We awoke at 5:15am and were on the road at 5:30. Our destination was the photo location we scouted the previous day. We weren’t encouraged by the weather; it was raining and overcast during the very dark drive along the north shore of Maui. We got to our location 30 minutes before sunrise and waited in the car as more rain fell. We had seen only one other car on the 20-mile drive.
15 minutes later, as the sky was starting to brighten, the rain stopped. We set up on our vista point and were rewarded with a very dramatic dawn with dark clouds above us and fluffy pink ones on the horizons. We both took photos as the sun rose. When it disappeared behind the overcast, we packed our gear back to the car. Just as we drove off, the rain started again. What luck!
We were back at the Honua Kai by 8:00. I cooked eggs for breakfast. Afterward we prepared for our whale-watching outing, leaving about 9:45.
We arrived in downtown Lahaina well before our check-in time at Pacific Whale Foundation. It took a while to find a place where we could park for more than 3 hours. We perused several of the shops along Front Street and finally checked in at 10:30 for our 11:30 tour. We rented a pair of binoculars for the trip.
As we waited to board, a staff member announced that Pacific Whale Foundation members got priority boarding. I couldn’t remember if I had joined or not. It turns out I hadn’t, but I could do so right there. One of the benefits of membership is a 50% discount on a tour, which we applied to the one we were about to take. The net cost of the membership after applying that discount was a refund on our credit card. Talk about value…
The whale watch was great. We saw more than a dozen humpback whales – some as close as 30 feet away from the boat. The boat can’t approach closer than 100 yards to the whales, but there’s no limit on how close to the boat the whales can swim. When the whales “mug” the boat like that, it has to just drift until the whales are more than 100 yards away. We saw whales blow mist into the air, swim at the surface, splash their pectoral fins onto the water, dive, and even breach.
The tour was over about 1:30 and we drove back to the Honua Kai, where we ate lunch while watching a slide show of our whale watch photos on the TV. Chris walked up the road to a little shopping center. She looked at clothes and knick-knacks, buying only a clove-and-cinnamon box. While Chris was gone, I relaxed in the room.
At 6:15 we walked out to the beach, just missing the sunset. We then staked out a couple of barstools at Duke’s where I had a “Tropical Itch” and Chris had a Cosmopolitan. Both drinks were quite good. By 7:15 we were back at the room. We heated up the leftovers from Mala. It was warmer than usual for the evening and the wind was pretty calm, so we were able to enjoy our dinner on the balcony.
After dinner we watched “Benny and Joon” and went to bed.