Here Today – Gone to Maui: Getting There is Half the Fun!

Maui is a lot like Molokai. Dining out costs the same – but there are more options on the menu. The streets are bustling. Bars are plentiful and open late. Gas is cheaper. A brazillion places to shop. Hundreds of things to do and dozens of options to do many of them with. Cell service is great. Streets lit at night.

Okay… Maui is NOTHING like Molokai… but that’s not necessarily a GOOD thing either…

On our way back to the Mainland, we spent a couple of days in Maui, seeing as we had to go that way to catch the plane back. Kinda like stuffing TWO islands into the SAME trip – bonus! 🙂

We weren’t going to stay more than a couple of days – Pony wanted to go to a luau AND wanted to ride the FERRY back across the channel, which meant we would either have to leave at 6am (waking-up whatever time before that to finish cleaning the condo, finish packing, and walk to the dock) and spend the day wandering Maui before the luau (all are conducted outdoors in the evening – while summertime temperatures are moderate compared to say, Death Valley, it’s not the heat – it’s the humidity)(plus the show’s all more-dramatic against the ocean at night – especially the “play with fire” part) – or get a good night’s sleep, spend a day doing those last minute things (it turns out nice to have some time to wash the sheets you just finished sleeping on and leave the homeowner with clean sheets 🙂 ), grab a little something and take the evening ferry back – giving me the night to recover.

Not being one for early mornings – and having seen the ferry at a distance making the evening run, this seemed a VERY prudent idea. I could see waves busting over the bow and over the steering house QUITE clearly even at a distance of several miles from the patio of the condo (at 100-feet in length, the S.S. Molokai Princess is NOT a small boat, either) – and I’ve seen enough previews for those fishing shows on The Discovery Channel to know waves busting over the bow is NOT the sign of smooth sailing. And I get seasick floating on a raft in a swimming pool.

The story of the plan for WHERE to stay in Maui is the subject of another story – stay tuned for more 🙂

Plan in place. Operated as planned, in the beginning. But as the saying goes – “getting there is half the fun…”

The plan worked well and we made it to the dock in plenty of time – and it wasn’t a particularly-crowded boat on the trip TO Maui. One imagines that it takes people to work or business in Maui in the morning, returns with day-trippers (people will do a day-trip – or an overnighter- in  Molokai – it IS the most “original” of the Hawaiian Islands, after all), then sails in the afternoon to Maui with the day-trippers and returns to Molokai with the residents who went over in the morning (I “imagine” this as I don’t actually KNOW – and depending on the carrier and with even a few days advance purchase, it’s actually CHEAPER to FLY – and a lot faster – and usually less-frightening, but perhaps the ferry line has a commuter deal).

It started to get less-fun after that…

You know you’re in for trouble when the crew warns the returning “day-trip” passengers the clerk recognized that the trip will be more rocky and wet than the ride over (there’s open-air upper deck seating). True ANY time, I suppose, but we weren’t out 10 minutes and the squirrels in upper deck came scampering down to lower deck – benches outside main cabin (where we were), probably to dry-out. As I already knew from watching that boat in other afternoons, the waves bust right over the bow.  Sometimes a little. Sometimes a lot.

Some people do better at this sort of thing (the captain of the ship was having the time of his life – not sure if it was because he LIKES a challenging trip much the same as I like to drive a “driver’s highway” but would NOT like to be a PASSENGER in that car – or if he was laughing at all of us getting green in the back) – but the nice lady who came out of the head ALREADY dizzy FIVE minutes out was NO help either (she subsequently became sick – yaaay!).

Now it might help you to feel a LITTLE more sorry for my suffering to know that the channel between Molokai and Maui is the Pailolo Channel and is known as one of the roughest and windiest in the Hawaiian Islands. “Pailolo” would be Hawaiian for “crazy fisherman.” Look – even the ANCIENTS knew this was a BAD idea… (obviously SOMEONE must have thought it was a good idea TO fish out there – or maybe those who did were NEVER heard from again…)

Molokai and Lanai are separated by the only slightly-less-horrible Kolohi Channel – the Lanai side of the channel has an area known as “Shipwreck Beach.” Some are still there, maybe as a warning to others. We obviously weren’t paying attention to THAT either.

