Results 1-8of 8 Reviews
Vancouver , British Columbia
November 16, 2006
From journal Pacific Whale Foundation
November 7, 2005
Molokini Crater is an amazing place to snorkel. The water is super-clear, though a bit colder than beach reefs. There is a pretty good variety of fish and other critters. Towards the end of our hour there we had a white-tipped reef shark swim under us. That was pretty exciting and worth the $65 right there!
The Ocean Odyssey is a large cat with a big engine. It only takes about 20 minutes to get from Ma'alaea Harbor to the crater. I did a Molokini trip a year ago with a different company, and it took over an hour to get to the crater. From Molokini we cruised to Lanai. That took approximately an hour.
Just outside Manele Bay we came across a pod of spinner dolphins. They were sooo cool and came right up to the boat and played in the wake. The youngsters were practicing their spinning behavior and were so funny to watch. The coral heads were very well developed in Manele Bay, but there were some pretty significant swells, so the water was a bit murky. We still saw lots of fish. On the way back to Ma'alaea Harbor, we saw lots of green sea turtles bobbing around. The food was good, barbeque chicken sandwichs and pasta salad. Narration is done by marine biologists who know what they're talking about. I should also mention that the cost of the tour goes to support the foundation and their ongoing research.
From journal Marvelous Maui
July 30, 2003
by smmmarti guide
July 13, 2003
1) Whalers Museum
Since it is so easy to take things for granted, it may be particularly difficult for children to imagine that humpback whales were once nearly extinct. After a visit to the free whaler’s museum exhibit, they will develop a new appreciation for the giant cetaceans who continue to migrate to Maui from Alaska each winter.
This free, fascinating exhibit focuses primarily on the Golden Age of Whaling during the 1800’s. Tales of young men who were cast unwary to the oft-times wretched life at sea will hold school-age visitors'' attention, while the fascinating information about the myriad former uses of whale components may even astound adults. Prior to the development of electricity, it was whale oil that kept most of the world’s lamps ablaze, and whale bones that cinched corsets. A short feature film loops continuously and exhibits of scrimshaw, sailors’ knots, and a 40 foot whale carcass make a stop here noteworthy.
2) Pacific Whale Foundation
Even before they arrive in Maui, children can be introduced to the world of whales via the Pacific Whale Foundation website where they are invited to listen to the "song" of a male whale, submit whale-centric artwork, and read the enchanting book entitled, "Willie the Whale." If they dream up the monthly question for the marine biologist they receive a $10 gift certificate.
But this is only beginning. Once on island, close encounters and adventures await enthusiastic visitors. It starts with an extensive number of whale celebrations held early in the season and continues with inexpensive tours that are worth a fortune.
Kids go free with paying adults on many of Pacific Whale Foundations’ award winning tours including the Wild Dolphin and Snorkel Eco-Adventure, Molokini/Lanai Dolphin Encounter, and the Wild Whale and Dolphin Adventure. Food, drinks, posters and junior naturalist posters are included in the free deal.
If you smell French fries while onboard, is not your lunch; it’s the smell of biofuel burning. A few years ago the foundation began using recycled cooking oil as a non-polluting biofuel to propel their boats. Environmental awareness is the hallmark of this organization. Even more impressive is that all profits are donated to help save the oceans.
PWF staff guides are stationed at Maalea Harbor, McGregors Point and Kaanapali, where additional free information is available.
3) Maui Ocean Center has a marvelous Whale Discovery Center perhaps more extensive in scope than any exhibit on Maui. Click the link for details.
Before long the kids will be bursting with whale Aloha and ocean awareness.
From journal Maui with Keiki
Port Angeles, Washington
May 26, 2003
I chose to go with Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) because it is a non-profit organization with all profits going to whale research, environmental education, conservation efforts and political lobbying. Also, PWF uses eco-friendly fuel (100% recycled vegetable oil) in their boats. All of the staff have bachelor or master degrees, are trained in rescue, and are certified naturalists. There is a great (and free) Junior Naturalist Program for kids 12 and under, and a free poster with your trip. I had gone on a whale watch trip with PWF before, and was impressed, so I thought I’d try them for snorkeling.
