Friday, November 16, 2007


A glass bottom boat trip from Lahaina harbor, Maui

On Friday, October 26th Pat & I drove to Lahaina, north of where we were staying in the Kehei area of Maui, to go for a ride on the Reefdancer, a glass bottom boat that takes people out to an offshore reef to see the under water landscape and the fish in the area. Pat's daughter had suggested that we go on a ride on the submarine trip but the cost of it was three times that of the Reefdancer and we were a little concerned about feeling a bit claustrophobic in a submarine, even one that only goes 140 feet or so below the surface, so we bought tickets on this boat instead. We went out on it in the morning rather than the afternoon as it tends to be windier later in the day, with rougher seas. Our trip was scheduled for 10am and we were there almost an hour early, which gave us time to take some of the photos I've already posted here about the town of Lahaina.

Maui 45
This first photo is taken in front of the check-in place for the boat, of Pat taking a photo of me as I was taking a photo of her. In the background you can see a part of the Reefdancer, the yellow boat behind her, as well as a catamaran across the small harbor near the breakwater.

Maui 46
I have never been on a boat like this and it is a bit different from most. I have some photos taken down below that will give a better idea of what we found inside below the water level. Here is a photo that shows more of the boat and a couple of the crew.

Maui 47
Pat & I are sitting near the stern (back) end of the underwater observation area. The circular stairs behind us are another way to get back to the main deck but are not the primary way.

We left the harbor on about a 20 minute trip to the reef area they use. I was surprised at how shallow all the water there was. We could see the bottom all the way out although it was not as interesting as when we arrived at the coral reef. It is kind of hard to get good photos through these windows and I am sure the color balance is not perfect, but here are a few examples of what we saw:

Maui 48
This shows the reef itself. Coral is alive and growing and is a very important part of the ecology of the ocean. Many fish and other sea creatures live in or near these coral reefs. I don't think there are any noticeable fish in this photo but they are there.

Maui 49
When we arrived over the reef one of the crew, a gal from England, went over the side diving to bring up to the windows some of the things to show us. Many of the fish gathered near her. Here she is bringing a spiny urchin to the window to show. Pat took this photo with our little Sony camera.

Maui 50
Another photo of the diver outside the windows.

Maui 51
This is a school of fish known as Black Durgon Triggerfish or in Hawaiian, humu humu-'ele 'ele. They are an example of those that tend to cluster around divers when they are in the water. The fish are probably around 10 inches in length, maybe a foot, and have that very bright stripe along their bodies where both the upper and lower fins join the body. This is another of Pat's photos.

Maui 52
This view is looking forward from where we were sitting and shows Pat starting up the stairs to the main deck. When we started back toward the harbor we all went up above for the return trip. This boat was pretty good sized, as you can tell from these two photos.

Maui 53
There are a lot of popular things to do in Hawaii around the water and this is one of them, but neither of us were interested in trying this. I guess it is pretty safe because even if the boat towing you stops suddenly the parachute will lower you to the water at a speed that you should not be hurt. At least seriously.

Maui 54
This scene is on the deck as we were returning to the harbor which is ahead and to the port side of the boat. We were glad that we had decided to go in the morning as the sea was smooth enough to make it easy to stand on the deck and we got to see and photograph things that we would have missed had we been below the whole trip. Notice the canvas "tent" above the head of the pilot. Even this early, about 11 in the morning, the sun was starting to get pretty intense. Especially if you were stuck there driving the boat! The hills behind the town are the foothills for the West Maui Mountains. Maui is almost like two islands that have been connected by lava to make one island. This part is older and these mountains are more "rounded" than the newer part of the island formed by Mt. Haleakala, where we were staying. We went to Mt. Haleakala on Sunday and have photos still to come from there.

Maui 55
The ocean going racing sailboat, the America II, is now out of Lahaina Harbor and available to go on. Here she is heading out of the harbor under power before raising sails. This boat was an America's Cup contender a few years ago and is quite fast.

Maui 56
I did get a few photos of my favorite subject while she was on the deck. Pat is concentrating here on her next photo.

Maui 57
The Reefdancer is rounding the breakwater at the entrance to the small harbor at Lahaina. You probably remember that sailboat I had a photo of that had sunk on a reef just outside this harbor in a previous post. You can see from this photo how small that entrance is and there are reefs all around, so that is why the owner wanted to stop overnight and wait for daylight before entering. Unfortunately he anchored too close to one of the reefs and his boat was sunk overnight on that reef.

We enjoyed our trip that day but I had hoped for more to see while near the reefs and better visibility through the boat's underwater windows. The cost wasn't very much and it did give us an outing on the water. Maybe the next time we will spring for the submarine trip.

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Those are great photos Dick, you and Pat do a great job with your cameras. This isn't the same kind of glass bottom boat we went on, this one's much better!

I'm SO looking forward to seeing more of your Maui pics!
That is one trip you will remember for the rest of your life!
The first photo looks like Pat is wearing a life preserver for a hat! You have her centered just right!! hahaha
That glass botoomed boat looked neat!
Beautiful photos. I hope you enjoy your stay and have a safe trip home.


Thanks for visiting my blog. My main blog is Mary's Writing Nook, which is the one your posted on. I appreciate your visit and comments.

As always, you have captured some amazing shots. Is Pat feeling the photog bug?

I am so happy for the both of you and think of you guys often.
Wow Dick what can I say amazing pics by the both of you, looks like Pats getting quite a shutter bug with the camera. looking forward to more pics from Hawaii, enjoying the tour without leaving Australia...
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