Flying High — and Driving Slow

Up at dawn (again!) and found the pod of what looked like four pygmy killer whales pretty much where I saw them two days earlier. This is not the right time to see whales in Hawaii (and usually they’re humpbacks) nor is this really the normal place. Literature was circulated asking folks to keep their distance and advising that perhaps one of the whales may be ill.

At 8 am I was onboard a helicopter for a 45-minute aerial tour of both Maui and Molokai, especially tall waterfalls, dramatic cliffs, and impressive valleys. I couldn’t help but be reminded of Fr. Damien’s inspiring ministry at what was then known as the lepers’ colony on Molakai. I could certainly see how that part of the island is accessible only by boat. (To learn about his extraordinary ministry, visit here.)

After, realizing I still had most of the day before me, I undertook another driving tour using the Shaka Maui app on my phone, this one a loop ride around West Maui. Stops included an otherwise unmarked petroglyph site, a visit to the Dragon’s Tooth Trail (which included a pretty cool labyrinth!), and a visit to the Nakalele Blowhole. Visiting this is not recommended as it can be quite dangerous. A hand-painted sign warns: “Warning. Stay clear of blowhole. You can be sucked in and killed. It is not a waterpark.”

I went anyway. This required quite a scramble down from the parking lot to the blowhole far below. Of course, this also meant that I would have to climb back out. I was huffing and puffing pretty good when I got back to the car!

One of the last stops was at the Iao Valley State Monument, known especially for the formation known as the Iao Needle. Oh, and the drive included a few miles of a twisty, one-lane road that nonetheless still hosted two-way traffic. No way to drive fast on some of that heart-pounding stretch of road!

A great day! I went out in my Teva sandals (bad idea, but both footwear and worn feet survived just fine). I also went out without sunscreen (bad idea, and the back of my neck and the top of my head are glowing a lovely bright red today).

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