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South Maui, Part 2

One of the landmarks of Kihei is Keolahou Congregational Hawai`ian Church built in 1920. Note that services are in the Hawai`ian language, both the singing and the liturgy. Also, ukuleles and keiki hula accompany the music. This is also a favorite spot for weddings. I remember it from my time living in Kihei because this is where the ambulance is parked, ready for any medical emergencies in Kihei town.

South Kihei Road runs right along the ocean on the north part of town which makes easy access for a woman and her dog. Why is it that dogs everywhere seem to just love the ocean waves?

South of Kihei town is an area called Makena. Here is another historic church, Keawala`i Congregational Church, founded in 1832. Interestingly, for a congregation of such an old church, they are very active on the web with a terrific website. I recommend the Church History page — quite interesting reading.

As is the case with many of the older churches, Keawala`i has a small cemetery on their grounds. Here likes the remains of David M. Kapohakimohewa, born in 1871 and died in 1928. I was intrigued with the photo imprinted into the headstone — remarkable in its state of preservation after some 80 years (assuming that it was placed here in 1929).

Further south is Oneloa Beach, AKA "Big Beach" at Makena. In the 1980s, I remember going to it via the old King's Trail when it was just a gravel road, before being paved all the way to La Perouse Bay as is the case now. In those days, we just parked among the keawe trees — today there is a nicely paved parking lot.

Some of the keawe trees have grown quite large with interesting shapes, forged by the wind and other elements here.

At the north of Big Beach is Pu`u Olai, a dormant volcanic cinder cone which rises some 360 feet above the ocean. There is a steep, rugged path from the beach over to Pu`u Olai Beach which many call "Little Beach". It is one of the few Hawai`ian beaches where the authorities tolerate nude sunbathing — sorry, no photos.

However, from Pu`u Olai one has a terrific view of Big Beach. This day the waves were incredible. I must warn the inexperienced swimmer that the surf here is usually quite rough — certainly not the place to learn.

One other surprise for me is that there are now a couple lifeguard stands to help those who get in trouble. Back in the 1980s, few tourists would come this far south — thus most of the beach-goers were local, many camping along the edge of the keawe trees.

I love the ocean waves. I could watch and listen all day long — especially when the surf is up like this.

And I'm not the only one who loves the beach.

Did I mention it was rough? I love the way the guy on the beach is waiting on the beach for a break in the waves so he could join the fun. Meanwhile his buddy seems to have been swallowed up by the ocean.

So many different ways to enjoy the waves. Here a young woman is using her skim board near Pu`u Olai where the waves were a bit tamer. Of course that did not prevent her from wiping out. In fact, that almost seems like the objective.

To be continued...


Life is good.

B. David

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