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Published: April 8th 2019
Maui Oceanic Center
one aquarium of fish
Today we woke up in Maui. Well, actually we are anchored off the coast and had to use the ship’s tenders (lifeboats) to ferry our way across to the island. They simply do not have a pier large enough to accommodate our ship.
We had an early excursion so we started with a 6:15 wake-up call. David went to the Horizon Court to get some drinks and then to the International Café for Breakfast Sandwiches (very similar to Egg McMuffins) and pastries. All this was because we had to be in the Crown Grill by 7:30 – which we were. Most of the people were sent down all the steps in the Princess Theater, but because we had a walking stick we stayed in the restaurant and were given advanced notice when it was time to go to board the tender.
The ride was pretty smooth which allayed one of our original concerns. We arrived on shore about 8:00 and were taken to our bus. There were 50 in the excursion group, but only 20 on our bus. Our driver took us to the Maui Oceanic Center and we arrived 20 minutes before they opened at 9:00. We hadn’t
needed any of the built-in time buffers, so we rested on the bus until a MOC representative came aboard and explained how it all worked.
Our tour was a self-guided walk through their various aquariums. We were given a map showing all the exhibits areas and a device which we held to your ear and learned about what you were seeing. Janet’s did not work right but we quickly got that fixed. We made our way through the whole center at our own leisurely pace, and were able to sit and read/listen when we wanted to wait somewhere.
There was a huge variety of sea life – all of it is indigenous to the Hawaiian waters. This ranged from small tropical fish all the way to sharks. The photography was difficult due to reflections and balancing aperture versus shutter speed. But there are some interesting photos and we will include a few for your viewing. These are only a small amount of what David actually took, but these are the better ones. One of the most impressive areas in the center was a 54 foot clear acrylic tunnel underneath the water with various fish (including sharks and stingrays)
swimming over our heads. There were a lot of other interesting things to view all over.
There was so much to see at the Oceanic Center that if we had listened to the full recording at each place, and read each display on the walls, and viewed all of the videos, and took photos of every fish, we would have been there literally all day. We only had 2 hours before we had to be back to the bus, but we had a really interesting experience. Anyway, when we got back on the bus we felt we had had a great excursion.
We rode back to town and took a few pictures before getting on the tender to return to the ship. David tried to take a picture of a Banyan Tree – reported to be the largest in the USA and 3rd
largest in the world. Again it was nice and smooth and this time it was not crowded either. Janet went directly to the Lido deck and David dropped our backpack in the room before going up to lunch. Janet had pepperoni pizza and David had a cheeseburger and fries. Then we got some dessert and
returned to the cabin.
David had gone back up on deck to try to take a couple of scenery pictures when the captain announced that some whales had been spotted off the port side. There were several small boats following them so it was easy to spot where they were expected to reappear. SURPRISE! There were 3 whales which periodically blew spray in the air, waved a fin or tail, and sometimes even jumped out of the water. We know people who had paid to go on whale-watching excursions today and we got to do it for free from our ship.
About 3:00 we went down to the Internet Café to take care of some household business on the laptop. It took an hour to get everything done, but we still had time to pick up a fancy coffee from the International Café and a cocktail from the bar. Then it was back to the cabin to get ready for dinner.
Tonight we had shrimp cocktail for appetizers, even though it didn’t really measure up to the shrimp fountain we had last night. David also had a twice baked goat cheese soufflé. Everyone at the table got
a raspberry sorbet intermezzo before our entrees. Janet had Sea Scallops and David had Pork Loin. For dessert David had a slice of cheesecake and Janet had just a cup of coffee.
We did not feel like going to the ventriloquist show in the theater, so we stayed in the cabin until the piano/violin duo started at 7:45. David went down to listen while Janet watched a movie on the TV. We are a bit tired and ready for a restful Sea Day tomorrow, so we will start resting this evening.
This marks the end of the Hawaiian phase of our trip. The weather has been really great – no rain, slight breezes and temperatures in the upper 70s. We will be going further south and the temperature is likely to get even hotter, but we will let you know about that. Now that we have left the Hawaiian waters we will no longer have cell phone/text access, but we will periodically watch the e-mail. Remember that no one is to get sick! Aloha Hawaii.
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