Dateline: Maui — island-to-island in the winter

Posted March 18, 2013 at 11:49 pm by

We left nothing but footprints in the warm Maui sand....

We left noth­ing but foot­prints in the warm Maui sand.…

As luck, for­tune, and tim­ing some­times pro­vide, Josie & I got to spend a cou­ple of weeks on Maui last month, and it was fun to com­pare their island with ours, and, even there, to con­nect with island friends from here. 

Here’s a bit about what hap­pened, and some obser­va­tions about dif­fer­ences between them & us:

The occa­sion of our mak­ing the trip was to attend a whale con­fer­ence (Whale Tales it’s called, put on by Whale Trust from Maui — here are pho­tos of the event), Josie’s 50th birth­day, and to just take a vaca­tion (we remem­ber our last one in 2008 fondly).

So, we spent a lot of time in the sand, walk­ing ’round Lahaina, check­ing out his­to­ry stuff so we could report to Kevin at the His­tor­i­cal Muse­um how Hawaii does it, whale watch­ing, lis­ten­ing to music & watch­ing tra­di­tion­al dance, and read­ing a bunch.

We weren't the only ones - Jon & Donna Tegnell (left) met us for her birthday as well, the morning before they headed back to San Juan Island...)

We weren’t the only ones — islanders Jon & Don­na Teg­nell (left) met us for her birth­day as well, the morn­ing before they head­ed back to San Juan Island…)

There are some ways how peo­ple in Lahaina do things, com­pared to us:

I got to sing a few at "Cheesebuger in Paradise," looking over the ocean with warm breezes.....

I got to sing a few at “Cheese­buger in Par­adise,” look­ing over the ocean with warm breezes.….

•  Almost every eat­ing place had live music — it was cool to see & hear so many folks singing in the cafés at night. Not all Jim­my Buf­fet songs, either — wide range of work.

• They have traf­fic lights (unlike us) but not that many. Slow mov­ing traf­fic through Front Street there, as peo­ple in cars wait­ing for peo­ple on foot (us) to cross the street.

You can tell the dri­vers apart, just like in Fri­day Har­bor: locals let the peo­ple cross the street, and vis­i­tors might, or might not.

On one trip we took, the crew said they had "guaranteed whales" & let us take a picture of it.....

On one trip we took, the crew said they had “guar­an­teed whales” & let us take a pic­ture of it.….

• Won­der­ful stuff in the gal­leries along Front Street there, with sales folks who are tons more aggres­sive than our town gallery sales peo­ple — “So, which piece would fit in your liv­ing room?” and “Which of our pieces is going home with you today?”

Got­ta say I pre­fer the Fri­day Har­bor laid-back way, but it was easy to appre­ci­ate the Maui deter­mi­na­tion, too.….

• It’s cool the way folks there all say “Alo­ha!” to greet or say good­bye to you, and “Maha­lo!” to say thank you.…kind of reminds me of the Lopez wave, because vis­i­tors can do it & feel a bit of belonging.

It would be cool if we could come up with some sim­i­lar San Juan Island greet­ings, like maybe “May island winds blow you gen­tly ashore,” or maybe “May the mem­o­ry of the island sum­mer sun warm you, all win­ter long,” or “Wow, how late was your fer­ry?” or some­thing, as a greet­ing, and maybe “Rock on!” as a good­bye (since we live on a rock.….)

Prob­a­bly need to put some thought into that one.

• There are some whale watch oper­a­tors who say “guar­an­teed whales” as part of their adver­tis­ing — easy enough, since you can see the hump­backs breech­ing when you’re stand­ing on the dock.

It was fun to run into former FHHS soccer player & all-time great kid Kelsey Peterman (graduated in the early 2000s) on Front Street.....

It was fun to run into for­mer FHHS soc­cer play­er & all-time great kid Kelsey Peter­man (grad­u­at­ed in the ear­ly 2000s) on Front Street.….

• We loved the way the his­to­ry (and the spir­it of the ancient Hawai­ians) is woven into just about any­where you walk.…and shared so eas­i­ly, in a way that invites vis­i­tors into explor­ing & shar­ing the way it used to be.…

• It was cool to know oth­er islanders were around — France & Chance Ear­le were there when we there, and Neil & Val Cur­tis & the kids, and peo­ple who were yelling, “Ian!” just like on Spring Street, except usu­al­ly it was about some­one else, or some mis­be­hav­ing kid.…

There was some­one who hollered “Ian!” and waved at me as they passed by in a car, but I did­n’t catch who it was — let me know if it was you, hey?

Sunsets every night (Lahaina faces west....) were an ongoing reminder of a warm evening ahead of music & friends & night waks....

Sun­sets every night (Lahaina faces west.…) were an ongo­ing reminder of a warm evening ahead of music & friends & night walks.…

Over­all, I got­ta say I became a fan — I’d nev­er been to Hawaii before & it was a great chance to sit still & relax & get fired up for the things ahead this year.…I can see why peo­ple love it!

We got a chance to go out in a research boat, and a humpback spyhopped at one end of the boat (we sat still in the water, you bet), showed her belly as she passed maybe a meter or two under the boat, then spyhopped n front of the boat to say hey to Josie, their biggest fan. Photo by Jim Darling (thanks, Jim!)

We got a chance to go out in a research boat, and a hump­back spy­hopped at one end of the boat (we sat still in the water, you bet), showed her bel­ly as she passed maybe a meter or two under the boat, then spy­hopped n front of the boat to say hey to Josie, their biggest fan. Pho­to by Jim Dar­ling (thanks, Jim!) — click on the pic­ture to see a big­ger one!

If you like, here’s a lit­tle video I made of our hump­back sight­ings, made over four trips out on the water.

Thanks for let­ting me share this with you! Cheers, Ian

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One comment...

  1. Alo­ha Ian & Josie, I enjoyed your arti­cle on my old home town. I was look­ing thru the event pho­tos and saw a few old friends includ­ing pre­vi­ous next door neigh­bors Irene & Bar­ry McPhee (who also spend time on Van­cou­ver Island) and Don­na Lid­di­cote Brown. Did you meet any of these folks? Isn’t the rooftop on Fleet­woods a neat spot? Hope you are enjoy­ing your new home. A hui hou, Mary Revercomb

    Comment by Mary Revercomb on March 23, 2013 at 8:54 am

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