Hawaii/South Pacific: Maui

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

We relaxed after our tour on the veranda and then went to Sea View to watch the sunset over our last night in Honolulu. All aboard was not until 10:30 so I’m sure many people were taking sunset sailboat cruises or going to luaus.

Dinner was a table for the two of us. We each had the grilled pineapple spears and a Thai spring roll. Chuck had the Kalua pork, and I had the grilled swordfish which I had discovered I liked when we were on the Rotterdam this past December. The pork was a pulled pork Hawaiian dish. The waiter warned Chuck that he might find it dry. Chuck thought it was not dry at all but had a nice smokey flavor. We skipped dessert.

The BB King band had the night off. The Casino was closed because we are in port. Descendants (a 2011 movie starring George Clooney set in Hawaii) was playing on the main stage. We could have listened to the dueling piano players but I honestly don’t think they are that good. So, we decided to come back to the room and do some star gazing from the balcony.

The good news was that our latest bag of laundry was back. The bad news was that there was also a letter about another Covid test. This test is going to be PCR test, which is more sensitive and, from what I understand, might detect the presence of Covid from weeks ago. Don’t know why they would choose a test that sensitive.

I got up at 6:30 and made our coffee run at 7:00. I had a slight headache and realized that I had had no caffeine at all yesterday. I hoped it was a caffeine headache and not a sinus headache. After finishing my latte, my headache was gone. So, caffeine headache it was. I may have a problem. 😁

We are docked at the port of Kahului in Maui. It is an industrial port. In 2018, we were docked at Lahaina port. I seem to remember it being in a more scenic area. In 2018, we could see whales from the deck. Today, we see containers being loaded onto transfer trucks from a huge cargo ship.

We had a late breakfast in the Lido. Our whale watching tour, called Whale Watching Adventure by Zodiac, began at 12:00. The description of the HAL tour is:

A truly magical experience, this small-group whale-watch tour offers an up-close experience viewing humpback whales away from other tour boats.

Your tour begins with 45-minute motorcoach journey to Ma’alaea Harbor to board the sightseeing vessel. The exhilarating, fast-paced Zodiac travels along Maui’s scenic sea cliffs for a two-hour whale-watch experience. You may be lucky enough to see tail slaps, waving fins and awe-inspiring full body breaches. Your Zodiac allows for an intimate view of these gentle giants.

Seasoned guides educate guests about whale behavior and migration. Each boat is equipped with an onboard hydrophone to allow you to listen below the surface as whales communicate with each other and their newborn calves.

After the trip, a motorcoach will return you to the ship in Kahului.

It was a short bus ride to the launch area. The zodiac was a little more modern than other zodiacs I have ridden. This one had a cover and seats to sit on. Other ones I have ridden, you sit on the rubber sides of the zodiac and hold on to a rope. However, it was just as fast as the regular zodiacs.

The stock image below is similar to one we were in but ours was larger as it held 25 people plus a captain and a crew member.

The captain of our zodiac was a transplant from Indiana. He was very knowledgeable about whales and the area we were in. His crew member didn’t say much but he was quick to offer us soft drinks or water and could move over the rubber railings of the zodiac like a cat.

We took off and almost immediately saw mother humpback whales and their calves. We could see spouts, tails, pectoral slaps, humps, and breaches.

Everyone was having a hard time with photos because of the glare from the water. I used both my phone (in a waterproof bag) and underwater Canon camera to try and get pictures. I am absolutely not qualified to be an action nature photographer. I also think my underwater camera is on its last leg. It seems like it is not reacting as fast as it used to when I click the button. Might be time for an upgrade.

My best shot – baby whale breaching

They put the hydrophone in the water and the sounds coming from the whales was truly amazing. He said the phone could pick up sounds from 5 miles away. Some of it really did sound like a humming or singing noise. Guide said scientists are still trying to figure out the meaning of the different sounds.

An example of the kind of sounds we heard

I don’t know if I would call this tour magical, but we had fun and did see whales.

We got back to the ship around 3:15 and went to the Lido for a snack. We were COVID tested at 4:00. We were not sent to our rooms this time. We should hear something about it tomorrow. Hoping for good news again. We don’t know if we will have to take any more tests or not. Will depend on what the French Polynesian authorities want.

Travel Trivia

Kahului (Island of Maui), Hawaii

Pronounced  – “Käho͞oˈlo͞oē”

The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at 727.2 square miles

The underwater valleys that once connected Maui, Molokaʻi, Lanaʻi and Kahoʻolawe are shallower than the surrounding ocean, providing shelter for an abundance of marine life — including the humpback whales. These whales migrate approximately 3,500 miles from Alaskan waters each autumn and spend the winter months mating and birthing in the warm waters off Maui, with most leaving by the end of April.

Each island in Hawaii has an official color and flower. Maui’s official color is pink and the flower is the Lokelani (aka Damask Rose). – pronounced “Low-Kay-Lah-Nee”

stock image

On November 26, 1778, explorer James Cook became the first European to see Maui. Cook never set foot on the island because he was unable to find a suitable landing. However, the first European to visit Maui was the French admiral Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse. He landed on the shores of what is now known as La Perouse Bay on May 29, 1786.

Maui has no billboards.

Founded in 1831, Maui’s Lahainaluna High School is the oldest school west of the Rocky Mountains and owned the first printing press in the western United States.

*Travel trivia provided by Wikipedia and Holland America documents.

Author: mmmtravelmemories

A retired college administrator who loves to travel. I write to remember the experiences and, I hope, to inspire others to make their own travel memories.

One thought on “Hawaii/South Pacific: Maui”

  1. I am trying to get caught up on all your posts! They are so informative and your photos are beautiful. Loved the baby whale breaching!

    You skip dessert way too often.


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