Maui

In February 2004, I had the good fortune to be able to go back to Maui, accompanying my husband, Neil, who had to go there on business. We flew United from London Heathrow to San Francisco, spent a couple of hours in the sunshine on a bench outside the terminal and then flew on to Kahului Maui. We picked up a hire car and drove to the Maui Prince Hotel (www.mauiprince.com) in Makena on the South shore, near Wailea and Kihei. The Maui Prince is a lovely hotel, set in its own grounds and we awoke on Sunday morning to the sight and sound of the Pacific Ocean outside our bedroom.

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Golf at the Maui Prince Hotel

We decided to play golf on the Makena South course that Sunday, which was the day of the Rose Bowl competition, so the course was quiet. Both the South and North courses are beautiful, but the South is the more interesting of the two. We managed another game on the Dunes at Maui Lani course, which also has some stunning holes and isn't quite so expensive as the Makena courses.

Learning to scuba dive

During the week, while my husband attended the conference (dawn till dusk in a room with no windows) I took the opportunity to learn how to dive. I really enjoyed this and it's opened up a whole new world for me. By the end of the week I had become an SDI certified scuba diver. I loved it so much that I persuaded Neil that we should go diving in the Red Sea a few months later and hopefully we'll go again before the end of the year.

Sailing with Trilogy

I took another boat trip to Lanai with Trilogy (www.sailtrilogy.com), like I do most times I visit Maui. A humpback whale mother and calf came very close to the boat. It was a fantastic experience. I also took time to go to my favourite beach, Little Beach further along the coast from Makena, in the direction of La Perouse Bay.

Haleakala

It was the first trip that we didn't manage to make our usual trek to the top of Haleakala to see the sunrise over Hawaii, the Big Island. Last year we cycled down the volcano from 10,000 feet to sea level with the company Maui Downhill, based in Kahului (www.mauidownhill.com). It was fantastic, there is a 300m stretch you have to pedal, apart from that it's freewheeling all 30 miles to the sea at Paia.

Blue Water Rafting

We took a trip with Blue Water Rafting (www.bluewaterrafting.com) along the Kaniola Coast, to do some snorkelling and to photograph the fantastic lava formations. This is the second year we've done this and it really is fun.

Ululena

Neil refused to let me near the Elan Vital gallery in the Shops At Wailea (www.elanvitalgalleries) so I opted for an evening at the Maui Theatre in Lahaina watching "Ulalena" (www.ulalena.com), the best show in Maui, followed by dinner.

Hang-gliding

We also travelled the Road to Hana. Yet again we took this incredible 52-mile journey, rounding 617 curves and over 56 bridges, most of them single track. The scenery is stunning. We did things a little differently this time, when we got to Hana Airport we did some powered hang-gliding with a very pleasant chap called Armin Engert (www.hangglidingmaui.com). This was fantastic, we flew over the ocean, watching Whales below us, over Haleakala's crater and 4000 feet into the clouds, at which point we killed the engine and hang-glided back to the airport. This was a trip not to be missed and one we'll be repeating when we go back to Maui.

Maui Revealed

I bought a really good book from Armin called "Maui Revealed" by Andrew Doughty & Harriett Friedman, ISBN 0-9717279-0-2. See their web-site at www.wizardpub.com/ for this book and others dedicated to the other main Hawaiian Islands. You can either search www.amazon.com for these books, or buy this one from Armin when you're there.

Mama's fish restaurant

We spent an easy afternoon at the Black Sand beach, between the airport and Hana town, before making the return trip along the Hana Highway. On the way back we stopped off at the fantastic Mama's Fish Restaurant in Kuau cove near Paia (www.mamsfishhouse.com) for a meal that was expensive, but out of this world.

Last bit of excitement

After that it was on to Kahului airport, back to San Francisco, on to New York, where I had an incident with security. We had a 1-hour wait for the connection, so I asked one of the airport security people if it was OK to go outside the terminal for some fresh air. He said "yes" so off I went. I didn't realise that I needed my passport to get back to the departure lounge. Neil was panicking, getting them to page me on the tannoy system. Eventually after 2 or 3 (almost full) body searches I was escorted to the plane. After that bit of excitement it was a 6-hour flight back to London Heathrow and the gloomy winter weather of England.

Summary of dives on Maui
DateDepth (m) Time (min) EANx Maui Dive
1 Jan 8.0 46 - Maui Prince - First ever dive, turtles, frogfish, pencil urchins
1 Jan 6.5 24 - Maui Prince - working on my skills
1 Jan 6.5 19 - Maui Prince - working on my skills
1 Jan 7.0 24 - Maui Prince - turtles, but mainly concentrating on tests
1 Jan12.3 40 - Turtle Town (Maui Prince) - zipped around using an underwater scooter, loads of turtles

Sue - March 2004

 
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