Thursday, October 23, 2014

Shark attacks on Maui

If you've been watching the news these past few days, you may have heard about the three recent shark attacks off Maui waters.

What on earth is going on?? I'll tell you - very simply, murky water. We did just have Hurricane Ana pass through which sent us a lot of rain (though to my knowledge no storm damage). Rain runs off into the ocean, creating murky water (washing things into the ocean you probably don't want to swim in either). Additionally a storm passing through will whip up the water, creating weird currents and what-not.

picture taken at the Maui Ocean Center's shark tank
Noone was injured in these shark attacks, the sharks left bite marks on the surf/stand-up paddle boards involved.

Please please please let this be a reminder, do not go out in murky water. You may be fine (shark-wise), but you may be asking for trouble. If you get in trouble, someone will (hopefully) rescue you, putting their own life at risk.

When in doubt, please do not go out.

Should you worry about sharks (other than in murky water)? Honestly, there is a much greater chance of you having a car accident while on Maui than being bitten by a shark. Do use common sense and if you are concerned, stay at beaches that have life guards (who keep an eye out for sharks and can help you).

More information on ocean safety.

A year ago scientists tagged a number of tiger sharks off Maui to track their travels - check out this website (unless you are prone to worrying, then don't). Please keep in mind, this is not real-time information, so don't use this as a tool to see where the sharks are. Additionally, they did not tag all the sharks swimming in Hawaii waters, just a few off Maui's waters. It sure is interesting to see where these sharks have traveled. Some have stayed close, while others have explored great distances.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Also this Friday - town party Kihei-style!

Don't feel like driving all that way up to Lahaina for some action? Check out the monthly Kihei town-party (takes place the 4th Friday of every month) at Azeka Plaza in Central Kihei from 6-9pm (parking is tight).

Talk about food-truck heaven (in addition to some of the local restaurants), kids activities, lots of live music, and vendors with locally made goods. Just looking at this list, you just may find me there....

Vendors: Beads Lead to Success, Boobie Shack, Glee Associates, Hale Kau Kau, Hawaii Blue, Jonerz & Sparrow (our friends!), Kanakala Pacific Trade, The Maui Cookie Lady, Maui Fine Arts, No Ka Oi Nut Company, Rock & Vibe Jewelry & Art, Shaka Pops (oh yum), SOS Enterprises, Morey Inc, Wanderlust, Maui Search & Rescue, Dept of Health, Paradise Now, Phillip Sabado Art Studios, 808 Clothing, Bellasolshade, Fresh Local Product, Frikum (Be Aloha), Giving Bracelets, Glee Associates, Hula Cookies & Ice Cream (double yum), KZZ Enterprise, Maui Macaroons, Mechanics of Healing, Origami Owl/Pink Plumeria Creations, Rotary Club of Kihei Sunrise Foundation (check out their coffee), Salter, Tropical Lanes, Enchantress Boutique, C Moore Glass, Bodhi Waves, and Awakening in Paradise LLC.

For more information - check their website or facebook page!

This weekend - Lahaina Plantation Days!

Looking for something to do this weekend? How about checking out the 5th annual Lahaina Plantation Days? It takes place from 5-10pm both Friday Oct 24th and Saturday Oct 25th next to the Old Smokestack in Lahaina (you can see the smokestack from the highway, you can't miss it). Music, food, games. Admission is $5/adult, kids 5 and under are free.

Hint: if you go on Saturday, you will be treated to (among others) a special concert by Lahaina's very own Elvis of Burn'n Love fame! What a deal for $5!!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Geckos geckos everywhere

I just had to share this picture taken in my kitchen this evening. We have this tiny baby gecko (an inch head to tail) in our house - I tried to catch him in the bathroom yesterday (to release him outside), but he was determined not to be caught. Tonight I found him trying to use my laptop! Now he's peering over the edge of the counter, trying to determine if the drop to the floor is safe. Probably not little guy.

Should you be scared of geckos? Nope. Geckos are pretty harmless, and though they probably will startle you, they are considered good luck here in Hawaii! They also eat bugs - nature's pest control. But yes, I agree, I'd rather he go outside!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hurricane Ana update - looks like we dodged the bullet on Maui!

