You may wonder what types of marine life and animals you might see on your upcoming Hawaiian boat excursion.  Well, we are here to tell you marine life in Hawaii is as abundant as it is unpredictable!  Every day is different on the ocean, which makes it very special and magical.  We often see Hawaiian green sea turtles, lots of colorful tropical coral and fish, and in season – majestic humpback whales!  Our favorite ones of all are the dolphins! Main reason for that is because, unlike most of the marine life that does not want to have much to do with us, dolphins are quite the opposite.  They are very social with people and they are famous for their incredible maneuver of bow riding or surfing the wave created by the boats.  It is truly amazing to watch the precision of their movement as they easily navigate around the bow of the boat at various speeds and angles.   Watch this video to see Hawaiian Spinner dolphins bow riding the Sea Monkey wave.

Types of Dolphins in Hawaii

Hawaii has 3 different types of dolphins: Bottlenose, Spotted, and Spinner dolphins.  These dolphins have many similar characteristics and are often confused.  Here is a quick way to tell them apart:

Bottlenose-Dolphin

Bottlenose Dolphin

Intelligent and high up on oceanic food chain Bottlenose dolphins are the largest of the 3. Adult bottlenose dolphins have a length ranging from 10 to 14 feet long and weight 330 to 440 pounds! They are known to travel further off shore and are typically seen in smaller groups, usually less than 10 in a pod.  If you are wondering just how intelligent these creatures are – movie Dolphin Tale was based on real life events inspired by an amazing survival of a Bottlenose dolphin named “Winter”.  This inspirational story has impacted many lives; it demonstrates just how amazing and human-like these animals are.

 

Pantropical Spotted Dolphin

Pantropical Spotted Dolphin

Unlike Bottlenose dolphins, Spotted and Spinner dolphins are much smaller in size (5-6 feet) and are generally known for travelling in larger pods, up to several hundred strong!  Spotted dolphins main distinctive characteristic is their white-tipped beak and, as their name suggests, spotted color pattern on the body.

 

Spinner Dolphin

Spinner Dolphin

Spinner dolphins are most frequently seen, as they like to rest in shallow bay areas during the day and hunt at night.  They are known for their incredible acrobatic spins in the air (up to 7 times) as they breach out of the water.  It is debatable why they do it.  Theories range from them trying to rid of parasites to just leaping for joy.  We don’t know exactly why they do it, but if you are ever lucky to see it – just enjoy the show! One of our recent charters was lucky enough not only to witness a show of a lifetime but get kissed by a spinner dolphin!  Watch below to see those wonderful playful creatures approach this family in the most personal way!

 

Can you swim with dolphins?

Absolutely not! As a general rule of a thumb wild life should always be left alone.   There are a variety of ways in which human interaction can hurt dolphins.  For example, in case with Spinner dolphins, it can disrupt their natural sleeping cycle. Believe it or not, they are actually sleeping while on the move with one eye open and half of their brain functioning.  Another side of their brain is shut down, which allows them to rest.  Spinner dolphins are nocturnal; so they need to be awake and alert at night when catching food and keeping away from predators.  Swimming with them during the day could jeopardize that rest and their wellbeing.

 

Life span and reproduction  

Bottlenose Baby Dolphin

Bottlenose Baby Dolphin

Average life span of a Hawaiian dolphin is 20-40 years, with spinner being the shortest of the 3. Their sexual maturity ranges between ages 5-14, depending on the breed.  Dolphins are known for their human-like behavior when it comes to reproduction as well.  Bottlenose dolphins are born often with assistance of a “mid-wife” in shallow water, and mothers nurse their calves for years.

 

What are the best places to see dolphins in Hawaii?

We often see spinner dolphins just outside of the Historic Lahaina Harbor; also near Island of Lanai’, off Ka’anapali Beach, and deeper in the channels.  It is never the same day out in the ocean and marine life can be unpredictable.  Generally, the more time you spend on the water the more you get to see; and Sea Monkey has been fortunate enough to see dolphins often on many of our trips.  Check out our reservation page to get more information on what we offer. Moments of witnessing wild life in its natural environment can be absolutely incredible.  Always remember to be respectful and keep your distance. And if you are lucky enough to be approached by the dolphins – sit and enjoy the show!  You never know you may be lucky enough to be kissed by one of them!

Sources:

http://www.wildhawaii.org/marinelife/dolphins.html

https://www.dolphins-world.com/spinner-dolphin/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinner_dolphin

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bottlenose_dolphin

Aloha Sea Monkey Ohana!

We are so excited to tell you we have a new boat!! Sea Monkey is sporting a whole new top of the line look, and it’s better than ever. Same great company, same amazing attention to detail, and the same exciting charter options for you to choose from. The only thing about our business that has changed is we now have an even sleeker, more comfortable, beautiful brand new vessel! Sea Monkey has everything you need to have the perfect day on the water. Come ‘sea’ us soon!

airplane-sickness

After spending months planning your well-deserved Maui getaway – from Haleakala sunrise to snorkeling with sea turtles – it’d be a shame to arrive in paradise only to immediately come down with a cold, the flu, or worse. Unfortunately, planes are one of the most opportune locations for illness and germs, and Hawaii just happens to be the most isolated population center in the world, meaning a short flight, and thus less exposure, isn’t really in the cards.

