Today (Wednesday) was another semi-early morning for us, as we had an hour drive to Lahaina for a 9:15am meet up of our Trilogy catamaran tour to Lanai. We skipped breakfast this morning, but had picked up a trio of sandwich croissants last night at the ABC store adjacent the hotel, so with our coffee, we were good to go.
Along the way, we saw the most beautiful rainbow we had ever seen. We watched it from miles away, hoping to get a good photo of it before it disappeared. Fortunately, as we were going over the isthmus in Maui, we were able to pull the car over (along with many others doing the same thing), and a nice lady took this photo of us. Truly humbling, this rainbow was awe-inspiring. No pot of gold though! LOL!
We valet picked up the car at our Grand Wailea hotel, and were on our way to Lahaina by 7:45am. We wanted to go to Hilo Hattie’s before getting on the boat, so we left the hotel a bit early. Hilo Hattie’s is one of the original Hawaiian shirt stores and they greet you with a shell lei upon entering the store. This Hilo Hattie’s is located in a shopping center just down the road from our boat departure in Lahaina.
We bought a couple nice Hawaiian shirts, T-shirts, and some souvenir coasters before heading downtown Lahaina to the boat departure point.
We parked the car at the designated pay lot, and walked a couple blocks in town towards the boat departure. Along the way, one of my flip flops decided to flop! The strap broke off, and I couldn’t wear my right ‘shoe’. We went by an ABC store close by, and fortunately was able to buy another pair of flip flops. I unceremoniously chugged the old ones in the trash bin.
Our checkin for our all-day Trilogy boat tour to Lanai was quick and easy, and we were warmly greeted by Captain Casey who immediately made us feel welcome. We stored our belongings on the lower deck, before taking a seat upstairs at the forward part of the boat. We have been on several catamarans before in the Caribbean, but this one had actual seating with trays around the perimeter of the boat which was nice. After our onboard safety briefing, we were on the way to the island of Lanai.
As we departed we were served coffee and their 3rd generation sticky buns which were delicious! We made acquaintances with our fellow passengers as we sailed towards Lanai. Shortly after leaving, Captain Casey slowed the boat, and ultimately stopped so we could view the school of dolphins surrounding the boat. There were literally dozens of dolphins and they seemed as curious about us as we dd about them! Captain Casey told us these were spiral dolphins, which would leap out of the water and do a flip. We were fortunate to see one actually do this, and caught a glimpse of it with my camera. It was truly amazing to see all these dolphins up so close.
As we then continued on to Lanai, unfortunately a woman fainted and we had to return to Lahaina for emergency medical treatment. We were almost half way there by this time, and by chance there were two doctors aboard which helped to ease the situation for the woman, her husband, passengers and crew.
Ever so professional, Trilogy Tours handled this evacuation superbly, and even extended the tour an extra hour to makeup for the time lost; a nice gesture indeed although not asked for by anyone.
After leaving Lahaina or the second time, we had a smooth nonstop sailing to Lanai. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and so relaxing I took a nap for a bit on the ‘trampoline’ netting. The trip took about an hour an a half, and we of course took many photos on the way.
Once to the island of Lanai, we were greeted by local Hawaiian ladies with a warm Aloha and a shell lei. We then took a quick van ride to the beach, and were given a safety talk concerning the snorkeling, waves, beaches and rocky shore, as well as the path to the nature walk if we wished to do that. Trilogy has been going to this beach since they started in 1973, and have exclusive landing and beach rights to this section of gorgeous beach. They provided everyone snorkeling equipment and beach mats, as well as instruction on snorkeling if you needed it. While I don’t like to snorkel, DOS and I found a shady spot on the beach under some palm trees and relaxed for a short while before taking the nature walk. DOS made up a primitive shelter with large rocks holding our blankets down; somehow this remote island and beautiful setting reminded me of Gilligan’s Island!
We walked up the pathway to the ocean ‘pool’ which was similar to what we had seen on our ride around Maui a couple days ago; a natural pool created by a rocky formation in the water. While we didn’t get in as it was quite slippery and rocky, we did take a few photos of the area, which was quite beautiful in this area just down from the beach where we had started from.
We then walked further along the nature trail, up the steep hill overlooking more beautiful beaches and endless coastlines. From this vantage point you could even see the island of Maui. We stayed here for quite a while enjoying the solitude of nature and later chatted with a couple other passengers who ventured up this way. We must have lingered longer than we had planned as it was nearly 2:30pm when we went back down to the beach, and the island tour was leaving at that time. Fortunately we got on a van, and a nice local Hawaiian lady gave us a great tour of the island. I had never been to Lanai before, and wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was much much more undeveloped (i.e. beautifully natural and unspoiled) that what I had pictured, and seemed to have only one main road leading to the city high on the mountainside. The island was formerly a pineapple plantation owned by Dole corporation, but was sold to Larry Ellison in 2012, who plans to further develop the island. A sign of the economic times, the pineapple plantation no longer exists here (or in much of Hawaii) due to the high costs of running it and cheaper foreign competition. We first drove by miles of the former pineapple plantations that are abandoned today, before going up the mountainside to the town of Lanai City.
Our tour guide is a native of the island of Lanai, with her family ancestry on the island dating back to the 13th century. It was quite interesting listening to her stories of the islands, both today, and historically of years gone by. She gave us a great narrated tour with the island history, and pointing out the sites of Lanai City along the way. The city of Lanai has approximately 3,300 residents, a police force of 9, fire station, small medical facility, several places of worship, bed and breakfasts, a 2 screen movie theater, a general store we stopped in, as well as homes for the island residents. The 2 plush resorts (both owned by Four Season’s) are being renovated at this time.
Around 4pm we had a nice outdoor barbecue, with covered facilities and lawn chairs to relax in, overlooking the water. The Hawaiian style barbecue was served to us by our Trilogy crew, who had taken on a more formal attire, changing into fancy Hawaiian shirts and shorts – really classy touch!
As Captain Casey had warned the folks such as ourselves sitting in the front of the boat we would get soaked going back, we didn’t take any photos, not wanting to mess up our new Iphones. With the sails now raised, and the sunset setting behind us, it was truly a perfect ending to a wonderful day!