OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI

We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1.  For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area. Here are some shots of both…

First, my morning walk from our condo to the beach…

Our “final walkthrough” of the Rainbow shower taken midday…

And our late afternoon back at our Kamaole Sands beach.

UPDATE MAR 4, 2017

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 4

Mar 4, 2017
We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1. For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area.
Here are some scenes from our morning walk along Kamaole Sands beach.

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 5

Mar 5, 2017
On Saturday (Mar 4), we went on a whale watching sunset sailing cruise on the Gemini catamaran off the coast of Kaanapali. Alas, due to a technical glitch with my waterproof camera card reader, those pictures are still trapped on my camera memory card. I may have to wait to get to AZ to retrieve them.
On Sunday (Mar 5), Elizabeth made her final purchase at Kaahumanu Mall – a pair of Hawaiian earrings – which she asked me to record on camera. There was also a Hula show going on in the background.

And in the evening, we went to a lovely dinner party by our friend Rada Kovilic who has a condo in the same resort where we are now staying – Kamaole Sands. Her balcony provided a perfect vantage point for another beautiful Maui sunset.

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 6

Mar 6, 2017
We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1. For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area.
Here are some scenes from outside our condo and from our morning walk along the Kamaole Park shore. We discovered here what is probably Kihei’s best surfing spot, right next to the small boat harbor. It looked like a smaller version of Ho’okipa Point in our old neighborhood on the north shore of Maui.

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 7

Mar 4, 2017
We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1. For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area.
On Saturday, Mar 4, we went whale-watching aboard the catamaran “Gemini,” which we boarded on Kaanapali Beach in West Maui. Here are some pictures from that wonderful outing.

Elizabeth and I have gone sailing and whale watching many times before, but never, ever have we seen to many full breaches by these 20-ton (40,000-pound) giants as on Saturday afternoon. It felt as they the whales were waving their watery goodbyes to us.

Just to give you an idea of how bit the Humpback whales are, some of these guys you are seeing in the above pictures are as long as 7 African elephants standing next to each other.

OUR FAREWELL TO MAUI – Part 8

Mar 7, 2017
We moved out of the Rainbow Shower on Wed March 1. For the last week on Maui, we moved into our new home away from home, a condo in the Kihei/Wailea area.
On Tuesday, Mar 7, Elizabeth and I drove up to the 10,000-ft Haleakala (volcano) summit for our final goodbye to Maui. We fly back to Arizona tomorrow (Mar 8).
The weather was perfect all the way up and during an hour or so we spent at the summit. And then just as we headed down the mountain, the clouds and rain moved it. They stayed with us all the way down till we got to lower Kula. We might as well have been driving through a soup, the fog was so thick.
We kept thanking God all the way down for this miracle – of holding off the bad weather until we had a chance to say our high level goodbyes.
By the way, Haleakala is the Fire vortex of Mother Earth and thus a very powerful masculine energy center. On Saturday, however, our wonderful sailing to see the whales and Watery goodbyes we received from them provided the counter balance – the feminine energy farewell.
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UPDATE MAR 8, 2017

OUR FINAL MAUI BEACH SHOT

 
I don’t know how we managed to do this, because it has been raining most of the day over most of Maui today, but if you look at our final farewell shot taken around noon at Kamaole beach in Kihei/Wailea, you would get the impression that there is nothing but sunshine and surf on this magical island.
 
Goodbye Maui! We love you.
Last Maui beach shot 3-8-17

RAINBOW BOOKENDS, GREAT WHITE GIANTS RETURN TO MAUI

RAINBOW BOOKENDS REAPPEAR AT THE RAINBOW SHOWER, MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN EVER

Clear sky rainbows in the morning, first ever post-sunset rainbow in the evening

Also, TOPSY-TURVY WEATHER IN MAUI, EXTRAORDINARY CLOUD

It happened again today. Just like it did three days ago – on Sunday, Jan 22. Both ends of this day at the Rainbow Shower were bracketed by rainbows. Only this time, they were even more beautiful.

The first ones this morning were rare clear sky rainbows. The mist and sun kept dancing with each all day. By late afternoon, more rainbows started to appear. And this evening, I witnessed something quite remarkable, possibly for the first time.

The sun had already set. The Rainbow Shower house and lawn were already enveloped in darkness as you can see from the first two photos. Yet the sun’s rays were still reaching up high and the sky and setting the clouds on fire as well as the rainbow.

It was an awe-inspiring, amazing sight. Feeling blessed? You betcha.

So I ran into the house get the camera and share it with you. Enjoy!

MAUI’S GREAT WHITE GIANTS ARE BACK (select photos)

Today I had to run some errands in town. On my way, I could not resist and had to stop at Ho’okipa Point for another look at Maui’s Great White Giants that are pounding against the lava rocks at one of the world’s most famous surfing spots – Ho’okipa Point. But with the waves at about 25 to 30 feet, no one was crazy enough to try to surf on them.

