Maui Wowie Day 10: Maui Ocean Center


Before I go into our 10th day on my favorite spot on earth, I want to share some pics I forgot to add to last Friday’s as I just uploaded them off my DSLR. After spending the day snorkeling Black Rock & having our tattoo/piercing consult, we meandered down front street towards Bubba Gumps for dinner. These pictures were taken at the beginning of our stroll, at the giant Banyan tree that takes up an entire block on Front Street in Lahaina & looks like a dozen or so trees but is only one.


Does this lock mean someone’s trying to turn this tree into the bridge in Europe where people leave locks and throw the keys in the river? Or was someone just drunk and wandering down the street and though, meh, why not?


Those damn hypnotizing turbines, obtuse angles for Ry’s math project of taking pictures of different angles during spring break.Image


On Sunday, it was pretty windy in the morning, too windy to go to the beach for us, so in the morning the kids got the condo in order while Chad & I went to Foodland to pick up a few more things. One thing we needed was toilet paper, and when we went to go down that aisle, we noticed there were paramedics over a man collapsed in the aisle, right in front of the toilet paper. It seemed pretty serious and of course I walked slowly past the aisle to try to figure out what was going on and if he was ok, but it didn’t seem overly serious, & I’m not a nurse anyway, just a nosy grocery shopper. We continued on and got almost everything, then went back to see if the TP aisle was clear, it wasn’t. Hmm maybe this was serious. Wandered around and found more things to fill our cart that we didn’t need, and looked down the frozen food aisle and saw a paramedic doing some grocery shopping. Hmmm, wonder if this means he was off duty now? Yep, the aisle was clear.  To us mainlanders, how strange is that? To the people of Maui, you save a life, then pick up some ice cream for the kids. For us, we bought 2 more tubs of Rosealini’s, coconut and chocolate macadamia nut. And we got our toilet paper and $100 later we were out of there.

We got the groceries put away and headed to the Maui Ocean Center. WOW. Something every family should talk time out to do. It is relatively small, especially compared to the Vancouver Aquarium, which you could spend an entire day at, this one you would need 2 hours max. However, the fish & sea life you see is incredible, not something we would ever see here at home, so it was worth it for us, even at about $100 for all 4 of us to go in.


We spent the extra $$ and got these handheld devices to be used as a tour guide, however I found it to be a waste of money & we ended up reading all of the signs more than using the audio devices.

When we first walked in we were greeted by this big tank that had a ton of yellow tang’s in them. We used to have a saltwater tank for years and the yellow tangs were one of our favorite fish. We had almost all of the fish that were in Finding Nemo and this was in the late 90’s. Once we get into our new house we want to get a reef tank set up. It was so nice to look at, & now that I have discovered a love for snorkeling it would be nice to have some fishy friends at home.


Starfish are another of my favorite sea creatures. Starfish are a running theme in our house for a variety of reasons.Image

Inside there are tons of colorful, pretty, weird, and strange looking and downright ugly fish. I wonder, when fish take selfies do they try to make people lips?


Chad & the kids looking through one of the many windows to the giant reef tank. I see a fish that probably has a very happy wife. Can you find him?Image

There he is!ImageImageImageImageImageImage

There were even sea horses, this picture was taken through a microscope,this guy looks a leetle bit drunk.Image

This guy just finished a couple of growlers of Black Rock Ale & stumbled back to his tank. Silly Patrick.ImageImage

Shark Bait Ooh Ah Ah!Image

These fish are goby’s. We used to have one in our tank and that’s where my old email address and username on the TA forums comes from. They are the long, skinny ones on the left, and there’s one on the right.Image

These things were strange. They are called Garden Eels and they just stood there, like a worm standing up and blowing in the wind. This looks like glass but it’s a two way mirror, as in many of the tanks. This ensures the sea life will behave normally, if they knew they were being watched these guys would just bury themselves in the sand. They aren’t into voyeurism.Image

This is officially the ugiest, laziest fish I have EVER met in my life. No wonder he was all alone.ImageImageImage

I love any opportunity to check out turtles, so the Turtle Lagoon was nice, although there were’t many turtles in it, which is a good thing.Image

This turtle is a TMNT with his laser vision. He looks like a Raphael. They’ve finally been caught on film. I’m going to be rich!Image

There are even baby turtles. Awwwww.Image

It is a federal offense to even TOUCH a sea turtle in the United States. Does this mean we can do a citizens arrest to those touching the turtles at Black Rock (or other areas) when they know they shouldn’t? Well, I’m not a US citizen so I’m not sure how that would work. I could be a citizen for the turtles, though. Yeah, thats it.Image

I’ve had a thing for turtles since I was a teenager. I had a few as pets, and just always felt like I was kindred spirits with turtles. Maybe this is why we’ve bonded so well…Image

I don’t know who the hell these two are looking at, because I was the only one there. All I can say is, like father, like son. And My name’s Forrest, Forrest Gump.ImageImageImageImage

SQUISHIES! We were mesmerized for a few minutes here.Image

They have the coolest tunnel through a shark tank. I can’t believe I didn’t get a picture of the tunnel from a perspective standpoint. I did get my kids in the tunnel, though.Image

Then they got distracted by a stingray with a giant vagina.Image

Wait a minute, this one has a giant vagina, too!!!Image

This guy didn’t seem to have a giant vagina, so I assume he’s the male. No wonder he’s got such a big smile with all those big vagina’s swimming around. Image

He could have been smiling because this guy wasn’t eating him. Yes, that is a mother effing tiger shark!!! He was about 6′ long. They keep them as long as they don’t get aggressive, which they don’t if they are well fed. You can even go swim with these guys if you want. Well, *you* can, I’ll just stay on this side of the glass, thank you very much.ImageImage

Here the tiger shark is asking Mr. Dickhead for bedroom advice. Mr. Dickhead’s a lovah not a fightah.ImageWe stayed and watched the shark feeding at 3pm, two scuba divers in the tank doing the feeding. I wonder what their life insurance is like.

We wandered around the little shops there for a bit but didn’t buy anything. Stopped at Ululani’s in North Kihei for some shave ice, Chad and kids went for their usual while I tried the Lahaina, Pineapple, Coconut, & Banana. It was tasty but nothings beat Haleakala yet for me.

When we got home we hung out at the pool for a bit, cooked up some mahi mahi, not nearly as good as anyone has cooked it for us so we’ll stick to just ordering it.

We’re on the red eye Wednesday night so only 3 full days left. Sad this trip is coming to an end but happy to plan the next one for 2015.

Sidenote, as I’m finishing this up at home. At the end of our trip I asked my kids what their favorite parts of the trip were and both brought up the Maui Ocean Center. So even if your kids are older, remember my oldest will be 17 in 2 weeks, I highly suggest an afternoon here. I say afternoon so you can watch the sharks feed and it was surprisingly dead for a Sunday afternoon with not bad weather. It was windy but the sun was still out so lots of people stuck to the beach. I’m glad we wandered and had this experience.

Cor xo