Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Back to the BC Coast....

We're back from what turned out to be a fabulous Maui getaway.  Jeanette, her sister Deb, husband Bob and I spent ten great days on that truly wonderful Hawaiian island.  And our tours took us to better than 90% of the island roads; including the road to the top of the 10,000 foot volcano for an early morning 'top of the world' sunrise.
Along the beach in Kaanapali
Our very last day on Maui took us to Kaanapali and some final beach time.  The beach was busy.  The wind was brisk and the clouds would roll in and out and would sprinkle a slight mist at times.

Jeanette is playing on the beach.
These large catamarans would cruise onto the beach, keep their engines running while loading tourists then back out and head away for the planned excursions.
Jeanette and I took a long beach walk west towards the rock wall in the photo below.  Cliff jumpers could be seen jumping, flipping and diving off in the distance.
Although the signs clearly display no jumping, no one really paid any attention.
We witnessed some pretty impressive jumps and dives from here.
Back at our site, Bob and I sat in the shade while Jeanette and Deb took in the last sun rays possible before our flight back to Vancouver, BC.

Back in Lahaina, we enjoyed a lunch and took a final walk around the Front Street shops and the marina.
We made our way back to our condo and began packing for our late evening flight.
The port town of Lahaina offers much for tourists.  That our condo was only one block off from Front Street was great.  We could quickly access any of the restaurants or simply enjoy walking around the marina or the shops.  Good fun!
Jeanette always writes down the names of our grand kids on any bit of sand she can find during our travels.

These catamarans are most popular in and around Maui.
Our lunch spot on the beach featured a Christmas tree.  Immediately following the US Thanksgiving, Christmas stuff began appearing everywhere.  The local radio stations began playing X-Mas music.  Sure seemed odd listening to Christmas carols while driving under palm trees.

More Christmas decor
A final pose in Lahaina before heading off.
We enjoyed Bob and Deb's company on this trip.  It was fun having them along to celebrate our 40 year anniversary and Jeanette's birthday.  It was a fun trip.  Mahalo.
  Alright!  Back to reality.  Now we focus our attention on hosting Christmas at our home and preparing our 5th wheel and motorcycle swivel wheel for our late December departure to the sunny US southwest climes.

Mahalo for dropping in

Saturday, November 28, 2015

More Maui and a Celebration

Our time on Maui is ending soon.  We have one more full day to go before we fly back home.  

Yesterday had us taking a half-sub, glass bottom boat ride to see the coral reefs and look at some sea life in these parts.
A cruise ship anchored overnight.
Our destination was only two blocks from our condo.  The wharf was busy.  Not only were the cruise ship tenders dropping passengers on shore, tourists were booking tours of all types, including; fishing, whale watching,  scuba diving, snorkeling, a submarine and a glass bottom boat.  We had pre-booked the Reef Dancer glass bottom boat.
The Reef Dancer glass bottom boat is scouting the shoreline early in the morning.
 We arrived at our assigned time of 9:30 am for pre-board.  When the Reef Dancer returned from its scouting and testing mission, we boarded and headed out for the reefs.

Our glass bottom boat.
Before taking on the passengers for the first morning cruise, Reef Dancer crew members take the boat out to scout the best locations and to ensure that silting does not become an issue.  The divers also clean the glass and check that the boat is safe.
Our view from the glass bottom.  Impressive.
The photos do not do justice to the views that we had during our reef cruise.  The reefs were teaming with a variety of sea life.
Two divers bring sea life to the viewing areas.
A very short video taken from the glass bottom boat tour.

We chose the one hour glass bottom cruise.  On the return back to the dock, it was nice to step up to the deck and grab a few photos from the seas side vantage.

One of the numerous resorts west from the town of Lahaina
One of the divers is showing Deb ad Bob a conch that he retrieved from the ocean floor.  Inside was a very small octopus.

Back on shore, we completed a bit of required shopping before returning to our condo for some pool time.

