While parts of Maui are as dry as Arizona, its mountains attract rain clouds generating over 200 " of rain annually. We should have expected the cloudy skies we experienced on the west coast today. This was to be the fourth and last snorkeling tour on this trip. It was fortunate that our other experiences have been so good, since this one was a real let down.
We were supposed to take a catamaran near Lanai, a nearby island known for pineapple cultivation. But the captain said that it was too windy and the waves too high to make the crossing and he took us down the Maui coast to another reef. When we got there a few other dive boats were already there and we bobbed in the waves for quite a while before he could put down an anchor. When we entered the water it was about 30' deep. Even though the water was clear, it was much too deep for snorkeling. There was a strong current coming from the shore and this alarmed about a third of our fellow passengers who quickly returned to the boat. We swam hard toward the shore and were just getting to less deep water and better viewing when the lifeguards insisted that we not get so far ahead of them where they could not keep an eye on us. So we zoomed back to the boat in the current and called it a day. The boat was advertised for dolphin viewing, but this is not Disneyland and we did not see one. We did spot some sea turtles coming up for air. They can stay underwater for hours so it took a bit of luck to spot them.
Lahaina is a small town and was dominated by cruise ship passengers today. It has great T-shirt shops and high end art and jewelry stores, but neither of those were of interest to us and the shopping did not take long. The town square is dominated by a giant banyan tree that has added to its girth dramatically since we saw it last. It easily took up a square block and was impossible to capture with a camera. We stayed in port until late in the evening so many of our fellow passengers could attend a luau. We have fond memories of luau-ing here and they returned to the ship giving the experience rave reviews.
So now we will make the final push toward Seattle with five more days at sea.