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day three - South Maui, etc

La Costa, California
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day three - South Maui, etc


South Maui etc

Ok I'm getting used to the timezone now so I'm not waking up quite as early to write. I had told a friend here on TA I might just post a departure day, then a end of trip, but everyone seems to like the daily ones, and actually probably best to get it done - last year I put off writing entirely. Well, maybe a bit more brief, but......

The day started out like yesterday Kona latte on our lanai. We got ready and got on the road to South Maui. Now most of my fellow TA members probably know that we love west Maui. Part is of course that our first trip was to west Maui and so it's how we discovered the island, but also, I love the feel of older hawaii. Napili Kai has been here for 50 years and walking down the path to our room through the very mature gardens, with the beach on your right, and the West Maui mountains above you to the left, is something that moves me, it is a special place.

That said, we always visit south Maui. The bustle of Kihei may be a bit like the beach towns where we live, and the gorgeous Wailea, and serene Makenna, well, its safe to say I love South Maui too.

We drove down 30 and honestly, for some reson I had forgotten how beautiful it is coming down through the tunnel and through Maalea with the morning sun sparkling on the water. We took 31 south as we were heading to my favorite two places to snorkel in South Maui - Moanakala, and Maluaka which are both in the Makenna area.

Moanakala, also known as the dumps, is a spot for the experienced snorkeller. I feel the need to say that because much of the reserve down here has been closed to snorkellling because of overuse.

When we got there I saw a couple with a clipboard and they approached another couple. I was reminded of a couple I had met years ago at Kapalua Bay the young lady being our own msfuzz.

There are these people who volunteer their time to help educate about the reef and the need for preservation and I do think it needs to be said, maybe a bit more often here on trip advisor.

Anyway, after walking down the lava rock "path", I was bummed out to see waves crashing up on the spot I enter and choppy water throughout. When I got down there I asked another guy and he said it was OK, he had been out. The waves did calm and I went out and snorkelled the reef on the left and the center. It was nice, but the water was not as clear as it was last year and so i didn't quite get the wow factor I did last year from this colorful reef.

We picked up and headed back north to Maluaka Beach, which is directly in front of the Makenna Beach anf Golf Resort. Now don't let any of my South Maui friends hear me say this but Maluaka is my favorite beach in South Maui, and just maybe in all of Maui. What a combination of wide soft sand swimming beach, with the spectacular coral reef on the left.

I went out to the left and was very happy to find the water so much clearer here. I snorkelled out and around and met a guy who dove down and brought up a "sea star" for me to look at. It was round, off white with red splashed down and the perfect star lined across its top. He told me he lives on maui and I thought wow, if only......

I saw off to the left, past the point, and out maybe 150 yds, there were two boats and kayakers watching the sea turtles. I thought I'd like to swim out, but I was already maybe 200 yds out and the turtle town was in the open water, and kinda rough as I said. So I decided not to.

Someone asked about snorkelling alone and so I'll mention this. Though you often hear to snorkel with a buddy, I almost always snorkel alone, so did the guy I met, and maybe a third of everyone I see out there, it's just the way it is. Snorkelling is an easy and safe thing for an experienced swimmer, but you need to know ocean conditions and the fact that they can change - you kinda have to be your own buddy. At the dumps I saw the conditions, and asked another snorkeller if it was safe, at Maluaka, I limited the distance I'd go out it's what you've got to do.

After snorkelling, we drove back north, on Kihei road this time, to (you guessed it) Coconuts Fish Cafe. I saw that they had expanded, taking over the next storefront so theres more tables now. I had the fish tacos, my wife the fish and chips. The tacos were so good I might have to come down again before we leave.

We stopped in Lahaina on the way back, looking in a few shops and going to Ululani's for a shave ice. we sat across front st. on a bench overlooking the water where we have sat in years past, no shade here, but many pleasant memories.

Back at the resort, we took a swim in one of the upper pools for the first time. There are several smaller pools at NK and you often have it to yourself. We went down for our first swim in Napili bay and like maluaka, Napili has deep soft sand - maybe still my favorite :)

A bit later I ran up to Maui Tacos for a light dinner. We sat down on the lanai and noticed the sun was just beginning to set. We got some nice pictures then I went out to get a closer view. I saw that Venus was so bright, like I've never seen before. Mamma (?) I think recently mentioned the fact that the stars are so bright. I've never seen anything like Venus last night, the picture probably doesn't capture it all, but if you look close you'll also see the red planet Mars, higher in the night sky.

As I put my camera down, a couple asked if i'd take their picture and I did, I asked where they were from and they said Minesota, and they were on their honeymoon. They had just arrived. The woman said "I can't believe how beautiful it is here" I smiled, told them of the path over to Kapalua, and said " you're going to have a great time"



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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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1. Re: day three - South Maui, etc

Dave, this is poetry! Love, love this entry. And not to diss Mamma......but it *might* have been me who mentioned the stars........last night was gorgeous and early this mornig was too.

Funny day today.........some clouds now, looks like mist coming in.........a little Kona thing. It was totally clear earlier, not even a lei over Moloka'i shoulders. Now she's nearly hiding completely!

What's on our calendar for today, Sir?

Edited: 04 September 2013, 20:04
Destination Expert
for Maui
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2. Re: day three - South Maui, etc

Finally! Been waiting for this! Love hearing about your adventures. Oh yes they will love the coastal walk :) Thank you for sharing every day! I know it can be hard, but for those of us at home...we appreciate it!!!

Kapaa, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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3. Re: day three - South Maui, etc

Glad to hear the volunteer's are back down at Moanakala, Dave. Ahihi might open up next year!! Thanks for reporting, love to hear about your adventures!!

Middleburg, Virginia
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4. Re: day three - South Maui, etc

Enjoyed this post. New Moon tonight so your stars should be fantastic again. Jealous.

Philadelphia, PA
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5. Re: day three - South Maui, etc

Dave, have you ever had the Fish Market's tacos? Just wondering how you think they compare with Coconut's, since I've never been to Coconut's. I'm only halfway through reading your post but wanted to ask :)

Philadelphia, PA
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6. Re: day three - South Maui, etc

Another nice post with good info and things to make you smile. I do love reading all TRs, but there's something special about those of the longtime returnees. Thanks for taking the time for us while you're there.


Nanaimo, Canada
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7. Re: day three - South Maui, etc

So glad to find this!

I was hoping you would stop in at Ululani's in Kihei, and tell us if you thought one was any better than the other. Maybe when you go back to Coconut's???

Glad you were able to enjoy your snorkeling, despite the conditions.

"everyone seems to like the daily ones". Absolutely! It is wonderful that you are willing to take the time to report about your adventures there. A huge thanks to Chris too, for sharing your time with us!

Ontario, Canada
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8. Re: day three - South Maui, etc

Yeah Dave.....you are doing reports. You took over where I left off....I will stay on Maui via your reports.

Your day sounds great.


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9. Re: day three - South Maui, etc

I just love daily reports! Thanks! Coconuts and ululani's for dessert sounds perfect...mouth watering!

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10. Re: day three - South Maui, etc

What an awesome ending to your report! Just made me smile and so happy you've decided to share with us daily, as we eagerly await the latest post! Your photos were wonderful and the snorkeling info was really helpful and informative. I hope to branch out to south beaches this trip, too and not just vegetate on our two or three favorites. Loved that you made your way south and enjoy that area, too. I wondered if it was an area you had explored before much. Hoping you both have a terrific day today!🌴 Deb