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Showing posts with label Hawaii. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hawaii. Show all posts

Thursday 10 May 2018

Maui Air Flight Over Kilauea Volcano

Departure For Volcano Tour.

Location:  Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii
Address:  4050 Honoapiilani Hwy
Date: June 2010
Website: www.volcanoairtours.com

  The Hawaiian islands were formed by volcanoes.  The island of Hawaii is usually referred to as the Big Island and is home to the most active volcano.  It has been erupting for close to 30 years.  We chose to book a small plane tour and fly over this volcano.  Why not?  The volcano is called Kilauea and has been erupting for decades.  It is currently wreaking havoc on homes on the Big Island.   A 6.9 magnitude earthquake at the beginning of May 2018 took things to a new level.  When we visited it was during quieter (but still not silent) times.

Beautiful Maui.

  Our flight departed from Kapalua airport and it wasn't long until we were flying along the Maui coastline.   
Captain Billy Gives Us A Good Look.

  Our pilot was Captain Billy and he made sure to turn the little twin prop plane so that we could get a bird's eye view looking straight down at the coast.  To get from Maui to the Big Island we had to travel across the Alenuihaha Channel.  The channel is about 47 km wide and for a while there it was just Pacific Ocean as far as the eye could see in every direction.   We were glad when land came back into sight.

Hawaiian Valley.

  The Big Island has beautiful valleys.

Kohala Cliffs and Waterfalls.

  It also has the Kohala cliffs which have waterfalls streaming down the side.

Steamin' Like A Demon.

  And of course it is home to the Kilauea volcano.  As we approached the crater we could see steam rising into the air.

Kilauea Volcano.
Captain Billy made sure we could get a good view.  We got closer to the mouth of the volcano.

Closer To The Volcano.

And even closer.

Flying Through Sulphuric Gas.

  And then closer still.   We could smell and almost taste the sulphur. The small plane was completely engulphed in sulphuric gas.  Looking out the window we could just see the propellers working to guide us through the thick smoke.

Captain Billy At The Controls.

   Traffic ! Traffic ! went the warning in our headphones.  A small buzzer sounded.   Lights flashed on the control panel.  As we emerged from the smoke we realized we were not alone.  Several other helicopters and planes were bringing tourists to take a look down the throat of Kilauea.

Traffic ! Traffic !

  As our plane turned sharply to give us another view, the combination of gas and turning started to take its toll.  We started to sweat in our big noise cancelling headphones.   Traffic ! Traffic !  went another warning as we turned yet again.  We felt a bit queasy.  Many people including at least one of us are quite allergic to sulphur. 

Trees on Fire.
 So Hot You're Cool So Cool You're Hot.

  We moved away from the main plume coming out of the volcano and we started to feel a bit better.  On the edges of the volcano we could see flashes of bright orange lava along with the dark grey from lava that had cooled and formed a crust.   Some groups of trees were on fire as the volcano's lava flow took them in its grasp.  We were in awe of the destructive powers of the volcano.

Hotel Row Lahaina.

  Eventually we left the Big Island behind and it wasn't long before we were headed past the hotel row near Lahaina.  One smooth landing later and we were back on Maui.  Captain Billy gave us the shaka sign as we said goodbye and left him beside his plane on the runway.   He would probably be re-fueling and then doing it all over again.  We can always re-live it all over again in our memories as we watch the sun set across the Pacific.

Map of Our World
Kilauea Volcano
Maui Air (Kapalua Airport)

Post # 214

Friday 10 March 2017

Mama's Fish House

Mama Oooh.

Location: Maui,Hawaii,USA
Address: 799 Poho Pl.
Date: Feb 2017
Website: www.mamasfishhouse.com

   Mama's Fish House is rated as not only one of the top restaurants in Hawaii, but in the USA.  We have been lucky enough to eat at Mama's twice during our Hawaiian vacations.  What makes Mama's so special?  Well, for starters it is located on the beautiful island of Maui.  Even the Jack In The Box in Kahului gets extra points for its island location.

Mama's Beach.

  Mama's Fish House is also situated on a small, secluded section of beach with a light breeze and the soothing sound of waves.

