Because of the storm five days earlier, the waters on the South Maui beaches were still cloudy, so we booked a commercial snorkel trip to the mini-island of Molokini, a partially submerged rim of a volcanic crater.
Once on board a large powered catamaran from Ma’alaea Bay, the funny crew fed us breakfast as we motored a 10 miles across the channel where the whales hang out to go snorkeling in the much clearer water. While the water was clear, it was also cold-ish, so we forked over the extra $10 for wetsuits. Former dive master Drew was comfortable in this get up, but it was another new experience for this land-locked North Dakota girl. Into the water we went with at least a two hundred other people from 6 or 7 different boats. It was like viewing the Christmas lights at Temple Square but underwater.
After lunch on the boat, we were supposed to go back to somewhere on Maui called “Turtle Town” where we could snorkel with sea turtles, but, of course, it was too murky. That seemed to be the theme of water activities on this trip. Oh well, we did stop for a few minutes on the way back to Ma’alaea Bay to watch a mother humpback and her less-than-a-month-old calf. There were a couple of bottlenose dolphins swimming near them too. That was pretty cool.
It was about then that I realized that during our six days of Maui and with only one afternoon left, we had only spent a few hours doing the beach thing. So after a frozen yogurt treat, we loaded up the car with beach chairs, beach towels, beer cooler, and boogie boards and headed to Kama’ole III beach.
And if that wasn't proof enough that Lucy J. can officially boogie board, here is an action video of me boogie boarding.
After returning our snorkel gear and picking up some lettuce at the expensive grocery store for our last and this time technically complete Asian chicken salad dinner at the condo, our last day came to an end as we kissed Maui goodbye with sunset on Wailea Beach.
Hawaii Day 8 – going home
The next day we simply packed up and headed to the airport, stopping for one last sip of good coffee before we departed.
The Alaskan Airlines flight was oversold, but somehow Drew managed to snag a free seat right behind me. After a very delayed departure due to crew error, the flight itself wasn’t all that bad. The two screaming children and spineless parents in the row in front of me got pretty old after the first hour though. Five more hours to go and we landed in Oakland, a few minutes after the SWA flight we were trying to get home on departed. A night at the down-scale (is that the opposite of upscale?) Days Inn and back at the airport at 6 AM to try to catch SWA flight to SLC, but what we didn’t realize was that the Sundance Film Festival and the huge Outdoor Retailers Trade Show were starting in SLC today, so the flight was oversold. Plan C was to go to Seattle and then on to Salt Lake, but when we got to Seattle, the Salt Lake flight was 2 hours delayed. Finally, after almost two full days of travel, we came home to our cold, smoggy hometown. Was it worth it? You bet. That was a great vacation!