MAUI’S GREAT WHITE GIANTS ARE BACK – a 1-min video by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – Jan 25, 2017

Here’s a 1-min video consisting of 25 “live shots” – with my background music – Banana Boat from the Caribbean. 🙂

https://youtu.be/7-QshdLAJyU [Youtube version]

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HOOKIPA PHOTO ALBUM

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UPDATE JAN 27, 2017

A 1-min video by Bob Altzar Djurdjevic – Jan 27, 2017 – filmed around 4PM

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Just got back from a quick outing to Paia. Stopped at Ho’okipa Point on my way. Beautiful afternoon. What attracted me most of all was the scent of the ocean. Love it. So pure and healing especially with light trade breezes like today’s.

The surf is now “surfable” – about 6-10 ft waves. And there were lots of surfers starting their weekend on water.

Check it out…

Direct

Youtube link: https://youtu.be/XhrQqixcbdI

PHOTO ALBUM

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UPDATE FEB 5, 2017

TOPSY-TURVY WEATHER IN MAUI

Normally, we get trade winds blowing from the northeast. Today, however, we are experiencing strong “anti-trade” winds from the southwest.

No, this is not a political anti-TPP statement. 🙂 But who knows, it could be. You never know what Mother Nature has up her sleeve.

How strong are the winds?

Not very. according to the official Weather.com. Only 22 mph right now. But the gusts must be much stronger. Because for the first time ever (!), they have literally opened my bedroom sliding screen door. Twice!

At first, I did not believe it was the wind. I thought I had forgotten to close it. But when it happened the second time…

So now I propped it up a little – using my university crest as a door stopper. 🙂 No offense meant. It’s just that I needed something narrow to wedge on the track behind it.

The wind is almost never an event unto its own. Like an advance scout, it precedes the arrival of the main army. Tomorrow, we are expecting rain. So it goes…

FINALLY, AN OFFICIAL WIND ALERT

Better late than never?

Now they tell us… after the wind opened this door for a third time, and blew off the (heavy) top of my spa. And it also knocked down my wheel barrow. Here’s a weather update I just got:
“SOUTHWEST WINDS WILL INCREASE… REACHING 25 TO 35 MPH IN SOME SPOTS… WITH LOCALIZED GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH…. A STRONG AND FAST MOVING COLD FRONT WILL APPROACH THE ISLANDS TONIGHT… WITH INCREASING SOUTHWEST WINDS EXPECTED AHEAD OF THE FRONT.”
Talk about closing the barn door after the horse is gone, I could have told them this morning the winds were stronger than the 22 mph the Weather,com said.
I just hope and pray that we don’t lose power or internet. Knock on wood, so far so good (rhyme intended) 🙂
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UPDATE FEB 6, 2017

EXTRAORDINARY CLOUD HOVERS OVER RAINBOW SHOWER FOR ALMOST 2 HOURS IN GALE FORCE WINDS

I have never seen anything like it before. Last night, an enormous cloud that took up 2/3 of the sky, shaped like a giant whale or a blimp, hovered above my house for nearly two hours.

The head was pointing to the west. The tail was in the east. The light you see which looks like the whale’s eye is actually the moon trying to shine through.

I snapped this picture when I first saw it a little after 10 PM without expecting much. I had never taken a shot before with my new iPhone camera in complete darkness. Then I went back to watch the rest of a movie. When I came back out about an hour-and-a-half later, the cloud was still there.

What made this phenomenon so extraordinary is that at the same time we were (and still are) buffeted by gale force winds that blew off the top of my spa and opened the sliding screen door – 3 times! Eventually, I had to tape it down to the frame using masking tape.

Yet the giant cloud was still there, like a massive immovable object impervious to gale force winds. Amazing! Wonder what it meant?

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UPDATE FEB 7, 2017

LITTLE BLONDE “CRABS” PLAYING ON LAVA ROCKS

This morning, thanks to a real estate showing of my property, I did three things on a spur of a moment that I don’t usually do.

First, before I even cleaned up, I spent an hour raking and mowing the debris from the strong winds in the last two days have brought down on the lawn.

Second, I had breakfast. Well, I mean – a real breakfast, a veggie omelette at Colleen’s in Haiku town center – not my usual, a few grapes and half a banana.

Third, I drove down to Ho’okipa Point to watch the surfers on this beautifully clear morning. The forecast was rain, by the way. 🙂

You can see for yourself now how great the weather is this morning. It is rare that one can see the West Maui Mountains. Usually they are enveloped in clouds. The surf was about 10-15 ft with an occasional 20-footer.

 

 HAPPY FAMILY SCENE

But the most interesting scene was watching this family down on the rocks. Their two kids, a toddler and a baby still in diapers, played on the lava rocks like two little blonde crabs. 🙂

But one or both of the parents kept a close eye on them. The mother eventually took both kids into that little basin which the ocean had carved out in the lava rocks like a bathtub. Of course, she took off the diaper first. Not her own. 🙂

AN EXCITING DRIVE AROUND WEST MAUI

AN EXCITING DRIVE AROUND WEST MAUI

Nail-biting return home

The trade winds have returned to Maui this morning. After more than a week of VOG (volcanic emissions), the sky was clear once again.

