Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hawaii Day 4

Day 4 involved an early rise again, 6AM, to have breakfast and check in at 7AM for our 7:30 morning cruise to neighboring island Lanai. It has a Marine Preserve in a bay that has a coral reef which means a lot of fish. This reef is known for clarity and big fish.
Snorkeling and Spinner Dolphin watch. We were not disappointed with either.

Lynn scoping things out.

Type of Tang.

Parrotfish and Tang.


Spinner Dolphins. We had a pod of about 50 or so on both sides of the boat.

More Tangs at the 2nd snorkeling spot over what is called a pinnacle. Basically a large shelf that comes to the surface with deep drops offs on all sides.

After returning to shore we tried to buy some Ono/Wahoo but was not successful. The sportfisherman that caught these took one fish for himself and these 2 were sold to local restaurants. They had to be kept whole, not cut into, otherwise the restaurants would not by them. We were told by some that Ono is preferred over Mahi-Mahi by the locals. We did see a Mah-Mahi/Dolphin fish that had been caught, as well.
We then went to our beach by the condo and watched the Sea Turtle eating again.
For dinner we attended a Luau. The Feast at Lele, which was reported to be the best. We did enjoy it. Taxi ride home as all drinks were included in the price....I think we got our money's worth!!
Some reviews of the Feast at Lele.

Another long, but enjoyable day.

Hawaii Day 3

Day 3 was a big road trip. We started early, 6:30, to avoid traffic on the single lane mountain roads.
We started at our condo and headed north which would take us on the unbeaten path to the remotest parts of the Island. We circumnavigated the Island of Maui by taking this route. 176 miles and it took 15 hours. We made many stops and were in no rush. Taking a number of small walks and just relaxing to take in the views a many locations.

The roads weren't too bad, plenty of single lane areas inches from cliffs on the northwest section. The many single lane areas whether for the narrow hair-pin switch backs of the northwest section or the single lane bridges in the Road to Hana section require just taking your time and not being aggressive.
The local drivers made them somewhat more interesting as they don't have a problem driving on the center line with their jacked up pickups with huge tires. I sure can't blame them though. Year round tourists clogging up the only roads available can't be fun.
I was interesting to wonder what the ride was like in the southwest section coming back from Hana where the roads started to straight out with many roller coaster areas. It was easy to see where vehicles bottomed out on the pavement from all the scratched up sections.

Bottom line, don't believe the stories that you need a 4-wheel drive or that your rental car won't make it. But, do be careful if it is raining or if it is wet where you pull off to take in views, go hiking or let cars pass as some areas are that thick red clay that can look to be very slippery. There is erosion off the pavement where you can drop 6-8" that could smack your undercarriage or oil pan. Combine that with rocks sticking up in some of the parking areas that can do the same and one could get into trouble. Drive slow, take your time and use some common sense.

Northwest point of the Island shortly after the sun came up.

Location of a blow hole that wasn't active due to low wave action...more of this later. The blow hole is at 11:30 if you extend a line from Lynn's head straight up (to 12:00) very near the waters edge.

On the famous Road to Hana.

Surfers near Paia.

Lush foliage due to high rainfall.
Upgrading to the convertible was one of the best decisions we made. Reaching above the windshield for this shot. There were great views everywhere but not many places to turn out. Single lane bridges were everywhere.

Keanae below. This town was almost totally washed away due to a Tsunami in 1946. The remains of a past lava flow make for a very active shoreline. These photos were taken from the car as the road is literally on shore.

One of the many waterfalls that are on the way is at this spot. These guys were contemplating a jump into the narrow gorge, but I don't think any did. There was very little or no water at all at most of the falls as this was the summer/dry season. Rundown of the major falls.
This one happened to have a good amount of water in it's stream, but the 25 foot drop into a pool lined with rocks would take a perfect landing to avoid serious injury by not hitting the sweet spot. They were part of a wedding party.
Too many strange and interesting flowers to get them all but here are a couple.
This one seems to grow upside down.
Kind of a spiky looking flower. Huge ferns are everywhere, too.
The famous Banyan Tree. The one in down town Lahaina is massive.
At the town of Hana. Again, ancient lava flows that ended at the ocean.

The famous Black Sand Beach at the State Park in Hana.
A lava arch.

Past Hana.....they're everywhere!
Another Banyan Tree.
The Seven Sacred Pools or more properly, the Ohe'o Gultch in Haleakala National Park.

One thing we drove past by accident was the grave of Charles Lindbergh. It would have been neat to see that. We were too far down the road to turn back.

An old missionary church. There are many of these on the island, some like this one, miles from any town or people. This one was on the southern edge of the island.
A very interesting stained/lead glass window still intact and in great shape above the door of the church.
Again, I'd recommend getting the Maui Revealed book and read through it before heading over. It was always accurate, insightful and informative with a sense of humor thrown in.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hawaii Day 2

With still being on Central Standard time (5 hr. difference) we woke up at 5:30AM.

And we thought Alaska had a lot of flowers.....taken near our condo door.
From reading a guide book called Maui Revealed, we knew there was an interesting rock formation called Dragons Teeth close by so we drove about a mile to small parking lot and walked down the edge of a golf course on one side (no golfers out, too early for them) and an ancient Hawaiian burial site on the other to get to the point.
This was near the burial site. Not sure what it was used for.

One thing we noticed right away there was not one sign pointing this area out. Without the book we'd never have known about it. We learned quickly that that's the way it is for most of the points of interest. If you don't have a guide book or have read up on what to see on Maui beforehand you'll miss a lot of sights.
We were lucky in that Lynn had a friend at work that gave her the book to use and it was unbelievably helpful throughout our stay.

Part of Dragons Teeth Point

Out on Dragons Teeth Point a group of 6 teenagers had spent the night fishing.
They were just starting to pack up when I arrived at the end of the point, so I offered to carry a couple of their lounger type lawn chairs up to the parking lot, 300 yards away.
They caught this eel, said they were going to eat it. Looks like it's an Undulated Moray Eel.

And I asked them to give a run down on their fishing. Very friendly kids.

They caught a fish they called a Bluefin trevally.

Molokai Island in the background. Dragons Teeth point.

We went back to the condo and had breakfast then rented some snorkel gear.
Day 2 was going to be snorkel day at the local beaches.
Tried 3 different beaches. All had plenty of fish and visibility seemed good. The colors didn't come out as well as I'd have liked. Water not clear enough and maybe not as much sun as was needed? The day was a little cloudy at times. A wide variety of fish to see.

Blue-Stripe Snapper.
Convict Tangs.
Saddleback Wrasse?

This was a school of fish that first appeared underwater as a cloud. The fish were almost transparent and as I swam closer it became apparent that there were hundreds of them.

Raccoon Butterfly fish.

Lynn and I had some lunch in the town of Lahaina.
Then back out snorkeling at a different beach.
Probably some type of Tang.
Moorish Idol.
And there were many more species.

The last beach of the day was the one in walking distance to our condo on Napili Bay. It was late in the day and was able to snorkel near a Green Sea Turtle while it ate on the algae growing on the rocks. The shots were taken in the somewhat murky surf about 6-8 feet from the hungry guy/gal . Low light levels as it was about an hour before sundown.