There Be Squalls Ahead…

Looks peaceful…

We took a day trip over to Lanai. We had been on our last trip years ago, and Lanai was pretty empty. Apparently Larry Ellison has purchase most of the island, and has been putting in a lot of money to revitalize it. We also heard from a friend of Yulia’s that the Four Seasons hotel on the island was absolutely amazing, and not to be missed. So we booked tickets on the ferry, and decided to make a day out of it.

It was a nice ferry ride over. the shuttle ferry is your standard twin-hull boat with two decks. We went up top for better views, and watched as we pulled out of Lahaina Harbor, past the guys surfing and anchored boats that were scattered around Lahaina. It was a fairly quick ride over, and a pod of dolphins was flipping and jumping past the boat as we crossed the halfway point.  We pulled into Manele Bay, which I remember as being little more than a dock, but was now a full marina. It was small, but had two landings for larger boats, several boat slips, and a little shaded port structure. We left the ferry and walked around. It was all very new, and was really nice. There was a little general store in the marina. It had some snacks, swim gear, and a few gifts. We didn’t need anything, so we headed up the road to the beach.

We were going over to Hulopoe Bay, which has a nice little park to rest at. It was about a ten minute walk from the marina. The park has been improved as well, with better restrooms, showers, tables and everything. It was very warm, with super soft sand, but pretty rough waves. We went out and played in the surf for a while, you get tired pretty quick fighting the waves. After resting a bit we packed up and thought to check out the hotel.

It looked like the hotel made a bunch of improvements to the beach area, there were even more restrooms and walkways as we got closer to the hotel. Nothing was labeled as private, but there aren’t many people on Lanai in the first place, so it still doesn’t see much use. The hotel was spectacular. It was definitely a five star setup, the walkway up wound through a garden that had little wicker huts to get out of the sun, wait staff ran back and forth, making sure that drinks never went empty.

The first thing that struck us was that this was a Hotel, not timeshare. there were no desks for sales that pollute every other major complex on Maui. Everything was new and made of oiled Koa wood. We cleaned up at the pool showers before coming in, so we didn’t look like The Professor, Mary Ann and Ginger walking around. The whole place was massive, and smelled of money. I double checked and it wasn’t money, it was sweat, and it was me. Easy mistake though.

We were pretty hungry after swimming, so we checked a few places out and ended up in The Sports Bar.  This was a nice bar with a view of the bay. It was pretty empty, so we got a nice table overlooking the ocean. The finish of the Euro cup was on the big screen, and Portugal was celebrating their win. This was important, so we immediately took to Facebook to mock all our French friends. Priorities.

Our waiter was really nice, despite the fact that we had obviously just walked  in off the beach, the beach bag was probably a clue. We immediately ordered a few drinks (he brought me out a sample of their Kona IPA to make sure it was to my liking. I checked it out with my Monocle, then took the Free Ride on the Reading Railroad. I approved the beer selection.

As expected, the food was amazing. I had a Venison Burger, which was basically a pile of venison with a bun and fries nearby. This required an extra IPA to wash down, and I was happy to comply. Yulia had Prawn Lettuce Wraps,  Each of which contained a small lobster, and Sasha had a Chef Salad, deconstructed of course. We took our time. It was actually a little imposing, as the service was above excellent, and I actually felt out of place. I kept thanking our server when he brought something, then he thanked me for thanking him. It was rather recursive.

We walked around the grounds after lunch. I found a trained cockatoo that said “Aloha” and ran to get the girls. When we got back, it had found a fascinating twig, and was busy chewing and wouldn’t talk again. I looked like an idiot saying “Aloha” to a bird over and over, but hey, I’ve done worse. Little canals in the garden were home to enormous Koi, who kept begging us for food. It was cute, but when they wouldn’t stop it got a bit concerning. They followed us for a bit until we escaped the canals. Yulia’s dad would have poached one of the little bastards to teach them a lesson. Fish are food, not friends.

We would from the gardens back towards the beach, Taking time to capture a few Pokémon on the way with Pokémon Go! Apparently this was much more embarrassing that saying aloha to the bird. The staff found it funny.

We took another shady table on the beach and rested a bit before some more swimming. Yulia and Sasha got knocked over pretty bad, so when I went out I swam a bit further to escape the surf. It was still fairly rough, and I just went back and forth a bit to burn off lunch before timing myself to land on the beach between big wave crashes. I made it in without getting knocked over. After cleaning up it was time to head to the marina to catch the ferry back. We had spent around 6 hours on the island, and were hoping to get dinner in Lahaina when we got back.

I hit the little gift shop at the marina, and picked up a couple of souvenirs for our boat. They were pineapple coat hooks, and a good match for some of the hooks on the boat. It’s neat to bring a little bit of the islands to our boat. We were on time to catch the ferry, and got some seats inside at the front of the boat. Once the boat was loaded, the captain came on the speaker and told everyone that there was rough seas for the crossing, and we all should sit in the main cabin. The upper cabin was closed. After our Zodiac trip, It was going to take something really rough to impress us.

We were impressed.

Once out of the harbor, and past the protection of the southern face of the island, We hit the waves. Since the ferry was a dual hydroplaning Hull, we rode really high in the waves, and once we started seeing 4 foot or greater swells, the boat really pounded on the way down. Water splashed over the bow, and up the windows on the sides. Since we were out of the spray, it wasn’t as bad as the zodiac, but it was rough. They passed around barf bags just in case. This went on for about 30 minutes, until we were in the wind shadow of Maui. It calmed down in the harbor and we made an easy docking.

After that, we really weren’t up for going out for dinner. We headed back to the Condo to grill some fish and have Pina Coladas. Sasha makes a very good Pina Colada with fresh mangoes. I’m a good teacher.

Remember, our children are our future (bartenders).

2 Replies to “There Be Squalls Ahead…”

  1. Great post ~ loved reading about Lanai. I was on the opening team of the Lodge at Koele (up the hill in Lanai City) and was just telling my family about the ferry from Manele to Lahaina. I haven’t been back to Lanai since the early 90s so not sure I’d like all the changes. Is there a traffic light yet?


    1. We only stayed on the beach. Didn’t see any traffic lights, but talking to a few locals, there are still only about 1500 people there total. I doubt they need a light yet, they can probably just call each other when they want to use the intersection. 🙂

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