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OK, so I’ve told you all how to be the perfect tourist in Hawaii. BUT, what next? Well, I highly suggest booking a day trip with Ohana Fun. That’s exactly what I did and it was BY FAR the highlight of my trip to Hawaii.
After spending a week in Oahu, me and my boyfriend quickly agreed that we loved the laid back feel of Maui in comparison. This was, in no small part, due to an incredible trip we took to Molokini Crater and Turtle Town on the Quicksilver, all organised by Ohana Fun.
If you’re in Maui or planning a trip to Maui, it really is something you can’t afford to miss. BUT, let me tell you all about it so you can judge for yourselves.
Who Are Ohana Fun?
Ohana Fun are a Hawaiian tour company offering activities all across the different islands. From helicopter flights to diving they have everything covered from air to land to sea. Or if you want something a little more chilled check out the luau’s and dinner cruises. Not only do they provide a great service but they also support local charities by giving 8% of the commissions they earn to local charities such as the Maui food bank. So you can rest assured that any bookings made with Ohana Fun are “responsible tourism”.
So What’s The Itinerary?
Right, try not to let this scare you, but it’s a 07:30am depart with a 06:45am check in. I KNOW, but it’s worth it. The boat departs from Maalaea Harbor. We were staying in Kahului so luckily we were able to just hop on a bus that dropped us straight there for only $2.
Once you’ve checked in and found a seat it’s time to take full advantage of the breakfast buffet on board with pastries and fruit. Juices, sodas and water are all complimentary. This is all included in the package price.
After that there’s a safety talk and you are given your snorkelling gear (mask, snorkel and fins).
There is also the option of hiring an underwater camera or a private session with an underwater photographer. If you feel you might need a wetsuit there are shortie wetsuits available to rent on board. BUT, the water temperature is around 23 degrees celsius, soooo it’s up to you but I don’t think it’s necessary. Though I will say that in Molokini crater a fair amount of the water is in shadow so I did get a BIT chilly.
First Stop Molokini Crater
Here you’ll have about 45 minutes in the water. There actually wasn’t TOO much to see here on my trip, though apparently they can see manta rays and sharks. And the visibility is incredible! I saw a free swimming eel which was pretty cool, usually you just see them poking their heads out of holes somewhere. I also saw my FAVOURITE fish ever, the parrot fish. If you don’t like parrot fish I worry for your soul. They are SO beautiful and you can hear them crunching away with their little beaks under the water. I was pretty happy just to be swimming in an old volcano to be honest.
After that you head to Turtle Town where you’re 100% guaranteed to swim with sea turtles. The turtles tend to rest on the bottom for a while, you’ll see them dig themselves down into the sand and sit there for a little while before coming up to breathe. They’re pretty chilled out, they barely notice you when they come up. It is best to give them their space though, like everything in the ocean, observe from a distance but never touch. A few times though we were only a couple of feet away from a surfacing turtle. They were everywhere to be honest. A great photo opp if you have an underwater camera!
You stop here for around 30 minutes, then it’s back on board for the BBQ lunch! If you’re a vegetarian, just ask and they should have an veggie option for you. I had a pasta dish.
After all that you head back to the harbour at a very leisurely pace looking for humpback whales. I cannot BEGIN to explain to you how incredible this was. We saw SO many whales. We saw mother and calves. We saw mother, escort and calf. We saw males showing off to impress the mother. We saw breaches. We saw mother and calf dancing around, flicking their tails out of the water at the same time. The captain said that he had never had such an incredible day, not even on a dedicated whale watching trip.
You can purchase Mai Tais or beers on board for $2 to enjoy on the way back. You arrive back at the harbour around 1pm. You’ll probably need a nap after such an early start, but no doubt you’ll have some great photos and an incredible experience under your belt.
What to Bring
As the song says, wear sunscreen!! You’ll need sunglasses, a towel, a camera (I brought my TomTom Bandit Actioncam complete with waterproof lens!), a hat, a dry bag (if you have one), a warm jumper/hoody as the wind can get quite chilly and a bit of extra cash to tip the staff at the end of the trip. It is still America after all and it’s a tipping culture. Oh and make sure you bring SWIMWEAR. I am all about the Simply Be swimwear. They have an incredible selection and plenty of options for girls that need a little extra support in the boob area, like myself. Plus they sell swimwear year round, so the site is great for when you need some winter sun swimwear.
The Quicksilver snorkelling trip with Ohana Fun costs around $80 per person which is about £56. But if that trip doesn’t, for some crazy reason, sound like it’s for you, then make sure you check out all the other activities on offer on their website. There is so much to do and see in Maui and across the other islands, you’ll definitely find something!
Stay tuned for my ultimate guide to Maui, coming soon.
** Ohana Fun provided me with a complimentary trip. However, the opinions expressed in this post are, as always, my own.