LAHAINA - Veterans of Maui County and current service people recently took to the high seas as local businesses rolled out the royal red carpet in appreciation of those who protect America's freedom.
At "oh-dark-thirty" on June 14, 50 Mauians gathered at Lahaina Harbor with spirits high in anticipation of an exhilarating adventure on the Offshore Hunter with Capt. Jim Ward and Maui Jim with Capt. Tom Casey. They went on a free deep-sea fishing charter complete with ocean adventure, as well as food specially prepared by Ruth McKay and Ruth Belden.
Later, beneath Maui's late afternoon sun, the 65-foot catamaran Queen's Treasure pulled up at Kaanapali Beach to board the remaining participants for a sunset sail.
The Queen’s Treasure (pictured), Maui Jim and
Offshore Hunter participated in the “Salute to Our Service People” on June 14.
Her galley was filled with food donated by Lahaina Yacht Club - and hearts filled with gratitude - as a double rainbow endured to salute Maui's veterans.
The perfect day was due to the camaraderie and efforts of Lahaina Yacht Club, Navy League of the United States/Maui Council and Maui County Veterans' Council spearheaded by volunteer Suzanne Ayers.
"Special thanks for the incredibly generous donation of your time, talent and boats that made this day a reality," she said, citing Jan Nolan of Queen's Treasure, Walter Hester of Maui Jim and Ward of Offshore Hunter.
"Your actions demonstrate Maui's remarkable aloha spirit!"
"We hooked a fish. My heart was racing... my goodness - a 30-pound ono. First Mate Seth rushed forward, gaffed my fish on deck - what a day! Thank you, Maui Jim, and all the other businesses for your support of Maui Vets," said Linda Bashqoy of the United States Coast Guard Maui Station.
Local businesses interested in saluting service people for next year's event can phone Ayers at 661-8232 or Susan Adams Nealy at 667-2211.