So I decided to try to kill two birds with one stone: Test the endurance and range of my Leaf (electric car) and enjoy some beautiful sights around the wild and woolly West Maui.

In the past, Elizabeth and I have driven around the West Maui mountains’ twisty single lane roads a number of times – in El Jeepo or some of our other gasoline-powered cars. But never in a Leaf.

Why not?

Because even if everything went according to plant, the round trip would be about 100 miles. Which equals the rated range of the Leaf under normal conditions.

Alas, conditions are never normal on a volcanic island like Maui. There are hills and valleys, headwinds and tailwinds, light and dark. So I realized I was taking a chance when I set out on this journey a little after noon today.

For, now let’s just say that the Leaf and I returned home around six this evening on a single charge. That’s 105 miles!

There was a bit of nail-biting toward the end, but we made it home on a single bar (there are 12 bars when the car is fully charged).

PHOTO ALBUM

Departure

It is rare that one can see so clearly the West Maui Mountains while driving from my home into Kahului. Normally, most Hawaiian volcano peaks are enveloped in clouds.

I took the first picture while driving past Ho’okipa Point, a famous surfing spot. The other two shots were taken from Kahului harbor. When the “Pride of America” cruise ship is in town (every Sunday and Monday), it instantly becomes the tallest structure in Kahului. 🙂

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Here’s also a view of it from across the Kahului harbor.

Maui’s “Rock of Gibraltar

Ever since we returned from our May 2014 trip to Europe, which included a visit to Gibraltar, I have been calling this rock on the northeast side of Maui as our “Rock of Gibraltar.”

The height of the overlook north of the “Rock of Gibraltar” offers wonderful views of the coastline to the north.

Blowhole Overlook

A few miles north of the “Rock of Gibraltar” is another popular tourist attraction – a Blowhole. I did not bother going down to the ocean to see it, but I did take in the wonderful ocean and coastline vista from the high overlook above the Blowhole.

img_0714View from the Blowhole overlook, northeast coast of West Maui

Enchanted forest at Honolua Bay

My next stop was Honolua Bay. I have never been here before today even though Honolua Bay is close to Kapalua, the first first spot on Maui where I landed for the first time in 1986.

Well today, I walked through this forest of huge trees and giant vines before reaching Honolua Bay. Take a look…

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Here are also some still shots from the enchanted forest and the Honolua Bay beach…

 D.T Fleming Beach Park

My next stop was another first – the D.T. Fleming Beach Park. The place is on the doorstep of Kapalua. Yet I have never been there before, either. The sign in the parking lot proudly announces it as “America’s Beast Beach of 2006.”

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Well, it is a nice beach. But America’s best beach? That sounds a bit too self-aggrandizing.

Who was D.T. Fleming? That’s what I was also wondering. So after some effort, I found out today that he was one of the early settlers here.  And he left behind a record of his experiences, “The Fleming Journals: West Maui Land Records and Family History 1905-1910”, which is now in Lahaina Library.

Kapalua Beach

Next was my longtime favorite – Kapalua Beach. That’s where I stayed when I first came to Maui in 1986.  The beach is still the same, and the views are beautiful. But there are a lot of condos now in place where there used to be just green lawns.

“Progress?” Not in my books.

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Kaanapali Beach

This is where I was hoping to recharge my Leaf’s battery. Alas, all charging stations were out of order. But I still had 6 out of 12 bars left in my battery.  So I was hoping I might make it back home on a single charge.

If so, that would be about 105 miles – 5 more than the rated range of my electric car. That’s because I had not charged the Leaf at home before I left this mornbbinbg. I did it the day before at Pukalani while I was doing laps in the swimming pool. So I figured, it would be touch-and-go driving home.

But, it is what it is. I figured God and my spirit guides know that they are doing.  So I shrugged and  I went to the Kaanapali Beach where I actually had my first and only swim of the day. It was already close to 4PM and the sun was getting low over the island of Lanai.

Visit to Lahaina

No trip around West Maui would be complete without a visit to Lahaina. So I parked at our usual spot in front of Starbucks, and then walked the length of Front Street all the way to the big Banyan tree and the Lahaina harbor. That’s where I took these pictures.

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By the time I headed back to my car, it was already almost 5PM.

“Ah, rush hour,” I thought.

There is only one road in and out of Lahaina. And at the end of the business day one is almost certain to end up in stop and go traffic. And so I did. We crawled all the way from Lahaina to Maalea Harbor where the road widens. Probably just as well as it helped save my car battery’s life.

I smiled when I realized that. “God knows indeed what He is doing.”‘

Drive Home: Winging It

When I got to about the Target store in Kahului, I was down to 3 bars in my car battery. That’s when I had to make a decision – do I go to Kaahumanu Mall and recharge, or risk it go for it – straight home.  I decided on the latter.

“God, now I need your help to get me home,” I said out loud.

I was thinking maybe those charging stations in Kaanapali were out for a reason – to test my faith and trust in spirit guidance.

