By Captain Dave

While we are most often praised for our fantastic Maui whale watching trips and relaxing dinner cruises, the Hawaii Ocean Project also offers an host of fun day trips and activities for those looking for something a bit more adventurous on their vacation. One of our favorite offerings: Snorkeling the warm waters off of the island of Lanai.

A half day adventure departing bright and early at 8:30am, our Lanai Snorkeling trip begins with a short cruise aboard our unique 70 foot catamaran, the Kaulana. As we set sail you will be treated to a wonderful continental breakfast while taking in amazing interisland ocean views. Soon after the real fun begins as you find yourself at the first of two stunning snorkeling spots. Put on your snorkel gear, take a dip, and marvel at the vibrant marine life living just beneath the water’s surface. Experience amazing coral reef teeming with colorful, exquisite fish varieties, beautiful living coral, and even the occasional Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle!

Once you have had enough time to explore and experience marine life, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy a full BBQ lunch as we head on back to Maui’s simply pristine shores.

An amazing experience for families, groups, or anyone else who love the Hawaiian waters, our Lanai Snorkel trip is definitely a “must do” during your next vacation on Maui.

If you’re ready to get your feet wet, book your Lanai snorkel trip today!

By Captain Dave

Have you ever been up close and personal with a Humpback whale? For most, the answer is “No.” While these majestic creatures spend some time in Maui’s clear blue waters each season, coming in contact with a Humpback is strictly prohibited by law to help protect the whales being disturbed and intruded upon by human actions. While this means you must keep your distance whether onboard a kayak or a Maui whale watch vessel, the same rule does not apply to our sea bound friends if they decide to take an interest in us!

One such occurrence took place recently aboard our ship, the Kaulana, as we took a fun group of passengers out on the high seas for a leisurely Maui whale watch off the coast of Lahaina. During our trip, an intrigued humpback decided to take a closer look at our friendly shipmates, passing underneath our boat, just beneath the surface of the water! Lucky for us this exciting experience was captured by a number of friends and #HOPMaui family; who have shared it on our YouTube channel for all to enjoy! Take a peek:

By Captain Dave

Have you ever wanted to explore Maui’s coastal waters, without getting your feet wet? If you are one to take a peek before you leap, a new program from Google will help you do just that (and so much more!)

“Google Oceans,” a new program under the Google Maps | Views banner, now has a number of undersea views of our island home for all to explore and enjoy. With a particularly awesome View of Maui’s famed Molokini Crater available, this fantastic new project let’s you virtually dive in and take a look around one of Hawaii’s most memorable dive location (and one of the top 10 dive spots in the world,) all from the comfort of your laptop, phone, or tablet. Whether sitting at home 8000 miles away in your pajamas, at the airport ready to board your flight to Hawaii, or at your hotel just prior to enjoying your next Maui dinner cruise, cruising around Maui’s beautiful seafloor via Google Oceans is a fantastic experience that anyone can enjoy!

Take a peek: once you have had enough exploring on Google, come on back to our homepage and book your own above sea adventure with Hawaii Ocean Project’s daily Maui whale watch, dinner cruise, or sunset cocktail cruise today. Mahalo!

By Delphine Berbigier

I’m trying to hide how excited I am-although I get to see humpbacks every day during the season on Maui, I’ve never seen a beaked whale. We’re not sure yet which exact species we’re after, possibly Blainville’s beaked whales, which were sighted by the group a few days prior. The Navy is gradually refining their interpretation of sounds corresponding to species thanks to the sightings on the field made by the team. No luck finding the beaked whales though. We must have missed them behind the swell. Pity. At least the sun is shining through the clouds and drying our soaked clothes.

We get another call “Cascadia-M3R. We have tursiops north of your location.” Tursiops truncatus is the scientific name for bottlenose dolphins. We make it to the area indicated by the Navy, and sure enough, we find two dolphins. One of them approaches the boat and stays with us for a few minutes. Enough time for the girls to take dozens of pictures of its dorsal fin, which will identify the animal like a fingerprint would a human, and for Daniel to shoot a satellite tag at the base of it. If all goes well, the satellite tag will stay attached and provide information on the animal’s whereabouts for about a month. So far, the team has deployed 10 tags: 2 on rough-toothed dolphins, 2 on bottlenose, 4 on short-finned pilot whales, and 2 on Blainville’s beaked whales. M3R calls us again to announce another pod to the west, but the wind is picking up and it’s getting late, so we have to head back to the harbor, mission of the day accomplished.

Dr. Robin Baird and the Cascadia Research Collective is one of the researchers that is supported by the Hawaii Ocean Project. “It’s important for us to receive flexible, independent funding, so that we can work on research projects that are important, but are not necessarily part of government agencies’ priorities and thus receive no official funding,” he says. “It can also really help us to buy new equipment, like a tagging gun or a camera.” But money is not the only thing that helps research: outreach and education is essential. As a parting gift, he hands me brochures on false killer whales to pass out at our upcoming events.

A big Mahalo to the Cascadia Research Collective!