November 3rd, 2022
Today is a tale of two stores really. Once pretty epic and adventurous the other far more relaxed… but they both end in the same place. The last two days had been epic. We had come to Maui to relax after a year of madness, but the last two days, of touring around Hana had been anything but. We really needed a rest. Only one of us would get it.
Chilling in the Resort – Kate
With Steve, off on his dive trip. I decided to stay around the resort and just relax. The Condo had come equipped with a washing machine so decided to stick a load on to help stretch out our clothes for the last week.
After this and morning Cofee I headed out to take a first look at the resort in the Daylight. I headed down the hill toward the ocean and located the main pool. This was very busy and was right by the ocean. It has a nice pavilion with grills and cold storage in case you want to bring food and drink down with you as it’s a good 10-minute walk from our Condo. You could even store stuff here and head to the beach.
Heading back up to the Condo I got a little lost. The resort seems really simple to navigate but in reality, the paths just seem to dry up and head into parking lots. Eventually, by walking around the outside of the complex I got back to the unit. It took us a few days to really work out the complex and realize, you have to ignore the paths and just walk over the grass.
It really is a pretty place, well-planted, Green, Lush, and set on the hillside overlooking the Ocean.
Back at the Condo, I hung out the washing, not the most glamourous tasks on Vacation, and then headed for the Quiet pool. This is situated near to the Condo and was much nicer and more peaceful than the main pool. Perfect for a morning of sun and relaxation.
Lahaina Divers – 3 Tank Adventure Dive Lanai – Steve
Even the name of the Dive sounds pretty arduous, doesn’t it? Sure, normally this would be something I would jump at, and it was when I booked the trip, but right now, at 5 am in the morning after an epic journey to the remotest corners of Maui, it felt such a bad idea!
Why had I booked it for this day? Well, it’s the only day Lahaina Divers run this trip, and it’s one I have been doing to do for ages! 3 Dives in the most remote, undived, unspoiled areas of Ocean in the whole island chain. This is the dive you book on if you want to get away from the tourist dive sites and hope to see the BIG stuff.
Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, LArge Palaegic, Huge Eels, Whales, and Dolphins, all show up on these dives. The three sites are all Ocean Highways and anything can and does show up. Just two weeks again this dive turned up an epic once-in-lifetime Whale Shark Sighting! Nothing is guaranteed, it’s wildlife after all and sometimes it refuses to play ball. But if you want a chance to see the big stuff… This is the trip. And they only do it Thursdays.
Boarding is at 7 am, and I had a long drive back up to Lahaina to catch the boat, hence the silly-o-clock wake-up. I slammed some coffee and headed off to Lahaina. At the Dive Shop, they were already waiting for me as I had a bit of a hold-up along the way. We quickly geared up and headed to the boat to get underway
The first part of the trip is the boat crossing over to Lanai. This is a beautiful trip across the crystal blue water of the Auau Channel. Along the way, there were tons of Flying Fish and large predatory fish hanging out on the surface. We conducted our introductions and Dive Briefings and were all ready to hit the water the second we got to our first dive site. It always strikes me how efficient Lahaina Divers are, it’s practically military in the efficiency of the operation!
The First site was called the Pyramids. This was to be one of the deeper sites but it still was fairly shallow around 50-60 feet, and shallower as the dive went on.
Overall this was not the best dive. These Dives were supposed to be a drift dives, but the current all but vanished once we hit the water and this meant we kind of floundered in the water. The group didn’t stay together too well and we only saw part of what we were meant to. These Dives are billed as advanced, and you need a lot of experience before Lahina will take you out here. But this did not show in a lot of the divers we had aboard. My Buddy, burned his air out really fast, which was odd as he never got close to the bottom.
Really it was not a bad dive, but the lack of exploration and failure to see anything too special meant it was a bit of a bust. There was tons of small reef life though and the water was warm and visibility excellent. I had a great time just enjoying the fish and floating weightless in the stunning conditions. But it wasn’t the life-changing epic I had hoped!
