Thursday, January 26, 2012

                                Monk Seal
What luck! Just as we were arriving at our favorite beach, Hamoa, a Hawaiian monk seal was swimming in the waves and moving closer to shore. Determined to beach itself, it waddled up about ten feet and lay there.
Initially, I thought illness or injury, but Amy knew better. It came to take a nap, as is the habit of the monk seal. Shortly after the monk seal settled down, police came and set up yellow barrier tape. When we left the beach, it was still snoozing in the sun.
The monk seal, endemic to Hawaii, is on the critically endangered list, and only 1,100 exist.

Monday, January 16, 2012

                             Hana -Where We Live

Hana is unlike any other part of Maui. Although there are beaches (at least 5 that are swimmable) there are no beach resorts, no high rises (a two story home is as big as it gets) no jet ski rentals, no surf shops, no Burger Kings or any other type of franchise.
On the far eastern end of Maui, the local community of Hana works hard to maintain its identity, its culture.
It is unlike much of the rest of the island which, we are told, is nothing like it was 20 years ago.
To a large part this lack of development is because of the difficulty of getting here. The Hana Highway is world-known for its beauty and its treacherous nature.

But once the tourists get here (and for some unknown reason they come in either Mustang convertibles or silver Jeeps -Why? I don’t know) there is just not much for those who are thrill seekers to do.
I overheard one tourist getting out of his ubiquitous Mustang ask, “This is why we drove all this way, banana bread?”

The beauty of Hana is not showy; it’s in its simplicity, and it takes time to see it.

                      Much of Hana is land for beef cows to be sold stateside.

One travel brochure described this as Hana's "mall." It consists of a gift shop, a small restaurant, the post office, and the bank which is open for an hour and a half a day.
                    The Hasegawa General Store, serving Hana since 1910.

                                Some of the coastline is rugged rock
and some is beautiful beach.

                                                    -more to follow-

Friday, January 13, 2012

You may have heard of breadfruit as the metaphorical source of the mutiny on the Bounty.  Today while walking through a breadfruit grove, we found one on the ground.  It was a bright green with a pebbly texture. Weighing approximately twelve pounds, it was at the time, only slightly sappy sticky. This would change.
             We inquired why we had never seen one for sale in the local stores, as they are clearly abundant in the area.  We can now only surmise it is because of its extreme stickiness.

Cutting it into quarters was a task, but nothing compared to the cleanup afterward. Like the pinesap back home of our local firs, I thought only a quality turpentine would cut the goo.
So Amy cut it up smaller and put the chunks, like winter squash, into a large pot to boil.

The breadfruit is a pasty starch, slightly sweet and thickly heavy, that when swallowed falls to the bottom of the stomach. We couldn’t help but think of what an ideal food this would be for the starving masses of the world, as the one we had chopped up would seem to feed at least three dozen at a pop.
            If we had a family of thirty to feed, this would be on the menu.  But even though it had more flavor than potatoes, we tossed the bulk of it, as it was too heavy and not worth the chore, and I came away agreeing: Fletcher had made the right choice.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Haleakala Volcano
Our highlight for the weekend was seeing the sunrise from the top of the Haleakala Volcano.

Unlike many volcanoes, like Mt. St. Helens and Vesuvius, Haleakala did not have an explosive eruption, but rather the hot lava bubbled to the top and flowed down.  The best guess is that this last happened circa 1790.  The hole on top is immense, made largely by erosion and big enough to hold all of Manhattan Island.

Much of the landscape around looked like pictures of the moon. Only the hardiest of plant life survives.

Monday, January 2, 2012

         Wai’anapanapa (Why-a-nah-pah Nah Pah) Black Sand Beach

This black sand beach is the only black sand beach in Maui. The sand was formed when the lava flowed into the sea and shattered on contact. This beach will not last forever. Unlike most sand, which is formed from coral and shells which replenish, this sand will eventually be pulled out to sea.


Walking through the lava path feels unworldly