You hear about shark attacks. California, Florida, Hawaii even Cape Cod but the shark attack off a Maui beach while we were there seemed to carry more punch.

Maybe that’s because the headline “Woman bitten by shark off South Maui beach” was on the front page, above the fold on Tuesday , November 15. Guess what I was scheduled to do that day?  I was going snorkeling. Yup I was going into that shark infested water to do my imitation of a great white whale.


I wasn’t even sure I could still swim! Its been so long. I tested out the pool first and found that I’m pretty buoyant. Its all that fat you know.

Don’t laugh, I kid you not! When I used to scuba dive I’d start the season with 30 lbs on my weight belt. As the season progressed and I toned up and lost weight I dropped not only  body weigh but lead weight from my weight belt. By the end of the season I’d be down to around 18 lbs of lead at my waist.

Right now I have more to fear from a shark attack than I do drowning. I bounce right back to the surface! Should be an interesting afternoon.


But back to the Shark bite victim.  Karnaole Beach is 31 miles from Ka’anapali Beach where we were staying. That’s if you follow the coastline, less if you just flip that tail and make a bee line.

She was 58 years old but she was a tough cookie. She told everyone to get out of the water as well as getting herself to shore! She was quoted as saying this wasn’t going to keep her out of the water. I guess most shark bites off Maui occur in October so this was a straggler.

Well, that’s all I have to say on the subject of sharks. I plan to get back to all the fun we’re having.

Until then,


Hawaiian Sunset

What better way to spend an evening that sailing along the coast of Maui on a sunset dinner cruise.


That’s how we found ourselves boarding a lovely yacht for dinner, drinks and a leisurely cruise.



Seats were assigned and chairs and tables bolted to the floor so they wouldn’t slide if the seas got rough. Our table was on the open top deck and the evening couldn’t have been more beautiful.


Upon being seated our waiter brought the complimentary Mai Tai’s. Pretty soon we cast off and were underway. The sea was calm so there was almost no swell.


Off to our starboard we passed a navy ship, The John Paul Jones. We aren’t sure what they were there for. If it was shore leave or R&R we didn’t see too many sailors in Lahaina.


Of course that triggered a discussion of the type of ship. I felt it was too small for a battleship and finally decided to settle the discussion by asking Google. According to my google search the John Paul Jones is a guided missile destroyer. It was built in Bath, Maine.  It’s the first ship of its class to be homeported on the west coast.

As the sun set, it was beautiful to watch the light playing on the west mountains of Maui.


Dinner was served and more Mai Tai’s. An entertainer strummed away on his guitar in the bow of the ship. To add to the ambiance it was the night of the “Super  moon”.


All in all a very relaxing way to spend an evening.

I want to find a nice decent job as a helicopter pilot.

Well maybe not but our Tuesday morning adventure did involve a helicopter.

Of the 3 of us, I was the only one who had ever been up in a helicopter. My first ride was back in 2008 in Sedona. It was an awesome experience. But Sandy has steadfastly refused to even consider taking a helicopter ride. Of course Kathy didn’t know this and she pushed hard for a chance to see Maui from the sky.

To my surprise Sandy agreed with very little argument. I don’t know what that was about but we found ourselves booked with Sunshine Helicopters for a flight over Haleakala and the Road to Hana. I was hoping for some good aerial photos. Alas, this was not to be but the seating worked out for Sandy and Kathy.


The 3 of us were assigned the back seat, Kathy to my left and Sandy to my right while I was in the middle.


The road up Haleakala

That meant that both Kathy and Sandy had windows where they could take pictures but I soon found that my seat pretty much prevented that. In fact it was hard to see much of anything.


The front seats had a couple and they where constantly bouncing around, heads or hands always managing to get into the frame. The other seat was occupied by the Pilot. So much for getting shots out of the front window.


Still it was interesting and fun and I am thrilled that I was there when both Kathy & Sandy experienced something new.



