Today is our next excursion. We get to ride a submarine.
We started the day a little later. We did not have to meet our tour bus until 9:15. Since we did this yesterday, we now knew the ropes. No problem.
We decided to have breakfast at a restaurant called The Skyline Main Dining Room. It is a very nice restaurant done in an art deco style. When we arrived, it was not very crowded. Our food arrived not long after ordering. I had an omelet with potatoes, bacon and toast. Cheryl had scrambled eggs with fruit. Both were good.
After breakfast we headed out to meet our tour. There were lots of different groups, and a man from the tour company doing line wrangling. One woman on the tour with us was very concerned that she gets near the front of the line so she would get a window seat in the submarine. She had asked the tour worker how many seats and windows the submarine had. He said there would be no problem. She was with a man (we assumed her husband) who said very little, but had on a tee shirt that said, “Ask your doctor if he should prescribe BEER”. Seemed somewhat appropriate.
Soon we were on the bus and on our way to Lahaina. The trip took about 1 hour. Along the way our tour guide/driver told us many things about the island and the town we were going to. We arrived at about 10:30 and were told to get off the bus and turn left. We did so and met with about half of the folks from the bus (the others were on different trips that took place in Lahaina). We checked in with the submarine company and were directed to a seating area. Our friend asked again about seating and windows and tried to get a good seat in the waiting area. At 11:00 a man from the sub company explained the setup in the submarine. There were about 50 seats in two rows back to back in the middle of the sub. There were windows along each side, and each person could look out a number of windows. They then proceeded to make sure our family groups were together had us pose for a picture, then board the boat which would take us out to the sub.
We went out a fair distance into the Pacific, near a tugboat sitting in the ocean. We were told the submarine would be surfacing soon between the two boats. After a few minutes it did surface, and the three vessels were tied together. We then started a carefully orchestrated process of getting the previous group off the sub, and our group onto the sub. This took about 5 minutes. We were all seated in the sub, and indeed you could see out of three or four of the windows. If you turned around you could see out the other side. Not bad.
The ride started and we began descending. We passed a large coral reef, a boat that had been sunk a number of years ago, and many fish. The guide tried to identify as many as possible. After a while we saw a large shark swimming by (on the other side) which he said was somewhat unusual. Later we saw a group of three manta rays swimming by (also on the other side). The sub driver was very good at maneuvering the sub so each side had a chance to see the ship, reefs, etc. At one point we dove down to 130 ft and touched the bottom of the Pacific. Soon we saw the shark and manta rays on our side of the sub. Neat. I’m still not sure they weren’t audioanamatronics. After about an hour ride, we resurfaced and met the two boats. We once again went through the changing of the groups with the next group. We were brought back to shore where we had an opportunity to buy the pictures they took. We passed. The ride itself however was really good. I had a great time.
The rest of our time in Lahaina was free time to explore the town. The downtown area is a touristy street of souvenir shops and restaurants. We chose a seafood place for lunch. Cheryl had sashimi and I had the daily special, grilled ono (ono is a type of white fish). We both decided the lunch was OK, but nothing to speak of, so I’ll stop speaking of it.
We met our bus for the trip back at 3 PM. A different driver with different stories. Not as good a storyteller, and somewhat stream of consciousness. An hour later we were back at the ship, went through the usual security and back to our room. We decided to head back to the pool for more sitting in the pool and more Mango Meltdowns. This being Monday, the bar had the end of the Jets Monday Night Football game. That brought down my mood. Oh well, after two games I’m already saying wait till next year. We strolled around and found the shuffleboard court. The court was on deck 13. We were just pulling out of port. The winds must have been gale force. Not conducive to playing so back to the room and on to dinner.
We chose to have dinner at The Starlight. Turns out it had almost the same menu as the Liberty we were at the night before. Still not bad. After dinner, we headed back to the room and to bed.
Tomorrow: An Eruption Encounter.