Exploring Lahaina, Maui

On Friday and Saturday, we were in Lahaina, Maui. I had a 5-hour scuba charter booked for Saturday morning, but other than that we had no plans. Seeing the sun rise from the top of Haleakala is one of the must-sees on Maui, but even with our overnight stay, this trip didn’t allow for it (I saw it in 1970, though, and can still remember it 🙂 ).

My day started rather late again – this is an HDR image created from 4 images I shot at 06:12.
Sunrise off the coast of Maui
Despite the very high cost of electricity in Hawaii ($400 seems to be the average monthly bill for a home without air conditioning), we’ve seen surprisingly few solar or wind installations. This wind farm on the southwest coast of Maui is by far the largest we saw.
Wind farm on Maui
I love the morning skies- this was shot at 06:30.
We had agreed to a late start for a wander around Lahaina with our friends – the tenders had been running for over an hour by the time I shot this at 09:00.
Lahaina as seen from the cruise ship Celebrity Solstice
Lahaina Banyan Court Park was a lovely spot to start the day ashore. The single banyan tree that covers the park was imported from India in 1873, and is now one of the largest banyan trees in the world.
Lahaina Banyan tree
The main thing that I wanted to see was the Whalers Village Museum, so we took a cab to Ka’anapali ($15). The museum is located in the very attractive Whalers Village mall.
Whalers Village mall, Maui
Despite being Maui’s 3rd most visited attraction, I didn’t have high hopes for the museum because it’s part of a shopping mall and admission was only $2 each for Jim and I, and $3 for the youngster, Cathy. MJ had been here 2 years ago, so went shopping instead.
Whalers Village Museum, Maui
As soon as we walked in the door, I knew that my notion about the museum’s quality was wrong. There’s an audio tour available, but I’d be the slowpoke in the group even without that. A speaker from NOAA was about to begin, so we started with that. The speaker was very good, and we had barely started on the museum itself when our planned 1-hour visit was over, so Cathy went to find MJ and tell her to plan on another 45 minutes.
Whalers Village Museum, Maui
The displays in the museum are very high quality, the interpretation clear and well researched. The “forest” in this photo mural is baleen.
Baleen in the Whalers Village Museum, Maui
The collection of scrimshaw is notably good, with some unique and very high quality artifacts.
Scrimshaw in the Whalers Village Museum, Maui
These 5 teeth show the traditional process of creating scrimshaw. Crewmen on whaling ships had a lot of time to kill until the next time the call “Thar she blows!” got them back to their hard, dangerous work, and creating scrimshaw was a very popular pastime.
Scrimshaw in the Whalers Village Museum, Maui
This is a good example of the wonderful detail in the museum – it shows the book whose illustration was copied to create the scrimshaw.
Scrimshaw in the Whalers Village Museum, Maui

I thought that I was quite knowledgeable about whaling, but I could have easily spent an hour longer. The detailed descriptions of whaling crew duties and pay was particularly interesting. For anyone with an interest in history, this museum truly is a must-see.

We had lunch in the Barefoot Bar at the Hula Grill, located on the beach at the mall. The food, as always on this trip, was excellent. This wonderful dessert is called Baked Hawaii – it’s pineapple upside-down cake, with Tahitian vanilla ice cream, toasted meringue and caramel rum sauce – yuuuum! ($9)
Baked Hawaii dessert at the Hula Grill on Maui
The view in front of the Hula Grill.
The view in front of the Hula Grill.
Walking on the beach after lunch, Cathy and I had little pangs of regret that we had cancelled a 5-day stay at the Sheraton resort seen in the background. But we’re both really missing the fur-kids, which is why we cancelled that extension to the trip, so we’re glad in the end that we did.
Beach in front of the Hula Grill on Maui
Walking back through the mall to catch a cab back to the pier, this sign caught my eye. From hearing some of the families we’ve encountered, this shop might do really well if they take trade-ins 🙂
Sign in store - 'Kids Now Available'
Across the street from Whalers Village is the Kaanapali Golf Course.
By 3:15, we were watching surfers while standing in a short line to catch the next tender back to the ship.
Surfers at Lahaina
Looking back at the pier and the Best Western Pioneer Inn from the tender.
Best Western Pioneer Inn in Lahaina
Sunset over the island of Lanai, at 6:14. In just over 12 hours I’d be meeting a boat to go diving off Lanai.
Sunset over Lanai, Hawaii
That evening, the 4 of us had dinner at the last of the specialty restaurants we hadn’t yet tried, Silk Harvest. As always, the food, and the entire dining experience, was wonderful – well worth the extra charge for it ($30 per person, less when you buy a package as we did).

I was in bed early, as I had to catch a tender at 06:00 and then walk about a mile to the pier to meet my dive operator.


Comments are closed.