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Warm Water Ku’i Ka Lono Quarterly
Focusing on our favorite Warm Water destinations in the South Pacific and Caribbean.

 

Time for Maui!

 

Maui is often referred to as the so much to do, so little time to do it Island!
Many times I find myself quickly arranging and sending one of our guests 10 Things they absolutely must not miss during their 1 week adventure on Maui. The list can grow dramatically depending on the length of stay. Oddly enough I have found over the last six years that this list is constantly under construction which is a true testament to the broadness of life on Maui.

Is Maui really always changing? Amazingly it is. And there are Seasons in Maui. Mixed with the different elevations, topography and the coming and going of sea life and tidal activity, Maui is an ever changing world of its own.

We have noticed that our long term guests will find themselves crossing the threshhold of seasons. One morning they are swimming with the dolphins at La Perouse...the next morning the glorious Humpbacks are at their left shoulder as they kayak back towards Makena! Snorkelers in late January enjoyed the 82 degree water at Kamaole Beach III with a magnificent white capped view of Mt. Haleakala under blue skies!

This Ku’i Ka Lono depends on all of you whether you are a Local or part time resident, a Snow Bird that makes your home with us once a year, a summer vacationer, or one of our honeymooners returning to celebrate your anniversary. So many of you have become close friends eager to keep in touch by e-mail, phone or Holiday cards (we absolutely love the photos folks!). Many of you have been visiting Maui 30+years! We enjoy the connection and welcome news on any special discoveries you would like to share with us. Hopefully this edition of our Ku’i Ka Lono Quarterly will reinforce that feeling of Aloha that makes so many of you return time and time again to the Islands.

Many Happy Alohas! Ileene and Tommy Voss

Humpbacks!
kuapu’u ho’okanahua

O.K. folks this is what happens when you’ve spent as much time in the islands as we have. You simply find yourself taking some of the wonderful Maui activities for granted. It’s a shame but the thought of the typical “group orientation” and the ever included snack tray that is promised with most excursions makes you drag your feet even more. Tom and I even resorted to renting our own small boat when we had friends in Maui in order to avoid the excursion experience and ensure a Whale experience. Well, not anymore.

Our good friend Sylvia at Maui Travel Services set up a last minute Whale Watch for us on the Ali’i Nui a roomy, catamaran owned by Maui Dive Shop. Not only was the orientation short and funny thanks to Captain Chris Dennis, and the snacks and drinks plentiful...but most importantly, Captain Chris truly knows where the whales are and the crew members on board are extremely knowledgeable. Did ya know that a calf (baby Humpback) drinks 100 gallons of milk a day and gains 7 pounds an hour!!!

A definite 10+ pick for an afternoon Whale excursion while in Maui! Snorkel trips and sunset cruises also available. The Ali’i Nui (pronounced ah lee ee new ee) is the smoooothest, least crowded, most interesting ride on the channel we’ve enjoyed in a long time. Amazingly affordable. Leaves out of Ma’alaea Harbor.

Here’s how you book it! MauiTravelServices.com Sylvia Mayon. (877) 628-4386

 

Ahihi Kina’u National Area Reserve

This is the “thing to do” that always makes it on our top 10 list regardless of which end of the island you’re staying. You simply must make the time to drive past Makena, scout out a parking spot on the side of the desolate road just before La Perouse, pick your way though the shrubs, find the obscure trail over the lava and adventure your way out to the Aquarium (also known as Noah’s Ark). Arrive by 8 in the morning when the water is the calmest and bring your sunscreen! It has also been referred to as “The valley of the shadow of death” by a sun burnt mid-western fella and his very red wife. We encountered them on the return journey years ago. I hope that they have recovered!

The lava formations and the unique hues of sienna, black and slate gray create a picturesque contrast against the extremely colorful pools of water. As photographers we appreciate a day out at Ahihi Kina’u. It’s a great place to test our camera gear due to the many levels of color and texture. Eels and colorful fish in the shallow, clear pools keep us company while we eat our snacks.

