Maui 2017: Day 2
We headed to West Maui bright and early today. Still feeling the effects of the time difference. It's better to do things early before you run out of steam. Later is when the trade winds usually kick up anyway, so it's all good. We chose Kihei Caffe for breakfast, always a treat.
From there we took the 40 minute drive through the valley and along the coast toward Kapalua. Just north of there is Honolua Bay. It's a place we've driven past a few times, and always looks inviting. It's usually too late in a very long day trip we've taken to see the Kahakuloa area. Today, we made it the main focus.
We managed to find parking on the road not too far from the trailhead. It's an easy hike through a the thick green trees and ferns.
The bay has a rocky beach (no sand), but the water is beautiful. Blue, green, turquoise.
Unfortunately, for us, a big cloud blew over just as we got in the water. That, coupled with not enough interesting sealife, and a really long swim from the beach against a strong current, meant no second attempt (At least, not on this day).
Right around the corner from Honolua Bay, is Slaughterhouse Beach. We peered down from the roadway and feared the same experience we had at Honolua. Well, we didn't come all this way to look at the beach from 500 yards. We grabbed our gear and headed down the 100 or so steps. This is the view at the bottom.
You may ask, why Slaughterhouse Beach? From what I gather, the Honolua Ranch operated a slaughterhouse up the cliff from here decades ago. Those cliffs near the roadside made it easy for them to dispose of the waste, and the sharks would take care of the rest. Luckily for us, that business closed, and the buildings were torn down in the 1960's.
One more bit of history, the island you can see across the way is Molokai. It's one of Hawaii's most underdveloped places, and the small population that lives there intend to keep it that way. We may be taking a day trip there later in this vacation (Currently, there is no ferry. So, we'll have to fly.)
The history part is, Father Damien ran a Leper Colony on the island from 1873 to 1889, until he died from the disease himself.
This from Go Visit Hawaii: "In early 1866, the first leprosy victims were shipped to Kalaupapa and existed for 7 years before Father Damien arrived. The area was void of all amenities. No buildings, shelters nor potable water were available. These first arrivals dwelled in rock enclosures, caves, and in the most rudimentary shacks, built of sticks and dried leaves. Folklore and oral histories recall some of the horrors: the leprosy victims, arriving by ship, were sometimes told to jump overboard and swim for their lives. Occasionally a strong rope was run from the anchored ship to the shore, and they pulled themselves painfully through the high, salty waves, with legs and feet dangling below like bait on a fishing line. The ship’s crew would then throw into the water whatever supplies had been sent, relying on currents to carry them ashore or the exiles swimming to retrieve them."
Good thing we decided to give snorkeling a shot here. We were rewarded with several Honus. Here's the best of the video.