  The first time we visited Mama's we had a reservation.  If you want to ensure yourself a good table we recommend that you reserve before you even arrive in Maui.  We had a lunch reservation on the last day of our trip before heading to the airport.  We were earlier than our reservation time so we had to wait for our table.  While we waited we enjoyed the view and even spotted sea turtles in the water below.  Before we knew it our table was ready.

  We were lucky enough to be seated with a beach view (below).
Beachside Table For Two.

  Mama's always has great food, great atmosphere and great service.  One thing they do on their menu is print both the fisherman's name and the location where the fish was caught.  They do the same thing with farmers to show their support of the local industry and how fresh their food is. 

Can't You See Me Here Mama.

  On our second visit to Mama's we did not have a reservation, but we got lucky.  Parking spaces are limited so there is only valet parking.  We drove up to the valet and they asked if we had a reservation.  Just as the valet was telling us "Sorry", a spot opened up at the bar.

Mama's Bar.

  The bar is a small section where you could eat, but it is not as nice as having a proper table.

Welcome to Mama's.

  After leaving our car with the valet we walked down the stairs and across the front of the restaurant.  On the way we were greeted by a brown anole before arriving at the hostess.  We were lucky again as now the hostess informed us that a table had just opened up.

Mama's Birds Of Paradise.
 Mama's Art.

  From appetizer to dessert everything was always delicious and perfectly prepared.  It is well worth the higher price tag.  Their signature dish is crab stuffed Mahimahi with a macadamia nut crust.  It was delectable.

Back To The Beach.

  After enjoying our dinner we headed back out to the beach. 

Turtle Rock.

  A group of people had gathered near the water's edge.  We then noticed that two of the rocks seemed to be loose.  On closer inspection we realized that once again we had found green sea turtles off of Mama's Maui shore.  These two turtles were enjoying a feast of their own.

Two Turtles And Lots Of Rocks.
 It Wasn't A Rock..  It Was A Honu.

  A Hawaiian green sea turtle is called a honu and is said to be good luck.  Getting a table at Mama's Fish House is also good luck and a delicious meal you won't soon forget.

Map of Our World
Mama's Fish House

Post # 166

Saturday 25 February 2017

Maui Releasing The Sun

Maui Releases The Sun As They Will Not Allow Him To Take It As Part Of His Carry-On

Location: Maui, Hawaii, USA
Address: 1 Keolani Pl
Date: Feb 2017
Website: hawaii.gov/ogg

  Maui is one of our favourite places in the world.  When your vacation is over and you are reluctantly departing from the Kahului Airport you can see a statue of Maui.  It is located in a small garden area just before the security check.  In Hawaiian mythology, Maui is a powerful man who is responsible for you throughly enjoying your vacation.

Maui Rises From The Ocean.

  There are many myths involving Maui, but here are two of the most popular.  The first myth has to do with the creation of the Hawaiian islands.  It is said that Maui used a special fish hook and caught the bottom of the ocean floor.  He then told his brothers to row their boat with all their might.  They rowed and rowed as hard as they could.  Behind them an island rose out of the ocean.  Maui did this several times to create the Hawaiian island chain.

Sunrise At 10000 Feet.

  Maui is also said to be responsible for the sun moving so slowly across the Hawaiian sky. His mother complained to Maui that she was unable to get anything to dry as the days were too short. Maui climbed up Haleakala which is a dormant volcano that rises 10000 feet at its peak.  As the sun appeared over the clouds Maui lassoed the sun and captured it.  We also went to the top of Haleakala and captured the sun, but only with our cameras.

Haleaka National Park Sign.

  The sign as you enter Haleakala National Park shows Maui with the sun in his grasp.  In order to be released again, the sun agreed to shine longer over the Hawaiian islands each day.  The statue at the airport is called Maui Releasing The Sun and depicts Maui letting the sun return to the sky.

Maui Releasing The Sun
  So as the sun sets out over the edge of the Pacific Ocean and you settle back in your chair lulled by the sound of the crashing waves you should be thankful for another beautiful day in Hawaii.  Whether it be because of the man or the island, you owe it all to Maui.

Sunset Over Maui.

