Our Final Few Weeks in Hawaii, 2016

Sunday, February 05, 2017
Napili, Hawaii, United States
Apologies for the delay in posting this blog entry of our final few weeks in Hawaii. We have returned to Australia but thought it was still worth writing this entry. Our final 2 months after returning from the Big Island were relatively quiet although we did do a number of twilight sails. One of these was a twilight sail on Scotch Mist II, a 50' sailing boat out of Lahaina Harbour which was arranged by our friend, Nancy Phelphs. Nancy had been asked to take photos of the sail for the new owners. It is a great experience which we would thoroughly recommend for visitors to Maui.

Two of the highlights of the year in Maui are the Pailolo Challenge paddle boat race from Maui to Molokai, a distance of 27 miles (44 km) and the Xterra triathalon which is the off-road World Triatholon Championships . In the Pailolo race there are generally two crews of 6 for each boat who change about every 8 – 10 km by jumping into the sea and the new crew getting in. One of our friends from Noosa, Stacey Phillis was a member of an Australian senior women’s crew which came second in their class. On the weekend after, they then competed in the Molokai Hoe paddle boat race from Molokai to Honolulu, a distance of 44 miles (66 km) which is considered the World paddle boat championship and won their division. Stacey described it as "the 'f#####g’ hardest race I have ever competed in". A crew from Tahiti won the open men’s event for the 14th straight year in a time of 4hr 49min whereas the last crews take over 8 hrs.

The Xterra event is a 3.2 km swim, a 32 km mountain bike ride and a 10.5 km run but the difference from a normal ultra-triathalon is that the bike ride and run are on very rough and steep mountain tracks which this year had been made a lot worse by the amount of rain there had been in Maui just prior to the event . The sea was also quite rough which seemed to put off many of the competitors from Europe. There are nearly 800 competitors from all over the World, including professional athletes, all of whom had qualified by results in other events throughout the year. The professional men and women take about 3 hrs and the final finishers about 8 hrs.

In September, our friend Deanna stayed with us for 10 days. She arrived just in time to attend a cocktail party at the Montage resort which was in aid of breast cancer. This event was sponsored by Maui vodka so we enjoyed some great cocktails all for a good cause. Deanna being with us gave us an excuse for another twilight cruise on the Gemini catamaran which we love – all-inclusive with plenty of food and of course, cocktails. Lots of beach and shopping was also on the agenda while she was in Maui.

Rather than go into detail on everything, it is easier to look at the photos . The photos of the Fairmont, where we had a great meal of their Kō restaurant, give an indication of how luxurious this resort is. In the US, Halloween is a big deal and Maui is no different. People dress up and there are lots of parties and fireworks at night. Nancy loves a celebration and she wore the outfit shown in the photo to work on the day.

On a sad note we lost Chandler a couple of weeks before we left. He had not been happy for a while and it appeared he had suffered a slight stroke a little time before. He still went to the beach every day and enjoyed digging his hole so he could sleep in comfort. He had an amazing life both in Sydney and Maui and gave a lot of love to many people. Sue and I were blessed to have had him for so long and he was responsible for us meeting quite a few people in Maui who we now consider our friends.

On the way back to Australia, we spent the mandatory time in Honolulu so we could do lots of Christmas shopping as well as enjoy the food and the walks around Diamond Head. Some of the places we liked were Sapphora Japanese restaurant, the Pig and the Lady in Downtown, Nobu which is opposite the Halekulani Hotel and lunch at the Kahala Mandarin which is worth the 2 hr walk (or take a bus if so inclined).

It’s nice to be back in Australia for a while but we certainly miss our friends and the lifestyle in Maui. We’ll certainly be going back sometime later this year.