10 Years with Maui, with the Big Island tossed in for fun


Kahana Sunsets & Baby Whales

For those times where you want to be forced to have an excuse for not doing something that needs to get done. For those times where you need a new setting to hang out and chill those bones and brains. For those times when you need to do things not on the regularly scheduled series of events. After a few days, take a drive to Iao valley, then up to the Surfing Goat Dairy, then the rest of the way up to the top of Haleakala for the hiking and photography and watch the sunset. Makes for a nice day and fulfills the need to _do something_ if you have the need.

Kahana, north of Lahaina, on the western shore of North Maui, is in the rain break of the northern mountains resulting in rainbows galore both against the ocean the mountains. With the rainbows comes the rain, so you need to decide your attitude: Are you just getting wet, or are you being in the rain.

The Northern hemisphere winter months, December through March, are whale season in the Hawaiian islands - Moms, calfs, and the escorting males. This is the time when the calfs learn to jump out of the water, they learn to slap the water with their dorsal fins or powerful tails. This is the time when high speed motor boats, parasailing, and jet skis are nowhere to be seen due to tight restrictions on water craft during the Season of the Babies.

The ocean is always open, just be aware of the activities being had: If the surfers are out, then the snorkeling is bad. If the kite surfers are out, then the water is too mucked up by the wind for scuba. If a big rain was just had, get in and out before the Maui Red Dirt floods the ocean from the mountains behind you. The rules are simple, relatively. The snorkeling and diving on the South Western side of Maui, Makena in particular, is quite splendid, and highly recommended with one exception: Don’t get in the water if Tiger Sharks are in the area. No biggie. Just don’t. The Tigers have taken several swimmers, surfers, snorkelers, scuba divers each year for the past many handfuls of years. Is it easy to know when Tiger Sharks are in the area? Yes, they are always in the area. Simple. Just don’t get in the water.

The road to Hana was repaved (and is continually being repaved) in the late-90’s. Hooray! Now the road is a well paved one and a half lane nightmare where you vie for road space between the rising mountain cliffs inland and the falling mountain cliffs ocean side - you and your thousands of friends in their Mustang Tour rentals and the Semi-sized tour buses that have no propriety of speed, the hundreds of less-than-one-lane bridges, and the oh-too-many-to-count Blue Hair tours stopped in the middle of the road to get that 500th photo of a rain forest waterfall. This exciting three hour tour passes through lovely Hana (with its 1970's pilgrims from Redwood Estates, CA) and millionaire recluses, 12 miles down and around towards the Southern tip to Kīpahulu National Park. The 4 mile Pīpīwai Trail hike up though the bamboo forest is highly recommended if you make it this far. Just do it since you will not likely make the trip again unless you are staying in Hana. Mosquitos, yes, what do you expect in a tropical rain forest?

Speaking of Kīpahulu National Park - there is another way to get there. Yup, counterclockwise traveling along The Big Red Line in your rental car ‘where to go’ map, they call this portion of road out as an area of interest and nothing more. More seriously, take the counterclockwise road as the views of the ocean are magnificent, and the road itself is not _that_ bad as long as there has been no rain in the area for a few months. It can be done in a full sized Mazda 929. Check the pictures. There is one little area near the end of the dirt trail, a mile plus from the ranger station, where you pass through a small village. The children will look at you like you are some insane thing driving a car along the mud path. Just drive slowly and smile. Say hi.

On the top end of the island is another area of interest on the more recent rental car maps. This one starts just past the Nakalele Blowhole on the NNE corner (it is not a toy, you will likely get sucked in and die, there are no lifeguards at this natural water park, the heartless Queen of the Sea is watching to take your life), is a wondrous little road, paved, that wraps around the top of the island and drops you down back into Kahului near the main airport. Be sure to say hello to the nice people at the several artist outposts along the way.

Enjoy the pulled pork quesadillas and blue drinks.

Copyright © 1988-2014, Eric Anderson Photography - Images may not be reproduced without prior written permission