Day 2 - February 8
Day two began on the beach with a newspaper and a cup of Kona Blend coffee before I headed to Maui Dive Shop in Whaler's Village to pick up my snorkel gear.
Today's snorkeling destination was Kahekili Beach, which I had read about extensively, and seen from my hotel room, but never done. That was a mistake I would soon correct. I gathered up the snorkeling gear and walked down the beach about 300 yards. Once I was clear of shore, it was immediately apparent that this is a great place to snorkel, with a reef that starts close to the beach and extends north and south for several hundred yards.
One of the real treats of this snorkeling excursion was that I was able to hear whales singing while my head was under the water. Amazing!
I spent a short time sunbathing afterwards (half an hour max early in the trip to minimize burning) while starting my next book, this one about Evans Carlson and the 2nd Raider Battalion in WW2. I find that much of my reading in the islands revolves around the Pacific War, and I brought 3 books on the subject with me on this trip to continue the tradition.
With my sun time maxed out for the day, I retreated to the bar area to read, until it was time to walk to the Westin for my 80 minute Lomi-Lomi massage. I've tried the Westin and the Sheraton spas, and far prefer the Westin one. One complaint - the Westin used to have these awesome Yakuta robes that were almost as pleasurable to wear as the massage was to receive. They've discontinued them in favor of the "official" robes of the Heavenly Spa which are apparently in use all over the country. Huge mistake, in my opinion, especially as I was continually adjusting this one to cover my private parts while in the holding area.
I walked back to the hotel at sunset and caught the cliff dive ceremony at the Sheraton on the way. 24 hours down, and I was firmly into Maui mode.
Drinks and dinner at the hotel before spending some time on the beach contemplating the universe while my Maui mix played on the iPhone.
Day 3 - February 9
Headed north to Honolua Bay, a place that has fascinated me since I saw it on the inside cover of a Guidebook That Shall Not Be Named. Don't judge me, MsFuzz! I like the pretty pictures, and the snorkeling info is helpful. I also appreciate their writing style.
Unfortunately, despite the surf report on omaui.com that indicated calm seas at Honolua, the wave action was enough that I didn't feel comfortable going in, especially as I was a single, and there were few people around. I have no problem snorkeling solo in calm seas when there are people around, but I'm not foolish enough to do it without the possibility of help in uncertain conditions.
I headed back to Kaanapali and stopped at Kahekili again. Lesson learned - way easier to park in the lot than it is to lug all the snorkel gear up the beach from the Royal Lahaina.
Spent 45 minutes in the water, heard whales, yada, yada, yada. Did see a trumpet fish that looked like it was three feet long. The ocean was really calm, which made for very clear water almost immediately off the beach.
The balance of the morning was spent sunbathing and reading. I was careful to head inside after about an hour, as I didn't want to ruin my vacation with a sunburn, no matter how good the sun's rays felt.
I spent the rest of the day near either the main bar or the new Barefoot Bar, closer to the ocean. They've taken out some bushes and grass and put down an area of sand with three bar-type tables there. Fantastic idea, and very well executed.