Map of Our World
Maui Releasing The Sun , Haleakala National Park Sign
Haleakalā National Park Visitor Center

Post # 164

Monday 30 January 2017

Wild Roosters

Red Junglefowl.

Location: Daintree, Australia
Address: Mount Alexandra Lookout
Date: May 2012
Website: www.npsr.qld.gov.au

  Jan 28, 2017 is the start of Chinese New Year.  This year is the year of the rooster.  On our travels we have seen many different types of chickens, but this blog is about feral chickens.  Feral chickens are chickens that have left domesticated life behind and taken to the wild.

Another curve on The Road To Hana.
 The Maui Coastline.

  In Hawaii, the road to Hana is a winding right of passage for many tourists.  The road has many twists and turns as you make your way along the beautiful Maui coastline.  We encountered some Red Junglefowl at one of the first parking lots we stopped (picture at top of post).  The  roosters had beautiful feather combinations of red, yellow, orange, green and white.

The mouth of the Daintree.
 No Farm in Sight.

  While in Australia we took a tour that brought us into the Daintree rainforest.  The Daintree is Australia's largest tropical rainforest.  At Mount Alexandra Lookout we encountered another group of feral chickens.  An Australorp is a special Australian chicken that is usually black with a red beak and a red comb.  The comb is the part on top of the rooster's head.  Again these chickens were just roaming the parking lot without a farm in sight.

Wild Australorp.

  Instead of calling these wild or feral chickens we think there should be a new classification called Parking Lot Roosters.  While in the Daintree we noticed a small little fruit stand at the corner of the parking lot.  It appeared to be operating on the honour system as no one was around.  We wondered if it was the result of entrepeneurial chickens or if they were secretly the security guards.  Happy New Year roosters!

Cock-A-Doodle Do you want a piece of fruit?

Map of Our World
Mount Alexandra Lookout , Hana Highway

Post # 159

Thursday 20 August 2015

Banyan Tree (Lahaina)

Under The Banyan.

Location: Lahaina, Hawaii, USA
Address: Courthouse Square, Front St.
Date: June 2010
Website:  lahainatown.com

  The banyan tree in Lahaina's main square was planted April 24, 1873 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Christian missionaries in Hawaii.  It came from India where the banyan tree is the national tree.  As a seedling it was only 8 feet high.  When we finally arrived in Hawaii, it was over 60 feet high and covered an entire block.  Banyan trees are sometimes called strangler trees as they usually start their life on another tree and as the banyan grows it wraps its roots around the host tree.  As a banyan grows it also puts down roots from its branches.  This is why the tree in Lahaina appears at first glance to be several trees, but indeed it is just the one.  It also explains why the tree tends to grow outwards instead of upwards.

Panoramic Banyan.

  We spent some time admiring the tree as we waited for our whale watching tour to begin.  We also enjoyed some breakfast sandwiches at the appropriately named Banyan Tree Deli & Bakery across the street.

Banyan Tree Deli & Bakery.

  As we walked along Front Street we also encountered a few characters.  There was a thinking captain in front of The Wharf Cinema Center and a Fred Flintstone in his car advertising ice cream at the Maui Swiss Cafe.

Hmm.  Which route shall we take?
Yabba Dabba Do you want some ice cream?

  The Courthouse Square where the banyan tree resides used to be the location of Lahaina Fort.  The fort was demolished and the courthouse was built well before the banyan tree arrived.  In the picture below you can still see some of the remnants of the fort behind the courthouse.

Remnants of Lahaina Fort.
Back of Courthouse.

    It is an impressive sight to see the tree that has taken over the square.  These days the tree is managed so that it does not encroach further into the courthouse or the surrounding streets.  It is still an impressive sight to see both by day or by night.  It also does a great job of providing shade and shelter from the Hawaiian sun.

Banyan by Day.
Banyan By Night.
  Finally it was time for us to head down to the harbour for our whale watching experience.  As the boat headed out to sea we looked back for one last glimpse of this impressive plant.

The Banyan Tree is in the dead center with a bit of the courthouse roof showing to the right.

Map of Our World
Banyan Tree (Lahaina)
Banyan Tree Deli & Bakery

Post # 68