The sailing to Lana'i was peaceful. The winds were light out of the east, and we sailed along, enjoying the views of the surrounding islands. Maui, Kahoolawe, Lana'i, Molokai, and just a bit of the Big Island to the south was visible in the distance. Captain Eric pointed out the unique features of the island we were about to visit, but first, we would stop and snorkel just off Sweetheart Rock, a rock formation just off Manele Bay. We stopped here and snorkeled for over an hour, and enjoyed the most incredible underwater vistas! There were underwater arches, canyons, coral heads en masse. We saw turtles, we saw unique caves, and our group stayed together as we captured underwater pictures for each other. The snorkeling at Lana'i was incredible, unlike the snorkeling at Molokini. And with hesitation, we had to get back on to PARAGON for our delivery into Manele Harbor.
Oh what a treat Lana'i is!! We enjoyed our picnic lunch in Hulopoe Beach Park, under the shade of the trees on an oversized picnic table large enough for our group of 6. We chatted as we enjoyed all the views around us, the incredible sand beach, the lush tropical park. As we bonded over sandwiches and salads, we decided our next stop would be the Four Seasons Hotel at Manele Bay for a cocktail. Our time on Lana'i was just long enough to visit the acclaimed Hotel, and from their beach bar, we were mesmerized by the view of Hulopoe Marine Preserve and the arching white sand beach below. Our drink order included a Hulopoe Punch, Lanai Lemonade, Hawaiian Snow, and Pina Colada. The people who run the pool bar at the Four Seasons were intrigued by our visit, and offered to take many pictures for us. Though our visit to the Four Seasons was brief, we were enthralled by the Asian Art throughout the lobby of the hotel, and the fact that Bill Gates was married there kept the mystique alive enough for us to want to come back and stay at the hotel someday soon!
As we walked back to Manele Harbor, we were met by other passengers who were taking the same tour as us. They were teachers from Fresno, who shared that they were comfortable on board and enjoyed the space that the tour gave them. We shared our common perspective that Paragon Sailing Charters to Lana'i was the best tour of them all, while other companies tour boats were unloading several dozens of people, we had only 23 people on board. We loved that we made the decision to sail with Paragon. And as we boarded PARAGON for our sail back to Maui, we learned that there was more of the tour yet to come.
By the time we left Lana'i, it was now about 1:30pm. One guest asked Captain Eric how long it would take us to sail back to Maui, and he said we would be in the harbor before 4:00pm. We sailed along the southern shore of Lana'i, enjoying 10 knots of boat speed while Lacey and Carter offered us something icy cold to drink. The House Mai Tais on board PARAGON were the best we tasted in any bar on Maui, and if we asked Lacey how she made them, she would share the receipe! Nearing the coast of Maui, the winds died down and the heat kicked up! We found ourselves looking at the water around us and wondering what made the ocean this incredible cobalt blue? How refreshing would it be if we could just stop the boat, right here, right now and jump in to cool off? And no sooner had we thought this that Captain Eric dropped the headsail, turned the boat into what if any breeze there was, and announced to us that "the pool is open!" No kidding! We were able to jump right off PARAGON into this incredibly blue ocean, just off the coast of Maui, and cool ourselves off. Every passenger on board jumped into the water that day, every one of us had water noodles that Carter had tossed to us in the water.
It was such a highlight of our day, the swim in the blue water. None of us wanted to get out of the refreshing Pacific, but after 10 minutes or so, Captain Eric summoned us all back on board. The smiles on all of our faces, the comraderie we all shared brough our little group of 23 close together. As we docked in Lahaina, we noticed how happy we all were, our bodies cool from the swim, our spirits high from the tour, and our memories secure for years to come. We invite you to come visit Lana'i, through Paragon Sailing Charters. Meet Lacey, Carter and Captain Eric. And take a blue water swim. I promise you, you will be treated to a spectacular highlight on a spectacular tour.
visit www.sailmaui.com for booking information.