Herman Melville. Ernest Hemingway. Daniel Defoe. Tammie Painter. What do we all have in common? Until recently, only a desire to put pen to paper. But now I can join the ranks of these esteemed authors with my own tale of man versus nature, the dangers of the ocean, and being stranded at sea.

The story begins with booking a trip to Molokini Crater. This partially submerged volcanic crater that blew its top about 230,000 years ago sits off the Maui coast and is a popular snorkel spot. The inner portion of the crater is (relatively) calm and safe, but if you dare to go around to the back side of the crater the strong currents will whisk you off to Tahiti (and not in a good way).

Mr Husband and I took the trip with Four Winds last time we were in Maui with no problem…well, there is the problem that you have to get up at 5:00am to catch the boat. Still, we really enjoyed the crew we sailed with (and I enjoyed the unlimited “free” beer once I was done snorkeling), so we signed up with them again this time. On the fateful day, we showed up to the dock, climbed onboard, and set off in our little boat for the hour-long journey to the crater.

Breakfast was served, my mind was rejuvenated with some coffee, and, despite the strong winds, the boat was chugging along toward the crater. Mr Husband and I decided to wander around the vessel a bit. It was then we started noticing the boat wasn’t heading directly to the crater and it was heading there very slowly. First thought was that Captain Dan was correcting for the wind, but when you see a crew member go running up to the captain, some whispering taking place, and then the captain leaving the helm you get curious.

That little spot under the turtle’s head is where we’re headed…or not.

Or at least I do. I followed the captain back into the main cabin (okay, the ONLY cabin) and was walloped with the smell of burnt rubber. The Gilligan’s Island theme song started dancing through my head.

And before you think that perhaps a certain monster was trying his paw at engine “maintenance” (since his career as a dentist was far too dangerous), do know that Finn McSpool decided since 1) there was too large a chance of getting sopping wet, 2) he might be swept out to sea, and 3) he would have to get up far too early to make the boat, he opted to stay behind and catch up on his reading.

Turns out a gasket-y type thing had gotten fried and the boat was running on only one engine. After some attempts at repairing the problem (I think bubble gum and duct tape may have been mentioned), the captain made the call that, with the winds, the remaining engine would be working too hard and he would have to return to harbor.

It was a very treacherous trip – parents were clutching their children assuring them it would be okay, husbands were telling wives they would stay with the ship if there wasn’t room in the lifeboats, a string quartet began to play, third-class passengers were trapped below decks. No, wait, sorry, that was Titanic. My mistake.

This was nearly our fate…minus Leo, Kate, and the frigid temps.

The trip back was nothing more than slow. The only tragedy was when a man went up to the bar and asked if he could at least have a beer. When the server said they couldn’t serve any alcohol yet, he turned around in a huff and muttered, “Well, I guess I’m just not going to have ANY fun today.” Geez, dude.

They had however already cooked the food for lunch and Mr Husband and I snagged a huge bag of pulled pork and grilled chicken (and with Maui food prices, that’s a HUGE score).

Braving the Seas Once More

Despite the trauma we suffered from being stranded at sea, we rebooked the tour for a few days later. This time, the boat managed to keep running. Better yet, the winds were super calm and we got a rare trip around the back side of the crater (which looks a lot like the front side, to tell the truth).

molokini, maui, hawaii
Back side of Molokini
molokini, maui, hawaii
Inside of Molokini

The moment the anchor was dropped, Mr Husband and I were in the water. And that’s when you remember that snorkeling at Molokini is more about the novelty of snorkeling inside a crater. Despite Wikipedia’s claim that there are over 250 species of fish in the crater, they must be hiding because the variety of fish you see is pretty slim. There are gobs of these big black fish that sport glowing blue neon stripes along their fins.

molokini, maui, hawaii

There’s this grumpy looking guy (maybe he didn’t get a beer?)…

Getting closer to the crater itself, you might see some bright spots amongst the coral…

molokini, maui, hawaii

And then there’s some very weird creatures bobbing along the surface….

After a few hours in the water, it was time to get out, dry off, eat some lunch, and see how many “free” beers I could consume before we made it back to port.

What about you? Any harrowing tales from the sea? Or maybe you slipped in the bathtub once? I’d love to hear about your water-based woes, so be sure to leave a comment. I’ll be back next week with Finn’s final installment (maybe) from Maui, and next Wednesday, as usual, it’s all about books! See you then.


The Maze: Book Three of The Osteria Chronicles is now available for a special pre-order price of $0.99 for e-books and $10 for print books AND I’ve made it easy for you to jump into the series with discounts on the first book (The Trials of Hercules). For full details, please visit this post. You can also read a few sample chapters from The Maze (PDF)Β 


15 thoughts on “Stranded at Sea: A Harrowing Journey to Molokini

  1. Mr Husband here…It is a fun trip on the Four Winds II out to Molokini. The crew are friendly and seem to enjoy what they do. Although we did have to hear their jokes again on the second try! It was a bummer having to turn around with engine trouble on the first try but think it was worth it for the bag of chicken and pork they already grilled! And to cruise around the back side on the second trip.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, right, I forgot about the double dose of the lame jokes…the lame jokes that we also heard two years ago. Maybe they really should consider serving that beer earlier than they do πŸ™„

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hahhaaha I completely sympathise with that man who didn’t get his beer! I would have been outraged! Looks like all the trauma was worth it tho, in the end. Since you ask–yes, I did slip in the tub a few years ago with disastrous consequences. Being me, I managed to crack a couple of ribs on the side of the tub when I made my graceful landing. It made my waitressing duties extra pleasant for a couple months following!


    1. Maybe I should have added that it was only 9am when this guy was mad about not getting his beer. I mean I enjoy some day drinking myself now and then, but 9am? Geez, I was only joking about the bathtub thing…you are a menace to yourself!! You better install some of those old people rails in the bathtub to stay safe :)).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmmmm still totally reasonable. Everybody knows that boats, like airplanes, do not adhere to normal conceptions of time. Anything goes! Morning beer for everyone!


  3. Only you could make such a nerve-wracking boat trip so funny. I bet Finn was smug when you two returned that day. Glad you were able to get a successful at a later date.
    As for he fish in the first & last pics are black durgons, a type of triggerfish. The grumpy guy is a species of jack(related to groupers), I believe a blue trevally. And the ones in the corals are yellow tang.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Is it a triggerfish or surgeonfish? I always thought they were a type of surgeon fish. I love the tangs, you don’t see them as much as some of the other “cute” fish like the butterfly fish or parrot fish. As for Finn, he controlled his smug comments because he knew if he didn’t we wouldn’t share the snacks we got with him! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


  4. Oh wow, my heart was in my mouth reading about this tale of drama on the high seas! But hey, at least you didn’t get marooned on the crater. It would be terrible to have to live on pulled pork and beer for 3 days until they could arrange a rescue expedition… πŸ˜†


Comments are closed.