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I got home comfortably with one bar in my car battery still left. Whew! 🙂

 

“ODE TO JOY” BY HAWAII SYMPHONY: SPIRITUAL CLIMAX OF 2016

HAWAII SYMPHONY’S “ODE TO JOY:” SPIRITUAL CLIMAX OF 2016

Wow. I had tears in my eyes at the end of the year-ending concert by Hawaii Symphony which featured Beethoven’s 9th symphony – Ode to Joy. And not just at the end. All four movements were masterfully played.

One could not have wished for a more perfect climax to an exciting year. I had to sleep on it in order to climb down emotionally enough from last night so as to be able to write about it.

It was the first time that I have had a chance to see a female conductor in action. And boy, was she ever terrific. She conducted not just with her arms, she put her whole body and soul into it.

No wonder JoAnn Falletta has a list of credits as long as my arm. But I did not know that beforehand (see http://www.joannfalletta.com/ for her bio).

At the end of last night’s performance, the audience was positively ecstatic. You’d think you were at a sporting event judging by the cheering and applause.

I’ll probably write more after I get back home to Maui this evening. Meanwhile, happy New Year to those of you in Australia, Asia and the eastern time zone!

ABOUT BEETHOVEN’S 9th SYMPHONY

Ludwig van Beethoven was almost completely deaf when he composed his ninth symphony. The Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 (also known as “the Choral” and “Ode to Joy”), is Beethoven’s final complete symphony. Completed in 1824, the symphony is one of the best-known works in classical music.

Beethoven’s deafness created one of the most touching stories in music. When the symphony was completed, he remained facing the orchestra and could not hear the thunderous applause of the audience for his new symphony. Caroline Unger, thimg_1575e mezzo-soprano soloist, had to tap the deaf composer’s arm and have him turn around so that he could see how the crowd’s response. Many of those in attendance, including Miss Unger, had tears in their eyes when they realized the extent of Beethoven’s deafness.

It was first performed on May 7, 1824 at the Kaerntnertor Theater in Vienna.The theater no longer exists. Today, on the site of the old theater is the Hotel Sacher, right behind the Vienna State Opera House. Without knowing this historical tidbit until just now, it is interesting Elizabeth and I were drawn to Hotel Sacher and went there for meals and deserts every day during our May 2014 visit to Vienna. Like the famous Sachertorte (cake see – https://goo.gl/kFIUYm).

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GREETINGS FROM ATOP DIAMONDHEAD SUMMIT

Attending the year-end Hawaii symphony concert was the main reason I flew to Honolulu for a day and a half visit. But not the only one.

When I got to Honolulu on Friday morning, the weather was wet and drizzly. My tentative plan was to drive out to the Pipeline, Oahu’s notorious surfing spot on its north shore. But as I headed out in that direction, drizzle and low clouds that were practically touching the ground dissuaded me from it.

So I turned around and drove in the opposite direction. And decided to try to climb Diamondback. By the time I made it to the world famous volcano that seems to grace every postcard of Honolulu, the rain had abated to just a light drizzle. Which actually made the hike quite enjoyable and easier than on my two previous climbs.

So here are some shots from the summit.

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By the time I made it there, even the drizzle had stopped. But the clouds were still there, providing an unusual backdrop to the usually sunny Waikiki beaches.

Here are some more scenes from the Diamondhead hike. You can see how low the clouds were from this panorama shot.

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WALK ON WAIKIKI BEACH

After a short nap, I went back out and walked on Waikiki beach. I don’t think I have ever seen it looking so gloomy. Yet the weather did not deter the tourists for doing what they came to Hawaii to do – lie, surf, sail or frolic on the beach. 🙂

I first went to my favorite hotel – the Royal Hawaiian.  When it was build in 1927, it was the tallest structure on Waikiki. Now it looks like a midget compared to the hotel skyscrapers around it. Yet it still has that old world Art Deco charm. I just love it. I could not imagine a visit to Honolulu without stopping by at the Royal Hawaiian.

This time, as I bonus I got to see it decked out in Christmas decorations. Which included this amazing gingerbread model of the hotel itself.

Right next door lies one of those hotel skyscrapers – the Sheraton, which now also manages the Royal Hawaiian.

That was the first hotel at which I stayed on my first visit to Hawaii 30 years ago. Its lobby was also looking very festive. You can also see from its beach the view of the Diamondhead which I had climbed a few hours before.

But my favorite view was this model who posed next to a giant sand castle display in the hotel lobby. 🙂 She was actually posing for her “sugar daddy.” I think I overheard them speaking Russian. Which stood out in a hotel lobby where 90% of faces and conversations were Japanese.

WAIKIKI BEACH SUNSET SILHOUETTES

Late this afternoon, I walked back to Waikiki beach to see if the sun would grace us with its appearance at least at the end of the day.

Turns out – not really. But not for a lack of trying.

Normally, this late i the day there would have been a symphony of colors here on the beach. But not today.

Which was actually a silver lining. Literally. 🙂 For, it gave me a chance to shoot this photo essay of Waikiki beach silhouettes.

I was sitting on a bench and drinking my coffee. And people were walking by, back and forth, back and forth… as the sun was struggling to break through the clouds.

