Our favourites stories and adventures of Hawaii
02.03.2011 - 15.04.2011 29 °C
We also have to share some of our favourite highlights from Hawaii:
Avoiding the Tsunami on March 11
We spent the evening of March 10 on a lovely sunset dinner cruise.
The sunset was beautiful and we had a great time aboard the boat as it cruised around Maui. After the cruise, we drove through the streets of Lahaina with the roof down on the convertible, rocking out to some tunes on the radio.
Suddenly the music was interrupted by a service announcement which told us that there had been a massive earthquake in Japan and there was a Tsunami warning for the Hawaiian Islands, expected to hit at 3 am! The mood of the evening quickly changed, as we got home and turned on the news and went online to find out what was happening. Soon after Jesse called his parents, to make sure they knew what was happening and to start making calls to his relatives back home in Japan, who are all living around the Tokyo area.
The house we were staying in backed right onto the ocean, so there was no question that we needed to evacuate.
Fortunately we had several hours before the tsunami was expected to arrive so we made sure to fill up with gas (the line ups were crazy) and everyone packed up a few important personal items. We took some water, fruit and granola bars and headed to Wailea, which is another town on the south-western coast of Maui, higher up from the ocean. Friends of the family, Kevin and Angela were with us at the time, and Kevin’s parents had a condo in Wailea, so we spent the night there. We eagerly watched the news until about 1 am and then woke up again around 3 am to find out what was happening.
Thankfully, the waves in Lahaina were only about 7 ft high so most of the damage was to the harbour. Damage was minimal to other areas of the islands as well. We headed home as soon as the roads re-opened that morning. We expected to find the kayak in our backyard gone and washed away at sea – but somehow it still managed to stay!
Water did hit the entire backyard, but did not make it to the house. Besides soaking the grass and the plants, no damage was done to our property. The only odd thing was that the ocean would either be really low (the lowest we’ve ever seen it) or really high (the highest we’ve ever seen it, with water hitting the stone wall and splashing up with great force) – and it would change from one state to the other in a matter of a few minutes. Good thing the guys got out of there quickly!
Thankfully we soon heard from all of Jesse’s relatives, who were safe, but did feel the massive earthquake and who still continue to feel aftershocks. There are 150 miles away from the nuclear reactors – which is a good distance away, but we still hope that they are able to rectify that situation as soon as possible.
Helicopter tour over Maui and Molokai
One afternoon, we decided to check out Maui from another angle – the air! We headed up in a 7 person helicopter with Aunty Laura and Jim (Jacq’s Dad).
The views were breathtaking!
We checked out the coastline of Maui
Then headed over the ocean to Molokai, another nearby island, which have the steepest sea cliffs in the world!
Along with flying through the clouds we also saw some waterfalls as well.
We also checked out the island of Lanai before heading back to Maui.
Trip to Honolulu, Oahu
We took a short flight aboard Hawaiian airlines – less than 30 minutes! Along the way there, we had a beautiful view flying over the islands while we drank our complimentary “POG.”
In Honolulu, we stayed at the Ala Moana Hotel, which is steps away from the Ala Moana Shopping Centre, the worlds’ largest open mall. As you’d expect – we did a bit of shopping there!
As well as checking out Waikiki Beach...
We also took the scenic hike up to Diamond Head, which is a large crater that was used as a Military Base.
It’s a steep hike that takes about 2 hours round trip – and we found out that about 100 people a year don’t make it due to dehydration or exhaustion, in which case, they need to be rescued by helicopter.
But we made it up and saw the beautiful views of Waikiki Beach and downtown Honolulu.
We also spent one day checking out Pearl Harbour, which was a humbling experience.
After touring the facilities, we caught a boat over to see the Arizona Memorial. Built over the sunken battleship, the USS Arizona, it pays respect to the 900 men who are entombed within the sunken ship.
To this day, over 60 years later, the boat continues to drip oil into the harbour, which Hawaiian’s believe to symbolize teardrops coming from the ship.
In Honolulu, we also checked out some delicious restaurants, including California Pizza Kitchen, and we couldn’t miss hitting up Zippy’s – one of Hawaii’s oldest restaurant chains, to grab a zip pac.
After our trip to Honolulu, we headed back to the island of Maui.
Deep sea fishing
In Maui, we had the opportunity to do some deep sea fishing. You may recall when we were back in Fiji, that WOMEN were not allowed to go fishing... well in Hawaii, women’s fishing rights made leaps and bounds!! Jacq was invited on the fishing trip along with 5 of the guys! Mark this day down in history!!
