The Ooh Tour
April 16, 2011: Ka'anapali
left home and took an early morning flight to Hawaii. It was
cold and gray on the drive to the airport. As with all travel,
we had to hurry up to wait. However, the five and half-hour
flight to Hawaii was made bearable by our new travel toy, the
now famous Crapple iPad. Yes, I know it seems unbelievable, but
we are traveling for the first time without a PC. I find the
words almost choking to say, but Apple has finally invented a
device that is worth owning; sort of. We are not only planning
to use it to help with our photos (it cannot do video), but we
managed to watch a movie on it, to help while away the hours of
tedious flying. I guess if you keep trying, long enough even
Apple can get it right.
As we drove from the airport on Maui to the
hotel, I could not stop thinking about how these young islands
had been formed. Hawaii is very fresh in geological time. Their
formation really is an amazing story. I could see it in the soil
and rocks as the taxi drove on. From deep below the Earth's
crust, magma forced its way up through a "hot-spot" and poured
out as burning hot larva. Slowly but surely, this larva built up
into undersea mountains, tectonic plate movement ensured the hot
spot moved forming each of the individual landmasses. They
eventually became the Hawaiian Islands of today.
April 17, 2011: SCUBA in Lahaina
What a day this turned out to be. Alex and I
left Julia and Holly in the luxury of the resort while we got up
early and went SCUBA diving. The first dive went well. It was a
shore dive so we had to gear-up on the beach and swim out
quarter of mile to an old sunken wrecked pier. We saw a white
tipped reef shark and several green sea turtles. The dive had us
swimming through many caves formed from the wreckage of the old
pier. Of course, when we surfaced we had to swim all the way
back to shore, which really ran our batteries down. It was a
On our second dive, we used for the very
first time, underwater scooters. This seems like such a great
idea until you have to carry your very heavy scooter down to the
beach and then manhandle it out through the surf, all while
wearing a rubber suit, SCUBA tank, and long diving fins. We were
all tired after this ordeal, but the trek had just begun. We had
to ride the scooters a mile off shore, through the rough sea, to
the dive spot. We eventually began the dive and commenced our
search for the elusive manta rays we had come so far to see.
They turned out to be very elusive, as we never did find them.
To add to the adventure two of our scooters broke down during
This meant the scooterless divers had to hold on to
the ankles of the drivers with scooters so we could continue our
fruitless search. Eventually we gave up and returned to the spot
we had first descended into our underwater world. At this point
Alex got very seasick. When we reached the surface, he was very
ill. To make matters worse, as we began to limp-back to shore,
Alex's leg cramped up. We eventually made it back to shore where
I had to haul Alex from the churning sea to the safety of the
sandy beach, what a day.
Diving at Lahaina
April 18-19, 2011: SCUBA at Molokini
Monday was a lazy day spent at the resort,
soaking up sunshine, swimming in the ocean, lounging around the
pool, reading our books, and sharing travel stories; not much
more to say, other than it was a terrific time spent relaxing.
Unfortunately, Alex's cramped calf was unimproved since his
ill-fated diving accident on Sunday. He soldiered on with barely
enough strength to lift his Mai Tai to his parched lips.
On Tuesday, Alex was still unfit for diving so Julia replaced him
on our planned dive trip to the famous dive-site Molokini.
both got up at 5:30 to make our 6:30 start at the boat dock.
Soon we found ourselves on a boat filled with snorkelers and
divers, cruising slowly away from Maui to the tiny atoll of
Molokini. Julia enjoyed her snorkeling there and I had a blast
on the dive. The visibility under the water was at least 200
feet, which is astounding! The submerged world was strewn with
coral, overflowing with fish, and we even encountered a white
tip shark once again.
Our next dive site, appropriately called
Turtle Ghetto, had us swimming with the big green critters up
close and personal. The visibility was not as good as Molokini,
but it was a great dive.
Diving at Molokini
April 20-22, 2011: Hana and Haleakala
On Wednesday, we drove to Hana, which is on
the wet and tropical side of the island. Actually, Maui is
really two islands each with its own volcano and joined by an
isthmus. We have been staying on the smaller of the two parts of
Maui and today we drove to the larger bit.
Hana receives a lot more rain than the rest
of the island and this makes it very lush and tropical.
the day touring, walking on frozen lava shores washed by the
blue Pacific, and swimming at a wonderful cove enclosed by black
lava cliffs. We were on constant lookout for the four Bees:
bathrooms, beaches, and banana bread. The banana bread was very
We all took it easy on Thursday and spent the
day in a private cabana overlooking the beach at the hotel.
took turns swimming in the warm ocean. The highlight of the day
was the surf. Huge waves tore into the beach with tremendous
force and caused Alex to lose his sunglasses in the bubbling
surf, and poor Holly sprained her ankle. I too had my sunnies
washed into the angry sea, but Julia, with her eagle eyesight,
spotted them on the sandy seafloor. We figure the chances of me
losing my glasses and then finding them again was so slim that
it could not happen, but it did. This must prove the existence
On Friday Holly was still hobbling about on
her injured ankle so she and Alex decided to spend another day
at the beach resting. Julia and I, on the other hand, drove to
the highest point on Maui, Haleakala. This still active,
10,023-foot volcano created this paradise. We walked down from
the edge of the massive crater, 1,700 feet, to wander about the
pumice stone, volcanic glass, and basalt world of cinder cones
and lava flows. This was a spectacular hike!
We are off to Australia now, bye, bye Hawaii, Holly and Alex.