This fella was at work every day carving these beautiful wood pieces.
A few hours in the shade of one pool was relaxing.
Awesome colours on this Gecko.
By mid-afternoon, we readied for a nice dinner and to celebrate Jeanette's birthday.  The seafood choices were terrific, the ambiance spectacular.  The sunset was stunning too.
Two sisters
Very nice dinner

Birthday cake for the birthday girl.
The view from our table
And that concludes the blogs from Maui.  We have all day today to meander.  I'll write about that upon our return back home. 

We're heading for the beaches near Kaanapali this morning.  And it is a typically beautiful, sunny and warm day out here again today.

Mahalo for dropping in.

Friday, November 27, 2015

On Top of The World...on US Thanksgiving

....and we were certainly there on Maui.

At 10,000 feet +
Our choice for a Thursday excursion called for a wake up at 2:45 am, and leaving our Lahaina condo by 3:30 am.  We needed to be on top of the Haleakala crater by 6:00 am to catch the rising sun that was set to appear at or about 6:30 am.
Very early daylight
The temperature leaving our condo was at 72 degrees.  The temperature on arrival at Haleakala, at 10,000 feet, was 40 degrees.  It was windy, dark and cold.  We were dressed for the cold but we were still cold.
The sun burst over the high clouds at 6:35 am.
We stood at one of the highest points, at the observation site when the sun made its magical appearance.  And several hundred other tourists had the same idea.  It mas really magical to be so high up, on top of a volcanic crater to witness the sunrise.
The burst.....
Most tourists, feeling extremely cold (and not dressed for the cold weather) left for the beaches in a hurry.  We meandered about to read many historical sign boards, look in the tourist information building and spend some time looking at the huge crater that was created when Maui was born.
This huge crater is believed to be 5,000 feet shorter than the original height, following its final lava flows.
Posing on top of Maui, Deb and Bob made it look as though they were warm....but they too were cold.
10,000 feet below us (in the photo) is the famous surfer's beach, Hookipa Park.
We walked around for some time, taking different photos and simply enjoying the majestic setting.  But the cold did do us in, after a while, and back to the car - with heater full blast - was what we longed for.
The observatory on top of Haleakala Volcano
It's amazing to see plant growth at 10,000 feet.
Jeanette's parting photo.....on top of the world in Maui.
By late morning, we had completed the 2.5 hour drive back to sea level where the on board temperature gauge in our car show 82 degrees; 40 degrees warmer than at the crater.

On the drive back to Lahaina, our co-pilots had the idea to stop and have lunch at the Iao Valley State Park just east from the city of Kahului.
Interesting Iao Valley State Park is dedicated to Japanese, Portuguese, African Americans and other nationalities that gave life to this lovely island.
Many families were enjoying outdoor activities here.
While enjoying our lunch, there were so many flavours wafting from the many barbecues preparing Thanksgiving meals for resident families  It was nice.
The hillsides with misting rain at the top.
One sign board in the park reflects the African American history here.
Having to get up as early as we did to witness the sunrise on top of Haleakala negated the writing of a blog from the day before.  I simply did not have the time.

Our Wednesday was more relaxing.  We chose to drive out to Big Beach, south of  Kihei and Wailea.  The rain seemed to be threatening but it held off long enough for us to enjoy a few hours of beach time.
At Big Beach
Others had the same idea.
Once the rain started, we had already returned to the car.  Driving back towards Wailea, the rain was not following us.  We found a popular diving beach, sat there and we're pleasantly surprised when several turtles came towards shore to feed off the algae on the rocks.
A most popular diving and snorkeling area.
One or the many turtles we saw frolicking and feeding
Bob is capturing some good photos of the turtles from his vantage point.
This turtle was just below Jeanette's vantage point.
That covers our previous two days enjoying beautiful Maui.  Our weather has been most favourable.  And although so many days present with grey skies, the breezes blow away the clouds and we get some sun.  We have not been bothered by the rains that come in spurts.

We have two full days left to enjoy more of this lovely island.  More on that in the days ahead.

Mahalo for looking in.