As a result, these pictures almost look like B&W photos. Do you have a favorite?

VISIT TO TRUMP TOWER, STREET MARKET

On my way back to my hotel, I stopped at the Trump Tower for a nature call.  So I texted a friend:

“By the way, I just used the restroom in the Trump tower.   For free. One of the new taxpayer perks, I hear.” 🙂

Farther down Waikiki, a street market had just opened (after 4PM). And it was bustling. They even had Elvis helping create a festive atmosphere. 🙂

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Saturday, Dec 31, 2016

WAIKIKI BEACH: WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES!

The morning of my second day in Honolulu was filled with sparkling sunshine. By the time I made it back to Waikiki beach, a little after 9 AM, all sorts of usual activities were already under way.

What a difference a day makes! It’s hard to believe this is the same beach photographed from the same spots as the shots I took yesterday. It looked like God has decided to give Honolulu beautiful year-end weather. Take a look…

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KAILUA BEACH, WAIMANALO BAY AND KAPUU BEACH

After a nice Waikiki beach walk, I checked out of my hotel and pointed my car northward – toward Kailua on the windward Oahu coast. I did it with some trepidation for two reasons.

First, rainy clouds were still enveloping the high peaks of the Pali, the mountains that run like a spine parallel to the north shore of Oahu. Second, Kailua is where Obama is supposed to be vacationing. And the last thing I wanted was to run into him and his entourage or get delayed in traffic because of all his security.

But because the Kailua beach is one of the nicest beaches on Oahu, I decided to go there anyway.

As it turns out, my worries were unfounded. After driving through the drizzle at the top of the mountain range, the weather was mostly sunny over the ocean on the other side. As for Obama, there was no sign of him. So it was all good.

And this is what I saw on the beach…

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From Kailua, I continued on to the northeast corner of Oahu. From our previous visits there, I knew there would be probably a good view of the Makapuu beach from the lookout of the same name. It was very windy there so I did not hang around for too long. But here’s a panorama shot I took from the lookout.

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UNEXPECTED DISCOVERY: BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS DECOR IN DOWNTOWN HONOLULU

By the time I reentered Honolulu from the east, I thought I was done with my sightseeing. And then I took a “wrong” exit from the H1 freeway. Which turned out to be a perfect entrance into the enchanted world of Christmas in downtown Honolulu.

As I made the left turn from Punchbowl on King Street, I was stunned to see giant figures depicting Christmas scenes in front of the state and city buildings. So I quickly swung left again and ended up right at the entrance of a free public car park.  My spirit guides had it all laid out for me like a red carpet. I just had to walk on it.

And then I actually walk back along King Street admiring the spirit of Christmas in Honolulu on this New Year’s Eve of 2016.  I also marveled at it was all open to the public as our country used to be in the old days – no security screening, no cameras, just JOY OF CHRISTMAS.

Here’s a short video I shot inside the Honolulu City Hall:

Here are also some still shots now of a display of holiday spirit as magnificent as I have ever seen anywhere in the world.

(By the way, these are not inflatable figures. They are permanent sculptures.)

IOLANI PALACE: REMINDER OF SAD HAWAIIAN HISTORY

As I walked onto the beautiful grounds of Iolani Palace, the former royal Hawaiian residence, dotted with huge Monkey Pod trees, I was reminded of its sad history.

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On Jan 17, 1893, United States government overthrew the Hawaiian monarch Queen Liliuokalani at gunpoint, cowardly hiding behind a group of American sugar planters under Sanford Ballard Dole. The coup occurred with the foreknowledge of John L. Stevens, the U.S. minister to Hawaii, and 300 U.S. Marines from the U.S. cruiser Boston were called to Hawaii, allegedly to protect American lives (for more click here – https://goo.gl/CxZGoE).

And the coup was proclaimed right here, at the Aliiolani Palace, right across King Street from the royal residence at Iolani Palace.

Every time I think about it, I hang my head low in shame.

“These are hallowed grounds for Native Hawaiians,” I was thinking, “and it is a park of shame for the rest of us Americans.”

Which is why I fly the old Royal Hawaiian flag in front my Rainbow Shower home. And do ceremony of atonement and contrition at that spot every Jan 17 when I am in residence at the Rainbow Shower. It is my way of showing respect for the Native Hawaiians, and apologizing for the crime the US government committed against them almost 124 years ago.

Here are now photos of Iolani Palace. For more on that, including our visit inside the royal palace in May 2011, click on… https://goo.gl/AeOiwA.

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ALA MOANA HULA DANCERS

My final stop before going to the airport was at the Ala Moana mall. I figured they might have some holiday shows there. And sure enough, a group of Hawaiian women were performing hula dances just as I got there.

And that’s all she wrote from this trip to Honolulu.

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TOPLESS STREET WALKER IN DOWNTOWN HONOLULU

I almost forgot about this little tidbit. As I was driving from the Honolulu City Hall on King Street toward Ala Moana, I was stopped at a red light. My mind was still on the marvelous Christmas display I had just seen, and on the Hawaiian history that unfolded at Iolani Palace 124 years ago.

