Yesterday we went snorkeling at Maluaka beach, which is another of our favorites. But, we were too nervous to enjoy it, for different reasons, both stemming from the fact that the swells were moderate. What made me nervous is that I didn’t want to be directly over the coral because I was afraid of being slammed in to it on a downdraft (probably not the right word). What made Lis nervous is that the swells kicked up sand and made the water murky, which are the conditions that are more conducive to shark attacks. Plus this beach is the site of a few shark attacks over the last several years, plus we learned that Makena Landing, just up the coast, is home to some reef sharks (no idea if these are the same sharks that did the attacking – probably not, as their presence seems to be a draw for divers). So I kept wanting to go farther out to avoid the coral, and Lis kept wanting to stay close in to avoid the sharks. Too bad, because on good days we’ve had some amazing snorkeling here. Ah, well.

It was a beautiful day, though, and standing in the water looking at the sea and other islands, I got the idea to do a picnic lunch at one of the easily accessible Kihei beaches so Mom could experience it, too. So we grabbed some burgers at Stewart’s Burgers, then sat at a picnic table at Kalama Beach Park and watched some surfers. It was a bit windy, but otherwise very pleasant, and the burgers were good.

After lunch we went back to the condo to rest up for the evening’s activity, which was the hula show in the lounge at the Four Seasons, which we try to get to whenever we’re on Maui. It is a very low key affair – just a single, modestly attired hula dancer, accompanied by a couple guys on guitar. They used to include a torch lighting ceremony as part of the hula show, but now it takes place separately, with even less fanfare than the hula show. I miss it being more featured.

We sat in the lounge and ordered pupus and drinks and enjoyed the show and the open air lounge. When the band took their first break, we headed home. It felt like we had been out late, but when we looked at the clock, it was only 7:30pm! We didn’t last much longer than that – I think we were all in bed by 10.

This morning we were all up early, and Lis and I hit the snorkel beach early. We went back to Ulua beach this time, as we figured we’d be less likely to freak out about sharks there. The surf was a little lower, so visibility was good, and soon after entering the water, Lis spotted an octopus. In getting my attention so she could show it to me, she lost sight of it. But soon thereafter, I spotted it, too. He looked just like the surrounding coral when he was on it. Then he would take off and swim, turning a deep reddish-purple. Then he would land on some coral and immediately assume the color and texture of his surroundings. Once I saw a YouTube video showing an octopus doing this and wondered if it was doctored, it was so unreal.

Then our sea turtle came by again, and he was moving slowly enough that we were able to swim with him for a long time – really one of the best things on earth, swimming (at a respectful distance, of course) with a sea turtle. Eventually, though, he started heading out to sea, and we decided we’d best not go with him, so we headed back to the coral and the fishies.

We’d noticed before, and noticed again today, that there were a ton of what seemed to be baby fish at this reef. At Ulua beach there is often a person from a local society whose aim is to protect the reefs, and we asked her about it. She said yes, there are a lot of juvenile fish here. (She also said the reef is having a small bleaching problem due to El Nino (or maybe La Nina? I forget), but it should bounce back when (if?) the weather goes back to normal.) When we were de-sanding at the beach’s showers, another woman there said that the vast numbers of juvenile butterfly fish (literally hundreds of them) only happens every 15 years. Who knows if this is true, but it’s a fun story and we decided to believe it.

For lunch today we went to Pita Paradise in Wailea. The owner is Greek/Sicilian, and a fisherman who in the morning personally catches the fish served that day in the restaurant. So there are Greek and Sicilian family recipes and incredibly fresh fish. It was super good and not too expensive – we might go back.

After lunch we went upcountry. We wanted to check out the Surfing Goat Dairy, and we wanted to check out some of the art galleries in Makawao, particularly the Jordanne Gallery, as we had bought some of the artist’s work on a previous trip to Maui and thought it would be fun to check in with her.

It was a pleasant drive up the mountain, and we went to the goat farm first. Lis had her heart set on taking the every-half-hour tour of the farm, where they let you pet goats and taste cheeses. Alas, they only do the tour if at least 2 people sign up, and no one had, and neither Mom nor I could be talked in to traipsing around a farm in the heat of the day (it was about 2pm and about 85 degrees). Poor Lis! She did manage to talk one of the guys there in to a mini tour where he took her over to a goat pen and she petted a goat. Mom and I ate passion fruit gelato in the shade while we waited.

Then on to Makawao, which is a cute little town. Our artist’s gallery was closed, though – we could only peer through the glass at some of her artwork. Plus the general store no longer had the vegan pineapple upside down cake we’ve gotten there before. We went home through Pa’ia, with the intention of stopping at Pa’ia Gelato – but traffic was jammed and we couldn’t find parking. All in all, then, except for the drive itself, which was scenic, upcountry was a bit of a bust.

We had leftovers from lunch, and some wine in the fridge, which made for a lovely dinner on the lanai. And so another great day in Maui comes to an end.