We had but one last morning of snorkeling, so we had to make it a good one. We returned to Po’olenalena to swim with turtles one more time. We had four travelers going into the ocean, and another three enjoying the beach, which meant lots of towels and mats and so on to pack into the minivan. (We also had to swing by Snorkel Bob’s to exchange some too tight snorkel fins on the way.) Parking in the small public access lot at the Makena Surf condos was not a problem, but the weather was less cooperative: wind and clouds kept building during our time in the water, making it a bit chilly to hang out on the beach.
I’ve extended my stay here, so I have two more mornings to snorkel rather than just one. Maya will be accompanying us today, so we have to pass on the more adventurous sites and choose a beach with easy entry, fresh water showers, and restrooms, relatively nearby, with easy parking. Sounds just like Ulua beach in Wailea, except for that last part if you arrive after 9:00…
To make our snorkel cruise on time, we set our alarms for 5:30am. After packing our gear and towels, inhaling a quick breakfast, and driving rather quickly up the highway, we arrived at the Pacific Whale Foundation store at the Maalaea Harbor Shops. The check-in process was fairly painless, but the dock area is under construction, and there was a lot of congestion getting to the boat. After a fairly smooth ride under overcast skies, we tied up at Molokini just as the sun broke through the clouds. Our 100+ snorkelers may have been the first large boat to arrive at this popular site, but we would not be the last.
Another day, another breakfast of poke and papaya, and another morning snorkel. Lisa and I headed to nearby Kamaole Beach Park III to investigate a spot rated one of Maui’s best by Galen Piehl and Nicole Atkins in their eBook Maui Snorkeling Guide. Was it an overlooked gem, or just overrated?
The kids were not enthusiastic about snorkeling, so we split into groups: one to the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum and the Maui Swap Meet; one to have a leisurely morning at home before going to the beach; and a third to hit one of South Maui’s premier snorkel spots. You know which group I joined.
The weather report for Hana called for a chance of rain. We were not deterred. With ocean conditions still a bit rough for snorkeling, this was the best day for a road trip. Getting a group of seven up, fed, packed up and out the door took a bit longer than we hoped, but by 9:00, we were headed East toward our first stop: a doughnut shop.
At 4:00 on the dot, the unmistakable call of a rooster pierced the inky blackness. A distant bird responded, and a lengthy conversation ensued. Are they on Pacific time, too? Sleeping in became difficult, especially for those without in-room A/C who had our windows open. By 6:00, a crowd had gathered in the upstairs dining room for breakfast.
When deciding whether to spend 80,000 miles for a First Class ticket, compared with 40,000 for economy, there are several considerations: bigger seat, more leg room, free food and beverages, no checked bag fees, priority at the baggage carousel, and getting off the plane first. But I think the main benefit is being treated as an individual human rather than carbon-based cargo. It certainly makes for a more relaxing (if still interminable) morning. Maui’s Kahului airport is notoriously windy, and our big 777 suffered a few bumps and jiggles on the way down, but we landed safely and walked out into the full heat and humidity of a Maui Summer.
Practice Makes Perfect?
This not my first trip to Maui. Actually, it will make a baker’s dozen.