Suddenly I noticed a woman on a sidewalk who looked like a Native Hawaiian. She took off the pink rag she wore as her top and entered the crosswalk right in front of me topless. She seemed completely casual about that and took her time putting her hands to cover her breasts, like this woman in a file photo from NYC.

Unfortunately, the light changed to green before I had a chance to get my camera ready to shoot. Which is why I have to use this file photos to give you an idea of what I saw.

What do you suppose that was all about? An exhibitionist? And activist like these women in NYC and DC?

The Hawaiian woman, though, did not look like she cared if anybody stared. She walked topless across one of the busiest streets in Honolulu as if that’s the most natural thing to do.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM HAWAII!

Which Hawaii? The sunny or the rainy one?

Turns out – BOTH. On the same day. 🙂

Beautiful day in Oahu, flash flood at the Rainbow Shower in Maui

What a way to end the year. The same day could not have looked any more different between Oahu and Maui than this Christmas Eve.

FLOODING IN MAUI

My foot bridge is gone – for the third and probably final time. I could not even see anywhere its big and heavy (200 pounds) boards. The big bridge has been damaged but is still standing.

So as most things in life, the “good” often comes with the “bad.” So I wish you all a happy new year from both sunshine and rain in the same day.

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Epilogue of Saturday’s flash flood

BRIDGE REPAIRS DONE!

Finally the sun came out today and I was able to do some repairs and clean up after the flash flood on Saturday.

After about two hours work, and 2 1/2 pounds of lost weight, I was covered in mud head to toe. But the job was done and both bridges repaired.

My wonderful Japanese neighbors, Yumi and Taka, had found my foot bridge on their property and hauled it back into place before even started my work.

Of course, I thank them profusely as I never expected them to. I was just about to go hunt for downstream when they texted me that they had found the bridge and brought it back.

You can also see in the middle shot the two plants – money plant and red T-plant – which I have now put to mark the Music Crystal Transceivers despacho (buried underneath). Both were uprooted by the flood and deposited at this spot.

By the way, the erosion around the foot bridge has been so bad that the far end of it hanging onto what’s left of the riverbank by fingernails. I shored it up some more today with two long steel rods which I drove into the ground to support the bricks.
But as I said to Yumi and Taka after I was done, the next flood, if there is one (hope not), will be the end of the bridge.
“After that, I’ll cut it up for firewood,” I told them. They both laughed.

THE END. (I hope).

 * * *

UPDATE JAN 6, 2017

MORE “FARMER’S YOGA” AT THE RAINBOW SHOWER, GLEAMING ANUENUE (horse)

We have have had three consecutive days without rain! Which is a real blessing after suffering a two-year El Niño and scores of flash floods.

So yesterday, I put on my grubbies, grabbed my chainsaw and other tools, and headed down to the jungle at the bottom of the Rainbow Shower gulch to clear some large fallen trees.

The heavy and constant rains have made the tree crowns top heavy. And so they have eventually collapsed creating an impassable wall wooden wall.

I cannot remember how many times I have had to do that in the last 8 years. Probably several dozen jungle clearing efforts like that.
 

It took me a little over two hours of heavy chainsaw work to open up a path through the jungle. I worked in rubber boots because the ground was still muddy. Good news: Down 2.2 pounds at the end.

After I cleaned up, I drove on to Kihei and treated myself to a slice of delicious Maui Pie.

I know, driving 25 miles for a piece of pie may sound a bit excessive. But so was the chainsaw work I did. I had to cut most of the time by holding the chainsaw above my shoulders. And I’ve had rotator cuff surgeries on both shoulders a few years back (sports injuries – tennis, hiking, etc.).
 
Besides, I drive an electric car and have solar electricity. It’s not like I am wasting energy frivolously. And the pie was delicious, as usual. Mountain berry flavor. 🙂 Yum!

Anyway, this is what the jungle looks like now.

GLEAMING ANUENUE

Today I also polished our Anuenue bronze sculpture which has been relaxing on our front lawn for almost 8 years now. His name means “rainbow” in Hawaiian – appropriate for a guardian of the Rainbow Shower (name of my property).

Anuenue actually hails from Thailand. I had him first shipped to my home in Arizona back in 2006, and then on to Hawaii when I moved here in early 2009. So this horse is a world traveler even though he has been sedentary for the last 8 years. 🙂

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* * *

CHRISTMAS EVE ON MAKENA BEACH

Potential iPhone Problem Leads to Best Christmas Eve Ever!

It’s amazing how sometimes we can turn lemons into lemonade, almost unwittingly. What happened today is a case in point. A potential iPhone malfunction led to my best Christmas Eve ever. The climax was a long way up and down Makena Beach on southwest Maui shore, topped off by some bodysurfing on small – 3 to 5 ft – waves.

Potential iPhone Failure Spurs Me On Into Action

The day started with dark clouds and intermittent rain. Typical for the north shore of Maui where my home is.  So I decided to deal with some techie issues on my new Mac. After about an hour of talking to three Apple advisors, I was happy to have had all issues resolved. But when I looked at my iPhone, I was stunned. After just an hour of talking, the battery had dropped down 44% from 100% at the start of my phone call.

