Maui Whales Kayak Retreat, January 8-13, 2017

11/21/16 Update: This retreat is full.

This particular Maui retreat is reserved for friends of Tom Esser. This retreat is limited to 12 participants, providing very focused instruction and coaching in your work with Tom. We will be spending five nights and six days basking in the natural beauty of the Hawaiian island of Maui together.

Every winter, thousands of humpback whales migrate to the waters around Maui to mate and give birth. The ocean is filled with the sounds of their breathing, splashing and playing. During this retreat, we get in the water and immerse ourselves in the absolutely spectacular beauty and majesty of their energy and their song.

We swim and kayak in the water seeking greater connection with the ocean and the whales. Trip activities include:

  • Swimming and snorkeling in beautiful bays
  • Kayaking out to the whales together
  • Being surrounded by singing and breaching whales
  • Feeling the magic of their song reverberating in your body
  • Snorkeling abundant reefs full of tropical fish and turtles
  • Hiking to ancient Hawaiian Petroglyphs
  • Watching baby sharks in the shallows

Sometimes the whales come very close! We do not approach them, we let them come to us…

We follow federal marine mammal guidelines and do not approach closer than 100 yards to the whales. We kayak into their general area and then we raft up our kayaks and invite them to come closer. Then we either watch from our kayaks or quietly get in the water with our masks, snorkels and fins, look around with reverence and awe, listening to the energy of their song as it resonates within us.

We’ll be staying in canvas wall tents with spectacular view of the mountains and within a hundred yards of the beach. Each tent is double occupancy, has a deck with chairs, two beds, a private sink and shower with hot and cold water. Each morning we will be out kayaking, snorkeling, swimming and enjoying the abundant ocean life just steps from our beach, and your afternoons will be spent working with Tom.

Living Simple: This simple setting is an optimal environment for you to sink deeply into the rejuvenating and inspiring energies of this sacred island and its vibrant ocean. It is an ideal opportunity for you to deepen your connection with the vital forces of the natural world.

Helping each other: As part of our retreat experience we will all be helping to make sure our activities and our time together flows smoothly. This includes everyone lending a hand to keep our camp life flowing smooth. We have a private chef who will be providing delicious, fresh local foods and we will be helping with the serving and cleaning up of our meals together.

“Our Hawaii trip is going deep and deeper.  :) Thanks for your humor and the way you take live easy and happily”

Your Adventure Guide:

Joe Noonan is an author, minister and shamanic nature guide who has been bringing people to swim with wild dolphins and other ocean adventures in Hawaii, in Maui and in Bimini, the Bahamas for over twenty years. A dolphin whisperer, he holds the space for humans and cetaceans to connect in a very fun, respectful, magical way. Working in balance with nature and the sea, all kinds of exciting adventures unfold. Joe leads custom 5 day nature retreats for couples and families around the world.


Living Simple: This natural setting is an optimal environment for you to relax and sink deeply into the rejuvenating and inspiring energies of this sacred island and its vibrant ocean. It is an ideal opportunity for you to deepen your connection with the vital forces of the natural world.

Off the Grid: Wifi is available, and you are encouraged to use this opportunity to turn off your phones and unplug from the internet this week!

Arriving/Departure: Your final airport destination is Kahalui airport on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The airport code for Kahalui is OGG. Please plan to arrive to the Kahalui airport by 3pm on the first day of our trip.

Airport Shuttle: You will need to arrange your own transportation to and from the airport to our retreat. Please plan to arrive at our location anytime between 3pm and 7pm on the 8th (dinner is at 7pm). We need to depart our retreat setting before 10am on the morning of  the last day of our trip, Jan 13th. SpeediShuttle is a reliable organization to book your shuttle. And there are also taxis that you can hire right at the curb to take you to our location. The taxi cost is approximately $60 each way, less if shared.

Your Responsibilities: Everyone pulls together to make this work. We act in a safe, responsible manner, we lend a hand in helping with our meals. We act responsibly on land and on the sea, treating our environment, the ocean and the reef with respect. Quiet time is from 9:30pm to 7am, the camp is very firm that everyone be quiet at this time.

Trip Policies: Please click here to read our trip policies.

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance, accident and health insurance are optional and are not included. If you wish to have travel insurance you will need to arrange it for yourself. Please click here  for more information on optional travel, accident and health insurance.

Included in cost: Five night’s accommodations in comfortable tents with beds, all kayak and scheduled ocean adventures and most meals are included.

Not Included: Not included in this price is any workshop fees, your airfare, your shuttle between the airport and our retreat location, other activities not listed here and several meals out on the town.

Cost: The cost per person for the lodging, meals and adventure activities for this trip is $1997 USD per person. Your place in this retreat is reserved with your non-refundable deposit of $500 USD. The balance of $1497 is due by November 8th, and upon full payment your space on the trip is confirmed.

Please use the link below to pay your deposit.

Upon receipt of your $500 deposit, we will send you a participant release form and bank wiring information for your final payment. We look forward to you joining us in Maui!


Joe Noonan

What to bring for our camping trip:

We will be living simply next to the sea and you are invited to travel light. Your tents have storage for your belongings and the campground sells locks for your storage for $6.

Below is a suggested list of what to bring:

2-3 changes of clothes

1 Warm sweater or jacket

1 Windbreaker or raincoat

1 or 2 bathing suits

Beach towel

Flashlight ( a headlamp flashlight is ideal)

Toiletries: Bio-degradable soap and shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste (the beautiful reef we will be snorkeling is downstream from our campsite, so please bring environmentally friendly and biodegradable soaps and shampoo)

Sun Protection: Reef- friendly sunscreen (Stream2Sea,  Badger Sport Sunscreen), or Maui’s own Maui Natural Sunscreen) , hat, sunglasses, lightweight long sleeve shirt, a wrap to cover your legs on the kayak

Waterbottle and small bag/backpack

Spending money – we recommend bringing $200 in cash for our meals out on the town and for miscellaneous items.

Optional: Wetsuit, earplugs, journal

“The entire Maui Adventure was a memorable, awesome and mind-boggling experience. Mahalo, Joebaby!” – Marcos Gaser, Slovenia/Argentina group organizer