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Travel Blog #179 - Snorkeling on Lanai with Pacific Whale Foundation

Today we went on a snorkel trip to Lanai with the Pacific Whale Foundation. The Pacific Whale Foundation is known for their great snorkel trips and whale watches. Before we could get on the boat we had to make our way over to the Pacific Whale Foundation store on Front Street in Lahaina to pick up our tickets. After picking up our tickets we were asked to make our way to the harbor and wait to be boarded onto the catamaran. Once we were finished boarding the large catamaran the first mate explained that the agenda for the day was going to begin by making our way to Lanai for some snorkeling (and hopefully spotting some dolphins as we were crossing the channel or working our way down the coast).

After we stepped onto the beautiful two story catamaran we found a seat on the bottom section next to the bar and food. This large boat has can accommodate very large groups and todays group consisted of over one hundred and twenty passengers. Even with a group of this size there was still easily enough room for us all to all find a comfortable spot on the boat. We made our way out of Lahaina Harbor and then workers started serving breakfast. Our continental breakfast included pineapple, oranges, banana bread, and coffee cake. There were also beverage choices of coffee, POG, or water. As we made our journey to Lanai, the captain and crew and introduced themselves and then gave us a quick summary of their background and qualifications (some of them had quite impressive resumes). We also were given an informational brochure that explained the purpose for the Pacific Whale Foundations creation and their companys mission. It gave me a good feeling inside when I found out that paying for this tour you would be supporting the Pacific Whale Foundation and their research.

It wasnt long before we could make out the beaches of Lanai (the whole crossing took about a 45 minutes). We cruised along the beautiful coastline of Lanai. There were so many secluded little sand beaches not a house in sight and from the lack of footprints on the beach it seemed as if no one has even been there for quite some time. As we made our way further down the coastline we spotted a giant school of Hawaiian Spinner Dolphins! Everyone on the boat made their way to the catamarans guardrails to get a better view and to take photo of the dolphins. The size of the dolphin pod was enormous! The Pacific Whale Foundation asked the passengers of the boat to come up with an estimate of the number of all the dolphins in the pod do they could determine an average estimate that would be used for their research. The beautiful dolphins were jumping high and quickly spinning their bodies in a barrel roll motion in the air. The wild dolphins acrobatic aerial displays were truly an amazing sight to see!

After gazing upon the Hawaiian Spinners for about 20 minutes, we made our way further down the coastline to reach our snorkeling spot. Once we reached our destination we were asked to make our way to the front of the boat for the snorkel briefing. The captain explained some useful snorkeling knowledge beginning with the basics of how to use the snorkel equipment, before moving on to more advanced techniques like identifying some of the fish and diving hand signals. Once the captain was finished with the briefing it was time to jump in the water! Immediately after jumping in I saw a giant school of fish right underneath me. As I made my way around the bay I took plenty of time to look at all crevices of the reef to see what kinds of fish I could spot. I got a little surprise as I was coming over the a ledge and then to my astonishment right in front of me was a harmless white tip shark that came swimming right passed me. After I initially spotted it I swam down again to get as close as I could to the shark to try get a good shot of it with my Go Pro. After thoroughly exploring the bay seeing all of the wild life that I could I made my way back to the boat for lunch.

Once I dried off, it was time for lunch. On the menu there was a choice of barbecued chicken, hot dogs, or a veggie burger. For the side you could have pasta or salad. I ate my food and in the sun and relaxed while I waited for the rest of the passengers to come back in from snorkeling. Once we had all finished snorkeling and eating it was time to make our way back to the Lahaina Harbor. The boat ride was surprisingly smooth because the trade winds were light and there was not much wind going through the Auau channel. It was a relaxing boat ride back to the harbor. We thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful day on the water that we spent with the Pacific Whale Foundation.

Travel Blog - Articles #170 to #179

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