Love & Light and everything bright...

23 Jan 2011

Updated Jan 16, 2010... adds Benched! Also, Jaws, Wailea scenes...

New Year's Fireworks

Spectacular light show off Wailea coastline

FROM HAIKU, MAUI (HAWAII)

New Year's Fireworks

Spectacular light show off Wailea coastline

HAIKU, Maui, Jan 1 - Happy New Year, everybody!  With temps in the low 80s and no sign of rain for almost two weeks now, we spent the last afternoon of 2009 on Makena beach.  We we drove past all those beautiful, yet deserted, Wailea golf courses on our way there, I remarked that some of my business friends should be here to light them up.  But the beach parking lot was packed.  The surf was moderate, 3-6 feet, so everybody, young and old, had a chance to enjoy the beach.

Elizabeth and I booked a dinner cruise for New Year's Eve.  We were supposed to sail from Maalaea Harbor, circle around Molikini Island, and then lull around Wailea for the anticipated fireworks show.  It was to be the first time for both of us to welcome a New Year at sea.

Over here in Hawaii, private fireworks are still legal.  And evidently used by many.  We saw people loading up on explosives supplies in stores in the last few days.  So as soon as it got dark, well before we left home last night, we kept hearing loud explosions and firecrackers going off in our neighborhood.  It was just a matter of time before an accident happened.

Around 8PM, I saw a blaze of fire about a mile down the gulch from the Rainbow Shower.  "Idiots," I said to Elizabeth.  "Just what we need... to have some fool set the beautiful gulch on fire."  Sure enough, a few minutes later, there was a wailing sound of sirens rushing down E Kuiaha Rd, where we live. About an hour or so later, as we drove down the same road on our way to the dinner cruise, I stopped to talk to a fireman to make sure they had it under control.  He said they did.

We drove on to Maalaea Harbor, where we boarded the Pride of Maui boat around 10PM.  When the ship left the protected harbor, we realized this was going to be no "dinner cruise" as most people would imagine them.  The swells were so high that you could barely stand still on deck, let alone walk or sit and eat with a knife and fork.  The two women you can see in that first shot below are not dancing.  They are fighting to keep their balance as they walked across the ship's bow.

Anyway, here is a photo gallery from that "cruise," including some still shots of the fireworks off the coast of Wailea that started exactly at the stroke of midnight, Hawaiian time:

As it turned out, we were one of only two couples who were local.  The rest of over 90 people on board were all tourists.  Guess the locals don't know what they are missing.  Or maybe they would rather stay home and start fires on their own, just to keep the Fire Department on its toes.  :-)

And here's now also a video clip of the final four and a half minutes of the show...

  New Year's Fireworks Off Maui's Wailea Coastline - filmed (4:35 mins)

On our way back to Maalaea Harbor, we actually saw a whale.  He swam no more than 10 yards off from the starboard side of the ship.  Being a Blue Moon night, the giant humpback was visible as clear as a bell.  Funny thing is, I had told Elizabeth the day before that we might see a whale since it will be a full moon night.  Just like I had told her that we should go to Jaws the day before the big waves hit (see Christmas Spectacular at Jaws, Dec 25 ).  Hm...

Benched!

Also, some Jaws, Wailea scenes...

HAIKU, Maui, Jan 16 - This week, we got benched.  No, not in a hockey game sense.  We got some new railroad ties from which we made there benches at three lookout points.  But that was easier said than done.  For, it meant hauling up heavy (to 200-pounds) railroad ties up the steep hills that surround the Rainbow Shower gulch (see the Google Earth map below).

Most of the credit for that, as well as for the above shots, goes to James (white shirt, middle).  The former Alaska crab fisherman picked up the heavy railroad ties and flung them onto his shoulders as if they were tennis rackets.  Then he practically ran up the 60-80 foot inclines along which I had weed-whacked the paths to the Eucalyptus and Bamboo Hills (see the map on the right for details).

Then just for a good measure, we also added a layer of railroad ties to the bridge.... not "over troubled water." :-) No water flows under it except during heavy rains.  Alas, the current "rainy" season in Hawaii has turned into a drought.  And when the weather is hot and dry, only weeds prosper.  To see just how prosperous some of the weeds can get at the Rainbow Shower, take a look at the photo (left) I took this morning of Elizabeth holding the one I had just pulled out from the slope just below our house at the Upper Rainbow Shower.

Going down to the Jaws, where the world record in surfing was set some years back (on a 75-foot wave), seems to be becoming a daily weekend activity for us.  We went there both yesterday and today, hoping to see some big waves.  The Hawaiian weather services had issued an alert warning about 30-40-foot surf.   But when we got there, all we saw were "baby waves" that even yours truly might have been able to surf in his younger days.  So instead of gazing at the blue wonder, we enjoyed the beautiful green scenery around the gulch that becomes the famous "Jaws" where it meets the ocean (middle right shot).  All the brown looking trees are actually mangos that are in bloom now.

In the afternoon, we had some business in Wailea, on the south shore of Maui.  So I took some pictures of the (much smaller) surf there as well.  The mountain you see in the distance in the left two shots, looks like another island, doesn't it.  Well, it is actually Puu Kukui, the "female" volcano in my perception, also known as the West Maui mountains. The flat valley between Maui's two volcanoes makes it seem like another island.

And that's all she wrote from the Rainbow Shower for this month.  Elizabeth and I are off to Peru on Monday, so you are unlikely to see any more Maui stories before we return in February.  Aloha and mahalo for your time and interest.

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