Lahaina, HI (WTAP)-- After a day of exploring Kauai and flying over Waimea Canyon, our group of 25 travelers has boarded a plane and flown back to Oahu. There, we switch planes and continue on to Maui.
Maui is a combination agricultural and resort island. It is home to many movie stars and it has a rich history of whaling. From Maui, we will launch whale-watching excursions, rather than whale hunting expeditions, as people often did in the past.
Lahaina was originally a whaling community. Whales would come to the warm Hawaiian waters to mate. They can be seen swimming in the channel to the west of this third largest island of the chain.
We also stop at the Maui Ocean Center. It is the largest aquarium in the Western hemisphere. After a nice open air meal, we walk for about an hour through the aquarium exhibit, which includes sharks, octopus and turtles. A special treat is a clear tunnel through the aquarium, much like the one that was featured in Jaws 3-D, but much safer.
We also learn that sharks are not the man-eaters they're made out to be. Most shark attacks are cases of mistaken identity. And we leave better educated as well as entertained!
We drive around the edge of Maui's coast and marvel at the surf and the wind farms harvesting 25% of the island power needs. There are numerous campers this Sunday and I began to dream of ways to "Do Maui on Five Dollars a day" sometime in the future.
Finally we settle into the Hyatt Regency Hotel next to Kaanapali Beach and stroll the half mile up to Whalers Village for shopping. The sun sets in another busy day as we make plans to explore the road to Hana tomorrow.