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02 Oct
2013

Travel Blog #181 - Snorkeling Molokini with Alli Nui Catamaran


During our trip today we went out going to Molokini aboard the beautiful Ali'i Nui Catamaran. We arrived to the Maalaea Harbor and quickly found slip #56. Once we found the slip we were asked by the crewman that was checking us in to fill out liability releases. Once we finished filling them out and handing them back we were then asked to board the catamaran. The crew all seemed to share the same friendly smiles. Once onboard we were all asked to place our shoes and slippers into baskets before finding our seats. Under the seats were spaces to put all of our belongings. It was nice that the boat had organization areas built in so it wasn't cluttered with everyone's stuff. A delightful smell of breakfast filled the cabin and the crew told us to feel free to make ourselves a plate from the breakfast buffet. The breakfast aboard the Ali'i Nui was fantastic. The breakfast consisted of eggs, bacon, bagels, muffins, with fresh fruits and vegetables. They also had a wide variety of fruit juices including orange, mango and pineapple.

As we finished our wonderful breakfast the Ali'i Nui crew introduced themselves. Every person that worked on the catamaran had a specific area of expertise. Once the crew finished their introductions the Captain told us that we were going to be making our way to Molokini. It took a moment for him to pull out of the slip and get us out of the harbor, but once we were out in the open ocean is when the fun really started to begin! Three crewmembers gathered round the base of the mast and started hoisting up the sail. It looked like some pretty hard work but they were able to put it up like pros. The Captain turned the boat until the sail caught the wind. Once the sail picked up the wind the catamaran lurched forward and we began to pick up speed. The crew got two fishing rigs setup and let the lines out behind the boat. Taking a sail to Molokini was a nice relaxing way to start off a lovely morning on Maui.

As I was staring off into the distance looking at the islands of Kahoolawe and Lanai I heard the Captain on the speaker telling us to look off the side of the boat in the 9 o'clock direction. There were two Hawaiian Spinner dolphins that decided pay us a visit and see what we were up to. They got really close to the boat, swimming about ten yards from us. They stayed around for about 5 minutes then they quickly disappeared back into the deep blue of the ocean. We kept cruising down the wind line to Molokini and then I realized I had totally forgotten to pack my sunscreen! Luckily for me the Alii Nui had a stock of complementary sunscreen for guests to use! As I lathered up the crater of Molokini came closer and closer. I gathered up all of my snorkeling equipment and video gear and prepared to get ready to jump in the water.

Once we had anchored up in the crater I jumped in the and immediately saw a large school of fish. I ventured around the edges of the crater. During my snorkel I saw some amazing looking fish. Molokini never disappoints! Every time I have been there I have seen something new. This time I saw a school of four Omilu's (Blue fin Trevally). They were some of the biggest fish I've seen in Molokini. I swam around for about an hour then made my way back to the boat. Upon boarding the boat a towel was handed to me and I was told lunch was ready. There was BBQ chicken and Kalua Pork with sides that included salad, coleslaw, bread, and fresh vegetables. I ate my lunch as everyone made their way in from snorkeling. When everyone was on the boat we made our way out of the crater.

The next part of our agenda was a cruise back along the beautiful Kihei coast. We sailed along the coast soaking up the sun when suddenly the dolphins were back! And this time there were tons of them. The Captain told us to start making noise for the dolphins and they returned the love. The Hawaiian Spinners took to the air and put us on a little show for us. We all took photos and then eventually we ran out of time and the captain had to plot a course back to the harbor. Once inside the harbor the Captain and crew began thanking us for our time aboard their catamaran. The crew hosted a very classy experience, and this mornings trip to Molokini is not one I will forget anytime soon.

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Travel Blog - Articles #180 to #189

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Set sail to Molokini and Pu'uolai - Turtle Cove on board the Ali'i Nui. This luxurious 65 foot sailing catamaran has a very spacious deck that is over 35 feet wide.

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