Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

South Maui, Part 1

Whenever I am on Maui, I often drive by Ma`alaea Harbor which is located in the leeward side of the valley formed between Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains. Because of the site, it is very windy here (look up "Bernoulli Effect"). This trip I decided to stop and see what has changed.

One memory I have from my year living on Maui in the mid-1980s was the retail counter for Fresh Island Fish. The company was (and still is) the wholesale fish distributor for Maui's grocery stores and restaurants. Here they sold fresh off-the-boat fish to the public. My favorite was ahi for sashimi. It was so fresh — it almost flopped around on the plate.

Alas, the retail counter was closed some years ago and no replacement has been opened — which is probably one reason why my visits to Ma`alaea are so few and far between.

But there are boats. Both working boats and pleasure boats. Even though my economic status precludes such extravagances, I still enjoy looking.

In fact, those pictured above are docked just outside Buzz's Wharf Restaurant — a self-described "landmark in Ma'alaea Bay Harbor" which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. I have dined there exactly one time in all my years on Maui. The food is good but the restaurant is located so far from where I stay — that I never think to visit.

Across from the harbor, one finds the Harbor Shops, part of the Maui Ocean Center complex which includes the Aquarium, shops and activity centers. My favorite was the craft shop offering many island-made gifts — which are fun to look at, even if nothing says, "Buy me, buy me".

The day I visited, work was being performed on the breakwater, slips and amenities. The same day, the waves kicked up and made it look like the heavy equipment was about to be inundated and washed out to sea.

Just south of Ma`alaea lies Kihei, the town I lived in during my one year residence on the Valley Isle. What was once the Suda Store (best chow fun on the island) is now the south Maui Farmer's Market. As you may recall, I frequent the Farmer's Market on West Maui (which is owned by the same cooperative) so I am an infrequent visitor here simply because of location. One benefit of this location is that it is open five days a week compared to just three mornings a week at the outdoor Honokowai location.

Both locations carry much the same assortment of produce — Maui Gold pineapples, naturally.

Papayas, both regular and Strawberry varieties (try the Strawberry ones — so ono, as they say in Hawai`i).

Bananas — both Apple and Cavendish (the latter is what most of us buy here on the mainland) — but do try the Apple variety — no ka oi.

Local citrus — sweet and juicy.

And some of the sweetest onions on the face of the planet.

The local tomatoes are much more flavorful than what I am able to buy in Phoenix. Probably because these farmers pick them by hand and thus can use more delicate but flavorful varieties.

The variety of produce available here is wonderful especially if you are staying in a condominium where you have a kitchen facility. However, even visitors who are staying in a hotel can grab some treats such as these Maui Scones — or even Banana or Pineapple bread. Great stuff that one does not readily find on the mainland.

To be continued...


Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com