The trip started at 7am at the main PWF building in Maalaea Bay, next to the Maui Ocean Center. After boarding the boat and getting out of the harbor, we were given an orientation and some great information about PWF, Maui and the ocean life we were about to encounter. We were also treated to some fantastic whale watching. We eventually reached our first snorkling destination, Molokini Crater. Molokini is a mostly submerged volcanic crater, with one side collapsed, leaving a crescent moon shaped "island" 160 feet high behind. The area is now a protected marine sanctuary which is supposed to have 250 kinds of fish (notice I said supposed to….)
I was a little disappointed with snorkeling at Molokini. There were so many people in our group, at least 100, and we were instructed to stay only within a certain area. I think of snorkeling as sort of a connection with nature – peaceful and quiet – not swimming elbow to elbow with everyone else. And I didn’t like being confined like that. Also, there were numerous other boats that showed up in the area, further crowding the place. Needless to say, there weren’t very many interesting fish with all those people hanging around.
Fortunately, our second snorkeling desination was not as crowded. We went to a location just of the coast of Maui, partway between Lahaina and Maalaea Bay (approximately mile marker 14, if you want to swim out to it from land!) Because it was not a very remote spot, I was sceptacle, but it ended up being a great place for sea turtles. We were given a huge area to snorkel in, so no crowding, and I saw three turtles and numerous schools of fish. One of the naturists gave a free guided reef tour.
After the second snorkeling spot, we had a good lunch and headed back in. We saw more whales. It was overall a really good day… but I found better snorkeling at Ahihi Cove (see separate entry) and my friend had a better trip later in the week to Lanai.
From journal West Maui Ocean Fun and Hiking Adventures
Pacific Whale Foundation (PWF) was the only choice for me because it is a non-profit organization with all procedes going to whale research, environmental education, conservation efforts and political lobbying. Also, PWF uses eco-friendly fuel (100% recycled vegetable oil) in their boats.
My whale watch trip cost $13 for a two hour trip. I purchased this trip through an "Activities Consolidator" for this price. I don’t know what the price is through PWF direct. I know they have some special deals – like all children under 6 go free, and children 7-12 get super cheap prices too. All of the staff have bachelor or master degrees, are trained in rescue, and are certified naturalists. These folks have the most complete information about humpback whales, and they offer a great (and free) Junior Naturalist Program for kids 12 and under, and a free whale poster with your trip.
Of course we saw plenty of whales on this trip. Like I mentioned earlier, they are impossible to miss. You are always guaranteed to see the spray from the blowholes of many whales, and you always can see a part of the back when they come up. Often you will see the tail come out of the water at this time as well. The whale tail is used by researchers for identification, as no two tails are alike. The extra special whale behaviors that we saw, but you may not always see, are the pectoral slap and the breach. One whale slapped its pectoral fin on the water 15-20 times pretty close in front of us. It was so loud! Researchers do not know why whales exhibit this behavior. Also, we saw an adult whale breach three times. A breach is when a whale comes straight up out of the water vertically, then splashes down on their side. It is truly a fantastic sight! We also saw a baby whale practice it’s breach. It couldn’t get all the way up out of the water, but it kept on trying.
Another favorite part of the trip was to hear the whales when the naturalist put a hydrophone in the water. A hydrophone picks up whale calls up to two miles away.
So what are you waiting for? See the whales with Pacific Whale Foundation!
February 12, 2003
The whale-watch is conducted on the ocean, and the guides (employees of the Pacific Whale Foundation) give an educational tour. We saw a mother and her calf with a companion. They performed for us the entire time we were on the boat. It was a fun-filled day.
From journal Honeymoon Get Away
Seneca, South Carolina
October 27, 2000
From journal Maui: Cheap and Easy