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center just released their latest Hurricane Ana information at 5am. Big Island and Maui County are no longer under a tropical storm watch. What does this mean exactly? It means that the storm is too far away for meteorologists to expect us to notice hurricane or tropical storm strength winds in these two counties. However, we can still expect rain and some wind. Currently in South Kihei there is no rain. It is just very humid. It looks like we dodged the bullet this time. We are really very thankful.

Please do not go into the ocean today. There will still be high surf, run-off from rain and a category 1 hurricane passing by which messes with currents and ocean conditions. Best to stay out and do something else today.

Deep Island Hawaiian Rum

Ocean Vodka, a Maui-based distillery, has started selling their very own rum this past month. It's called Deep Island Hawaiian Rum, and is a clear rum made from their organic sugar cane and deep ocean mineral water. It is produced at their farm & distillery in Kula.

How is it? We added it to pog (passion orange guava juice), wow! That went down really smooth. Not sure about their label design - somewhat pirate-y perhaps.

Also, Ocean Vodka has recently changed the design of their vodka bottle. Look for the new bottle on store shelves shortly.

Curious about these Maui-made spirits? Book a farm/distillery tour at their farm on Omaopio Road in Kula. It's really interesting!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Kihei Caffe

After ten years of either vacationing or living on Maui, I finally made it to Kihei's famous Kihei Caffe, located at the Triangle across from Kalama Park on South Kihei Road.

Kihei Caffe is known for amazing breakfast, long lines, cash-only payment, and did I mention amazing breakfast? They also serve lunch.

this is the 'make your own omelette' with potatoes right in it - amazing presentation!

the #6 on the menu - buttermilk pancakes - is enough to feed two adults

the infamous cinnamon roll French toast. Yum.
Yes, we left with several carry-out containers of food we didn't finish. So good.

Hurricane Ana update and list of closures this weekend

Aloha all, Ana is approaching but her path has been shifting away from Maui County (so thankful!!) and currently the sentiment is, yes, be prepared, but we think it won't be so bad after all (but this is an ever-changing difficult to predict event, so please stay informed). For more information, check out the MauiNow newspage.

Central Pacific Hurricane Center Oct 17th 5am update
However, as this is an ever-changing weather event, there are a number of closures this weekend (see this list). Most notably beaches - please please please stay out of the ocean Saturday for sure, maybe even Sunday. Even if the weather seems fine, big weather events change currents in the water and have been known to sweep people out to sea. Please do not put other people's lives (who may need to rescue you) in danger by going out. Additionally, if there is a lot of rain, there will be run-off into the ocean. Run-off attracts little fish which in turn attracts sharks. Best just to stay out.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hurricane Ana Watch

My favorite Maui-based meteorologist Malika Dudley took a new job yesterday at the Maui Now and Big Island Now newspapers as their chief meteorologist. What does this mean to you? If I've been advising you to watch MAUIWatch on facebook, still do so for Maui news itself (it will be helpful as people on Maui post what is happening around them during and after the storm if we have power), but for weather forecasts, go to the MauiNow site or MauiNow facebook page. If you are watching Hawaii news online or on TV, please be aware that it is mostly Oahu-specific. Good to watch, yes, but for the Maui specifics, you will want to look at one of these Maui newscasts.

Regarding Hurricane Ana - it is still a tropical depression (slower winds) and not actually a hurricane. Forecasters are now saying it should become a hurricane by Friday. The current forecast is showing the track has shifted slightly to the south and a little away from Maui. No, don't let your guard down, this still means we'll get wind and rain, but perhaps not as intense as during a Category 1 hurricane. Keep in mind, this is all very much in flux and can (most likely will) change.

Central Pacific Hurricane Center's 5am forecast
Here is the official hurricane ranking system from the Central Pacific Hurricane Center:

Saffir-Simpson Scale
  • Tropical Storm - winds 39-73 mph (34-63 kt)
  • Category 1 - winds 74-95 mph (64-82 kt)
  • Category 2 - winds 96-110 mph (83-95 kt)
  • Category 3 - winds 111-129 mph (96-112 kt)
  • Category 4 - winds 130-156 mph (113-136 kt)
  • Category 5 - winds 157 mph and up (137+ kt)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Today's turtle picture from Keawakapu Beach!

Our cousin Kevin Birkholz took this awesome picture while snorkeling at Keawakapu Beach next to our Kihei Surfside condo today. He said the water was choppy - but what a great picture (taken with his GoPro camera).

thanks Kevin! Awesome underwater turtle shot!