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Old October 25th, 2005, 12:38 PM
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Default Thoughts on Hawaii-Our one "excursion" in Maui

The last time we visited Maui we ran around for five days doing road to Hana, snorkelling Molokini , visiting Iao Valley, the aquarium center and most of the tourist things. On this trip we did a lot more beach and pool (with the exception of Haleakala Sunrise). On our last full day we booked an all day, almost 10 hour tour of the island of Lanai. We did this through Trilogy one of the major tour operators in Maui.
We drove from Walea to Lahaina Town to arrive at 6:30 am. Parked and
walked to the pier at Lahaina. Just before 7am we checked in and boarded one of Trilogy's large motor powered/sailing catamarans. Unfortunately a total lack of wind caused the trip to Lanai to be under power not sail. We were rewarded however as we approached Maneele Bay Harbor with a giant display of spinner dolphins and bottle nose dolphins. It was almost as if they had been paid to greet us. At this point our group split in two . Half went snorkelling and half headed by van to Lanai City to venture out around the island by 4x4. The roads (if you can call them that) once we were outside the city were dirt and dusty. Some were little more than well worn trails. We got to see the two gorgeous (and VERY expensive) resorts , the Lodge at Koele and Maneele Bay. Both boast golf courses to die for.
However our destination was the far side of the island for beautiful mountain vistas of Maui and Molokai and the beaches like the famous Shipwreck Beach. I got a big kick out of driving my Jeep Wrangler over some hilly and bouncy trails and even onto a beach or two. Highlights were many but seeing a dozen or so Green Sea Turtles swimming right in the surf line at the shore was possibly the best moment.
Lunch was a barbeque served in Trilogy's own pavilion at Maneele Bay Harbor. After lunch it was our turn for snorkelling. Probably the one mistake of the day (going after lunch). We transferred to a 30 foot rigid hulled Zodiac type boat and headed out to the north facing shore line. Seas were at 8 to 10 feet and this was a pounding, bouncy and very often uncomfortable ride. Snorkelling visability was awesome but the seas were rolling at 4 to 6 feet and made it very strenuous and dificult to snorkel. Sitting on the boat in the swelling seas got more than one passenger, including Gram, seasick. The ride back was head on into the 10 foot seas. A very dificult ride for most people. Follow this with a motor trip back to Maui. On the big Cat. It was a good day. Long, sometimes grueling , but mostly rewarding.
This can be done off a cruise ship if in town longer. Trilogy offers abbreviated versions of the trip during the week that do not include the land portion. This was a very expensive excursion costing $230 per person. I had fun , but I don't know I could recommend it at that price to many other people. Sunday morning we were off very early to Kauai.
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