Fortunately, we’ve decided to give you a head start by compiling a list of some of the best tips to avoid getting sick on your flight to Maui – or anywhere – including travel tips that could just mean the difference between two weeks spent blowing your nose on a beach or living your best, sickness-free vacation life in bliss.

 

Top Travel Tips

 

Book the Window Seat

According to a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the aisle seat is the worst in terms of catching possible illnesses and overall germ intake, while the window seat is the best. 

Staying seated for as long as you can – which again, poses an issue when flying all the way to Hawaii – is also recommended, as it minimizes your contact with potentially damaging pathogens and other sick passengers.

 

Wait to Board, Wipe & Sanitize

In addition to covering all your bases by getting an annual flu shot before your big trip, it’s recommended to avoid waiting in the calm human mosh pit otherwise known as pre-boarding. Instead of standing in a crowded huddle of unwanted germs, wait to board until the end. 

Once on board, use anti-bacterial wipes to wipe down the most obvious surfaces around you, including your seatbelt, seat-back tray table, seat-back pocket, armrests, TV screen and window (if you were lucky enough to snag it). A 2015 study from TravelMath concluded that seat-back tray tables were covered in more than 8x the amount of bacteria, per square inch, than the flush button on the toilet of the same plane.

Finally, after touching surfaces like self check-in screens, armrests, water fountain buttons, bathroom surfaces, hand rails, security bins, overhead bin handles and whatever else you may have come in contact with on your way to the plane, be sure to use hand sanitizer – not bathroom soap – to disinfect your hands. All of these surfaces have been found to cause sinus infections, food poisoning, pneumonia and other skin-related illnesses.

Even though statistics such as the 2004 study in the Journal of Environmental Health Research that found people are far more likely – 113x more, in one measure – to catch the common cold during a flight than by normal ground transportation, excellent hand hygiene can go a long way in preventing sickness.

 

Ask to Change Seats if Your Neighbor is Sick

Sick passengers can infect fellow passengers in the row in front of and behind them, as well as the two closest seats located on either side of them.

Even if you’re traveling alongside a sick friend, relative or significant other, it might be wise to book separate seats – or ask to change at check-in – to avoid your chances of getting sick before you even step off the plane. Sorry, sick travel pals. See you at the baggage carousel. 

 

Keep Yourself Hydrated & Ventilated

Bring nasal spray to avoid a dry nose, which increases your chances of catching respiratory illnesses. Also keep hydrated by bringing on your own bottle of water – and your own bottle of water only! – as a 2007 study by the Wall Street Journal found that almost all of the sampled tap water from 14 different international and domestic flights contained bacteria at tens to hundreds of times beyond the U.S. government limits. Similarly, avoid getting ice in your drinks, as well as drinking coffee or tea, as the level of heat is not enough to kill the amount of bacteria present in the water.

While there are conflicting studies on the subject, it is also apparently recommended to turn on your overhead vent, as it helps circulate the germs instead of letting them sit stagnant, as well as turn off the overhead vent because planes are simply recycling the same dirty air and germs over and over again. To sum up, either way appears to be a risk.

 

Don’t Use the Blankets or Pillows

While it’s tempting to get cozy and curl up in your seat with a pillow and blanket, a Wall Street Journal study found that the sampled airlines washed their blankets and pillows, on average, only every 5 to 30 days. Yikes.

 

Order a Hot Meal

Unlike cold food, a hot meal has better chances of killing any germs that might be present. Leave the sandwich, eat the cannoli. 

 

Take the First Flight Out

Finally, to increase your chances of general cleanliness, it’s advisable to take the first trip out in the morning, as this is the time of day the plane is likely at its cleanest. Still… you might want to skip putting anything in that seat-back pocket, as E.coli germs can hang around in there for days. 

 

You’re Almost There!

Once you’ve arrived at Kahului Airport, keep with the cleanliness and germ-awareness.  When you get into your shuttle or rental car, make sure to wipe down your area.  It may look a little anal-retentive, but you’ll thank yourself when you enjoy the rest of your stay healthy and happy.

We’re wishing you a sickness-free Maui vacation, and be sure to share your own tips if you have anything to add! Mahalo for reading, and best of luck out there, flyers.

Guide to the Road To Hana in Maui

There are many resources available to help you prepare for and make the most of your journey on the Road To Hana. Our goal here is not to tell your more of the same, but to share a few thoughts from local perspectives.

Drive the Road to Hana Like a Local

Stillwell’s Bakery

Stillwell's Bakery and Cafe Maui, Hawaii

Stillwell’s Bakery and Cafe

Most often you hear “Start your day in Paia Town.” Paia is great. Paia is lovely. Parking in Paia is a nightmare. Consider beginning a little out of the way, but not too far that it throws in a kink. Stillwell’s Bakery in Wailuku is off the hook with its freshly baked pastries and breads.

Breakfast can be full and hearty or a simple, small start, but guaranteed delicious. Coffee is piping and parking is plentiful. It’s so local that I might have to go into hiding for dishing out the 411 on our secret little tucked away gem.

