Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Maui: Last Day, Part 2

Personal note: I am physically in Florida visiting my parents and my two younger sisters — our oldest sister (two years my junior), who lives in Delaware, will join us in a week and a half. Therefore I am using by MacBook laptop to produce the next few issues of LAHP — I hope the images are up to par.

However, I am still mentally on Maui as I continue the tale of my trip as it winds down on the last full day on my favorite island. After revisiting the Judo Mission and nearby attractions (last week's LAHP), I drove down to Lahaina town proper. This stretch of Front Street is much like it looked in the early 1900's — except the cars are newer. Even though there has been a transition of old quaint tourist traps to new not-so-quaint tourist traps, the exteriors of the buildings are little changed.

Looking in the other direction is a small park near the boat harbor but sadly something is missing. After many years moored at this spot, the Carthaginian is gone. Or more accurately, the Carthaginian II is gone.

The Carthaginian I was a replica of a whaling supply vessel used for the 1966 movie "Hawaii," based on the James Michener novel. The Lahaina Restoration Foundation purchased the wooden boat, but it sank in 1972 on its way to O`ahu for dry dock. A second vessel was acquired, a cement carrier built in Germany in 1920. Re-christened the Carthaginian II, it sailed to Lahaina in 1973. It took seven years for the historically-accurate rigging to be assembled dockside.

It has been docked in this location as long as I have been coming to Maui. The ship was used as a whaling museum — and you could tour it for a small fee. There were exhibits that showed how whaling was done in the 19th century and how the sailors lived aboard such ships.

But eventually, the ship deteriorated to the point where it was feared that it would sink at its moorings — despite the expenditure of some $50,000 a year for maintenance. So it was towed out to sea and scuttled off Puamana, just south of Lahaina. It is now a destination for divers and the Atlantis submarine.

At least, the Pioneer Inn is still here. It is one of the oldest operating hotels in all of Hawai`i, over a century old and recently renovated. The architecture captures the feeling of old Hawai`i as would be appropriate for Lahaina, the former capitol of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

Vintage Pioneer Inn One of the things I'm working on for my photography website is simulating old photographs of landmarks such as the Pioneer Inn. To the left is a different photo of the same landmark — where I have tried to remove all the anachronisms and then give the photo an old-time sepia tint. I really like this look and hope you like it too.

Just oceanside from the Pioneer Inn is the boat harbor. And if you walk out to the breakwater, you can look back at the hotel and view it together with quite a few boats. This particular image has been captured countless times by photographers and painters alike.
For example...

As I was walking back from the outer part of the harbor, I looked into the water and spotted some fish — I believe these are Morish Idols. You don't even need a snorkel to capture them on film or sensor — although I suspect that the photos would be even better with snorkel and underwater camera.

To the south is an idyllic beach. Wouldn't you just love to be there right now? I know I would.

Wondering around town, I again came to an oft photographed building — the preserved home of missionary Rev. Dwight Baldwin. He and his descendants resided here from the mid-1830's unto 1968. The house served as a medical office and general center for missionary activities. Behind it was a seaman's chapel and Christian reading room. It is open for tours, with a small entrance donation required.

Adjacent to the Baldwin House is a stone building which I seem to recall was originally the cookhouse — but which is now an art gallery for local artists.

Nearby is the old courthouse and jail. It has also been preserved and now serves as a museum and art gallery for local artists. It also provides clean public restrooms — a facility in short supply in Lahaina.

And what nostalgic visit to Lahaina would be complete without a stroll under the huge banyan tree? It covers approximately half an acre and continues to expand. On weekends, it shelters a swap meet with lots of local flavor.

I just love walking under the branches and looking at the new roots hanging down, which seem to be hoping to find a small spot of soil from which to gain nourishment so the tree can continue to grow and prosper.

Since this was my last day on Maui, I decided to treat myself to dinner at a new restaurant whose namesake restaurant on the Big Island is wonderful. This new restaurant is Merriman's Kapalua and occupies the building that previously housed the Kapalua Bay Club on one end of Kapalua Bay. Let me tell you — I was not disappointed. If you are visiting Maui anytime soon, I highly recommend dinner at Merriman's. If you cannot visit physically, do visit their website at http://www.merrimanshawaii.com/.

Next, on to Lana`i.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc.