My Maui Adventure - Part 2

Days in Kihei are slow and not filled to the brim like some holidays. That is our choice. If you want to be busy you can. There is the drive up to the Haleakalā Crater (1-1/2 hour each way) to explore or watch the sunrise. Remember, you would have to leave around 4:30 a.m. to be there to watch sunrise and that's not relaxing to me, but many do it. There are also excursions by boat to snorkel and scuba dive, dinner cruises, zip line tours, helicopter rides, challenging bike rides up the volcano (start at 6,500 and climb to 10,000 feet), trails to hike, surfing and paddle boarding as well as kayaking for those who like to be busier. But for me, this holiday is about relaxing. We try and take short outings to explore, but keep a lot of time open for reading, walks on the beach and dips to swim and snorkel at the beach just across the road.  A slow pace.

I said in my last post that you didn't need to pay for a boat trip to snorkel here. What you do get on the boat trips is clearer water and bigger fish, but the variety near shore is great if you try a few locations. Over the last few days we have snorkeled at the beach across the street (Glen several times - me only a couple). The day after we arrived he made his first dive and the water was so murky it wasn't worth staying in.  Each day since has been clearer until yesterday was quite good. Today it was very poor again as the wind was up. That said - even on the best days it doesn't seem to have the clarity of the water we had when we snorkeled in Cozumel, Mexico. The other difference is the coral. In Mexico we saw a mix of both soft, swaying and hard coral with lots of colour and movement.  Here there is only hard coral, so no movement with the waves and much duller in palette.

Old section of Lahaina - Hilarious tip jar that reads "Hawaiin Style 401 K"
That said, the variety and colour of fish here is wonderful and probably comparable in diversity. Mexico did have larger fish including manta rays, but here we have seen big sea turtles swimming at both diving locations. There are 3 consecutive beaches across the road from where we are staying - Kamaole Beach Parks I, II, & III.  The best access is to enter the water on the north end of beach 3 and go straight out and then swim left toward the jutting rock.  Low tide makes this easier and the water is clearer in the morning before the wind picks up, say 8-9 a.m. Also, because of clarity, go in the mornings where there is absolutely no wind at all.

Kamaole Beach - Ahihi Kinau Cove
The other snorkeling site we went to that was amazing and had a truly wonderful diversity of creatures was Ahihi Kinau Cove - a protected reserve with no fishing allowed. It was really tucked away down a narrow 2 lane road and a bit confusing as there is the sign you are entering the reserve, but the site you want is still a bit ahead. There is a parking lot where the road turns to dirt and you have to walk back a few hundred feet. This is just a bit of rocky shore leading into a rocky cove.  A bit hard to navigate safely as you enter, but well worth it as right from the shore there is a wild mix of type of sea life from small triangular to long translucent eely looking things. The water is clearest on the right behind the large rock, but if you go out around it to the ocean side, you can find large turtles hanging out. Well worth the trip if you're into snorkeling and I intend to go back. Yesterday we tried to find BlackRock (not the beach), but were unsuccessful. With the big resort development, the access is well-hidden. Perhaps we'll try again another day. Other recommending snorkeling sites are Kapalua BayTurtle Town Maui & Maluaka Beach and Molokini (this last is a boat trip you book).

The other thing we did was return to Lahaina.  My oldest son had arrived, so we went back so he could have a look and to have lunch at the Cheeseburger in Paradise.  It has downstairs and upstairs seating areas right at the waterfront with the oceanside windows all wide open. It also has a great funky atmosphere. The walls and ceilings are covered with license plates, vintage posters and more.  We didn't have burgers as we were having them that night at the condo, but the BLTA (bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado) sandwich was wonderful. There was so much bacon in there it kept falling out.  

Afterwards the men hit some of the galleries we liked previously and shopped for a rash shirt for Aaron, while I went back to the Village Gallery and purchased the work of a couple of local artists. First was an numbered edition of a sea turtle created by G. D. Markovich with etching, coloured inks, rag paper and orchids and finished by flattening and drying. The texture resembles handmade paper or wool felt. The second was a laser print of an original drawing  by Cindy Conklin that the bio says metal etching, but I think looks like a watercolour and pen drawing.  She creates the image on Scratchboard which contains a layer of white clay beneath a surface of black India Ink. The drawing is carved with a small knife to reveal the white surface below and then it is completed by adding transparent water colours and inks. The artist is moving in a new direction, so very cool I was able to get this image now.

Last but not least is a cute little walk up stand about 1 block from our condo called the S & Q Shack which offers Coffee, Shaved Ice (with syrup of your choice) and wonderful tropical fruit smoothies.  I think we've been there twice and expect it will end up being one of bigger expenditures. For $6 you get a 20 oz. glass. There is a list of fruit combinations to choose from or you can create your own. They have cubed and frozen fresh fruit ready to go and just dump your chosen mix in an industrial blender until is is creamy smooth. What a great mid-morning/mid-afternoon refresher after a snorkel at the local beach or a hot walk. Still haven't tried a shaved ice which is like the old Sno-Cone except the ice is shaved much finer, but will be sure to give it a go at least once before I leave