Paragon Sailing Charters operates a type of catamaran that is not utilized by anyone else in the Hawaiian Islands. The designer of the catamarans that are used by Paragon Sailing Charters is the owner of the company, Eric Barto. Eric worked closely with the company that manufactured the boat for him on the mainland to ensure that he got exactly what he wanted. The basic ideas behind the design are simple. To start he took a catamaran design with a large spacious deck layout, then worked to lighten it and make it as efficient as possible. To achieve his goal he used some methods that were downright genius.
To begin he lightened up the entire chassis of the boat by utilizing high tech composite materials. Erik shaped the hulls to be as sleek as he could so they could cut through the water as efficiently as possible. Once he perfected the hull design he moved on to the rigging. He wanted the boat to utilize the power of the wind to achieve very high top speeds so he employed a carbon fiber mast that is not only extremely light weight, but also shaped like the blade of a knife so it can literally cut through the wind. When he was done he finished off the package with a top of the line mainsail and spinnaker. Because the entire boat weighs in around 8 tons he was able to get away with powering it by utilizing a single 90 outboard motor that is rigged so it can be completely pulled out of the water when it is not being used (to minimize drag).
We checked in at the Lahaina Harbor to begin our days trip with Paragon Sailing Charters. The crew of the boat was just finishing stocking the boat with supplies for the days trip when we arrived. The captain and the first mate welcomed us with large smiles and then invited us onto the boat. Within about fifteen minutes the rest of the passengers arrived and we began our journey over to the island of Lanai.
There was a breakfast buffet that was set up inside the cabin of the boat. I helped myself from the assortment of fruits, muffins, bagels and also got a cup of coffee. Once I was done creating my plate I moved towards the front of the boat to eat breakfast on the "trampolines" that connect the two parallel hulls of the boat.
Right after I was done eating we came across our first bit of action for the day, it came in the form of a late season pod of whales (for a trip to Lanai during the first week of May that was a pretty lucky thing to see!). Soon enough after that we were pulling up to our first snorkel spot of the day. I retrieved my dive bag from the cabin and began to get geared up for the dive.
Since I was young I've been diving in the ocean quite a bit. Over the years I've gotten pretty particular with my gear so I always bring my own gear when I go on dive trips. I like to have a weight belt that has the right amount of weight on it to match whatever suit I'm wearing. (For my half suit jacket it's normally about 7lbs, for my full suit it's normally around 12 lbs). The spot we were diving at is one of my favorite locations in the state. I brought my full suit so I could be extra warm (which normally helps me have longer/deeper dives).
Soon enough we were in the water swimming around exploring the reef. Our captain had taken us to a snorkel area called "Sweatheart Rock". This area is the setting for an ancient Hawaiian love legend, as well as some incredible snorkeling. It is a marine preserve so there is no fishing allowed, which helps to keep the populations of fish that inhabit this reef very healthy. However, the real reason why I like diving at this location is because of the incredible structure that can be found under the water. There are some large underwater arches and caves that I really like to swim though and explore. Today I came across some very nice fish, the most notable were a large male Uhu (Parrotfish) and a Black Striped Papio (Jack). After about 45 minutes I made my way back to the boat.
Once we were all aboard the Captain steered us into the harbor and the first mate handed out our picnic kits. Once we were tied up to the pier we got of the boat and made our way towards Hulope Beach. Many people consider this beach to be the nicest one on Lanai. It is located very close to the Manele Harbor and we were able to walk over there in about 10 minutes. We stopped here to eat our lunches and swim and then we made our way out on the point to take some more pictures of "Sweatheart Rock" from other side. After this we made our way back to the harbor where the boat was waiting to take us back to Maui.
Once onboard our crew hoisted the sails and we sailed all the way back to the middle of the channel where we stopped to take a "blue water swim". When we were done swimming we all got back on the boat and made our way back into the Lahaina Harbor. As I got off the boat I said good bye to the crew and asked them a few last questions I had. During this conversation it came to light that because the boat was constructed how it was, we were able to do the whole trip all the way to Lanai and back on this 47' boat, with 24 people onboard..... Using only about 12 gallons of gasoline.
When most people get off the plane on Oahu I don't think they have any idea that you can have the sort of experiences that we had today. Today we took a trip with Hawaii Nautical that took us snorkeling on the Western coastline of the island.
Yesterday I looked at the three day forecast and saw that there were glassy conditions predicted until the end of the week. Being that the whales are currently here in record numbers I thought it would be ideal to schedule a whale watching trip.
As we got down to the harbor to board the Scotch Mist I could tell that we were in for an amazing time. The weather was ideal, the day before a winter storm front had come through from the west.
We decided to go for a hiking adventure with Hike Maui through the Wailele Permaculture farm and the surrounding park areas and waterfalls. We met our guide in Kahului at the "Park & Ride" parking lot.
Everyone dreams of experiencing a perfect day out on the water. Smooth seas, warm air, whales spouting off all around you, dolphins coming up to the boat, snorkeling with Sea Turtles.
Of all of the different fishing trips that we offer I think it is fair to say that as a general rule of thumb, the bottom fishing charters that we have generally catch a larger volume of fish then our deep sea sport fishing charters.
As we came though the tunnel at the end of the Pali and the Oluwalu point came into view I could tell we were going to have perfect weather conditions for our sunset horseback ride at Lahaina Stables.
One of the most popular categories of tours that we carry on Maui are the Haleakala Bike trips. There are many companies that we carry that offer this trip, but what many people do not realize is there is quite a bit of difference between the different varieties of downhill biking trips.
Snorkeling is the most popular vacation activity in Hawaii. We offer snorkel trips from sailboats, large powerboats and even small zodiac rafts. We've got blog articles about our trips aboard all types of boats on all the major islands and if you're thinking about doing a snorkeling excursion during your stay we encourage you to check out our blog articles and videos to get a better idea of what our trips are like.
The adventure begins in Lahaina Harbor where we set sail across the Au'au' channel to Lana'i. A continental breakfast featuring some of Hawaii's tastiest tropical fruit is served as you enjoy the panoramic view of the islands of Maui, Molokai, Kahoolawe, and Lana'i.
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