I write this on December 30. Christmas Week. One of Maui’s busiest weeks of the year.
Maybe it’s the holidays, but this week alone, I’ve had two groups arrive late to the dock, one couple “miss the boat” entirely, and another arrive to the dock a day early. While the latter only suffered minor embarrassment (and now feels more prepared because he knows where to go), the one that failed to show up was unfortunately charged the full amount of the trip as per the boat’s cancellation policy. They couldn’t even rebook because all the subsequent trips were full.
Here’s how to avoid racing around at the last minute…
THE DAY BEFORE YOUR CHARTER
Check your confirmation. This should have been emailed to you when you booked your fishing charter. If you don’t have it, send an email to “firstname.lastname@example.org” and request that it be resent (this of course only applies to readers who booked through FishMaui.com). Read your confirmation all the way through. There’s loads of info there. At the top of the email you should find a phone number for the fishing boat. We suggest you phone the boat and double check that everything is on schedule. Reconfirm departure time, etc.
Do you know where you’ll be going? Most charters leave from either Lahaina or Maalaea harbor. The addresses below are the closest street addresses near the harbors which you can use for your GPS. Do a distance/drive time check on your smartphone or laptop. Don’t have one? Ask the boat for driving directions when you call to reconfirm.
Remember to pad your time to allow for parking! Add an extra 5-10 minutes for Maalaea harbor parking, 10-15 minutes for Lahaina.
675 Wharf Street, Lahaina HI
303 Maalaea Road, Wailuku HI
(Check map. Don’t follow road signs to Wailuku!!)
71 Ala Moana St, Lahaina, HI
(Keep right as you exit off Front Street)
Check your email confirmation for the slip number and boat location within the harbor. If you’re confused. Call FishMaui. We’re easier to reach than most of the boats. If you call in the morning and get voicemail, LEAVE A MESSAGE. It’s likely we heard the call and just weren’t able to get out of bed before the second ring. 🙂 We’ll call you back if we can help.
PACKING & PREPAREDNESS
Afraid of getting seasick? If you’ve never been on the ocean before, or if you’re at all concerned about seasickness, then taking an anti nausea medication in advance of your charter is probably a good idea. If you didn’t get a prescription for the Scopolamine Patch from your doctor, then the over-the-counter product called Bonine® is your next best choice. You can find this at most Maui ABC Stores, Whaler’s General Store, etc.. Anti nausea medications wont do you any good if you wait to take when you start to feel sick. Best advice is to take one after dinner, the night before your charter, and another just BEFORE you board the boat.
READ: Avoiding seasickness on your fishing charter.
Food & beverages: The night before your fishing charter, make sandwiches, pack up snacks, water, juice, ginger ale, etc. (no glass containers, and no bananas). Boats supply a cooler with ice for guests to use on board. If you plan on bringing beer, stock up the day before. Maui doesn’t allow alcohol to be sold in markets between 11pm – 6am. Anglers departing from Maalaea harbor after 6:15am might consider pre-ordering sandwiches from the Maalaea General Store. They open at 6:00am daily. They also have decent coffee and hot breakfast items, so if you have enough time you might want to grab breakfast here. Note: they can be busy at 6:00am so allow enough time for this.
Payment: A few of the boats bill credit cards in advance of the charter. Most collect payment on board. Others collect at the time of booking. Details should be on your email confirmation. Be sure and bring an appropriate credit card if payment is to be collected on board. All charter boats accept cash, Mastercard or Visa as payment. A few boats accept American Express and Discover.
Tips: It is customary to tip the the crew at the end of a charter. 15-20% is the industry standard – sort of like a restaurant. The captain/crew will split whatever you give them 50/50 so don’t worry about tipping each of them individually.
THE NIGHT BEFORE
Avoid heavy drinking. Don’t overdo it on the rich foods.
Plan on getting to bed at a reasonable hour.
Set out clothes: shorts, t-shirt, sweatshirt or light jacket (you’ll probably take this off around 7am). Slippers / sneakers. Most boats will allow you to go barefoot once on board the boat.
Pack a hat – preferably one that wont blow off – sunglasses and sunscreen. Avoid spray-on and oil based sunscreens. These can discolor the decks of the boats. Lotions only please.
A towel is a good idea. Sometimes there’s sea spray. Plus, it can make for comfortable seat padding on boat seats that don’t have cushions. The crew appreciates this too. It keeps the sunscreen off seats/cushions.
Charge your phone/camera.
Prep the coffee machine so all you have to do is turn it on in the morning. Unless you’re on one of our luxury charters, the boats do not supply coffee.
Set your alarm. Set your partner’s alarm. Is there a radio alarm clock in your unit? Set that too! Arrange for the hotel to call you. There are no refunds if you oversleep!
THE MORNING OF YOUR CHARTER
Splash some water on your face. Pre-apply sunscreen (do not forget the tops of your feet). Have a light breakfast like toast, yogurt, a small bowl of cereal, etc., grab your bag, remember your phone, camera, food, sunscreen, wallet, lucky hat.