit before March, I would prefer to take the worry of being declined boarding out of the equation.

Can anyone recommend a tour out of Hilo area that does not have a weight restriction or, as in the case of Cultural tours, have 16" seat widths, which would be a push. As a guide, 17" Boeing seats are no problem, either for me or the guy next to me normally.
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Old Nov 22, 16, 4:44 pm
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How about calling them with your 'stats' and offer to pay for 2 seats?
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Old Nov 23, 16, 8:07 pm
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Originally Posted by philemer View Post
How about calling them with your 'stats' and offer to pay for 2 seats?
A rather simplistic response, and I suspect slightly sarcastic as well, which in no way provides any real evidence of understanding the issue or gives any sort of helpful advice. For example, what purpose would that serve, when each seat is individual with fixed armrests and several feet away from the next, as in the case with the tour company I specifically mentioned. Are you suggesting I cut myself in half?

I am aware of the possibility that at least one tour operator expects their customers to board their craft on dry land by way of a 10 foot step ladder. For all I know, that could be the reason for the limitation, so buying a second seat hardly solves the issue, does it?

Since I live 8000 miles away from Hawaii, I am hardly in a position to know the existence and regulations for EVERY operator of these tours on the island, in spite of spending some considerable time researching them. This is why I called on the wisdom of local knowledge in the hope that someone could help point me in the right direction.

That hope still remains.
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Old Nov 23, 16, 9:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Richym99 View Post
A rather simplistic response, and I suspect slightly sarcastic as well, which in no way provides any real evidence of understanding the issue or gives any sort of helpful advice. For example, what purpose would that serve, when each seat is individual with fixed armrests and several feet away from the next, as in the case with the tour company I specifically mentioned. Are you suggesting I cut myself in half?
Wow. You sure you don't want to apologize to Philemer? Your response seems way out of line.
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Old Nov 23, 16, 11:42 pm
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Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
Wow. You sure you don't want to apologize to Philemer? Your response seems way out of line.
Not really. I took his reply in the same vein as many of the attitudes that I see when it comes to the subject of travel and persons of size being discussed. It was his use and highlighting of the word "stats" that I found snide.

If he had suggested for example, a small independent company that I might like to try and contact and discuss the issue, I would undoubtedly have thanked him. There must be a few that do not have a large web profile such as Lavaocean or SeeLava who appear to have a monopoly on web advertising.

I am fully aware that the limitation may be for safety, or practical reasons such as the examples I gave, rather than monetary, in which case I would happily abide by that reasoning. However, given that this is actually a special occasion for somebody else, I would like to explore all possibilities of sharing it with her before abandoning the opportunity.
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Old Nov 24, 16, 12:55 pm
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Suggestions

I don't think the 2 seat answer was insensitive. Are you sure they are fixed width seats with unmovable armrests?

Although not cheap, there is a week-long cruise ship (Pride of America) which travels past the flow as it goes island to island.
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Old Nov 24, 16, 2:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Lavarock7 View Post
...there is a week-long cruise ship (Pride of America) which travels past the flow as it goes island to island.
True, but the other ships get very, very close to the flow, something not possible by the Pride...unless they are using tender boats?
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Old Nov 24, 16, 9:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Richym99 View Post
A rather simplistic response, and I suspect slightly sarcastic as well, which in no way provides any real evidence of understanding the issue or gives any sort of helpful advice. For example, what purpose would that serve, when each seat is individual with fixed armrests and several feet away from the next, as in the case with the tour company I specifically mentioned. Are you suggesting I cut myself in half?

I am aware of the possibility that at least one tour operator expects their customers to board their craft on dry land by way of a 10 foot step ladder. For all I know, that could be the reason for the limitation, so buying a second seat hardly solves the issue, does it?

Since I live 8000 miles away from Hawaii, I am hardly in a position to know the existence and regulations for EVERY operator of these tours on the island, in spite of spending some considerable time researching them. This is why I called on the wisdom of local knowledge in the hope that someone could help point me in the right direction.

That hope still remains.
I'm sorry you think my response was sarcastic. I can assure you it was not meant to be. maybe simplistic but not sarcastic. If you scroll down this link https://www.lovebigisland.com/big-island-lava-viewing/ you'll see a decent sized boat near the lava. My guess is that boat does not have only 16" seats. I'm betting/guessing it has some bench seating too. In which case their main concern would be total # of passengers & some Coast Guard mandated weight limit. That is why I suggested you call the operators and inquire about your options, one of which may involve buying 2 tix.

I've been to Hawaii many times and have been on many boats. I would suggest you find all the co. that do these tours, via internet searches, and give them a call. You may find someone to accommodate you. I wish you good luck and lots of "aloha".
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Old Nov 25, 16, 6:42 am
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@'Philemer. Thank you for the reply, and in view of it, it is obvious that I do owe you an apology. I'm not scared of admitting that I was wrong in the way that I took your original reply.

As it happens, I dd continue looking, and found a few reviews of a company on Yelp for Big Island Lava Boat, run by a chap called Greg Nottingham. He runs a six seater boat to take guests out to the lava flows, and reports are that he treats his guests a lot better and with greater safety and customer service than the largest operator (the one who runs a 49 seater boat netting over $12,000 a trip on a full tour, yet expects them to board up a stepladder). Funnily enough, the boat in the picture is the one that I would avoid because of the reviews I've seen of their operation. :-)

I've now found a source for info on Big Island, who has confirmed that he has had prior dealings with Greg, and has occasionally used him to provide tours for guests. I have his mobile number, so I will give him a call.

Mahalo.
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Old Nov 28, 16, 11:11 pm
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Both Lavarock7 and I live on-island. If possible I would undertake some personal face to face help for you. We are on the other side but may be able to help. PM me
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Old Dec 15, 16, 3:26 pm
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Originally Posted by hawkxp View Post
Both Lavarock7 and I live on-island. If possible I would undertake some personal face to face help for you. We are on the other side but may be able to help. PM me
Wow. That is simply awesome. Kudos!

(just to be clear, no sarcasm included. I am just very impressed that someone is willing to go out of their way to help a fellow they don't know from Adam. Happenings seem to be inversely proportional to the level of technology applied)
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