We had unseasonably wet weather during our time in Hawai but the day we went sailing and snorkeling in Lanai the day was sunny and the seas were calm.
Just a short jaunt from the Manele Bay Four Seasons Resort is Manele Harbour, the only public habour on the entire island. And this is where our catamaran from Maui picked us up for our snorkelling excursion. As the boat pulled in, the excitement mounted. It was late and there was nobody else at the pier so we thought that maybe we had been forgotten about. Seeing the boat brought a double sigh of relief.
It was with good reason that the boat was late, they had seen a pod of 300 dolphins along the way from Maui to Lanai and decided to stop and watch it for a bit. Our hearts sank a bit as we had missed the spectacle, but the jovial captain made us feel welcome and reassuringly told us that there is a good chance we'll see more dolphins in the ocean today. To snorkel Hawaii, you have a good chance to see everything.
I can't believe more people don't take the Snorkel and Sail excursion from Lanai.
The boat was filled with families and tourists from Maui, but we were the only patrons taking part from Lanai. Feeling like the new kid in school, we pulled up a seat on the side of the boat to take in the extraordinary view of the island of Lanai.
We went by the famous Jack Nicholas designed Golf Course where Bill Gates was married and I wanted to tell all the other passengers about this piece of inside information that only Dave and I knew. I chickened out opening my mouth as everyone was in energetic conversations talking about their tans and what their jobs were back in the States.
It was only a 15 minute ride before we reached our snorkelling destination and we were eager to get in the water. The tour leader told us that this was the best snorkelling spot on the island, so we couldn't wait to see what was down there.
What it's like to snorkel Hawaii
We were relieved to find out that although we had to wear life vests, they were not inflated. (We hate snorkelling with a lifejacket, you aren't free to dive and it's so cumbersome) We only had to wear our vests so that they could spot our yellow bodies bobbing in the ocean. There were a lot of people on board and the crew has to keep track of us somehow!
It was many of the passengers first time snorkelling and it was great to see that the staff was there to give people instruction, offer up floatation belts and give boogie boards to those people who don't feel strong in the water. It was a family friendly excursion indeed.
As soon as we were allowed in, I went to the front of the boat to take the ladder down. I hate cold water (you can see how much in our polar plunge video) so I didn't want to jump in and have a shock, but Dave the thrill seeker jumped off the side of the boat with a huge weeeee.
The Snorkel Trip
We found each other at the side of the boat and set off to find some marine life.
There wasn't a lot of fish in the sea, but the reef looked very healthy. It was filled with a lot of brain coral and there were a few pods of colourful fish swimming around. I think that this is a great diving site as there are a lot of lava tubes and swim throughs but for snorkelling, it was one of the more average places we have visited.
However, we still had a lot of fun swimming around.
It was only this year that I have started getting over my fear of the water. A few years ago, Dave and I used to dive a lot, but during that time I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism and Graves Disease. My emotions and high heart rate made diving challenging and the more I dove, the more I panicked.
I hadn't been able to dive since due to a newly developed fear of the water. Even snorkeling caused me high stress. Dave is always so patient and understanding and gave up diving while I worked through my fears. He loves the water so it was difficult for him, but he never complained.
However, after the Galapagos, my fears have disappeared. I'm comfortable and confident again in the ocean and Dave and I could finally enjoy our snorkel in Hawaii together.
We spent a lot of our time filming and taking snapshots of ourselves diving under the water. We love our Olympus waterproof cameras and can take photos and videos for hours. So even though we weren't thrilled with the coral or wildlife, we still had a lot of fun in the water.
After we had our fill, we went on board the boat to take advantage of some sunbathing on the trampolines at the front of the boat. Many people were still in the water, so we had an entire trampoline to ourselves until lunch was served.
We were thrilled when a pod of dolphins swam by the boat and we had the chance to watch them hop through the water in unison. Unlike the dolphins in New Zealand however, they didn't stop to play with the snorkelers, it was all business. A few minutes later another pod swam by. For some reason, we didn't reach for our cameras. For the first time in months, we simply stopped to enjoy the moment and take in the scene. We were in Paradise.
The bar-b-que lunch was delicious and the boat staff took great care of us bringing our meals to us, refilling our cokes and even offering an extra chicken breast and corn. We were stuffed.
Feeling satisfied and filled to the brim, we dozed off until the rest of the swimmers came on board and enjoyed our ride back to the pier. We were so happy that we didn't have to go all the way to Maui, and for the first time in the day, we were thrilled to be the odd men out. Within 15 minutes we were back at the pier and hopped on the island shuttle to take us back to the resort.
Bye Bye Maui Tourists, hello quiet Lanai.
For more information on Snokel and Sail in Lanai visit The Trilogy Ocean Sports Adventure Centre.