This was the much awaited day for me personally. With all stories heard from colleagues and online snorkel reviews, I was very much looking forward to this activity and lot of anxitey within :-).
We took the snorkel tour with the Pacific Whale Foundation group, basically a non-profit organization. We took the longest snorkel tour of Molokini & Lanai Snorkel with them around 7 hour duration. The tour starts at 8.30 AM and ends at 3.30 PM. You need to go to the Maalaea Harbor to start u’r snorkel journey. The Pacific Whale group is located within the Maui Aquarium center.
We reached on time and did the check-in around 8 AM. The nearby shops within this complex also rents under-water cameras that costs ~40$. These cameras can be tied along with u’r snorkel gear and we decided to rent one for our trip. None of us have used these gears but wanted to give a try
The Pacific Whale Group provided all the snorkel gadgets right from the fins, goggles, snorkel gear and other floatation devices. A warm welcome was provided by the group when we boarded the boat.We were served with a very good breakfast like banana nut bread, muffins, papayas, pineapples and cold & hot beverages. Guava Juice was my favorite and the Papayas too.
Molokini Crater was our first destination in the snorkel journey. Molokini Crater is one of the premier snorkeling destination in Maui and one of the most prized snorkeling destinations in the world.We were told by many that Molokini Crater is a once in a lifetime dive that shouldn’t be missed. When we reached Molokini, almost everyone in the boat jumped/dived into the water to start their snorkelling adventure. Madhavan knew swimming and he did not wear any life jacket. He took one of the floatation device and started his snorkelling. Arvind was the next person who was all very excited and knew little bit of swimming. He was so excited , wore his life jacket, took the noodle stick and was very comfortable exploring by himself all alone. I wish i had his level of courage to do that. Mani & Dhishita(Madhavan’s daughter) were the next ones to jump into the water. Padma & I were the last ones to get into the water
Even though I have learnt swimming several years ago, I was definitely in a panic mode to swim in the middle of the pacific ocean.
I was really impressed with the Pacific group and they were very helpful and reduced my fear. I did put my head into the water and man – What a beautiful sight of coral reef with those excellent collection of fishes beneath the reef !!.Molokini actually rises from 300 feet below the ocean’s surface and is almost half a mile wide. We were told that around 200 species of fishes could be spotted in this area.I was very comfortable either holding onto a person or a kayak – Padma & I grabbed the kayak handles on either side and were snorkeling for some period of time. The kids really enjoyed so much that adults should learn from them :-). The waves started to become rough towards the end and Arvind still did’nt want to hop onto the boat. He was in his own world snorkelling in the ocean.
We did around 45 mins to an hour snorkel in Molokini and headed to our next spot in Lanai. The waves were pretty rough on our way to Lanai and too windy. Lunch was also served as part of the trip with very good options for both veggie & meat lovers along with Salad & Lentils. As we had to start early for the snorkel trip, we did not prepare any box lunch from our end. I really liked the lunch that the Pacific group provided.
We reached Lanai and had one hour stop in this place. Padma decided to stay on the boat and take photos for all of us. She was still on her fear heights and wanted to be little safe this time 🙂
Madhavan & the kids got into the water as usual with much ease.Mani & I decided to use the surf board this time and try on our own. I was comfortable with the surf board for like 3-4 mins but used more force on the board that I started to lose balance and began to panic inspite of wearing the life jacket :-). One of the Pacific group girl jumped into the water and started to calm me down. While I was still trying to hold myself calm, my son Arvind swims , slowly comes near the girl and says to her “My Mom does’nt know swimming ” and swims back to his snorkelling area. That moment was so funny but at the same time I was trying to relax. She taught me swimming and I started to feel comfortable swimming with her, doing some backfloats etc. Though it was scary I’m happy that I did it with the help of the girl. This forces me to go back & continue my swimming lessons 🙂
Overall a very good snorkel adventure for all of us. As mentioned in my blog earlier, the Pacific Whale Foundation was an excellent group in conducting this tour and we felt very safe travelling with them. All the amenities, food were well taken care by them and I would definitely travel with them in future.
•Pacific Whale Group: http://www.pacificwhale.org/
If you book directly with them, it is little expensive around 100 $- 125$ per person.
•Every activity in hawaii is pretty expensive in the range of 100’s$. We learnt about the Time Share acitivity during our trip that can reduce some dollars. We did a Time share with the Wyndham Hotel group – all you need to do is spend like 1.5 hours talk session with the hotel group , there is no obligation to buy anything at the end of the talk. I would highly recommend to do this only if you have enough time in u’r trip and a very strong/firm person who will not fall for any sales :-). They say it’s no obligation to buy but they are very good in marketting this. Mani was a very strong guy in our group that we came out without any dollars going out of our pocket 🙂
• Overall we spent only 125$ for 6 people on the snorkel trip due to the timeshare activity. The normal price without timeshare would be ~550$ in total
• Don’t fear to do snorkel – It is definitely very safe. While I agree it will be little scary for non-swimmers, but go for it as the pacific whale group has very good lifeguards.
•Apply lot of sunscreen