We were up bright and early to arrive for the 7:30 check in at Maalaea Harbor and received the usual hearty welcome from the crew.
On the way out to Molokini Captain Scott told us that the crescent shaped island is actually a volcanic crater which is partly submerged in the water. It is an underwater sanctuary for marine life and the island itself is an uninhabited seabird sanctuary. We started to get excited when he told us that the visibility can be to 150 feet and there are 250 species of fish to be seen.
The Pride of Maui crew was very busy getting us ready for our Molokini snorkel adventure and made sure that our masks and fins fit just right. We had an option to rent wetsuit tops for $10 and Syl and I decided that it would be a good idea to make sure we kept warm.
|Dive Master James|
|Kiwini telling us all about snuba|
|Captain Scott gives a snorkeling lesson|
After Syl and I splashed in and got our bearings we were amazed at how crystal clear the water was. We saw lots of different and colourful fish (well maybe not quite 250 species) and the coral was so pretty. We managed to get quite a few good pics with our rented camera.
|Snuba Rafts with Oxygen|
|Snuba at Molokini Crater|
Over lunch I enjoyed chatting to the Sander family from Chicago. Nine year old Eric said he thought Molokini was awesome and that it was pretty cool to see a real reef and all the colourful fish. He said that he dove down to look at the sea urchins more closely. He and his brother William were looking forward to trying snuba at our next stop. Six year old Katie said she loved snorkeling and saw black, yellow and blue fish.
|Julie and Reinhard Sander with William, Eric and Katie|
Now we were on our way to Turtle Town off Makena beach for our second snorkeling location. On the way we spotted quite a few whales doing their thing, an extra bonus on our trip. Unfortunately we weren't quick enough to get any whale photos.
|Turtle Town - looking towards Makena Beach|
|Julie Sander tries snuba with her son Eric|
|Green Sea Turtle - compliments of Ryan|
As we got underway again to head back to Maalaea Harbour the bar opened and Takako came around offering us all some cookies, a welcome treat after all that swimming. There was an open bar and you could choose from juice, soft drinks, wine, beer on tap or Mai -Tais. Syl and I toasted this wonderful day with a nice glass of white wine.
|Takako offers us cookies|
|Crew members Amy and Carlos|
On the trip back we chatted with the Owen family, also from Chicago. They had two children under the age of seven so I asked them how The Pride of Maui snokeling tour was for people with a young family. Matthew said that they were happy with the trip and they really liked the fact that the boat was so roomy and stable. They said that the staff were very helpful with the kids, and they appreciated that flotation devices were available for anyone who needed them. His wife Nancy commented that they were both able to enjoy the snorkeling locations by taking turns being with their children Clara and Ellis. Matthew mentioned that you needed to be a fairly competent swimmer to do this trip, espcially at turtle town where it can get a little rough.
|Matthew and Julie Owen with kids Clara and Ellis|
Ryan showed us the video he had taken throughout the day starring everyone on board who had paid for the video option.
Sylvia and I can't say enough good things about our Pride of Maui Snorkel Trip and we took home many memories of the special time we had together. The boat is always a treat to be on, and the ultra friendly staff made it so enjoyable. Not to mention the great food, warm showers and all the options they offer you to upgrade your experience. We were both very happy that we rented the wet suit because the water was a bit chilly. Also I really feel the cold so it was perfect for me. Oh, I forgot to mention that part of the ship has a glass bottom so if you didn't want to go in the water, you could still see the marine life that was under the boat.
As we approached Maalaea Harbor we felt a little sad that our adventure was over, but we knew our memories of The Pride of Maui Molokini Excursion would last forever. It's a hui hou for me because I know I'll be back on the Pride of Maui sometime in the future.