Another early start at 7:30 AM, and I caught a bus in front of my hotel for an 8 AM sailing out of Lahaina Harbor to the privately owned pineapple island of Lanai. In fact, we heard that Dole has the island up for sale, and several of us pretended we were land speculators and prospective buyers. Our labels definitely spelled out lookie-loos however!
At the beginning of our sail we were served pineapple juice, sweet rolls, and delicious Kona coffee. It was a clear, sunny day and I enjoyed chatting with a couple from Bakersfield celebrating their 7th anniversary, and a lady from Indiana who gave me hints about traveling in Europe. She said two of the best tours available were American Express and TWA.
Lanai is completely inhabited by natives working the pineapple fields, and the only tourists are those who go over for a one day sailing tour. After dropping anchor, we were driven on the only bus on the island by a driver who’s been on the island fifty years. I think that’s how long the bus has been there too. We were taken to a beautiful, secluded white sand beach about a mile away. We were free to explore the hilltops ahead where a princess was buried atop a huge boulder out in the ocean. And the tidepools nearby where schools of tropical, colorful fish were fascinating to watch. A delicious lunch was served on the beach, hamburgers (enormous), grilled over charcoal and coated with a special sauce, local onions that were sweet and the best I’ve ever eaten, salad, drinks, and dessert. Afterwards, we took a drive up to the pineapple plantations and our driver filled us with local folklore.
On our sail back to Maui, the water was very choppy and it was like being on a roller coaster. Ronnie and her gang kept us in stitches as we sat on the bow of the boat getting soaked. Her husband hijacked a beer from a crewmember on board another boat and we passed it around to toast our good time. Ronnie’s husband had an inflatable cushion with him and blew it up for me to prop behind my back. Old ladies with back problems do get special treatment!
As the pitchers of mai tais started flowing, the ocean seemed to calm, and it was beautiful nearing the Maui coast. About twenty minutes before pulling into Port at 5 PM, I went below to change into my dry clothes. One of the girls on the crew had taken my beach bag below earlier to keep it dry – – – or so she told me! I checked a sealed envelope I had placed on the bottom of my bag containing my cash and travelers checks. It was still intact. I never even missed my camera until right before we docked and I thought I should take a picture of the harbor that was filled with sail boats for a race that weekend. I went to the girl and asked her where she put my camera. She said, “Camera?” And I said, “Yes, the one that was in my bag when I handed it to you.” She looked about the cabin hurriedly, and finally said, “maybe it fell into the trash.” Whereupon she put her hand in the trash can and immediately came up with it. A good way to cover up theft, in case it’s discovered. I’m sure others have not been that fortunate. I didn’t miss my suntan lotion until the next day at the beach. If she just gone to the bottom of my bag, she would have hit pay out!
Fortunately, the recovery of the camera kept the incident from putting a damper on the day. It had been a beautiful experience. After leaving the boat I walked back along Front Street and browsed through Lahaina’s quaint shops. The big attraction is the old Banyan tree that covers a whole city block and is truly a sight to see. I stopped at a bakery for a fresh pastry and boarded a local bus that took me back to my hotel.
Once there, I relaxed on the lanai with a beautiful view and a late supper of cold pizza, wine and crackers. The electricity went off for a short time and it was even more beautiful with only the torch lights covering the grounds, and music drifting through the area from the band at the restaurant. Everyone came out on their lanais and it was like a movie setting.