Sunday, July 30, 2017

Don't Feed the Fish!

It's summer in Hawaii and unfortunately tourism is up almost double-digits in 2017, even at this time of the year. While I have nothing against tourists per se, the chances of a tourist doing something they shouldn't be doing are equally as likely as a tourist enjoying the Hawaiian islands responsibly. Sometime, though, the irresponsibility goes too far.

Poolenea Beach has long been one of my favorite beaches but it seems that within the past year there has been a great deal of trash and beach gear left behind by thoughtless people. Today, I found not one but TWO bags of 'fish food' floating in the waves...
One, turtles find plastic alluring. They think it is a jellyfish and try to eat it which winds up choking them to death. Two, if you need 'fish food' to get sea life to come near you, maybe you're doing something that is making them stay away in the first place. Three, feeding the marine life upsets the natural balance of the ecosystem. Yes, many boating tour operators do it and they are wrong to do so, so please don't compound the problem. Four, DON'T LEAVE YOUR GARBAGE FLOATING IN THE OCEAN! I can only imagine how such people live. Oh, that's right, your maids clean up behind you! Disgusting behavior.

The second most horrible thing tourists do is use spray-on sunscreen and then jump right in the ocean. One, every study done has concluded that rub-on lotion is far more effective. It is especially more effective if you let it soak into the skin for a few minutes because if you get right in the ocean, the sunscreen comes off! Do people REALLY not realize this? Two, the sunscreen is hazardous to the marine life. I have personally witnessed the decline of Maui's reefs and sunscreen is one of the causes. It's really not hard to put a rash guard on, but I guess if you're using spray-on sunscreen, you are a really lazy SOB. Three, no one around you who cares a wit about their health wants to breath that aerosol garbage! I don't know how many times I've been involuntary misted. So IF you're going to put it on, do it away from other people 'cause I'm done being nice about it.

Okay, rant over. Enjoy your vacation.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Ohai Loop Trail; Maui, Hawaii

This is a very easy 1.2 mile hike along Maui's upper north(west) side. It's a good walk for the timid hiker in the family, just be careful of the occasional ledge. I do suggest doing the 'hike' counterclockwise for best views, if you want to call them that. It is off of Kahekili Highway between mile marker 40 and 41.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Haleakala Sunrise

Thinking about seeing the most amazing sunrise that can be seen? Think again as of February 1, 2017! Because of the literally overwhelming popularity of the event, the Park Service will require reservations come the new year. Read more about it HERE.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Pint & Cork; Wailea, Maui

Although only open for two months (as of this writing), The Pint & Cork (TP&C) at The Shops at Wailea seems to be going strong. This is probably due to the venue being the only really decent place to watch sports in all of south Maui and that it's conveniently located next to shops husbands would rather not be dragged into.

Although the ten or so big screen televisions showing all sports all the time might beg for this place to be labelled a sports bar, the interior - with its 'tique wood and brick walls - speak to something more closely resembling a wine bar. In this regard, TP&C is probably one of the
The view as you walk in.
most aptly named places you'll ever drink at. Featuring 16 taps on rotation (none of them particularly impressive if you drink at Maui Brewing Co. as often as I do, though MBC beers are offered here) and a respectable variety of wine, to say nothing of the cocktail menu, there is plenty to sate your thirst and for much less than what nearby hotels will charge. Are far as getting your drink on is concerned, TP&C pretty much has you covered. That is, unless you're a beer snob. Then you might want to try Monkeypod Kitchen just up the road.

Interestingly, TP&C bills itself as a gastropub. Well, maybe in Maui this is true but I haven't eaten anything at TP&C that I haven't found better somewhere else. Their garlic fries, for example, are indeed very garlicky but they pale in comparison to Gannon's Volcano fries down in Makena. The pork sliders? Much better from Horhitos Mobile Taqueria's food truck. The burger? Way better at 5 Palms closer to Kihei. I'm not saying the food is bad, just that there is better tasting food nearby. I should say, though, that the food is still pretty darn good and you'll pay a heck of a lot less than you would dining at the hotel restaurants which are over-hyped to put it mildly.

As for the atmosphere, it is friendly. The staff doesn't ignore you to nearly the same degree most
TV's, lot's of 'em.
Maui food venues operate and for that I'm thankful. It should be noted that even at half capacity, TP&C is very noisy, so you might want to consider that before gently and quietly breaking up with your other half after they've spent entirely too much on a Coach purse next door. On a related note, TP&C does have a very small patio and a balcony area for a little bit more privacy. And, although I haven't been there for it, I understand TP&C is open to 2am(!) daily and features live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Walk over to TP&C from your hotel or pay for parking at the Shops which has been in effect for almost a year now. Free 1 hour parking. Parking validated if you make $25+ in purchases.

The Shops at Wailea are sandwiched between the Marriot and The Grand Wailea on Wailea Alanui Drive. TP&C is on the upper deck on the south side of the shops next to Tiffany and Co.