Skip Twin Falls

Stillwell's Bakery & Cafe Scrumptious Pastries

Stillwell’s Bakery Scrumptious Pastries

This will not be a popularly accepted opinion by any guide book, but here goes anyway – Twin Falls– skip it. Traffic wise it puts you way ahead of the pack and on your way to finding an abundance of beautiful sights more worthy of your time. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard a local say this I could fill my tank for a cruise to Hana!

Mile Marker 16, Ke’anae Peninsula

Drone image of Ke'anae Peninsula

Ke’anae Peninsula

It doesn’t take long on the Road to Hana to appreciate the ‘I Survived the Road to Hana’ T-shirts. The twists and turns keep you busy dividing your attention between the road, the scenery, and for some the nausea (see tips below!). One place you need to be on high alert is approaching mile marker 16, you are within a few short minutes of two most often overlooked treasures.  Makai, or ocean side look for the road that leads down to Ke’anae Peninsula.

After heading downhill you will come to where the land begins to flatten out. Park your car, lock your car, grab a camera and get out to explore the majestic rocky coast. As beautiful as it is – it is equally dangerous, so keep a safe distance from where the waves meet the rocks.  Rogue waves can be strong enough to sweep you off of your feet!

Mile Marker 18.9, Wailua Valley and Ko’olau Gap

Wailua Valley is on the road to Hana

Wailua Valley

Back on the main road just past Ke’anae keep your eyes Mauka, or mountain side, approximately mile marker 18.9 for a very small lot.  It only holds a couple of vehicles and you will find there is a set of stairs going up on the right hand side. You definitely want to go up the stairs. Once you have ascended, the beauty you will behold is transcending! Wailua Valley and the Ko’olau Gap– the home of many distant yet spectacular waterfalls. You can also see the rim of Haleakala’s Crater. Look down the other side for a picturesque view of Ke’anae.

Please note: The gated road in the parking area keeps visitors out of the privately owned valley. There are some adventurers who trespass and hike, though it is highly frowned upon to do so. Plus, you do not want to come face to face with an angry wild hog, their tusks are no joke and they are not friendly like Pumba. But, please do your best to not miss this breathtaking stop and make sure you have your camera ready.

Nahiku Marketplace Hana Maui, Hawaii

Nahiku Marketplace Hana

Nahiku Marketplace

As you travel on and feel your belly rumble for lunch, hold out for the Nahiku Marketplace. Local vendors dish up Thai food, scrumptious tacos, and my personal favorite – the yummiest coconut shrimp on island at the Island Chef stand. There is a vast array of gifts to be found, such as jewelry and unique Maui souvenirs. Inside the coffee shop you will find the most mouth watering Lilikoi (passion fruit) bars and coconut bread – this is the stuff cravings are made of.

Best Advice

I am about to give you some of the best advice ever: call the coffee shop the morning of your journey while you still have cell phone service (808) 248-8800, ask them to hold a few bars and loaves for you and let them know you are on your way. They sell out early in the day and it is a sad, sad day to get there only to find they do not have any left.

Wainapanapa Black Sand Beach, Maui Hawaii

Wainapanapa Black Sand Beach

Black Sand Beach and Hasegawa General Store

Now, fully sated and back on the Road to Hana you are only 6 miles to town. After you visit and play at Waianapanapa (Black Sand Beach) and head into town, the Hasegawa General Store has a mish mash of many things you may have forgotten, want, or need. From cold bottled water and snacks to full on groceries, they also have tools, t-shirts, hats, cool Hana stickers for your car back home, and so much more. Stop in and browse; it supports local economy.

Complete Your Circle Around East Maui

Many visit Hana Bay (in close proximity to Hasegawa’s) and then call it a day. They turn around and head back toward their starting point. If you aren’t staying the night in Hana and it isn’t close to getting dark, I encourage you to continue on and complete your circle around East Maui. Yes, the road can get precariously narrow in places, so please drive safely. It is worth it to witness the raw beauty that is so different from any other part of the island. Be extremely careful in choosing where to plant your feet if you are out to take pictures over cliff side. You might find there is no more but a tiny little bush between you and a very long drop down to the ocean.  Feeling the earth crumble underfoot and realizing you are standing on a precipice is terrifying. Never under estimate the very dangerously disguised beauty of Hawaii!

Kaupo General Store

Kaupo General Store Maui

Kaupo General Store

Other great stops if time permits is a bathroom break at the little roadside Kaupo General Store. The hotdogs there are a yummy treat, too. It is a little bit of a trek from Kaupoto Ulupalakua, and has more than its share of bumps in the road for a good clip; however, it eventually turns into smooth pavement with some pretty fun rollercoaster like hills.  Beware of the cattle guards that can rattle your car like a set of maracas.

 

Ulupalakua and Maui’s Wine Country

Maui Wine Country

Maui Wine Country

Once you make it to Ulupalakua you are right in the heart of Maui’s Wine Country. I cannot fail to mention having a glass of pineapple wine, it’s crisp, it’s sweet, it is oh so Maui. The Ulupalakua General Store is very paniolo (cowboy) townish, unique and super cool with a wide variety of fixin’s and gifts.

Grandma’s Coffee Shop

Grandma's Coffee House Kula

Grandma’s Coffee House Kula

And lastly, but never to be forgotten is Grandma’s Coffee Shop in Kula where the local coffee says POW, but the relaxed vibe of the place says chill. Serving up healthy choice wraps or downright sinful sweets, Grandma’s is a one of a kind find in world filled with coffee shops. These 3 little tips are especially good if you have decided to make your trek against the flow and start out the Road to Hana on the backside.

