Maui sailing on the America II? How could average people like us be invited to sail on a ten million dollar America's Cup contender during our Maui vacation?
That's what happened to us on the America II Maui sailing yacht.
Okay, maybe everyone is invited, and maybe anyone that pays can go.
But we were still thrilled to sit on the same deck and sail in the same racing hull that had participated in the America's Cup in Freemantle Australia in 1987.
When the humpback whales are in Maui, December to May, the America II schedules a whale watching trip (usually a 2 hour morning trip).
Whale Watching from the America II
We were on the two hour Morning Whale Watch, so we slowed down from sailing to watch humpbacks. Because the yacht is relatively small and low to the water (compared to some of the large whale watching boats), we had a unique, close up perspective of the whales.
And they may have had the same unique perspective of us. A humpback whale approached our boat, then dove and swam under it as we watched.
We had this happen on another trip, also when we were in a smaller boat which calls their cruise the Ultimate Whale Watch.
Our picture doesn't do justice to the thrill and excitement we had watching a whale the size of a school bus glide just a few feet under us.
Another whale swam right by us with its pectoral fin high out of the water - the tip of the fin was higher than our heads as we sat on the boat deck.
This was definitely 'up close and personal' compared to larger and noisier boats.
At one point an active group (pod) of whales swam by us.
In the picture below, one whale is breaching (rising out of the water), while another whale is exhaling air through the blowhole on the top of its head, while another whale is about to dive.
America II Maui Whale Watching Videos
You can view a video of our America II morning whale watch by clicking on the PLAY button in the image below. The captain would just stop sailing and we would sit silently in the ocean observing the whales as they swam by us.