Aboard the fishing boat, everyone was excited to start catching some large fish! Blue Marlin was the ultimate goal, but we’d be happy with Ono, Yellowfin Tuna or any other type of Marlin!
We soon learned that fishing was a lot about waiting, and for some of us.... NAPPING.
What does it take to “start” these guys up?!
After a few hours, when we began feeling like we should just about give up, we got a bite on the line! Jim gets ready in the chair and starts reeling in our big catch!
The captain and his skip aren’t sure what kind of fish it may be – is it behaving like an Ono? OH NO... it’s not behaving like a fish at all! Jim’s fighting it and finally reels it in to find.....
A BIG BLUE FISHING NET!
Not really the catch we were hoping for, but it sure was exciting!
Now ladies, if you’re curious about what goes on in a fishing trip, here’s what you’ll learn:
-most of the time you are either sleeping or snacking
- more “fishing” goes on in the cooler... that’s right “fishing” for beer
I’ve come to the conclusion that fishing is similar to Sunday night football – where the guys are just watching the game, drinking beer, snacking and taking the occasional nap!! Are we surprised?!!
Joking aside – thanks Pops for inviting me on the trip!
==Heading up to the dormant volcano Haleakala==
On the island of Maui, the highest elevation on the island belongs to the dormant volcano, Haleakala. It is 10,300 ft above sea level and it takes about an hour and a half to drive up to the summit. Many people come to check it out at sunrise, driving up the winding road very early in the morning in the dark. We decided that it would be fun to check it out at sunset as well as sunrise, and camp out overnight half way down.
The road up was an amazing drive! We drove away from the beach and hot and humid weather, to soon feel a cooler climate, with lush vegetation. As we climbed higher in altitude, we begin driving through thick fog and a beautiful eucalyptus forests which smelled delicious!
Once inside the park, we headed towards Homner Grove, our campsite for the evening.
We set up camp, in our $40 K-Mart tent, which worked like a charm!
Setting our beds upon lounge cushions, we were soon ready to head up to the summit in order to check out sunset.
Along the way, we saw some Nene birds, Hawaii’s state bird, including a mother and her baby chicks crossing the road!
Part way up, there were some scenic viewpoints to check out. This also was a good time for us to put some more clothes on! The temperature would drop about 5 degrees F for each 100 ft you would drive up!
After driving up a few more hundred feet, we were soon at the summit, taking in the beautiful view of the crater and peak of Mt. Haleakala.
It felt as if you were in an airplane, as you were high above the clouds.
There was also interesting plants up there – some which grow nowhere else in the world.
The car thermometer said it was about 50 degrees F (10 degrees C), but the wind made it even colder! We huddled up in our beach chairs to watch the sunset!
After sunset, we headed down to our campsite. For dinner, we had a fancy dinner consisting of hot dogs and instant noodle soup! Of course, we had to make s’mores before calling it a night! Since the temperature was still chilly here, we wore three pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, and sweatshirts – as well as heating some waterbottles to put in our blankets! It worked and we were nice and toasty warm the entire night!
The alarm woke us up at 5 am and soon we were up and in the car – travelling the same winding road the day before, except this time in the dark!
When we arrived to the top, the scene was very different than the day before. It was PACKED with people!
We found a spot to stand and along with about an hundred others, waited for the sun to rise.
It was beautiful! At one point, a cloud was pouring into the crater, making it look like a waterfall.
The sky became brighter as time went on – at some points there were pink clouds in the sky.
When the sun finally rose, looking behind us, you could see the shadow of the peak. It was unbelievable!
==Taking the ferry over to Lanai’i==
One morning we decided to take the Ferry over to Lanai, to check out another one of Hawaii’s island.
We were told by some locals that it has one of the nicest naturally made beaches there, with great snorkelling – so decided to spend the day at the beach!
It was a scenic 45 minute ride over to Lanai.
Once we arrived we headed to the beach, which was amazing!
Before we know it, there are spinner dolphins swimming in the bay near the beach.
We took a few pictures before heading into the water. Unfortunately we were too slow and the dolphins were gone before we could swim out to them!
We had an amazing time in Hawaii – and will be back again for sure, hopefully sooner than later! It was a perfect place to have as our last stop in our travel adventures.
Thanks to our readers for taking the time to read about our travels over the past several months. Our advice to anyone who is thinking about travelling.... DO IT! It was an amazing experience – one that we’ll never forget.