When the sea's a mad drunk, think twice about that Lanai to Maui ferry ride
When the shuttle bus driver picking me up at the Four Seasons Lodge at Koele simply laughed and pointed at the big dark clouds when I told him I was taking the ferry to Maui, I probably should have taken the hint. By the time the construction workers who take this ferry twice a day every day were clinging to the sides of their seats like timid teenage girls at a horror movie, it was a little late.
If you’re in Maui for a golf vacation, you absolutely have to get to the little Hawaiian island of Lanai. It will probably be the most memorable part of your trip - almost certainly the most memorable single golf experience of the journey. (For more on Lanai, check out the latest TravelGolf.com newsletter today and a new On the Spot column next week.)
And the easiest way to get to Lanai - when it comes to Lanai and transport nothing’s completely easy with even the two Four Seasons resorts having to rely on a local drivers rather than their own staff on the island - is to hop on the ferry in old Lahaina.
In about 45 minutes, you can leave Maui’s bustle behind and get to an island with 2000 inhabitants and two of the most unique golf courses in the Western Hemisphere.
Just don’t decide you’re going to hop on the boat back during a big storm. These aren’t big ferries - they make the ferries to Rhode Island’s Block Island look like supercruisers for example - and when the sea’s riled up, they bounce around and sometimes tilt toward one side.
I thought one grandmother type was going to impale her husband with an umbrella for convincing her the ride would be fine. It’s not altogether comforting when you realize, the ferry is the only boat out in the pissed off rollercoaster waves either. Or that there are pieces of duct tape on the ceiling not super successfully trying to hold out water.
Afterwards, the captain simply shrugged and said he guessed it’d be an early day for him with sea conditions now too severe to take many more trips.
If you’re already on Lanai, you’re probably better off staying a little while longer. Now if you haven’t gotten there yet … well, risking the capsize may be worth it.
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