I was so excited about finally making land and the prospect of seeing whales that I got up early, grabbed my camera and position myself on the balcony railing in hopes of getting some great pictures. I was not disappointed all day.
As we were traveling through the channel you could see whales in the water. However, even with my telescopic lens I could not get a clear shot of these wonderful mammals. As we drew nearer our anchor point we finally saw several whales close to the ship. We were able to see their dorsal fins, pectoral fins and many blowing a fine mist as they swam through the blue waters of the Pacific.
Randy and I had honeymooned in Maui in 1999 and were anxious to be back on this beautiful island. One day during our stay on the island we rented a car and drove the Road to Hana this year Randy wanted to drive the northwest side of the island on the Honoapiilani Highway. We started at Lahaina to the Rt. 30 to 35, 40, 340, 311, 31 to Wailea and eventually back on 30 back to Lahaina.
Randy and I have very divergent views of driving these roads, so I asked him to describe our ride.
“We had been to Maui on our honeymoon and drove the Road to Hana. I wanted to drive somewhere we had never been on the island. Since we were near the northwest side of Maui, I thought about driving to the end of the road on the north end. What I discovered is that the road is open all the way around the north end to the east side of the island,” Randy began.
“Driving this road was quite an experience, with good road for a while and the degrading to a potholed one to a one-lane road. The scenic views were amazing and fortunately, we were on the inside of the road with the drop-off on the other side. The road was challenging due to a heavy rain the day before and rocks and boulders washing down on the road. There were also a lot of landslides on the road. The interesting thing was that the speed limit on this road varied from 40 to 10mph, and at Mary’s insistence, usually half of that.”
“It was a great road trip!” Randy exclaimed.
The road was, at first, paved and marked. Eventually as the road narrowed the center line disappeared. Eventually, the road narrowed even further making it necessary for cars to pull off to the side to let a car pass before continuing. Seeing mud, rocks and boulders in the road did not help my skittish attitude towards the ride. For me it was a really scary road but the ride was definitely worth the goose bumps I experienced all along the road for the vistas we saw at every pull-off. The scenery was breathtaking.
Once back in Lahaina, we walked along the streets looking in many of the shops along the way. Eventually, we stopped for lunch at the Cool Cat Café. The café reminds me of a ‘50’s drive in or diner offering many burgers and other sandwiches with names like, the Marilyn Burger, the Duke, Sh-Boom, Jailhouse Rock and many other fun names.
I chose the Frisco burger served on grilled sourdough and covered in pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. Randy ordered the Betty Boop BLT on grilled sourdough. Both sandwiches were big and tasty.
After lunch we meandered across the street to The Banyan Tree Park. The Banyan Tree covers much of the area that is Courthouse Square. There was an art fair in progress on the day the ship anchored. There were so many tents, tables and people it was hard to really capture the majesty of this beautiful tree.
We finally made our way back to the dock to get on a tender and head back to the ship. We were so excited when several whales appeared in the bay. Most of the whales were saw were young whales. Every camera on the tender was clicking away.
We met our tablemates at dinner and exchanged experiences while on shore. Some took excursions, some just walked around town but all were very happy. Tired, we spent a very quiet evening people watching at the Piazza.
Tomorrow we dock on the big island of Hawaii.