It’s always a good idea to do your research and have a few sights you know you don’t want to miss along the road to Hana. Hopefully you can tuck a few of these suggestions in along as you explore.

Stay Safe and Other Advice

Natural Nausea Treatments

Most importantly be safe. While the following information isn’t fun, I feel it is important to mention a few things. I don’t care if you’ve never gotten sick on a carnival ride before or not, every car on the Road to Hana needs to have an anti-nausea arsenal ready!! If bonine makes you drowsy, Down to Earth in Kahului has holistic remedies. Also anything ginger.. ginger ale, ginger candy, etc… Is there anything more horrible than being stuck on a tilt-a-whirl that does not stop for hours? Don’t find out – be prepared!!

Lock Your Car

ALWAYS lock your car, and never leave valuables unattended – even locked trunks are never a guarantee (this unfortunately goes for pretty much anywhere on the islands).

Please Drive with Aloha!

If you see a string of cars behind you pull well off to the side carefully to let them pass. Local vehicles are easy to spot and they really do not want to drive slowly behind you. Let them get around you; if you don’t they will inevitably pass you anyway. Truthfully, it puts both of you at risk for there are very few safe places for passing – the locals do not wait for the safe places.

Check the Weather

It’s always a good idea to keep your eye on the Hana weather report for the duration of your stay so you can try and pick the least wet day.  It is the rainforest after all so rain is inevitable. Hard rains or days on end rains are the ones you want to avoid due to risk of mud and rock slides.

Always take along a sweater or lightweight blanket, once the sun goes down travel can be quite chilly! A flashlight and paper towels in the car is a good idea too, and perfect in case you want to destroy that loaf of coconut bread on the way back.

The Road to Hana is a magical place you will never forget. Be safe. Have fun. And enjoy the ride!

If your best friend lived in Hawaii and you were planning to visit, wouldn’t you ask their advice on virtually everything you could think of? Not everyone used to be lucky enough to have that personal resource, but in this age of technology and connectedness, the apps on your phone put you in touch with people who can help you make your best plan for your dream vacation.

If you don’t have them already, upload your new best friends – TripAdvisor and Yelp! I cannot stress enough how valuable these resources will be. They do not lie to you. They are not trying to sell you something. They are the best friends you’ve never had the opportunity to meet in person! See these powerful tools through new eyes – at first glance they may come across as impersonal icons on your screen, but they are so much more. TripAdvisor and Yelp are a virtual melting pot of the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people. Many of them are people like you and I who have already visited Maui or have chosen to live here. With honest opinions and voices, sometimes brutal, sometimes humorous, and sometimes generous, one thing you can always count on is that they are always there for you. TripAdvisor and Yelp simply want to tell you the best and worst (or somewhere in between) things to do, places to eat, food to try, fishing onshore or off, surf spots, snorkeling, ziplines, beaches to lay on and be lazy, places to hike, and coffee – ah, the coffee… pretty much anything or anywhere you can think of you will be able gain personal insight into. Be sure to leave time in your days to discover little gems along the way once you’ve arrived. These little nuggets are best learned by talking to locals who are serving your dinner, crewing your activities, mixing your drinks, sharing a beach, a wave, a trail. Take this valuable information to the web and see if it fits into your idea of the perfect holiday. GoogleMaps will get you pretty much anywhere, it doesn’t matter if you’re walking, biking, or driving, it won’t let you down – it will get you to that shave ice!

Don’t get caught running around like the proverbial Hawaiian rooster with it’s head cut off. Let TripAdvisor, Yelp, and GoogleMaps give you the down low, in the know, way to go, and go with the flow (a red line on GoogleMaps lets you know there’s slow moving traffic ahead – what a pal!)

You want to make your Hawaiian vacation be everything you’ve dreamed of. You want it the way you want it. The way you deserve it. Because hey – you worked hard to get here. Make it happen with the help of your new best friends. You are ready to do this thing!

E Komo Maui - Welcome to Maui Sign

Simple and honest, here are a few tips for Maui visitors to help you and the locals blend harmoniously. Island lifestyle is a whole other way of living.  It’s all about sharing Aloha even in the smallest of things.  If you are already here – E Komo May (welcome!).  If you are planning your trip or merely entertaining the idea – let us begin by saying E Kipa Mai (come visit!). The following suggestions are two-fold: they will help us, and they will help you – locals respond kindly to shared Aloha!

Take Your Time — Relax

hammock on the beach

Relax and Slow Down

Relax and slow down… We’re on island time and that means we take our time – with everything! Honestly, if you take a deep breath, slow down, and leave the hurry, hurry, hustle behind you will find that your time here seems to pass by a little more slowly. If you rush and pack your days full your time will seem to fly by and no one wants that, after all, you worked hard to get here! Take a few lazy days and lay on our sugar cookie beaches, listen to the surf and the whisper of the palms and feel the soul of the island.

Share Aloha on the Road

Hana highway

Aloha on The Road

Aloha on the Road:  Please do not drive like you are on your way to a fire! Forget you have a horn, honking is not nice Aloha. If you want to look at something beautiful, which happens a lot, pull over so as not to cause sudden stop accidents.

