Hello Friends and Family,

1982 - Maui, Part 1

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

In 1982, I took another trip to Hawai‘i, starting with Maui. Over in Kahului Harbor, (near where the airport is also located) ships and barges come and go in great profusion. At the time, I was not aware that American Hawaii Cruises (or any cruise line) was sailing tourists around the islands.

A bit of research revealed that this ship began sailing the Hawaiian waters in 1980 and is the only ocean liner to sail there today. Her seven-night cruises visit five ports on four islands — Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island.

The ship is large by my standards but is modest next to some of the current Caribbean mega-cruise ships. This allows The Independence to fit into Hawaii's relatively small harbors. Since there were no passengers around (they were all on-shore excursions), I asked if I could come aboard just to look around.

Surprisingly, they said "Okay". Security was much less strict in those days — or maybe it was the Minolta SLR camera hanging from my neck. They did not even require a crewman to guide me around. This shot captures the aft area where passengers would soak up some tropical rays and down some tropical drinks. Note that there is a good-sized swimming pool just barely visible at the bottom of the photo.

The next day, I drove over to the Kihei area. From this vantage point, you get a good view of Kahoʻolawe, the smallest of the main islands. During and after WWII, the island was used for bombing practice by the Navy. The island still contains unexploded ordinance and is closed to most visitors because of the danger. Today, Kahoʻolawe can be used only for native Hawaiian cultural, spiritual, and subsistence purposes and you must get permission in advance to visit.

The darker island that you can see on this side of Kahoʻolawe is Molokini — a crescent-shaped partially-submerged volcanic crater. It is a popular destination for snorkelers and scuba divers. From Wikipedia, "The crater houses a reef with visibility as deep as 150 feet (46 m). Molokini is home to about 250 species of fish, many endemic. The best conditions occur in the early morning. The water depth is 20–50 feet in the majority of the allowed dive spots."

From a nearby location, the on-shore beauty of Bougainvillea complements the ocean and the nearby island of Kahoʻolawe and Molokini crater.

A bit further down the coast in Wailea, there are a number of beautiful beaches attracting locals and tourists alike.

At this time, many years ago, the two hotels you can see look like the seed plants for the many hotels and condos that would sprout up in subsequent years.

Further away from the planned development, the beaches were wild but beautiful — attracting both beachgoers and small sailboats.

Here we see Big Beach at Makena, one of Maui's signature beaches. The white sand extends nearly 2/3 of a mile long and is one of the largest, undeveloped (no hotels) beaches in Maui. The waves can be ferocious here — don't venture in if you can't handle them.

At the time I visited to take this photo, the road (The King's Highway) was only a one-lane dirt path. Cars parked off the road among the Keawe trees. This was always a favorite camping and swimming destination for locals who generally welcomed mainland visitors as long as they treated this special place as the treasure it is.

This side of the large lava outcropping is called "Big Beach". Just on the other side, it is called "Little Beach", a small cove without amenities or lifeguards. Although state park regulations prohibit nudity, Little Beach is frequently used by nude beachgoers. Maui Police do not generally enforce the prohibition unless someone is getting out of hand.

Jumping over to the other side of Maui, we find Ho’okipa AKA "The Windsurfing Capital of the World". Back in 1982, windsurfing was just taking off — thus you only see three windsurfers in this photo. Today, if you visit during the winter when the waves are largest, you will generally see dozens of windsurfers doing their thing — together with board surfers where the waves are perfect for that activity.

The road passing Ho’okipa is called the Hana Highway and connects Kahului to Hana. The road (not really a "highway" as one expects on the mainland) is 65 miles long with some 65 curves and 59 bridges (most one-lane-only). A non-stop drive takes about 2 1/2 hours. Check the weather — going on a rainy day would not be much fun. Start early with a full tank of gas in your rental car. You will be rewarded with beautiful scenery including dramatic ocean views and incredible waterfalls as seen here.

When you get to Hana there is plenty to explore but do keep an eye on the time. The rental car companies do not want you to go past Hana (the road is quite rough and it takes you to Upcountry) and expect you to return the way you came. And it is generally recommended that you not drive the Hana Highway at night.

More on Hana, next week.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

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