Some Final Thoughts on The Road to Hana

Early on in our drive we stopped at a park. I wish I had written down the name for you. Sandy and I had found it the week before in our explorations. It’s on the left as you travel toward Hana. If you like big waves, this is a spot to check out. When we first found it, it was so wild that there weren’t any surfers but the waves were mesmerizing.


It was a calmer day when we stopped with the tour and surfers were out in force. Some were very young.



There were also vendors with things like jewelry and souvenirs on display.

We  made a stop at a red sand beach. It gets its color from the iron in the sand. It rusts!


The little coral church we stopped at is Palapala Ho’omau Church, built in 1857, it’s known as the burial ground of prominent aviator, inventor, explorer, author and activist Charles Lindbergh.


Forty-one years after his infamous non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, Charles moved to Maui and settled in the remote area of Kipahulu, seeking privacy, beauty and simplicity. You can find the grave of both Charles and his wife under the shade of a Java plum tree at the limestone coral church.


A small choral group was practicing when we arrived. It was beautiful. We all stood respectfully while they sang Amazing Grace.

047Our guide skipped the Garden of Eden stop which surprised me. I’d heard a lot about this attraction. Maybe he skipped it because there is a fee.

Garden Of Eden Arboretum

“It’s worth paying to enjoy walking the grounds, which are immaculately kept up and offer all kinds of photo opportunities. Here you can see an 100 year-old mango tree, bamboo, ocean views and Puohokamoa Falls.”

You can find a list of stops online and many shops sell ‘Guided tour” CD’s but everything takes time.

Our guide did as best he could with the amount of time allowed. The 8 hour tour ended up being 12 hours so I’d have to say we got our money’s worth.

The Road to Hana

The Road to Hana has to be the number 1 attraction in Maui, or at least close to it. Everyone knows about the Road to Hana.


To drive or to tour, that was the question. If we toured I could enjoy the scenery too. If we drive that would be out of the question. Then our concierge told us it was an 8 hour trip depending on how many stops we made. I like driving challenging roads but 8 hours? I could feel my shoulders get tense just thinking about it so tour it was. Another guide reminded us to take our Dramamine. Many Hana trekkers have been done in by car sickness on the bumpy, windy road.

Bright and early Sunday we were picked up in front of our resort. At first the road looked very familiar. It wasn’t long before we were passing through Paia. There was Mama’s Fish House on the left. I spotted the little roadside stand where we had turned around on our previous adventure looking for “Jaws”.

As we continued on the road became even more narrow. At times dropping to one lane wide.


All of the bridges (there were 54 in all) were one lane so if you met another car someone had to wait but most bridges had a waterfall or deep gulch at the least.


Once in Hana we stopped for a picnic lunch and a bit farther along a roadside stand to stock up on banana bread and Maui honey. There is nothing quite like Hawaiian Honey!


We stopped at an ancient church made from coral that had survived devastating storms and tsunamis.



At the 7 Sacred Pools our efforts to see them were thwarted.


We only had 45 minutes and from the parking lot it was a good 15-20 minute hike. I talked to someone who tried to make it and he said he only had time to get to the top pool. Returning would have been all up hill. Of our tour group only 1 couple actually made it all the way down and back and they were late returning.

On the backside of Haleakala we hit the bumpiest section of the road. At one point we were right on the edge staring over a huge cliff.


At another spot we got out to look out over deep gully. The trade winds were blowing with enough force to knock you over. There at the bottom of the ravine was an upside down crushed car. The driver had survived thanks to a passing guest on a tour like ours who spotted the injured man. It was a sobering story.


Our tour lasted 12 hours. We arrived back at our resort in the dark; a long day.  My take on the Road to Hana? Everyone should do this once and a tour is definitely the best way. If I go again I’ll drive but I won’t cover the whole distance. I’ll stop often so I can get the best photos and maybe stock up on more banana bread and honey.