Friday, March 15, 2019

Maui, Day Three: Molokini Crater and Turtle Town

We rolled out of our condo early Tuesday morning for the drive back to Maalea Harbor, where we checked in for our scheduled snorkeling excursion to Molokini Crater. We were booked on the Mololo, through Molokini Maui, and, were really looking forward to introducing the kids to the experience of sailing on a catamaran to deeper snorkeling waters; Hugh and I had done a similar cruise in Barbados back in 2008 and it remains one of my favorite vacation memories.

The trip to the crater took about forty-five minutes, during which, we were treated to a continental breakfast that included a variety of pastries and fresh pineapple (of course). Ordinarily, I wouldn't have been able to eat while on a boat-I tend to get queasy-but, I had purchased a set of Sea Bands prior to leaving Colorado, and, I have to say; they worked for both myself and Queen B, who gets motion sick even more easily than I do. So, Sea Bands for the win!

Anyhoodle, once we arrived at the crater, the captain announced that the gusty winds and high waves were making it difficult to navigate, so, he suggested that only experienced snorkelers attempt the dive. That left the girls and me out, but, Hugh and the Cub manned up and hopped in.

The Cub stayed in the water the entire twenty minutes-or so-that we were anchored off the crater, but, Hugh was exhausted from fighting the waves within minutes, and he rejoined the girls and me on the boat.

It was a bit disappointing, considering how much we had all been looking forward to snorkeling the crater-it's advertised as one of the "must-do" experiences in Maui-but, we were quickly off to the next location on the tour, which, ultimately made up for Mother Nature's snub.

Turtle Town! Located just off Maluaka Beach, is a unique series of lava formations and reefs that provide the perfect habitat for green sea turtles. One of Queen B's Maui Bucket List items was to swim with turtles, and, Turtle Town was certainly the place to scratch that item off the list!

We spent the entire stop at Turtle Town in the water, where, we saw a plethora of beautiful fish and sea life, in addition to the numerous turtles that were swimming and/or relaxing on the bottom of the sea.; unfortunately, I don't have pictures or video to post yet-it's all on the Man-Cub's GoPro, and, he's deep into midterms right now and can't be bothered to send them to his mother (priorities!). But, trust me when I say, it was an amazing experience; having an ancient, enormous, gentle beast rise slowly from the bottom of the ocean to swim underneath or beside you is one of the most peaceful and awe-inspiring things that you will ever experience.**

We were all in heaven.

Once the captain finally cajoled us all out of the water, we were served lunch, and, on the slow cruise back to the harbor; adult beverages were also made available.

We got back to the harbor and made our way home to Lahaina, where we lazed about on the lanai (snorkeling really saps your energy); which was when we first saw the resident turtles feeding from the reef behind the condo, as well as this guy, sunning himself on our beach... was a turtle-tastic day!

We capped it off by walking a few blocks down to a pop-up pizza restaurant, for pizzas made fresh and cooked in a mobile brick oven. It was the coolest thing, ever; the pizza was damn tasty, too.

Then, with pizzas in hand, we walked back to the condo to eat and sip wine while watching more episodes of Santa Clarita Diet (Hugh and the Man-Cub were hooked by that point, and, we would eventually make our way through all but the final two episodes of season two, which, both Hugh and the Cub watched immediately upon returning home. They are both completely stoked for the premiere of season three later this month; my work here is done).

Also done; day three!

Tomorrow, one for my bucket list: whale watching!

**Edited to add: The Man-Cub's screen shots! Mere weeks later!

I feel better, now.

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