Our family has been traveling to Maui for more than 30 years, and with each visit we discover something new. Maui holds a special place in our hearts where we disconnect and get back to what matters most, family. Our most recent trip was no exception. During this journey, we found One Maui Day — an incredible, under-the-radar company owned by Maui locals Christian Marcellos and Charlotte Tonneaux. We visited the island for my son’s golden birthday, as he turned 27 on July 27th. All four of our grown kids came with—also a special occasion and an excuse to plan a unique day. Our goal? To experience four sports in one day, with something for everyone. We wanted to do something new, so I contacted Christian, who has a reputation on Maui for being the ultimate waterman. Little did I know that he and his partner had started a business to satisfy exactly what I was looking for! Word-of-mouth is the way to connect (you won’t find them with a Google search, but a new website is in motion), which makes this outfit truly special. We met with Christian to discuss our interests and desires for the day. With very little time to organize, Christian and Charlotte pulled together the ultimate celebration.
6:45 a.m. We met at the boat, where we were greeted by our lovely first mate, Charlotte Tonneaux, and capable captain, Christian Marcellos.
7:30 a.m. With our family and boatload of toys in tow, we launched towards Molokini for amazing diving and snorkeling. This, however, is not your standard snorkeling trip. With Christian’s instruction, we learned to foil behind the boat en route to Molokini. Some of us definitely stepped out of our comfort zone with this deep-sea adventure!
8 a.m. Anchored away from any crowds, a couple of us suited up to scuba dive while the rest of the crew followed our beautiful mermaid, Charlotte, towards the fish cities of Molokini, a partially submerged volcanic crater and uninhabited islet located in ʻAlalākeiki Channel between the islands of Maui and Kahoʻolawe. Disclaimer: I’ve never loved snorkeling because I have an irrational fear of sharks. For some reason this fear completely dissipated with Charlotte and Christian. Both one with the ocean, they somehow transferred a feeling of immortality. When it was time to climb back into the boat, we all felt a sense of peace and joy.
10 a.m. Anchors up and time to kite surf from the boat! This activity was the boys’ choice (the girls and I were happy watching while sunning). It was magical being in the middle of the ocean nowhere near land watching father and son fly past each other, with ear-to-ear grins and not another person in sight. Pure bliss.
11:30 a.m. After an adrenaline-fueled morning, we headed to shore and refueled with a lovely seaside lunch. Wine, cheese, fish sandwiches, and much more were waiting for us when we arrived at our picturesque picnic—a family meal I will never forget.
2 p.m. Off to Iao Valley for a dip in the spiritual, fresh-water runoff of the West Maui mountains. I will never visit Maui again without making a trip to this sacred spot.
3 p.m. Surfing and channel swim at Hookipa—because we needed that fourth sport!
6 p.m. We capped this festive One Maui Day with a surprise, at-home sushi dinner catered by the fabulous Chef Thierry Nicot. Christian and Charlotte surprised the birthday boy with a local musician and the most beautiful hula dancer I’ve ever seen. One Maui Day exceeded all our expectations. With just three days to plan during the height of tourist season, they pulled it off without a hitch. This One Maui Day will be remembered as one of our most special days on the island ever.
Until next time, Maui!