Be respectful at 4 ways (intersections with each corner having a stop sign). Go in the order you arrive at the stop, if you pull up 3rd, you go third – all you have to do is pay attention to the order in which you arrive at the stop. To go before your turn shows disrespect, and we are all about kokua.

Please, always use the side mirrors on the passenger side of your vehicle to be aware of bicycles and mopeds. These are main modes of transportation for many locals and they are literally everywhere, often coming up along side you as you prepare to make a right hand turn. Many accidents and injuries are avoidable if everyone does their part to be on the lookout. Beware – pedestrians are everywhere too!

Lastly, if you are meandering the beautiful coastline, the road to Hana, or any other twisty turny 2-lane by vehicle or as a cyclist, please, for the love of all things good – locals beg please, pull over and let us pass by. We want to get home, or to work, and while we appreciate that you are sightseeing, we cannot tell you how much we appreciate even more the Aloha you share when you don’t make us sightsee behind you. Mahalo nui loa for letting us go around!

Tipping on Maui

Tipping is important

Tipping in Maui

Tipping: It’s how many of us eat dinner at the end of the day.  Many visitors to Hawai’i are unsure about tipping here and how it works. For those of us in the service industry your generosity by way of gratuity is a large part of our income with regular wages on a lower end scale making it hard, without tips, to meet the cost of living.

We love it here, we love what we do, and we love that you visit us! We do our best to help make your dreams of the perfect tropical island paradise vacation all you hope for and to serve each of you, our visitors, in the Spirit of Aloha.

Please factor tipping into your budget as you plan your time and activities in Hawai’i. From coffee house baristas, food trucks and restaurant servers, hotel valet, room service, housekeeping, boat tours crewmembers, helicopter tours, zip line, hiking guides; the list goes on and on. 15-20% of your total receipt is considered typical gratuity and is very much appreciated by all who spend their days making sure your Hawaiian vacation is the best in every way.

You may share your appreciation and Aloha in a tip jar, the receipt book, or directly into the hand of the one providing service. As manager for a private boat charter company my favorite tip for tipping is this: The wind and waves may rock the boat, but only you can tip the crew! Mahalo nui loa!

Respect Other Surfers

Surfing on Maui

Surfing on Maui

Surfing: It’s a great feeling! The joy of a stoke-filled session can be addicting, but the thirst for great waves needs to be balanced with respect for your fellow surfers. So, in the spirit of keeping everyone’s surf experience fun and trouble-free here are a few guidelines to help you out with some basic rules of thumb.

The person closest to the curl has ‘right of way’ and is in position to catch the next wave. This rule applies regardless of whether the curl is breaking from left or right. Luckily there are plenty of waves to go around, so take a deep breath and wait your turn. On a good surf day the sets will keep coming. Focus on having a good time and not on the number of waves you catch, that way you don’t accidentally end up becoming a wave hog. You don’t want to be that guy! And it’s inevitable, cut offs, drop ins, and snakes happen, so enter the water knowing that if someone hops on your wave just let them have it and brush it off, the karmic wheel will reward you with plenty of nice swells in return.

Some spots are known for intense localism, while others are more mellow. To make sure you don’t end up with a sour session keep your eyes and ears open, gauge the crowd’s mood before making the decision of whether it’s welcoming new wave riders. Once established, a good approach is to err on the side of goodwill and let the locals have contested waves regardless of wave priority. Whether they accept the wave with thanks or entitlement, you are doing the right thing and will put yourself in a better position for the next wave, and possibly, most likely, a new friend.

Maui Guidebooks

Maui Revealed, the Ultimate Guidebook

Maui Revealed Book

Maui Revealed: A great guide publication that has become extremely popular with visitors. It is a wealth of information that ranges from highly sought activities and destinations to secret, sometimes remote, little-known gems. Broken down by areas and townships, you will find the best places to eat: food trucks, local favorites, fine dining top chefs and restaurants, or simply where to find the best poke.

The book will tell you all about the best beaches with sand like brown sugar, black sand beaches, waterfalls and waterfall pools for swimming, well-known trails and remote hiking adventures (please secure a hiking guide, these can be extremely dangerous and put you at great risk). You’ll find drum circles and fire spinning, upscale shopping and hippie towns, information on snorkeling, whale watching, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, helicopter tours, lava tubes, horseback riding, hunting, and wine tasting – it’s hard to name something that isn’t covered in this book. You will find cultural information as well.

If you purchase Maui Revealed, we highly recommend you read it in its entirety. There is much information that will help you understand not only discovering Maui, but also about some things that are very important to those who live here, like: kuleana (responsibility), kokua (help/respect), kapu (a very serious no trespassing), and malama pono keep da aina ono (take good care of the land).  You can purchase Maui Revealed here or explore some other wonderful books about Hawaii’s culture, myths and legends, marine life, etc. locally.  Some can be found at Maui Friend’s of the Library, many at a mere fraction of the cover price! Find them located in The Wharf Center in Lahaina or The Queen Ka’ahumanu Center Shopping Mall in Kahului.