The second site really upped the ante. This was where two weeks ago the Whale Shark popped up and everyone was really excited. This is a Wall-Dive right outside the Supply harbor for Lanai and is really far around the island and exposed to really deep waters. This is where the giants pass through and has the opportunity to be really special.
Alas, on this day nothing major really showed up. We had some nice sightings of an Octopus, a Giant Stonefish, Ghost Pipefish, and a Moray eel that looked exactly like the creepy polys in Ursula’s garden, from the little mermaid. We also headed down the toilet bowl, a nice swim-through that exits at the bottom of a large cylindrical structure that feels awfully like going down the drain.
It was a really epic dive overall and despite the lack of megafauna, there was loads to see and the underwater scenery was amazing. We even saw a Turtle, which is pretty rare out here due to the lack of sandy beaches.
Sergent Major AND Minor
The Final Dive site was at the Sergent Major. A large rocky outcrop that holds a lot of life. Like the Barge, there is access to open water and big things can pop up from time to time, so always keep your eye on the blue.
This is one of the instructor’s favorite sites and is usually only available in very placid conditions, as the current is strong and you can be swept away. However, as we were on an advanced drift dive…we were counting on it! This meant we would be diving two sites in one as the current swept is over to Sergent Minor, another site just across a sand bottom.
The Site really delivered and while we got no large pelagic species swimming by we did encounter two MASSIVE Javanese Moray Eels. These things are huge and their large gaping moths would easily fit your head right inside. The second eel, situated on the Sergent Minor site was fully exposed and you could see the full body, a pretty rare sight as they are usually tucked in a hole.
Overall it had been a really enjoyable morning. My reluctance to get up and get going this morning had evaporated away and I had loved the dives. It was a bit of a let-down not seeing anything big, and my wait for a Manta Ray continues. But overall the sites were stunning. I was a little upset that the Covid policy of Lahaina meant the amazing Luch they usually serve had disappeared!
We headed back across the channel in glorious sunshine and arrived back in Lahaina in a little over 40 mins. Now around 1:30 pm it was scorching hot in Lahaina. I had a bit of shopping to do, mainly Christmas decorations as is our tradition then jumped in the car for the drive back to Wailea.
Happy Hour at Waikiki Brewing
Both back at the condo, we had a little lunch and some downtime before heading off to hit up a Happy Hour. Our target was the Waikiki Brewing Company at the Shops at Wailea. This is well within walking distance of the Ekhai Village and we took the nice 20 min stroll along Wailea-Alanui drive to the Shops.
The Waiki Brewing Company offers a really good happy hour and some great beers.
$5.50 CORE NINE DRAFTS
$6 WELLS $8 HOUSE WINES
$7 MAI TAIS & PIÑA COLADAS
$12 CORE NINE GROWLER FILLS
15% OFF SELECT SHARE PLATES
We arrived at around 3 pm so had plenty of time to enjoy the Happy Hour. We tried the EEE PAH IPA and the Jalpeana Mouth which were both excellent and had a couple of cocktails too. For food, we got the BBQ Sampler, which was amazing, Sausage, Pulled Pork, Brisket, and Wings. It really was a nice little meal that cost way less than we expected. One of our favorite Happy Hours in the Wailea Area.
Sunset on Ulua Beach
After Happy Hour we headed down to the Wailea Beach path to walk back to the Resort. We had timed this just about perfectly for sunset. There was a large wedding going on at the Wailea Beach resort and it was nice to see the Bride and Groom getting photo’s done at sunset o the headlands.
As we passed Ulua Beach we took up residence on the Grass in front of the Village resort and just relaxed as the sun gently dipped into the ocean. From here we followed the path to the terminus at Mōkapu Beach where we headed onto the sand to get back into the resort.
It had been a much-needed relaxing day for Kate and while it wasn’t so relaxing for me, at least the end had been. We simply relaxed in the condo throughout the evening ready for another day in Paradise tomorrow.