Monday, July 27, 2009

Lana'i and the Blue Water Swim

Sailing on the Lana'i tour is unlike any other tour on Maui.  We loaded PARAGON at 8:15 am, after being greeted by the welcoming Captain Eric and Mates Lacey & Carter.  The day was perfect, high 80's, seas were calm in Lahaina, and the day promised to be beautiful on the water.   Counting the passengers on board, I noticed we had 23 people, and a 47' catamaran all to ourselves!  This is a normal group size for Paragon Sailing Charters, who limits the size of each tour by allowing only so many passengers per trip.  On our special Lana'i day, we were in for a very big treat!

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.

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Sailing with Everyone

One of the biggest joys we get at Paragon Sailing Charters is meeting all the incredible passengers who take our tours.  Over the years, we have met all types of people, from all walks of life.  There have been the youngest of children, and the most senior of citizens.  We have sailed with paraplegics, stroke victims, disabled people of all ages.  We have shared our passion for sailing with people from India, Italy, Canada and Mexico.  From France, South Africa, and China.  To this date, we have sailed with people from over 100 countries!

It's always nice to hear back from our passengers over the years.  Just recently, we had the great pleasure of meeting Mr. Karl Terp from San Diego, California, who took the time to send us his comments about his recent trip to Lana'i:

"I just wanted to let you know I had an excellent time sailing and snorkeling last week.  You should know that I have done jeep excursions in Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, and Cozumel; taken dune buggy excursions in Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan, and done snorkeling excursions in Cancun & Cabo San Lucas. But your sailing/snorkeling excursion to Lana'i from Lahaina eclipsed them all.  I have never had a better time on an excursion.  Not only was the snorkeling great, but the sail back to Lahaina was an experience I'll never forget.  Sailing at 12 to 18 knots while the boat bucked like a bronco as whales and dolphins breached and played -- singing praises to the Lord -- was an awesome experience.  Captain Ray and his beautiful first mates -- the terrific Tanya & lovely Lacey -- were very hospitable, helpful and friendly.  The small group of us all had a great time.  I really appreciated your ingenuity getting me in and out of the water using the bow-mans chair.  The whole operation went better than I had ever dreamed and everyone's help was truly appreciated.  

Also, the very fact that you did not shy away from the challenge of accommodating me speaks most highly of the quality and thoughtfulness of you and your company.  The fact you even considered the challenge of accommodating me -- boarding me, getting me in & out of the water and assisting me during the sail -- sets you way ahead of most tour outfits that just want to cram as many people as possible on a boat with no thought of people with a disability.  

Please maintain your accessible, can-do approach.  I speak highly and often about your outfit to those I know and meet -- able-bodied or otherwise -- about your outfit and recommend it as a must-do on Maui.......Thanks again and God bless".

It's letters like this that inspire all of us at Paragon Sailing Charters.  And Mr. Terp is right.  Able bodied or not, every one of our passengers brings us the joy that we have built Paragon Sailing Charters around.  Our passion for sailing, our love of Maui, and the daily thrill of meeting all people drives us each day to be the best we can be.  And everyone deserves a wonderful time on the water, in the water, and near the water.  Especially on their Maui vacation, especially with Paragon Sailing Charters. for reservation information.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What makes a good team?

At Paragon Sailing Charters, our staff are the very heart of our business.  From the Captains and crew on PARAGON & PARAGON II, to our reservationists and office management, we are dedicated to you, our guests and friends.  We hire only the highest trained USCG 100 ton licensed Captains.  Our crew are highly skilled in ocean sailing and have fulfilled rigorous sailing maneuvers prior to any placement on the boats.  Our office ohana are filled with the Aloha spirit that permeates the travel industry on Maui.  

And even with all this training, our team at Paragon Sailing Charters remains a close knit family. We work hard together, share thoughts and ideas, and are committed to sharing our passion for real ocean sailing.  Even with the current changes in our economic environment, the team comes together to streamline our communication channels and openly share ideas for green changes.  Improvements within our company are the results of a team effort; with our special group of professionals, our team,  we could not do what we do for those seeking the best sailing experience not only on the island of Maui, but also in the State of Hawaii.