In all of Maui’s beauty, always remember much is still rugged and never go above your physical limitations or explore without local assistance. We want you to fall in love with our beautiful island and at the end of your visit take home nothing but a great tan, the best memories, your souvenirs, and the Spirit of Aloha!! Imagine if everyone who visited Hawai’i would take the Aloha home and spread it wherever they go how much better a place the world would be.

From our Sea Monkey Ohana to yours, know you are always welcome to contact us for any island advice, we are happy to help (info@seamonkeymaui.com or by phone 808-491-9141). Aloha Nui Loa!

 

 

Trash found in the ocean in Maui

One of our neighbor boats in the harbor, Ultimate Whale Watch, was out on a typical whale watching tour when they noticed a peculiar line in the water that seemed taut. Peter, General Manager of the company, happened to be onboard that day. He dove into the water to check out what was going on. It turns out that a whale had been entangled and was stuck, trying to drag on the line to get free. With a few smart maneuvers on his part and the help of the Coast Guard, they were able to free the humpback whale.

There are a small number of sharks that frequent Lahaina Harbor in hopes that the fishermen who come in daily will drop some tidbits of fish for their lunch. Actually, they would like more than a tidbit, but it keeps them coming round like clockwork. Everyone loves to look for and wait excitedly to watch the sharks in the harbor. One shark, we call Sandy, has in recent months gotten some line twisted around it’s neck that appears to be getting tighter as time goes on. Several men have tried in vain to approach the shark to cut the line with no luck. We hope Sandy is able to get the help she needs before it is too late.

Lately, here in Maui’s beautiful waters, there has been a deluge of castaway nets and debris washing to the surface. Many boats, including Sea Monkey, have been doing their part to collect and bring the garbage in out of the water. We fear for the whales who have come home for their breeding season. Baby humpback whales are born here and quickly get to business learning the ropes of being good breachers, tail slapppers, and pec wavers. We want to do everything we possibly can to help clean up the ocean, not only for the safety of humpback whales, but for all sea life. Those of us who live here consider all creatures of the sea to be like extended members of our families.

We are sharing this for a two-fold reason. One, to hopefully make everyone a little more aware of the immense dangers ocean pollution and garbage present to whales, dolphins, sea turtles and more, boats, and the livelihood of not only our people, but for many around the globe who live by the sea. And secondly, to extend a huge thank you to everyone who collects the garbage and brings it in; to those who aren’t afraid to get into the water and do what they can to free a sea creature in need of help. These things are fine examples of the true Spirit of Aloha.

We, at Sea Monkey, firmly believe that the creatures of the sea, large and small, know when we are trying to help them and that they truly appreciate our efforts. While out cruising the basin one day, recently, we had literally just pulled a huge floating net in out of the water and secured it in a holding area when a HUGE humpback whale told us ‘Mahalo nui loa!’ (Thank you from the heart!) with a nose to tail, magnificent, awe-inspiring, breathtaking breach RIGHT behind the boat! We cheered, we stood in awe, and we laughed and smiled huge smiles from the depths of our hearts as we said ‘You’re whale-come’! That is a defining moment none of us will ever forget. As a matter of fact the memory of it brings joy to my heart and a huge smile as I write. It is our sincere hope that each of you reading this will have an opportunity to help clean the ocean and receive the kind hearted thank you like we received. Spread the word and do good, on any level that you are able; and we promise it will bring a smile to your heart, too! 

Humpback Whale Watching Tours in Hawaii

WAIT FOR IT…!!!

Small kine* advice from my personal experiences and some whale watching tips.

(*a little bit)

I’m super excited as my friends and I join others for a day on the water, it’s whale soup out there in the Maui basin this time of year, and anticipation is running high as we look about for a spout, a tail, a pectorial fin or breach, anything and everything keeps us on the edge of our seats. And there we sit… Waiting…..Waiting…..Waaaaaaitiiiing… per usual I get fidgety, I look down at my phone or away for a second and BOOM!! Everyone is cheering and whooping at the incredible breach they just saw, Aargh!! I whip my head up or around just in time to see the tail end of a splash, what a horrible feeling of disappointment.

Lesson learned: Be patient!!! If there are telltale signs of a whale’s presence, it’s worth the waiting, waiting, waiting!! A funny joke I heard asked, “How long can humpback whales stay under water?” The answer is about five seconds longer than the human attention span… So true! So patience definitely pays off and saves your neck from what I call WWW (whale watching whiplash), too.

Leave the Cell Phone in Your Bag

Another not fun lesson learned… I used to have my cell phone up and ready only to realize afterward that all of the magnificent whales I just saw were only 3” tall. Unless your cell phone is your camera, don’t even get that thing out or at least make a deal with yourself before you set out to only use it part of the time. Witnessing humpback whales in all of their glory simply does not happen if everything you see the entire trip is through a 3X5 inch screen.

Instead, fix your eyes on the water, the horizon, anywhere the whales might be for you are blessed beyond measure to witness something truly spectacular that most people will never see in their lifetime — so see it for real! Capture that moment and let it be forever emblazoned in your mind’s eye. It’s humpback whales for goodness sake!

I’m in no way suggesting you never take whale-watching photos. I have much respect for the avid photographers who either live or travel here every year and I’ve seen mind-blowing whale shots by them that rival National Geographic. All I am trying to say is don’t let the experience pass you by without taking moments to simply cherish what you are so lucky to be a part of.

