Stuff That Works - Part Two of Hawaii visit.

Oahu continued - the Pinders told us about a sunset sail from the
beach at Waikiki. 2 hours sailing for $40 each. DONE! I spent most of the
time up on the bow looking for whales.
Here is the lot of us captured by one of the friendly crew guys (they did
flips over the bow of the boat just to keep us on our toes). NO - I am not
trying to audition for Look Like A Pirate Day - I am trying to keep
the sun from frying my scalp.

One of several gorgeous sunset shots Julie took on our sail.
(Note: The underlined, LARGE printing below contain LINKS to places mentioned.)

Duke's has been a staple in Honolulu since before Hawaii 5-0.
Julie was thrilled to eat here because she had a menu from Duke's that her folks
brought back from Hawaii way back...when a steak was two bucks.
We had a great meal - more fresh fish - after our sail.

Tom and Vick enjoy a pre-sail brew at Duke's.

One more shot of a "crowded" beach on Oahu that Vic took us to visit.
I decided NOT to swim here on account of the appearance of little box jelly fish.
(We don't have those in Lake Michigan.)

So then we went to Maui.
Okay - we pretty much had our minds blown on Oahu. We loved it.
Everyone who ever said Hawaii is paradise was spot on.
In my opinion, Maui is even better.
Maui is more laid back - you will not find the incredible shopping that you
find in downtown Honolulu - but there are natural wonders in abundance.
One of the days we explored Twin Falls.
Help - this place is so beautiful it is insane. Twin Falls is located on property that
contains a working farm. And they let the pubic IN....FREE!
Julie and I got separated from Vic n Tom (we were lolly gagging)
but we ended up on a trail that took us to this slice of heaven:
A freshwater pool fed by a waterfall!
I had to swim - here I am looking up at the brave folks making the jump.
When we got back to the car, Vic and Tom were waiting with some fresh fruit
smoothies from the FARM STAND at the entrace. Delicious.

I am in awe of the people who own the Twin Falls land. For them to make such a treasure available to the public is simply fantastic. Someone we talked to about the place said it is owned "by a bunch of hippies" - if that is the case, then we need more hippies.


That day I completed a wonderful Trifecta of Swimming.
I swam in this freshwater pool in the morning, body surfed
in the Pacific in the afternoon and dipped in the pool before dinner than night.

One day Julie and I took off to explore on Hwy 30. There are lot of switchbacks
and the rented mini-van was chugging up and up. Along the way Julie kept making
comparrisons to Hwy 1 out of San Francisco (used to be her favorite place
on the planet). After a couple of stops and more fantastic views of the surf pounding
lava cliffs with the occasional whale dance Julie declared this to be her
new Favorite Place on the Planet.

Speaking of Cliff's - imagine my surprise to find a warning sign about me.
(On my first visit???)

We went further and further on 30 until we saw this in the distance, so we drove closer to get this picture. Then we saw a small billboard for "the best banana bread in the world" and thought we might venture even further after Hwy 30 ended and then we decided..maybe not.

The road after this part becomes 1 lane with blind corners. We started - but both of us got a little too nervous negotiating the turns in a rented van (gimme my KLR 650 and I would be ALL over this road). You can see some of the tough parts here: SKINNY ROAD.

Julie thought there was not enough room in the kitchen for her to join in.
Why would she get that impression??

Julie on deck.
For our last day we scheduled a snorkel whale watch cruise with the great
people at The Pacific Whale Foundation. Wow - wow - wow.
I have not snorkeled in 30 years and when I DID snorkel, it was
in lakes in Michigan - with about 5 feet of visibility. You can see about 200 to 250 feet in the Pacific. Big Difference.
I did not take this picture of these Humuhumu-eleele (aka Black Durgeon Triggerfish) but this is exactly what I swam into right after I left the boat to snorkel at Molokini Crater. I just about pooped my suit - they were all over the place, I was in the middle of a school of them. I was breathing so fast it is a wonder I didn't pass out. It took me awhile to get truly comfortable, but after a few minutes I was diving below the surface and clearing my snorkel with no problem. It was fantastic - like swimming in a huge aquarium.

There is nothing that compares to seeing a 40 ton whale doing a water wheelie.
I remember listening to the Songs of The Humpback Whale on vinyl when I was a kid and reading all about these amazing creatures in National Geographic. What a treat to see them in person. You can listen to some whale songs here.

Captain Snorkel Dork. This was taken right before I went swimming at the second stop of the morning with sea turtles. Amazing. Did you know they can stay down for up to 5 hours?

I cannot say enough about the people from the Pacific Whale Foundation and their eco-cruises. They were friendly and shared their knowledge of Hawaii and Maui as well as giving us a ton of information about the Pacific Ocean around Maui and all the cool things that live there. The captain gave us some great bonus time when he spotted several adult turtles in the middle of the bay. Julie got the picture of the one above.
Hawaii is everything you have heard about it. The people are wonderful - the natural beauty is astounding - you go from desert to tropics to the beach in a mile or two. If you have an opportunity to go there in your lifetime - do it.

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