(Between Maui and Lanai is the Au’au Channel, which means “to take a bath” in Hawaiian because it is SO nice and – relatively – calm. The fancy expensive resorts are on THAT side of Maui. Cruise ships go through there. Humpback whales migrate and winter there. Larry Ellis of Oracle BOUGHT nearly the ENTIRE ISLAND of Lanai, probably for that nice calm water. Why are we INSISTING on doing things the HARD WAY here?)

I had the good sense to take meclizine (generic for Anti-Vert and Bonine) 25mg one-hour before activity (as directed) and that was probably more helpful than I gave it credit for (50mg is the maximum dosage – although less-sedating than dimenhydrate, the generic name of Dramamine, meclizine can make you drowsy if you take a larger dose). But it wasn’t helpful enough…

What WAS helpful was ginger (if I had wanted a banana creme pie, maybe Mary Ann would have been more-helpful, but I really wasn’t interested in eating at this point)(sorry about that – bad joke). Pony, who believes in better-living through nature (as opposed to my belief in living better through chemistry) takes it regularly anyway to aid digestion – and it did seem to help a LOT.  When Pony started digging at her supply of candied ginger mid-route (she wouldn’t admit to feeling unwell), I figured it couldn’t hurt. I think the stuff tastes like Ivory soap and don’t ask me HOW I know what Ivory tastes like (I guess I have that gene anomaly that makes people think cilantro tastes like soap and it seems to apply to people who think that way about a number of other spices)(that I think that ginger tastes like soap is all the stranger, since I LIKE ginger snaps). If nothing else, maybe it might make my “Technicolor Yawn” have that nice, clean Ivory soap taste…

I must have looked particularly green or something – a crewman came by and offered a bag. This must happen a lot in Hawaii – there were several vessels that had handy, easy-to-reach distribution boxes. I accepted one – just in case, you know. REAL men don’t get seasick, you know…

Meclizine helped with the “dizzy” part – I wasn’t having THAT problem at ALL, really – but my gut was REALLY unhappy when we started having that “Giiligan’s Island” moment (you know – that part of the intro where they sing “The weather started getting rough/The tiny ship was tossed…”) A couple of times the ship moved VERY wildly off of “straight and level flight” – but, oh yeah – we’re NOT FLYING, so it’s OKAY to pitch to angles close to 45-degrees – just as long as you don’t STAY at that angle for long…

…no it’s NOT okay.  Dizzy I was not. REALLY wanting to have that “Technicolor Yawn” (God LOVE the Australians – who have more words for “vomit” than any other culture – for coining that term) I was. Maybe it was just the sheer weight of contents being slammed back-and-forth that was problematic.

But “Technicolor Yawn” I did not! I really think ginger DID help (and it IS well-know for its anti-emetic – doctor-speak for “anti-Technicolor Yawn” – properties). Seemed to take a few minutes to kick in and the soapy taste wasn’t too awful (although it WAS “candied” and there is that song about a “spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down”), but probably faster-acting than popping another meclizine – and I think I am enough of a skeptic to rule-out the “placebo” effect of “desperately wants something to work.” Even if I WAS that way. I really took ginger for the hope it might make having a “Technicolor Yawn” leave a less-horrible taste in my mouth…

Fortunately, once OFF the S.S. Vomit Comet, the hotel was DIRECTLY across the street from where the boat docked. The Best Western Pioneer Inn is on the National Register of Historic Places, so it looks the same way as it did when it was built – and I could see in my “mind’s eye” the visions of hundreds of thousands of weary seasick voyagers of old staggering across that same stoop, into the hotel – and plopping onto the front desk. Much like myself…