Stay Ready

The best advice from lessons learned that I can give you is BE READY FOR ANYTHING! The whales might mug your boat, they might decide to spend an hour or two just cruising alongside you, they might be stinkers and dive deep every single time without so much as a tail slap, a momma whale might lift her baby up on her nose to give you a better view. Can you imagine a mammal as big as a school bus coming up out of the water only a few feet away?! You might get whale splashed or you might get rained on. You might get great photos or empty shots. Who knows what your whale watching adventure will bring? So simply be prepared by bringing your patience, sense of adventure, be ready for anything and above all know that it’s going to be

legen… wait for it… dary!*

(*legendary)

Rain at sunset over the ocean in Maui

Like any other vessel that cruises the open waters, we are at the mercy of the weather. At Sea Monkey we know this and try to plan our charter destinations where the weather is less likely to affect the itinerary, but avoiding inclement weather is never guaranteed. From rain, tropical storms and high winds to vog (volcanic ash fog), run-off and low or high waters, there are many ways in which bad weather can force a chartered excursion off course — or simply ruin the day. Bad weather can mean anything from less impressive photos or muddled water clarity, to a rained-out snorkel trip.

We rely on our Captain’s experience to determine your daily destination as it can be cold, rainy, cloudy or windy in one direction on Westside Maui, yet beautiful in another direction with the sun shining and calm clear waters; that is what we are always looking for.

If the captain of your cruise decides it’s too dangerous to proceed with the scheduled itinerary we will cancel your trip and even though full cancellations are rare, they do happen. It is never our desire to cancel and we try to wait as long as possible before making a decision, while still trying to give our guests enough lead time to make alternate plans if necessary.

We can’t lie, winter on Maui definitely brings more challenging conditions on the water, but it also brings something that makes a drizzly day on the water worth it – Humpback Whales! Know upfront when booking a winter month charter that if weather prohibits great snorkeling, we still strive to fulfill your charter with food, fun, and hanging out with Humpback whales will be the focus. If you are prone to seasickness please make us aware ahead of time, we have a number of remedies to help you keep the nausea at bay. Seasickness is no fun and something you should consider seriously as you plan your vacation itinerary. If you are feeling adventurous, bring a bikini, a lightweight long sleeve or jacket, your sense of adventure and be ready for anything!

Aloha! We hope to see you soon!

There are many options for enjoying the beautiful ocean surrounding our island including heading out on a charter boat to snorkel, watch for whales, or see the sunset. These are the top 10 charter boats on Maui. Aloha.

Top Charter Boats on Maui

SEA MONKEY PRIVATE CHARTERS

Sea Monkey Private Charters Maui

Luxury at it’s finest and the most competitive private yacht prices on Maui. Sea Monkey Private Charters is perfect for everyone, whether family fun or honeymoon romance you will not find a better day cruiser yacht to come aboard. Comfortable leather seating in the cockpit under a bimini shade; cushioned reclining seats on the bow for sun, fun, and enjoying the speed of the boat; fresh warm water outdoor shower; a beautiful restroom down below, and so much more! Sea Monkey will take you sightseeing while cruising; whale watching the magnificent Humpback Whales in season; snorkeling in places where you have the water all to yourself; provide all of your gear and feed you well with first class service by Captain and First Mate, all in the lap of luxury on the beautiful blue Hawaiian waters. Go to our tab on this website labeled Book Now or call us at (808) 491-9141 for personal assistance to secure your charter.

 

JAYHAWK YACHT CHARTERS

Jayhawk cruises the waters off Lanai

 

If luxury combined with deep-sea fishing or scuba diving is on your bucket list, Jayhawk Yacht Charters is a perfect fit for you. You can even book a stand-up paddle excursion. This is no ordinary fishing vessel, it features beautifully appointed staterooms and is equipped to whisk you away on overnight charters with your own personal chef. Among their amenities are: shimano fishing gear, fish finder technology, GPS, and chart plotters. If you really desire to go all in on the luxury experience, Jayhawk offers an upgrade to have a masseuse onboard to work out those muscles you exerted bringing in your catch! Visit them now at www.jayhawkmaui.com or call (866)326-0636.

 

SATISFACTION

Satisfaction Yacht

Where else on Maui can you find a luxury powerboat with a lil ‘mini me’ tender tucked inside itself to get you into hidden coves or the shallows for closer views? Aboard Satisfaction you can witness first hand the beauty and majesty of Maui, Lana’i and Molokai on overnight charters. Extreme opulence with luxurious amenities coupled with Penn International Rods & Reels, state of the art equipment, sumptuous dining and much more are all part and parcel for the most discerning and affluent guests visiting Maui. See everything Satisfaction has to offer at www.mauiyachtcharters.com or call (808)866-0338.

 

ALII NUI SAILING CHARTERS

Alii Nui Catamaran

Alii Nui means highest royalty in Hawaiian, this vessel is royal indeed – the crown jewel of all sailing catamarans found on Maui. Stretching low and wide she is truly an impressive way to spend your day on the water providing luxury in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. You can snorkel, scuba dive, snuba, or more simply float with water noodles or boogie boards if you just want to relax in the water. Alii Nui berths in Maalaea Harbor and travels regularly to Molokini Crater, a highly sought after snorkel destination where you can see species of fish not found anywhere else in the ocean. If romance is on your agenda and you are not in the market for a private charter, Alii Nui’s Sunset Sail and Royal Feast are extraordinary. Special event sails and packages offer you an opportunity to go dancing, arrange for a private dinner, or even get married! Visit www.aliinuimaui.com to see which excursion they have to offer is right for you or call (808)875-0333.

