When one thinks of Hawaiian culture, festivities like a luau and a colorful lei come to mind. Another rich tradition is outrigger canoes. These sleek, fast vessels were used by Hawaiians centuries ago for fishing, exploring, and travel. Maui Sailing Canoe has revived this Hawaiian tradition by offering eco-friendly tours.
Maui Sailing Canoe is located on Polo Beach in Wailea and fronts the Kea Lani Hotel. Before we launch into what their tour encompasses, we want to introduce you to the owners. Learning about their lives and passion for sailing and the ocean will give you better insight into what Maui Sailing Canoe offers.
Sage Spalding was raised on Oahu and took to the ocean like a fish. He was surfing by age seven and took up canoe paddling when he was ten which became his passion. He’s raced most of his life and completed the 98-mile Na Holo Kai to Oahu race when he was sixteen.
Sage attended the California Maritime Academy, where he met Liz. A native of Maui, Liz also loved the ocean and took up surfing when she was fifteen. To say they hit it off would be an understatement. They both graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Transportation and a Third Officer’s Unlimited Tonnage United States Coast Guard License.
Sage and Liz launched successful nautical careers, but they knew a career change was in the wind when their children were born. They combined their passion for the ocean, sailing, and vast nautical skills to create Maui Sailing Canoe.
Signing up for a Maui Sailing Canoe tour is unlike any other ocean experience available. You meet your crew at Polo Beach and learn about ancient Hawaiian sailing canoe traditions. Your crew will also explain how these vessels were built and navigated centuries before. Next, you’ll assist in launching your sailing canoe, the ‘Ke Anuenue,” straight from the beach like the ancient mariners did.
Once on the water, the gentle Wailea breeze will guide your canoe along the coast of Maui. The tour includes snorkeling with the opportunity of seeing sea turtles. Your tour fee includes cold water and snorkeling gear. You’ll get to paddle the outrigger and chill on a sunning deck as you drift along in the water.
Tours last approximately 2.5 hours, and canoes can hold up to nine passengers, including crew. Children are welcomed, and some customers took out children as young as six-years-old.
Most Maui Sailing Canoe reviews are positive, with only several complaints about a lack of communication during cancellations due to weather.
If you’re seeking a laid-back, fun excursion that is eco-friendly and steeped in Hawaiian culture, we think you’ll love sailing with Maui Sailing Canoe.
-Everything you bring will get wet, so pack accordingly.
-Maneuvering around on these vessels takes some stamina and coordination. Fear not; the guides are excellent at assisting and offering tips to passengers.