Garlicky fries.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Wailea Beach; Wailea, Maui

[Note - I've reviewed this beach before and having visited again today, I feel my previous review was too kind. Read it here.]

Wailea Beach is something of an odd creature; a picture perfect tropical beach at first glance but hides something of a sinister underbelly. Okay, maybe not ‘sinister,’ but Wailea Beach isn’t everything the hotels that flank it – The Grand Wailea, the condos at Wailea Point and The Four Seasons  – would like you to believe it is.

Wailea Beach before 9am.
At first, Wailea Beach appears to be a beautiful quarter-mile stretch of smooth sand. This is true. However, if you think this is a great place to relax, then you must be a tourist: Wailea Beach is the most tourist-trafficked beach on Maui’s south side, which is okay if that’s your thing. Wailea Beach is a perfectly good spot to be crowded alongside other tourists and play in the typically soft waves that lap the shore here. It’s also a good place for novice snorkelers who are afraid of the water to practice, novice divers making their first dive, and novice stand-up paddleboarders eager to run over the former two groups of novices.

What ruins Wailea Beach besides the tourists, at least for me, is the ocean off of beach; it’s polluted, clear at shore but murky beyond 100 feet, has terrible coral growth and hardly any fish when compared to almost every other beach on Maui. Much of this has to do with the number of tourists spraying sunscreen on and then running right into the ocean, to say nothing of the run off from the development right on shore. With the ocean being no good here, is there really any reason to go to Wailea Beach?

The people watching can be good; it’s a little bit like watching zoo animals
Don't fall into the gorilla's cage!
who think they’ve been freed run amok. You can even people watch from afar as there is a nice grassy hill between the beach and its public beach parking access hardly anyone uses. Other than that, I don’t feel as though Wailea Beach has many redeeming qualities. You may have to travel further afield if you want to hit a better beach, though I will warn you that Polo Beach – a little further to the south along the Wailea beach path – is actually a worse beach than this one. Oh well, it’s the price you’ve paid too much for convenience. 

PS - Have you heard about the shark attacks here? No? Yeah, the hotels and tourist industry try to keep that kind of stuff under wraps...

Parking: Public Parking is the very next right after passing the Grand Wailea's parking area. There is limited spaces up front closer to the beach but there is overflow parking which will take you an extra -gasp!- minute or two to walk from. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

5 Caves / 5 Graves - Makena, Maui

The proper entrance to the 5 Caves area.
I haven’t been posting much lately, probably because I have been snorkeling at 5 Caves / 5 Graves so often in recent months, ever since my buddy and I ran up on a mermaid here. (I’m not kidding, there was a young woman wearing a mermaid costume swimming here.) This is currently my favorite spot to snorkel – next to Maluaka Beach – and ever since pollution and warm seas have bleached the coral in Honolua Bay.

Featuring two long – one of them currently healthy – fringing reefs, this location is a hot spot for coral, turtles, eels and well-fed fish, the latter thanks to the tour boats which inundate this area. Manta and eagle rays have been spotted from time to time in this area, too. Harmless white-tip sharks can also be seen here on occasion as you snorkel. I’ve never seen one here myself, but many people have reported seeing them.

As these reefs also features caves – hence the name – it is popular with divers just as much as it is popular with snorkelers. As a mediocre free-diving snorkeler myself, there is only one cave I know the actual location of that is midway along the northern reef as it juts out to sea,
The 'beach' that front the house. Respect their privacy, please.
but can usually be found by the air bubbles emanating out of the coral as divers enter the cavern below. According to anecdotal evidence, though, the whole area around here is rife with caves and there is a sea arch or two along the southern reef. To find turtles, either skirt the rocky shoreline (carefully) or follow the northern reef straight out and go a bit to the left (towards the southern reef) between where some tour boats park; there is a turtle cleaning station there to enjoy if you don’t mind crowds. Keep in mind to watch out for kayaking tourists that pass through this area on your way out, since they are unlikely skilled enough to avoid running you over if you get too close to them.

If you don’t care to snorkel and just want a nice spot to sit and watch the water, the northern reef will provide you with a seat from which you will inevitably see a turtle or ten.

Entrance is from a small rocky cove or from Makena Landing further south, from which you will have to swim north along the shoreline to get to the 5 Caves area.

My video of this location is below at the very bottom.

Directions: Head south on Piilani Hwy to the very end. Turn Right onto Wailea Ike Rd. Turn left at Wailea Alanui, go 1 mile to its end. Continue left onto Wailea Alanui which becomes Makena Road. Continue on Makena Rd. Turn right about 1/2 mile to stay on Makena Road. Continue about a 2000 ft. til you spot cars on the left and park. Follow the path next to the house toward the water. You can also continue further down and park at Makena Landing Park, which has a sandy entrance and a bathroom. This will add 20 minutes to your swim, though.