So we invite you to come sail with us, join our team, and leave Maui with more knowledge of sailing and the ocean around you.  Witness the beauty of Molokini or Lana'i, with a whale breech nearby.  Be a part of a small group environment, where you have the space to relax, without being crowded.  And enjoy the personal service of our team.  Our dedication to you, and our commitment to our passion, is the heart and soul of Paragon Sailing Charters.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Paragon announces "Retro Molokini"

This February marks our 15th anniversary in business here on the beautiful island of Maui.  And as a token of our appreciation for all the years of sharing our love of performance sailing, we have gone Retro!

Through, you can now book our Molokini Snorkel & Performance Sail for our 1994 price of $68 per person*!  This tour price includes all the regular offerings, such as food & beverages, snorkel gear & flotation devices.  You bring the towels and sunscreen, we will provide the fun!

So join us as we pursue our green goals and touch a bit of retro pricing while we are at it.  Remember, aboard PARAGON & PARAGON II, getting there and back is the best part of the trip!

*plus 7.167% tax, kids 12 & under sail for 1/2 price.  Offer valid through June 29, 2009.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Paragon Sailing Charters set "green" goals!

Economic conservation seems to be the theme for todays businesses, and Paragon Sailing Charters is taking this action to heart.  Our company has recently changed our software programs within our office that directly affects our paper consumption, and therefore, our efforts at conservation.  Our new program is so basic in concept, we are amazed we did not take advantage of it sooner!

Our Captains & crew are now able to log onto one website to see our charter activities for now and in the future.  In the past, we would need to print manifests and fax to our respective employees.  With our new software, we are able to allow employee access to this same information.  And as a result, we have reduced our paper consumption by more than half!

These and other green efforts motivate all of us at Paragon Sailing Charters.  As stewards of our planet, we continue to strive for positive visitor experiences with minimal environmental impact.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Whales are here!

Since this is the first blog of the New Year, all of us at Paragon Sailing Charters wish you a very happy & prosperous New Year!  We have been blessed this year, again, with the arrival of our annual visitors, the humpback whales.  They swim all the way from Alaska to birth and breech in the waters off Maui, and enhance any tour taken on either PARAGON or PARAGON II.

In fact, some of the highlights of their annual visit include the whale encounters during the crossing from Lahaina Harbor to Manele Harbor on Lana'i.  Captain Ray, our chief PARAGON Captain, shares that just before Christmas he not only encountered whales on the crossing, he also felt "surrounded" by their majesty!  The passengers were treated by a spectacular breeching contest, as males tend to be overactive in their hopes of attracting female whales.  Our passengers that day were thrilled by the experience, and several have written our office to share their joy!

We invite you to come see the whales with us!  They are active any time of the day, either during our sail back from Molokini where you can see their antics across Maalaea Bay, or on our day trip to Lana'i.  Our Lahaina Sunset Sail features the whales who are also active at or near sunset.  A breech combined with a pleasant sail makes for a wonderful evening on the water!

From December to May, the whales come out to play.  So join us!  Visit for our best fares, and check out our "All Access Pass" to either Molokini or Lana'i.  More sailing for less money, and more time to check out the beauty of our winter/spring visitors!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Speed Sailing in Maui

The twin vessels, PARAGON & PARAGON II are amazing high performance sailing catamarans!  Each has reached speed records above 20 knots.  If you visit, you will read an article by Jace Panebiano, a professional windsurfer & photo journalist.  This article was picked up by SAILING magazine, and tells the story about speed sailing across Maalaea Bay with PARAGON II.  

Come sailing with us, the pros of speed sailing on Maui!  Molokini, with PARAGON II will feature Captain Greg at the helm.  Or, visit Lana'i on PARAGON,  and speed sail with Captain Ray or Captain Ryan.  Either tour will feature the best performance sailing on Maui.

And be sure to read all about us at  Talk about fun on the water!