Island Star: The Best View in Maui

Island Star sail

For about three years now my family and I have been coming to Hawaii during whale season to watch the Humpback Whales swim in the bay and play with their newly born calves. They are easy to spot when looking from shore, but until you’ve seen one up close you just can’t grasp the size and the elegance of these massive creatures.

Enter Island Star Excursions. Sunday was the sixth time we have chartered the Island Star for a morning of sailing around Maui looking for whales. Every time we go we have been able to see Humpback Whales within 100 yards of our boat, either breaching or coming up for air. I mean, that’s close!

This time we were able to hear one singing to the others from above the water. The song sounded like it was coming from an elephant, but the fact that we could hear them with our own ears meant they were pretty darn close to us. These creatures are amazing up close. Their size is really hard to comprehend until they swim up along the boat and you realize that your boat looks like a toy compared to their massive bodies. Even the babies are bigger than a car!

Dad and Captain Bob talking.

Captain Bob Carlson has been our captain for every sail we’ve had. He is truly a character, telling stories about celebrities he’s sailed with and some of amazing places he has been to over the years.

We usually rent the boat for about four hours, starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m. And if you know my family you know that regardless of what we are doing we must always make time for a meal! So, in this case, the Island Star provides appetizers, lunch, and dessert aboard the sailboat.

This time we had delicious fruit and ceviche with taro chips for starters. Our main course was lobster and grilled Mahi Mahi with rice. And, of course, no vacation meal is complete without dessert. We had a selection of different types of cheesecake. Ah-maze-ing! The food, if you haven’t figured it out already, is outstanding, especially considering it comes from a galley that could barely fit one person at a time in it.

Sailing with Captain Bob and the Island Star is always the highlight of every Hawaii trip. We get to see nature up close and personal, all the while enjoying great food and company.

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