Park on the left, follow trail where the rock wall is.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Maui Happy Hours

If you’re a working stiff like me and not a fortunate Canadian who happened to buy their condo for cash when they were riding high on the dollar exchange a few years ago, you appreciate so much as a single dollar off when you want to go out for a drink. The following are the current happy hours for most of Maui’s popular spots here at the beginning of 2016. Happy hours for restaurants not listed probably don’t have happy hours or do not want to advertise it. Suffice it to say, these places don’t get my business (except for Roy’s in Ka’anapali, which is super Ono). Note: In case you’re not familiar with how Happy Hour works, Happy Hours are almost exclusively conducted at the business’ bar (usually, but not always).

*Please email me with any corrections or omissions at

West Maui (Kapalua, Napili, Ka’anapali, Lahaina)

Bubba Gump (on Front Street in Lahaina) 9-10:30pm Allegedly.
Cane and Canoe (at Montage on Kapalua Bay) 8-11pm
Captain Jacks (on Front Street in Lahaina) 2-5pm
Cheeseburger in Paradise (on Front Street in Lahaina) HH always changing due to poor management.
Cool Cat Café (on Front Street in Lahaina) 3-6pm)
Cliff Dive Bar (At the Sheraton in Ka’anapali) 2-3pm and 8-9pm
Honu Seafood and Pizza (at Lahaina Cannery Mall) 3-4:30pm
Hula Grill (overlooking Ka’anapali Beach) 3-5pm
Japango (at the Hyatt Regency in Ka’anapali) 5-6:30pm
Fleetwood’s on Front Street (on Front Street in Lahaina) 3-6pm But will still cost your entire paycheck.
Ka’anapali Grille and Tap Room (south end of Ka’anapali Beach) 3-5pm
Kimo’s (on Front Street in Lahaina) 3-5pm
Leilani’s on the Beach (Ka’anapali) 3-5pm
Longi’s (on Front Street in Lahaina) 3-6pm
Lulu’s (at Lahaina Cannery Mall) 4-7pm
Maui Tiki Bar (at the Sheraton in Ka’anapali) 10am-12pm Yes, you read that right.
Merriman’s (on Kapalua Bay) 3-5pm
Pailolo Bar & Grill (at the Westin in Ka’anapali) 4-6pm
Paradise Grill (Ka’anapali) 3-6pm
Ruth Chris Steak House (in Lahaina off of Front Street) 5-7pm
Sea House Restaurant (Napili) 2-5pm
Son’z Steakhouse (Hyatt Regency in Ka’anapali / Lahaina) 5-7pm
Sugar Cane Restaurant (Lahaina) 2:30-5:30pm

Paia and Makawao

Café des Ami (in Paia on Baldwin Ave) 4-6pm
Café Mambo (in Paia on Baldwin Ave) 3-6pm
Cassanova’s (Makawao) 5-6pm But not on Sundays.
Charlie’s (in Paia on Hana Hwy) 3-6pm
Milagros (in Paia on the corner of Hana Hwy and Baldwin Ave) 11am-6pm Only at the small bar inside.
Rock and Brews (in Paia on Hana Hwy) 3-6pm
Stopwatch Bar and Grill (Makawao) 3:30-6:30pm

South Maui (Kihei, Wailea, Makena)

Ambrosia (in “the Triangle” in Kihei) 7-9pm
Ami Ami (Kihei) 3-6pm
Botero (at the Grand Wailea in Wailea) 5-6pm
Café O’Lei (Kihei) 3:30-5:30pm
Cow Pig Bun (Kihei Tech Park) 4-6pm
Dog and Duck (in “the Triangle” in Kihei) 3-7pm
Fabiani’s (Kihei and Wailea) 3-5pm
Fat Daddy’s Bar and Grill (in “the Triangle” in Kihei)
Five Palms (Kihei) 3-7pm and 9-11pm
Gannons (Makena) 3-8pm
Kono’s on the Green (Kihei Tech Park) 2:30-6pm
Life’s A Beach (in “the Triangle” in Kihei) 3-7pm
Manolis (Wailea) 3-6pm and 9-12am
Maui Brewing Company (Kihei Tech Park) $2 off on Wednesdays if you wear one of their T-shirts.
Maui Thai Bistro (Kihei) 4-6pm and 8:30-9:30pm
Migrant (at the Marriot in Wailea) 4-6pm
Molokini Grill (at Makena Beach and Golf Resort in Makena) 5:30-6:30pm
Monkeypod Kitchen (Wailea) 3-5:30pm and 9-11pm
Moose McGillycuddy’s (Kihei) 4-7pm
Mulligans on the Blue (Wailea/Makena) 2-6pm and 9-12am
Nalu’s (Kihei) ?
Nick’s Fish Market (at the Fairmont in Wailea)
Roasted Chilis (Kihei) 3-5pm
Sarentos on the Beach (Kihei) 4:30-6:30pm
South Shore Tiki Lounge (in “the Triangle” in Kihei) 11-6pm Yes, you read that right.

What Ales You (in “the Triangle” in Kihei) 12-3pm