Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I did almost fall off the boat, and it did scare the bejesus out of me and everyone around me. But more on that later.
We started our day (yesterday) off with a late breakfast at the 5 Palms Restaurant in the Mana Kai Resort. This is one of the most beautiful places to eat as it is right on Keawakapu Beach, arguably one of the most gorgeous beaches on Maui. If you sit on the patio you get to look out through the palm trees and onto the water. The view is spectacular. Oh and the food is pretty good too.
I promise, if you come to Maui and you eat at least one breakfast here, you will not be disappointed. I could sit on this patio all day.
But I digress. We decided to go on a whale watch as Hubs’ brother has never been, and it is one of my favourite things to do on Maui. I LOVE being out on the water and looking for these magnificent beasts. January is also prime humpback whale watching season as they come to Maui’s warm waters in the winter to breed and give birth to their young. The Pacific Whale Foundation runs whale watch tours out of Ma’alaea Harbour everyday – it’s about 10 minutes from Kihei. It’s not too expensive and totally worth it!
We were lucky enough to come upon what they call a “competition pod”: a group of usually 3 whales – two males and a female. These pods are quite active because the males are competing for the female. So they bash each other around, and flap their tails and their pectoral fins. It’s actually really amazing to see, and much more exciting to watch than a whale just swimming by. This particular pod that we came across was closer to 7 or 8 whales and they were very active. One of the crew members said that it is quite rare to see a pod of whales this big, so our whale watch basically followed them for the whole 2 hours. We actually got quite close to them and I was able to get some pretty sweet photos (well I think so anyway).
For some reason you don’t often get to see a whale’s head, so we were pretty excited to see some faces this trip!
So as I said, we followed this pod as they were very active for pretty much our whole trip. The captain stopped the boat and put a microphone down into the water so we could hear the whales singing, and as we all looked around you could see whales at pretty much every angle. There were some breaching in the distance, some tail flapping, some just swimming and spouting. It’s quite amazing to see. After we listened to the whale song for a few minutes, it was time to leave our competition pod and turn back to the harbour, so that’s just what we did.
As we were motoring along, I started looking at this little gate that I had been leaning against pretty much the entire trip taking photos, and I thought to myself, “I’m amazed this little latch never let go”, and I touched it and admired how secure it must be.
Then we messed around a bit, I took some photos of Hubs and my stepson. Hubs took a few photos of me, and then I decided I would take some more shots of the boat getting closer to the harbour, and I leaned against the gate again. BIG MISTAKE! It let go! Don’t ask me why it decided to lose its grip right at that moment, but it did. Luckily Hubs was right there, so he grabbed me and I was able to right myself so I didn’t go overboard. And after we both caught our breath, we proceeded to have a good laugh about it.
Well Hubs and my stepson were laughing, and I was more giggling hysterically, fighting adrenaline and the urge to burst into tears. It was pretty frightening, not to mention a little embarrassing. I hate being the centre of attention like that, especially with strangers. It would have been more embarrassing (and scary) had I gone overboard, but my stepson assured me that he would have jumped in after me, and I can tread water just fine so I don’t really think there was a chance I would die, but it still freaked me out.
One of the crew, the guy closest to us who was watching the back of the ship, seemed just as scared as I was. His voice was a bit shaky when he asked me if I was okay, and honestly I’m not confident that he would have saved me, but I know Hubs and my stepson would have. They’ve got my back and if I learned anything from this experience it was probably just that: these amazing men have my back. Goodness I love them!
Of course now that they know I am okay, they will tease me incessantly about it for the rest of my life.
This might sound silly, but I had trouble sleeping last night thinking about it. It’s amazing the way things affect a person. I couldn’t get over the what ifs. What if I feel in and I couldn’t tread water? What if I fell in and there was a shark? What if I fell in and there was a whale? What if I got lost in the swells? I have an active and very anxious imagination, can you tell?
Anyway, I am glad to be writing about it now (because that means I am alive!) as I think that allows me to process and clear it out of my mind. This whole event wouldn’t stop me from going on a boat again, but it sure created a big memory for us for this trip, and I’m sure it will be brought up every time we get on another boat. Also, I highly doubt you’ll catch me leaning up against a gate like that again!
Have you ever (almost) fallen off a boat? Do you have any embarrassing moments you’d like to share?