Island of Love - Day One
Maui is known as the "Valley Isle", since it is shaped like two adjacent fists with a connecting piece of land (the "valley"). It is the Hawaii destination of choice for many, combining the raw beauty of Hawaii without the big-city hassles of Oahu.
We could tell we reached port at 8 this morning, as we were still in bed (lazy-bones!) and the gentle rocking of the ship had ceased.
The Robinsons were off on a whale-watching excursion this afternoon. Maui is perhaps the best island to see the humpback whales, who swim annually from their home in cold Alaskan waters to breed and nurse their young in this area. Smart choice if you ask me. The whales are often visible to the sharp-eyed cruiser - we look for the tell-tale puff of vapor (from their blowhole), or the slap of a tail fin on the water, or, if you're REALLY lucky, a full breach view where they rise halfway out of the water in very grand fashion (we haven't seen that yet, darn it).
Our excursion doesn't leave until 3:30 this afternoon. We'll be travelling to the top of the Haleakala mountain in Maui, an extinct volcano which towers 11,000 feet above the island. We'll be on the sunset-watching tour. Supposedly, watching the sunrise or sunset while on Maui is another must-do. Hopefully we'll get some good pictures there, if the weather cooperates. We'll dress warmly - despite being located in Hawaii, the elevation means it could get down around freezing! (Iowa doesn't sound so bad now). In the picture below, look for the faint ground line above the clouds. That's the summit of Haleakala.
We spent our day relaxing on the sun deck, as we FINALLY have plenty of sun and warmth. Toasted ourselves all over, then moved to the shade, summoning drinks when needed, or taking a cool-off dip in the nearby pool. I know it sounds very stressful, but someone's gotta do it...
Before heading back to the room we grabbed a bite at the poolside buffet, and had some warm strudel (with ice cream) for dessert. Mmmmm....
Our room steward always does a fine job making up the room, including twisting a towel into creative and interesting shapes. Today, a snake!