Your best reason to fit Ahihi Kina’u into your schedule is the awesome snorkeling at the Aquarium. Travel as light as possible, bring water, snacks, sun block and your snorkel gear. The winding lava trail curves towards La Perouse Bay often with views of Dolphins, Whales, and Kayaks in the distance. The trail will wind over the lava to the right, a bit northish, before you skirt the lava shoreline. There is a perfect little moon bay almost immediately to your left outlined with broken shells, and rampant on most mornings with little black crabs. This is an ideal spot to park your gear. Entering the water is usually easiest to the left and at the center. The entrance is very shallow with plenty of coral so keep your hands and bare feet safely out of the way. What you should expect to see: An amazing variety of corals and colorful fish, Moray Eels, Star-fish, Octopus, Urchins and live sea shells (don’t take ‘em!). You will notice that many of the pools change color with the seasons.

Lahaina Harbor Lifestyle Local Style

If you are in Maui for the winter and find that you’ve knocked around the Shops at Wailea and Front Street in Lahaina to your hearts content then you’re probably looking for something to do that has simple substance. A walk around the back of Lahaina Harbor will delight you. You’ll experience first hand the unique and colorful blend of local life and tourism. On the north end of Lahaina’s tiny harbor locals throw a line in and stock their well used ice chests with the catch of the day, local surfers tear up the surf, and local fishing boats come and go out of the same harbor that provide daily fishing, snorkeling and whale expeditions. On the south end visiting tourists rent surf boards for the day and give quite a show while taking surfing lessons. In front of the harbor there is a lovely Banyan tree which appears to be many, but is truly only one Banyan, the Old Fort and Pioneer Inn add to the rustic charm.

5 Point Day on Kauai the Garden Isle

So...you’re in Kauai. You have plenty of stamina and desire a day packed full of eye candy. Get ready!
We’re going to leave out the places to eat details this time. I will however add a delicious suggestion at the
end of our day. Until then this is simply a day for visual over load!

Kauai is an easy island to navigate. The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook-Kauai Revealed by Wizard Publications is the ideal map and info guide, however, any simple map of Kauai will do.

Our day begins on the northeast shore. That’s where you need to be in order to watch the sun rise... in Princeville or Kilauea...any cliff that over looks the sparkling ocean to the east will suffice. After watching the sun slowly rise over the ocean and light up the mountains to the west follow the 56/560 all the way into Ha’ena to Ke’e Beach at the very end of the road. Lush and green the mountains and taro fields through Hanalei are a rich picture of Hawaii old. It rains quite heavily on the north end of the island which gives the air a smell of soil, wet leaves and plant and animal life. And watch out for the chickens! They’re plentiful all over the island, but on the north shore they take turns attempting to cross the road at the most challenging of hair pin curves. One would think that they have a death wish!

Ke’e Beach is a dream set in a tiny protected half moon bay that points a bit northwest. The stretch of white sand beach is fringed by a thick canopy of trees. Clear waters inside the breakers offer easy snorkeling with plenty of fish and turtles.

Heading back towards Hanalei your next stop will be one of the loveliest beaches on earth, Lumaha’i. There’s a small turn out area just after the Lumaha’i Beach look-out point around mile marker 5. Here you’ll find a tiny trail leading down to the beach through tropical growth. Often it’s very over grown and hard to detect, but it’s worth the trouble. Powerful winter waves pound the white sand. Lava formations the color of deep mahogany add character and charm to this unique beach. Lumaha’i is one of the most photographed beaches in the world!

On to Hanalei Bay. Pure island color and loveliness. Picturesque is sort of cliche when referring to Hanalei
Bay. Hanalei, as a whole, deserves an entire day. There’s a great mixture of local island life and visitors
enjoying the substance that Hanalei Bay offers. A short hour stop is a tasty morsel when enjoying a
delectable day of visual stimulation.

