Wedding party plans included a trip south to Maui in December. The June wedding was isolated due to COVID; travel to Maui would also be dictated by COVID.
Quarantine would immediately begin upon arrival if all protocol was not strictly observed; this required negative test result for SARS-CoV-2, NAA. This special “Hawaii test” had to be taken within 72 hours of departure.
After a dozen phone calls & trips to supposed COVID-test locations, I narrowed down the test requirements. I even performed a “dry-run” a week before the trip to see if this would actually work. I decided to take separate tests at two locations to ensure success. One of the test results would not load into the Hawaii travel portal, but the other did. Success!
After COVID protocol had been met, the rest of the trip was easy.
I strode up to the gate when the call came for the 1st class passengers. I was proudly wearing the N95 mask. This mask is approved for medical use, with a filtration level over 95%. Surprisingly the flight attendant informed me that the N95 mask was not allowed. Go figure! Considering all the disinformation I have heard concerning COVID, this seemed apropos.
Napili Bay is one of the top-rated snorkel & swim sites. Due to the low tourist numbers I was able to get a beach condo at a good price. I immediately encountered sea turtles; near 4-feet in length & very friendly. The turtles seemed to welcome company, even waiting for me to catch up & swim with them. This provided an excellent opportunity to try out my new underwater camera.
Napili Bay also had a great beach front restaurant- the Sea House (above photos). The beach was a great place to forget about COVID. Lots of social distancing. Outside of a few fanatics, there was nary a mask to be seen.
Kapalua Bay & Namalu Bay were also excellent visibility for diving. Namalu Bay had the added attraction of cliff diving. Kapalua had much to offer; excellent swimming & diving, hiking, & boogie boarding at Fleming beach. A sunrise walk through Kapalua became part of the daily routine. Pineapple Road was a favorite hill climb with towering Cook Pines. Captain Cook had brought them over from New Caledonia.
Honolua Bay was also designated as a top dive location. A surfer was killed by a Tiger Shark during our stay. I decided to stay out of the water in that bay. DNA-analysis identified the shark as being over 14-feet long.
Kapalua offered good hiking. A series of trails could be accessed from the Ritz-Carlton resort. These trails included a lake destination that offered a refreshing swim at the top.
Mahana Ridge Trail was a heavily treed trail, which could be hiked in the heat of the day but was mostly in the shade of the foliage. Large Cook Pine groves were encountered, with overlooks of the ocean below.
North shore hiking included Ohai Trail with sheer cliff drop-offs to the ocean below. Nakalele Blowhole was located off a series of trails- video below.
The “Road to Hana” is famous for the narrow, switch-backs, with twists & turns. Black sand beaches, red sand beaches, & the Venus Pool were prize destinations.
Venus Pool was exhilarating to jump & dive into. A number of entry points from the cliffs above could be counted on to quicken the pulse.
Hans Eng found the highest point for a stupendous jump.
Sara Eng came up with the idea to charter to Mokolini Island. We all took the charter ‘Calypso”. This remnant volcanic crater is considered the greatest visibility in Maui for diving. Many species of fish were observed. Also shorebirds including Frigate birds. Humpback whales & bottlenose porpoise were encountered. The added bonus of diving off the top deck of the Calypso made this a special day. Calypso photographer Harold Giger, caught my dive.
Many fish species including Puffer & Jellyfish.