Well, I have been around the computer industry for more decades than I like to recall. So I knew this this was an omen of some hardware failure to come. Soon.  Because this phone (4S) is at least 4-5 years ago. Which makes it a dinosaur in this internet era. 🙂

And since this is now my only phone line and a long holiday weekend is coming up, I decided to do something about it rather than wait for the phone to fail. So I jumped in my car and drove all the way to the other side of the island – Kihei on the west shore of Maui. That’s where a Verizon dealer is located whose staff are much more customer oriented than the regular Verizon store staff. And indeed, they earned their striped again.

BUYING THE NEW PHONE

Within half an hour, I made a deal for a new iPhone SE. The new iPhone SE is almost the same (small) size as my old phone (I hate big phones!), but it’s the latest Apple technology.

You won’t believe the price I paid: One (1) cent! I kid you not. One cent! They had some kind of a free phone promotion going. But the computer needed to record an actual payment. Thus the one-cent price.

Alas, I did not have one cent on me. 🙂 So one of the Verizon advisors, a young man called Taylor, pitched in with his own penny. 🙂

All the while the two Verizon advisors and I were cracking jokes and teasing each other. Other customers who were waiting to be served also had a good time. Everybody was smiling and laughing.

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When Taylor was done with processing the order, I offered to buy him and his pal Keilani some Starbucks treats. Both delighted to accept. So I walked over to the Starbucks store in the same plaza and brought them their drinks back.

“This is not a freebie,” I teased Taylor. “You paid one cent for these drinks.” 🙂

Then Taylor started transferring the data from my old phone to the new one. “That will take about an hour,” he told me.

“In that case, I know exactly what I will do for that hour,” I replied.

SPUR-OF-THE-MOMENT MAKENA BEACH VISIT

On a spur-of-the-moment, I jumped back into my car and drove on to Makena Beach. That’s about 12 miles south of Kihei. It’s a magnificent beach which, unfortunately, is on the opposite side of the island from my home. So it’s quite a trek to get there. So I don’t get to do it more than maybe once or twice a year, if that.

Once on the beach, I lost my shoes and walked barefoot through the waves the full length of the – twice. I am guessing that would be probably about a mile and a half. At the north end of the beach, I also jumped into the ocean and did some body surfing on the 3-5 ft waves.

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The whole experience reminded me of the years I spent at my Western Australian home – the Bolt Hole. Right now, this is the height of the summer vacations Down Under. So being on a beach at Christmas seemed perfectly natural for me. And a bit wistful and nostalgic. I could practically see my Aussie friends barbecuing their Christmas meal on the beach. But not on Makena Beach.

NUDE MAKENA BEACH AND OUR DUAL MORALITY

Since I did not plan any of this, I did not have my swim suit on. So I just stripped down to my underwear. As you can see from the pictures, even though this is the height of the high season for tourism in Hawaii, there were very few people on the beach. Which speaks both about its relative remoteness and attractiveness for people like me who do not like crowds.

As I took off my shorts and dove into the ocean, I was chuckling under my breath about how fickle we humans can be.

Less than 20 yards away – there was this wall of lava which separates Makena Beach from the nude “Little” Makena Beach (see the photo).

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little-beach-makena-1024-cq8On the other side of the wall, beachgoers would frown if they saw me donning a swim suit. But on this side, the north end of the “regular” Makena Beach, I a little felt self-conscious jumping into the ocean in my underwear.

“Silly!” I reproached myself. “Dual morality. Double standards.”

A few years ago, Elizabeth and I actually climbed that wall and walked from stigma into freedom. We also undressed and went swimming naked. Like everyone else on the Little Makena Beach. I was quite proud of Elizabeth, a prim and proper lady on any other day [as befits a former Queen Victoria 🙂 ].

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Here’s also a 1-minute aerial video shot of the two Makena beaches, accompanied by Hawaiian music:

HO’OKIPA POINT SUNSET

After about an hour, I drove back to the store. Everything worked like clockwork. My new phone was ready.

So on my drive back home, I decided to try out its camera. I had heard that the new iPhone camera is fabulous. And my goodness, is it ever. Take a look at these pictures of a rainbow over the Rainbow Shower (my home lies just behind those two humps). And of the sunset at Ho’okipa Point, a famous surfing spot. Crystal clear!

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Bottom line?

You should embrace problems and face them head on when they crop up. Because you never know what kind of magical experiences may lurk on the other side.

Like this fabulous Christmas Eve of 2016.  Merry Christmas everybody!

 * * *

CHRISTMAS MORNING 2016 AT THE RAINBOW SHOWER

Merry Christmas! Ours was wet and rainy most of the day until the sun finally broke through the clouds in mid-afternoon.