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We are going to fly on by the Kilauea Lighthouse on the 56. Enjoy the stop if you please. It is a nice addition to a look-see day! But we’re headed into Wailua to take our Opaeka’a Falls journey. You can take the earlier turn off at the 581 that connects with the 580, but we prefer the 580 turn off in Wailua. The Opaeka’a Falls Look-out is directly across from a spectacular Wailua River Look out. What a delightful afternoon spot to feast your eyes. We noticed that people typically come rushing in to the look-out, take a quick peek and head out like a house on fire. Relax here. Enjoy the view on both sides, the artists painting, the people coming and going. It’s gratifying to take it all in.

Your day will feel full at this point. Continue your drive on a journey for the perfect pizza at Brick Oven Pizza as you enter Kalaheo on the south end of Kauai, Highway 50. It is closed on Mondays. It’s a little bit of a drive, but an interesting one...and truly not considered a looong one. Brick Oven Pizza has the best pizza! The thin scalloped crust has been brushed with garlic butter and is nothing short of delicious. The dinner salads are crisp and flavorful. I absolutely love the blue cheese dressing, but all of their dressings are tasty. The cheese bread with tiny grilled bay shrimp is also a treat.

More Maui Gems
Da Beach House



This is a special shopping pick. Da Beach House is located in the Shopping Center next to Ma’alaea Harbor. A tiny shop packed full of surfer shorts for the guys, unusual T-shirts and froufrou stuff for the Wahines, the main attraction in this small shop is the serious surfer shorts, Maui Rippers, for men that range in size from a very small waist size to a large waist. Typically it’s just small, medium, large, XL, XXL...but these are arranged according to “inches” and have a better adjustment draw string at the waist. Great shorts for anything active...especially if you don’t appreciate boogie boarding with your shorts gathered around your ankles. The help is awesome and you even get a custom bag artistically created on the spot by the guy assisting with your purchase! Info on the bag pictured!

Breakfast! Fred’s Mexican Cafe is new on the block for our South Maui guests and within walking distance to most of the homes and condos close to the Kamaole Beaches. It’s where KKO once was. Bright festive colors and the statue of Fred, out front, makes Fred’s a difficult choice to miss. Breakfast is first rate, plentiful, reasonably priced and the service is over the top with friendliness. Seating is open air and across the street from Kamaole II.


Lunch! JAWZ TACO SHACK on the side of the road in Makena has been our top choice for about 9 years. The
delicious, fresh Mahi Mahi tacos and burritos keep us skidding toa stop everytime we spot the JAWZ van. JAWZ has now opened other locations including the JAWZ TACOS in the Azeka Shopping Center close to Peggy Sue’s, but nobody serves fish tacos like the van in Makena. Say Aloha to Peter and Lake for us and make sure that you get there early. When they run out of Mahi Mahi the van pulls away! It has become a bit busier lately with the construction crew that’s been across the street for the last few months, but the service and food continues to be no ka ‘oi!

Sunset Dining! SARENTO’S ON THE BEACH FIVE STAR
This is the dinner that you’ve been waiting all day to enjoy and if you time it with the magnificent South Maui sunset you have absolute perfection! Make sure that you make reservations ahead of time and specify a sunset seat! (808)875-7555

We have eaten at many of the finer restaurants on Maui and have enjoyed most of them, however, Sarento’s has a distinct style that makes the dining experience special. The ocean view, classy yet comfortable setting and attentive service makes the great meals even better...if that’s possible.

The menu is a unique blend of Italian/Hawaiian without being heavy or over powering. The filets are tall and tender, the salads (especially Gabriella’s Chopped Salad) are crisp, delectable and probably the first salad you’ve had all week that isn’t a courtesy salad (...one of those things you do in order to make a pretense of eating healthy while being away on vacation...), the Tiger Prawns are truly PRAWNS!... served over potato raviolis that are to die for! Then there’s dessert! Oh my GOSH! The chocolate creme brulee (I can’t remember their fancy word for it...) is, without a doubt, dangerous!

 

Warm Water Kui Ka Lono Winter Edition