Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Record Shots: Napili & Kapalua

Continuing with record shots, we have now crossed the beach and are now standing at the Napili Kai Beach Club. It does not matter to me where I am standing, I always love the views at Napili and Kapalua — there are not many places in Hawai`i where every vista is stunning — this is one.

Even the waves are special here. I intuit that they are created by the labyrinth of lava canyons on this side of the bay — which also makes for interesting snorkeling.

Napili Kai maintains a paved walkway on their property along the ocean. Not only are the ocean views wonderful, so is the tropical landscaping that the resort does so well.

Additionally, you will spot items of cultural interest. There are salt basins which the ancient Hawai`ians used to evaporate seawater leaving behind salt crystals for preserving meat and fish. Also, there are the remains of a boat landing which suffered considerable damage at the hands of the relentless ocean waves.

Out near the extreme end of the path, one finds superb views and...

Breathtaking panoramas. If you would like to see a larger version, please click here.

Just beyond Napili Kai begins Kapalua — and the first structure here houses a very fine restaurant, Merriman's Kapalua. I have mentioned them before so please forgive me for being repetitious but there may be some of my readers who did not see the earlier issue.

Merriman's began on the Big Island where Peter Merriman pioneered what is now called Hawai`ian Regional Cuisine, incorporating fresh local ingredients with unmatched creativity. I do not care how one describes it, but the food here is fantastic.

Merriman's Kapalua occupies the building that was formerly the Kapalua Bay Club, a fine restaurant in its own right — although Merriman's surpasses it. Because of its incredible views overlooking Kapalua Bay (check out the sunset) and superb cuisine, I recommend that anyone staying on Maui try to schedule dinner here — preferably on your last evening on Maui.

I followed my own advice on this trip and could not get a reservation. However, I stopped by early and was able to eat dinner in the bar — same food, same views, same wonderful dining experience.

Before the sun sets, this is the panoramic view from Merriman's. It is actually even better in person since the panorama extends the full width of Moloka`i along the horizon to the northwest. If you would like to see the enlarged view, click here.

The far side of Kapalua Bay also charms with delightful views. The views here at Kapalua and those next door at Napili always are the basis of my recommendation to friends who are planning trips to Maui to consider this area first as a place to stay.

Even though this area is developed with resort accommodations, there is still rugged coastline providing variety for view-lovers like myself.

And I still am surprised to find prickly pear cactus growing here in a relatively moist part of the island.

Something changed — which is the purpose of my record shots. For years, I have looked at the deterioration of this structure just below the Kapalua Resort (now the Ritz-Carlton Residences at Kapalua). A sign was posted indicating this is called the Cliff House (now I know its name) which has been undergoing renovation. I definitely spotted the new roof and speculated that much of the structure has been repaired or replaced. I commend the resort for preserving a structure that was built in 1940 for plantation managers — most enterprises typically demolish such an old building to avoid liability should a teenager or tourist injure themselves while satisfying their curiosity. Post renovation, it is open for Kapalua Club members, Kapalua property owners and special guests. Too bad, I don't fit in any of those categories.



Life is good.

B. David

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