A 20 sec video clip at the Rainbow Shower – Dec 25, 2016

Direct link to Youtube video: https://youtu.be/my5C1VSogE4

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* * *

CHRISTMAS AFTERNOON 2016, BIG SURF AT HO’OKIPA POINT

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When the sun finally broke through the clouds in mid-afternoon, I jumped in the car and drove to Ho’okipa Point to see a big surf that was expected today and tomorrow. Was it ever!

In most of the world, on a Sunday, and especially Christmas Day Sunday, many Christians go to church.

Over here on Maui, on this Christmas Day we had an all-day “church service” at Ho’okipa Point, a world-famous surfing spot near my home. For, watching big surf crash against the shore is a spiritual experience. That’s why I made a short video so you can see and feel it for yourself.

Take a look… You may be able to spot in the distance something that in the video looks like an insect. Actually it is a windsurfer braving these big waves. It was the first time that I have seen one in these weather conditions. He/she must be either very good or very crazy. 🙂

A 35-second video clip of big surf – 25 to 30 ft waves – at Ho’okipa Point, one of the world’s foremost surfing spots

Direct link to Youtube video: https://youtu.be/t6MivMUcvzU

WELCOMING BACK BIG SURF AT HO’OKIPA POINT

WELCOMING BACK BIG SURF AT HO’OKIPA POINT

Something made me jump into my car shortly after noon today and drive five miles to Ho’okipa Point, one of the world’s most foremost surfing spots. Not because I expected to see anyone actually surfing today. Because I did not.

I had heard that big surf may be revisiting us in Maui again today. And since I have not had a chance to see any while I was in Arizona in the last 2.5 months, thought I’d make the pilgrimage. They are always spectacular and never the same, Just like no two waves are ever alike.

So here are first some panorama shots I brought home from that outing.

Here are now some regular shots of today’s Ho’okipa big surf.

When I say “big,” keep in mind that everything is relative. These were 20-25 foot puppies. We have seen waves at this spot 40-50 ft high, And at the Jaws, which is even closer to my home, they can be easily well over 60 ft.

So let’s say today we had “medium” size puppies by Maui standards. 🙂

 

MAUI BIG SURF SPECTACULAR

MAUI BIG SURF SPECTACULAR

Jan 15, 2016

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35-45 Blue and White Giants Roll On and Crash into Rugged Coastline

They were not kidding when the weathermen said we would get 35-45 ft surf today. Right after posting a heads-up about it this morning, Elizabeth and I jumped into our El Jeepo and headed down the unpaved rough and tumble road to Jaws.

Jaws is a cove about 4 miles from the Rainbow Shower where the world surfing record was set in 2001 with a 75-ft ride.

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When big surf comes to Maui, half the island seems to move to our neighborhood. So even though it was only mid-morning, there were already hundreds of people watching the surfers being towed in and taking on the giant waves.

But we’ve seen it all before with even bigger waves. So we did not stay very long.

“We’ve done our annual pilgrimage,” I joked. “We can go now.”

We drove on for about 5 miles or so to another world famous surfing spot – Ho’okipa Point. Now here, today, the surf was truly spectacular. We stayed probably half an hour watching and filming the blue and white giants break and crash into the rugged shore.

At one point, while making a video, my legs got splashed by a rogue wave. I heard a young woman behind me scream, “you’re too close. You’ll get sucked in.”

It’s all on film which you’ll be able to see when I edit and post it. For now, you can also see a still shot Elizabeth took of my standing on the tip of Ho’okipa Point and filming the surf.

I just smiled and waved to her back, thinking she was a tourist. Later, after I finished filming and went over to talk to her and Elizabeth, I found out that she was also local. And that she thought I was a crazy tourist who did not respect the dangers of the ocean.

Well, maybe I was (crazy). But definitely not a tourist… 🙂

Take a look at some still shots… (the two surfer shots are file photos from Jaws)

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Fruit stands spring up along with big surf
Our “El Jeepo” looking as if it is surfing down a green lawn 🙂
Here are some additional shots from the Maui Big Surf Spectacular…

Here’s now a video of the spectacular surf on Maui’s north shore…

 * * *

MAUI BIG SURF SPECTACULAR – UPDATE

ESPN, Jan 26, 2016

Surfers risk lives paddling into historic 80-foot waves

You saw it first at the Rainbow Shower “news channel.” And now, ESPN has also published a story about the huge waves that made waves and news on Maui 11 days ago.

It is not often that one beats the national news network by 11 days. It helps if you live within 4 miles of the world’s greatest two surfing spots – the Jaws and Ho’okipa Point.  That’s what Elizabeth and I did on Jan 15, when giant surf arrived in Maui (see MAUI BIG SURF SPECTACULAR), drawing out the best professional surfers onto the waves.

Today, ESPN caught up with us. The sports network published a great story about that day, including some spectacular pictures. Take a look…

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I inserted our El Jeepo at the exact spot where we parked that morning at Jaws.

For more, see…

Surfers risk lives paddling into historic 80-foot waves – http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/14626909/surfers-risk-death-paddling-historic-80-foot-waves-jaws

* * *

ONE YEAR AGO…

Jan 22, 2015

Here are also some scenes from the same two surfing spots – Jaws and Ho’okipa Point – from a year ago…

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