Happy New Year or as we say here Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!
Today I had a first for Maui — and it wasn’t good! I had to turn on the heat in my car!
I was volunteering on a Whale Watch. When I arrived at the harbor, it was overcast but dead calm. That is very strange for Ma’alaea (pronounced similar to jambalaya!) Harbor which is one of the windiest places in all of Maui.
We get on the boat with 70+ passengers from Calgary, Kentucky, Michigan and Vancouver. It is getting a little windier and looks like it might rain. We head out on our whale watch. The captain tells us they saw whales right outside the harbor on their snorkel trip so we hope for the best! We cruise farther north. We (finally) see a couple whales who treat us to a couple sitings (every 7 minutes or so) on a trip somewhere. Then we see a lone youngster (probably yearling) who disappears quickly when 2 boats surround him. See note below. The mist starts but we then spot a “fin” … must be a shark. From the top deck they say it is a 20′ whale shark.
I wish I could have gone up to see it but I was busy telling people about my whale shark encounters in Galapagos. Majestic animals they are!
The wind continues to whip — we are looking for whale “spouts” amongst large surface chop and the spouts disappearing in seconds. We continue to watch… until it starts to rain. I decide that carrying my plastic whale around is dangerous to me and passengers and return it. A few more sitings appear but most don’t want to leave the comfort of the cabin to go look for them.
My job as a volunteer is to keep people upbeat and positive about the experience. Most people at least got to see a whale which is good. I cruise the cabin and share knowledge and experience with people encouraging them to ask questions. But alas, we know it is not a great trip. Whales are magnificent in spite of weather conditions! And we are all warmer than if we were on a California dive boat!
By this time, it is pouring and waves are splashing on all sides of the boat. People outside are drenched. It is cold. We stop on way back to harbor to see a turtle. Most people don’t see it and just want to get back. We get back to the harbor, give the guests hot coffee and everyone says Happy New Year and is on there way.
I start the long venture back to my car. Before leaving, I make sure my cell phone is protected because it is still raining steadily. I get to my car. I laugh as I get in because I left a Diet Coke that I was hoping wouldn’t be too hot. It was still cold.
I was soaking wet. I was chilled to the bone. And then it happened. After 2 years, I had to figure my car out.
— I TURNED THE HEAT ON! —-
Wishing you all many new things in the New Year.
If you are in Maui, I hope that they don’t require heat!