…”If I choose the Lanai Landing Adventure, what is there to do with 3+ hours on the island?”
Good question. If you’re unfamiliar with the island of Lanai, it is located 9 miles off the coast of Maui and is the smallest, least populated, and therefore one of the most untouched of the inhabited islands in the Hawaiian archipelago. It boasts 2 world class resorts, with all the luxury and decadence you’d expect from the Four Seasons, but set in the midst of the rugged beauty of Lanai’s sea cliffs, and long, deserted stretches of beach.
Lanai is home to bottlenose and spinner dolphin and your chances of seeing them from our Explorer Super Rafts are really good, we encounter these guys at least 85% of the time. Spinner dolphin are friendly and playful and love to ‘surf’ in the wake of our boats. Snorkel gear and instruction as well as snacks and beverages are provided throughout the trip.
Once you reach Lanai there are so many activities that your question will change from “What is there to do?” to “Can we have more time please?”. Below are a few of my favorite recommendations:
Snorkel the Marine Preserve
It’s a short, 10 minute walk from where we drop you at Manele Harbor to Hulopo’e Bay, also known as Manele Bay. Once you arrive you’ll discover the long, crescent shaped stretch of beautiful beach which borders a Marine Preserve which prohibits boating and fishing in these waters. What this means to you is that snorkeling here is some of the best you will find in Hawaii because it is so protected and the only way you get to snorkel it is from shore. Dolphin sightings here are common too as they love the calm, sheltered waters of the bay.
Explore Lava Rock Tide Pools
The tide pools! I’ve seen a lot of tide pools in my time but these are absolutely spectacular. There are dozens of them and they range in size from small rocky depressions to pools large enough for you to swim in. Peering inside each one, you’ll discover your very own aquarium where you can examine all of the sea creatures and flora that are living inside.
Walking Trails to Stunning Lookouts
There are some trails that run along the coast which are really easy to “hike” and lead you to some stunning viewpoints, like “Sweetheart Rock”, for some breathtaking photo opportunities.
Picnic Lunch in the shade on one of “America’s Best Beaches”*
(*as voted by Travel+Leisure)
We provide a picnic lunch and beverages for you to enjoy during your time on the island. Hulopo’e Bay is lined with palm trees so there is tons of shade. Picnic tables, public restrooms, fresh water showers, and enough space to find your very own patch of serenity away from the crowds of some of Maui’s busier beaches. If you’re like me, then this in itself is the perfect way to enjoy a few hours.
Maui Adventure Cruises is one of only a handful of companies with a permit to drop guests off here, and we’re the ONLY one who offers you the Lanai Landing Adventure on an Explorer Super Raft.
This means that you get the best of both worlds; the adventure of zipping past the stunning sea cliffs, sea caves, and blowholes, to your first snorkel spot from our boat as well as the freedom to get off and explore on your own.
Rest assured that whichever trip you decide to do, there is no wrong choice. Both offer excellent snorkel sites at pristine coral reefs, snorkel gear and instruction, attentive and knowledgeable crew, as well as tasty food and beverages.
If you have any further questions regarding our trips and to reserve your spot please feel free to contact our office and speak to our friendly staff at 808.661.5550.
#1 – If you’re in Hawaii during whale season then the next time you snorkel, scuba dive, or even just free-dive under the water, listen closely as you can hear the vibrations of the whale song when they’re singing nearby. You may hear the echoes of their songs reverberating from nearby walls and in some cases, you may even be able to feel the songs vibrating through your body.
#2 – All of our whale watching boats have hydrophones on board which are essentially underwater microphones. When conditions are favorable we drop the hydrophones into the water and the whale song is broadcast live to everyone in the boat. Sometimes when they’re really close you can actually feel the vibrations through the pontoon sides of our super rafts!
#3 – If you’re not in Maui for whale season don’t despair. – Click on this link: http://www.jupiterfoundation.org and be connected to “The Juniper Foundation” and their live streaming of the whale song off the coast of Hawaii.
Hearing the whale song first hand has been described as an ‘other-worldly’ experience. Indeed, the remarkable array of creaks, groans, and moans produced by the humpback can sound like something from a sci-fi movie.
While both male and female humpbacks are able to produce sounds, only the males appear to produce organized songs with distinct themes and melodies. The song is almost always sung on breeding grounds like those off the coast of Maui and our calm waters make it an ideal location to hear it.
The males often sing while suspended deep below the surface, their long front flippers jutting rigidly from their sides. The songs can last up to 20 minutes, and can be heard more than 20 miles away. The male may repeat the same song dozens of times over several hours, and whales in the same geographic area sing in very similar “dialects.” Amazingly, the composition changes as it is being sung with all singers in a population singing the same version simultaneously at any one time.
It is still unknown why the whales produce their song. It has been suggested that the male whales may be trying to attract females, warn off other males from the area or that it’s simply just a basic form of communication.
Either way, make sure you check out at least one of the ways to hear this amazing, and so far unexplainable phenomenon. Maybe after listening to it you have some theories of your own…
The ‘Whale Trust Maui’ is a non-profit organization dedicated to scientific research and public awareness of whales and their environment. Based on the Hawaiian Island of Maui, they conduct and support marine research and education programs around Maui and elsewhere throughout the Pacific Ocean.
Maui Adventure Cruises is proud to be supporting their effort by offering 2 upcoming whale watches whose entire proceeds will go to benefit this incredible organization.
Where: Lahaina Harbor, slip #11
When: Sunday, February 16th 2014 @ 7:30am – 9:30am and
Monday, February 17th 2014 @ 10:00 – 12:00pm
Check-in 30 minutes prior to departure
Who: We’ll have an expert* on board to narrate the experience and provide the latest research findings.
*Phil Clapham, Ph.D., National Marine Mammal Laboratory, (Sunday 16th)
*Fred Sharpe Ph.D., Alaska Whale Foundation, (Monday, 17th)
Even if you’ve been whale watching before, come out again! Every experience is completely different.
If you’re here for an extended time why not take advantage of the SUPER LOW PRICE on our whale watches with the Season Pass (10 whale watches at cheaper than the child’s price!).
Call our reservations office at (808) 661.5550 and speak to one of our friendly staff for more details and to purchase tickets. Hope to see you out there soon!
If you are on Maui next week Robin Baird will be giving a public talk on Thursday February 13th on “Results from the first odontocete satellite tagging study off Maui Nui: movements of pilot whales, bottlenose dolphins and other species”, at 6:30 PM at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, at 726 S. Kihei Road. Phone: (808) 879-2818 for more information.
This photo is of a group of short-finned pilot whales taken off Lana’i during our field project there in December 2012 (photo (c) Annie Douglas)