When looking forward to our Maui trip, one of the activities I was most excited about was catching sunsets. Sunrises too, for that matter, but because we’d mostly scheduled water activities in the early morning when the wind and waves were the calmest, we didn’t get many chances to sit and bask in the golden glow.
We were lucky: we had the most delightful sunsets to savor. Even on the cloudier days, the sun still broke through the clouds to cast ethereal shafts of light onto the water below.
On our own, we never even contemplated riding a helicopter. Our eyes were firmly to what lay beneath the surface of the waters surrounding Maui. But when we picked my parents up from the airport, they couldn’t stop raving about the incredible views they’d just seen on their helicopter ride over at Oahu (their copter had no doors, how awesome is that!).
So we booked one for the four of us, a 60 minute ride to explore the hidden valleys of West Maui and Molokai. If heli rides are a little cheaper, I’m a convert. Especially when it comes to Hawaii, where the most remote valleys are still inaccessible by road. The views of the lush green rainforests and the tall silvery ribbons of waterfalls were stupendous.
To go or not to go, that was the question. If we wanted to catch the sunrise atop the Haleakala Crater, that meant a wake up call at the ungodly hour of 2am. It was painful to contemplate. But we figured, if everyone else could do it, so could we.
So we joined the line of cars and crawled up to the summit. We arrive around 430am, with just enough cover of darkness for me to shoot off a quick shot of the milky way. I don’t think I’ve seen stars so clearly before, especially when I looked at my camera playback. They just leapt right out!
It was a sizable crowd that patiently lined the ridge, shivering in the chilly dawn air, some wrapped in blankets snitched from the hotel. It was one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve seen: we were above the clouds, as as the sun rays slowly rose above the horizon, they lighted the thick clouds with brilliant hues of orange, pink and purple.
We tried to catch as many sunsets as we could while in Maui. Caught this one off Little Beach, Kihei’s nude beach.
After a year on land, we finally made it back underwater, this time in Maui, Hawaii. Over 3 days, we dove 7 dives, all in the Southern part of Maui: St Anthony Wreck, Reef End at Molokini, Molokini Back Wall, Grand Wailea, and Makena Beach Landing. Fun dives, with many turtles (especially the night dive at Makena Beach Landing, where we literally bumped into 17 turtles in the caves!), some sharks, eels and octopuses.
My underwater photography is still very much a work in progress. It was at times a frustrating struggle with the flash. When it got too much, I just turned the camera off so I could properly focus on the moment – diving the incredible underwater topography with all the amazing creatures to behold.
Dove the St Anthony Wreck site. Not a big area, but it was a good check out dive, with a couple of turtles just chilling on the wreck itself.
We dove Reef End at the front side of Molokini Crater twice. Both times, I peered under this ledge and was treated to the sight of a half dozen juvenile white tips milling about
Crab feasting on uni
Gloomy nudibranch, endemic to Hawaii
Hawaii’s state fish, the humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa