Posted: Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008
Next Estimated Earliest Posting: Before Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008 when the cruise ends
Our last stop on this cruise was a dream. It was short, as I mentioned in my last writing, but it was very interesting. First of all the town of Lahaina, the port we had to take tenders to get to, is located on the west coast of Maui. Maui is the second largest in the volcanic Hawaiian Islands archipelago. It is the third most populated (following Oahu, which we left yesterday, and “Big Island” Hawaii). Now Lahaina is the most populated town on Maui, and “grows” to 40,000 people during the peak tourist season, so you see it is really a small, quaint town located at the base of these volcanoes. The town was a famous provision stop for whalers and in 1846 over 400 ships called at the port, more or less the height of its success. With the whalers, it was rowdy and raucous, but today it has been cleaned up and rebuilt into a lovely quiet village with one shop after another along “Front Street”, its principal street at the port. All around the island’s edge you have lovely resorts, with tourists being able to swim, snorkel, or dive in its crystal clear water or take trips up into its volcanoes, the largest of which is “Haleakala” a 10,023 ft. volcano that is dormant, but not extinct.
When I got up in the morning it was pouring down rain and I thought the day would be a disaster, but as soon as Susy got up and stepped on the tender the day changed to sunny, with a cool breeze as if to say “we’re going to give you a royal Hawaiian sendoff or else”.
If you will go to the photo album above titled “Lahaina, Maui, Hawaiian Islands” I’ll try and take you through our short stay. As I said we stepped into the tender and so my first photo has to be of Susy in the tender. With that smile you know we are going to have a good day. The second photo is our now familiar port sign to prove we were there. As we stepped out of the tender we entered a small park that was covered by a Banyan Tree 150 years old. The third photo is a far view of the park completely covered by the Banyan tree and its branches which look like other tree trunks but in reality spring from the roots of the main trunk. The fourth photo shows the main trunk. Now, you will have to forgive the fifth photo, but Susy made me take it, she said this guy was a passenger after 60 days at sea on a cruise ship (no comment).
As we walked along Front Street, we came across another Maui Divers store, which is the Pearl store we had gotten a free ride to yesterday in Honolulu. I didn’t say anything but yesterday Susy had paid a small fee to open an oyster and keep any pearl she found. It turned out that she opened two yesterday and found one pearl in one oyster and two (twins, which is very unusual) in the other. Getting back to the Lahaina Maui Divers store as we strolled by a lady from the store said she would let us open an oyster free (the game is to get you to put your pearl in a ring, neck lass, or ear ring setting, which can be expensive). Susy said OK and this time I filmed the whole process. The sixth photo shows you the oyster bucket they choose the oysters from and the seventh photo shows you Susy going through the ceremony before opening the oyster. Hold on to your hats, because Susy opened the first free one and got twins (2) again. We were all happy and the lady asked to give it another try for free, so Susy did, and, you won’t believe it, got another set of twins. Now I have all of this on film, but as short movies, so if I can I’ll make the two openings into one movie and post it later. Susy couldn’t believe it and was in seventh heaven the rest of the day. Wait until you see the pearls, they are beautiful.
Now again just to show you that I was there, tagging along behind Susy, I had her take my picture (8th photo). We had heard about an excellent art gallery along the way so we stopped in and spent a lot of time looking at some of the best art we have seen in a long time. Two artists stood out, one painted pictures that were so real they were better than photos. The other I wanted to show you (9th photo) painted visions. The artist is a Hawaiian, who shows in this painting a musician seeing a vision of another great ukulele player. She does many painting with these visions in them, taking her almost a year to do each one. I had never seen visions painting before, so for me it was a first. Don’t ask about the costs of these painting, we did about one and that was enough, they’re in the thousands.
Since it was a short day (we left at 2 PM), we tendered back to the ship and went to the rear pool deck for the sail away party. The view from the deck of the island was spectacular (10th photo) and in the eleventh photo you see Susy getting off her last minute phone calls with the island in the back ground. In the 12th and 13th photos you see shots of the pool and party along with the view and the last photo (14th) a look again at this beautiful, paradise island as we sail away.
In the next three days I’ll try to get off a short Blog, but if not I’ll see or talk to you all soon.
Onward to San Diego and home.
Aloha, Love you All,
Gary (alias Gagu)