 

KAINANI SAILS

Kainani Sailboat

Set sail on Hawaii’s most outfitted private monohull yacht. Experience performance sailing, personalized snorkel trips, whale watching, or liveaboard inter-island cruises aboard Kainani. Depart from world famous Ka’anapali Beach, sit back, relax, and discover true Hawaii from the sea. Amidst the beautifully appointed amenities you will find a spacious interior featuring 3 private cabins, 2 marine heads (bathrooms), a comfortable saloon, and a full galley – there is even an outdoor grill on deck. For fun they provide snorkel gear, fishing gear, floatation noodles, deck chairs, a bodyboard, and a 2-person kayak. In the Spirit of Aloha, the Captain and Crew are always eager to share what they know about the Hawaiian culture, legends of old, and reasons behind the names of the places, giving you a truly personal Hawaiian experience. For more information visit www.kainanisails.com or call (808)495-1001.

 

ATLANTIS SUBMARINES MAUI

Atlantis Submarine Maui

 

Dive 100 feet and more below the surface aboard a real submarine, Atlantis Submarines Maui, and witness first hand Hawaii’s underwater paradise. Marvel at the sight of a replicated sunken ship, natural coral reef gardens filled with colorful fish, sharks, sting rays and more all while enjoying the air-conditioned comfort and safety of the vessel. Atlantis Submarines are the world’s most technologically advanced passenger vessels and host panoramic windows and high ceilings. Featured in National Geographic television specials and owned and operated in world-wide locations around the globe, find all you need to know about Atlantis Submarines at www.atlantisadventures.com or call (800)381-0237.

 

ULTIMATE WHALE WATCH & SNORKEL

Ultimate Whale Watch

Since 1982, Ultimate Whale Watch & Snorkel has been dedicated to sharing their knowledge and experience of Maui’s ocean through whale watching, snorkeling, and supporting education and research. Their small group rafting vessels are fast, fun, safe, and offer up-close and personal opportunities to view and photograph Maui’s finest and most spectacular marine life: whales, dolphins, turtles, tropical fish and more! In the true Spirit of Aloha, Ultimate Whale Watch & Snorkel donates their vessels, time, and resources to researchers that are working to understand Maui’s marine environment and in turn protect and advocate for it. Their goal is to encourage eco-friendly decisions and appreciation of the Hawaii paradise we are a part of. Book privately or make new friends as you join a shared boat – either way, they guarantee a whale of a time (in season of course)! Call (808)667-5678 or visit them at www.ultimatewhalewatch.com/.

 

PRIDE OF MAUI

Pride of Maui

Berthed in central Maui’s Ma’alaea harbor, Pride of Maui is a 65-foot maxi-powered Catamaran boasting 3000 sq ft. of deck space (specifically built for Hawaiian waters by professional boat builders in New Orleans). The Company purposely leaves a percentage of the boat empty in order to uphold the quality and service of their international reputation. The Pride of Maui is a well respected large yacht, famous for its stability and comfort. Its size, seating, and layout permit unobstructed panoramic viewing and the convenience to comfortable walk around its spacious decks. Offering whale watching, SNUBA, SCUBA, snorkeling world-class destinations including the famous Molokini Crater, underwater video, and an array of special events. Plan your day of fun and make memories aboard Pride of Maui by visiting their website at www.prideofmaui.com/ or call them at (855)666-3893.

 

TRILOGY

Trilogy Catamaran

With a fleet of beautiful, state of the art vessels, Sail Trilogy offers an extensive selection of activities. You can sail, snorkel, SNUBA, romance and dine, get married, watch dolphins play, and in season experience the world famous Humpback whales. Departing out of Lahaina harbor or off of the beach in Ka’anapali, with Trilogy you can choose your destination package and explore Molokini crater, Maui’s neighboring island of Lana’i, watch fireworks, or join the Captains Dinner Sail and experience a private restaurant feel, fine dining with panoramic views aboard this luxury sailing catamaran. Tables are set for two to enjoy a four-course dinner service with premium open bar. Book privately or go with a shared group, either way Trilogy will not disappoint – visit their website and see why for yourself as you read their story… they don’t just say Aloha – they LIVE Aloha. www.sailtrilogy.com/ Phone:(888)225-MAUI

 

MAUI PRINCESS

Maui Princess Dinner Cruise

Departing from Lahaina, enjoy a memorable evening of dining and live music aboard Maui’s largest and most stable 120-foot vessel, the Maui Princess. View the stars, as they come out over the ocean, from their all premium top-deck seating. You will enjoy different musicians nightly, and tableside dinner service provided by their excellent wait staff. Well known to have the most delicious menu and prepared fresh daily by their own chef, the food is really quite scrumptious. After dinner, you can dance, or, relax at your table, and enjoy the rest of your evening cruise along the scenic Maui coastline. Visit www.hawaiioceanproject.com to view the menu selection and book your evening on the sea or call (808)667-6165 to book direct.