Dangers of Full Face Snorkel Masks -
The concept was great but the reality terrible. Dive shops, snorkel charters and water rescue people will all tell you these are an accident waiting to happen. Why?
The huge volume of air around face with commonly faulty seals creates situation where you are breathing your own breath aka carbon dioxide. So dangerous!!
If the mask gets water in it the whole mask must be removed which is very difficult without standing on something. If the snorkel floods in a traditional mask, simply take it out of your mouth and you have access to air while still keeping your nose and eyes covered.
This you tube was put out last year but the information is still the same.
Maui welcomes visitors with aloha but selfish, thoughtless behavior will change that every time.
No more ugly Americans - These rules apply across the world and even in your home town.
1) CONTROL YOUR CHILDREN Your screaming, splashing kids might be cute to you but not to those of us getting water splashed in the face or trying to relax at the pool. Along those lines we don't want your little one hanging over the booth watching us eat and the wait-staff doesn't want them running around the restaurant while they are trying to balance hot plates and full drinks.
There are so many tours that are great for kids but many aren't. Don't choose activities you know are beyond your children interest or ability. Holding up a group while you try to coax your scared child to join in is thoughtless to the group and your little one. Maui is a wonderful place to bring your children but it's also an adult play ground too.
2) Spend the extra money and BUY REEF SAFE SUNSCREEN! The Hawaiian reefs are being killed by many of the ingredients in regular sun screen and once the coral is dead it doesn't come back. This is a really big deal and will soon be illegal to wear anything else.
3) NO ROAD RAGE Maui is a mellow place and bringing you're stressful, aggressive driving skills from home takes that away in a split second. Stop at crossings and let people walk across. Stop honking. Slow down, take a deep breath and breath in the island spirit.
4) TIP YOUR SERVER I know Maui is incredibly expensive and adding a 15%-20% tip to every meal seems excessive but it is part of the cost of a meal. Servers pay taxes on projected tips that they may or may not receive. I realize tipping in not done in most of Europe but it is expected in the USA. When in Rome, do as the Roman's and when in Maui - tip your servers and guides.
5) You came to Maui to have an island experience so don't demand everything to be just like home. You are a guest on the island and it behoves you to act like one. BE GRACIOUS AND POLITE. Don't snap at the worker at Safeway because they don't stock the same yogurt as at home. Don't give unsolicited advice. Don't endlessly complain because the service isn't fast enough or the food isn't prepared the same as home. Nobody really cares. People living here want a relaxed lifestyle and jumping to your commands just doesn't fit in.
6) Enjoy your Mai Tai's but leave the driving to us DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE Uber is available through out the island. There is also an open air ride service called Turtle Tracks that can get you around Kihei. Fun, cheap and much safer than driving.
7) LEAVE THE ISLAND ON THE ISLAND Get your souvenirs at an ABC Stores not the beach. If every one of the 3 million tourist took home a handful of sand, a piece of coral or a cool rock the beaches would be bare. It is also bad juu-juu and your fellow plane riders will appreciate not crashing into the ocean.
8) No matter where you are in the WORLD - DON'T LITTER Pack it in - Pack it out is the code of good hikers everywhere: make it yours. This is especially true with smokers. Burying your butts under the sand doesn't mean they aren't there. Recycle. Use a refillable water bottle. I hate to see the white packing peanuts on the beach and I'll bring a bag to pick up in my early walks.
9) DO NOT TOUCH THE TURTLES Sea Turtles are not a Disneyland ride and you are not the little mermaid. Riding on their backs can kill them. Following them around to get the perfect selfie is harassment, illegal and immoral. I've watched tourists circle a turtle, blocking her escape without even realizing what they were doing. They are also able to get off the sand without your help. I know they look like they're stuck but they aren't. Let them rest. Watch them from a distance - stay 10 feet away. It's fascinating to watch them eat at the rocks and to swim with them at a distance. Consider these are living beings and treat them with respect.
10) DO NOT TRESPASS. I think this is the number one complaint of locals, especially when it comes to sacred sites. Trespassing is against the law, rude and potentially dangerous. There are reasons for signs. The gentle stream might be in a flash flood area, sneaker waves can pull you across the lava and into the ocean. The rock formation is really somebodies alter and the hiking trail is somebodies yard. The signs are there for a reason, respect them.
If you want to be a good tourist, a welcomed guest everywhere you go follow my mom's golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do to you.
There's more than one way to get ripped on your Maui vacation. One will give you a headache but one can take your life.
Read the warning signs and warning flags:
Green Flag - Go !
Yellow Flag - Think twice
Purple Flag - Dangerous marine life
RED FLAG - Stay OUT!!!
If you get caught in the current in Maui don't panic. Fighting currents will exhaust you and this is a primary reason for drownings. If you're being pulled out go with it. Don't struggle, swim with the current parallel and the direction of the waves along the beach. The current itself will bring you back in. You might be a mile down the beach but you'll be safe.
Watch for lines of sandy, brown water heading out from the beach. The under tow is pulling the sand away from the beach. Another sign is calm, clear water that separates the waves. Though it looks like a great place to get in be aware of a possible strong current.
Ask the locals working at the sandwich shops, dive shops or ABC store. They'll know where to avoid. Be safe.
Where are you on the UV Index ? Enter your geographic location about and find out.
The road to Hana has 617 hairpin curves over a total distance of 52 miles that’s about 11 curves per mile and a lot of tummy rumbling. Lots of places to pull over, catch your breath and sightsee but sometimes you need something more. I've gathered these suggestions off of Facebook from fellow travelers. My daughter gets sick on regular roads and loved the Hana Tonic which is sold all over. We found it at ABC stores.
When you pull over to explore a water fall or rest your tummy choose wisely. If the sign says no parking there is a reason and even if others are stopped keep going. Remember what your mom said when you told her everybody's doing it? Don't be stupid because somebody else is.
You won't get it until you get there .............
Two artists arrived in Lanai and while taking in the peace of the island they realized most of the native birds were being eaten by the thousands of feral cats on the island. Loving both cats and birds they looked for a way to keep both of them safe and happy. And so the story goes of the birth of the Cat Sanctuary.
We loved it. The cats were so friendly. Five or six were waiting right at the gate to say hello. We rode from the Harbor in one of the two island taxi's which you need to call ahead and schedule. Really interesting driver with lots of local information. I've made a slide show from just some of the photo's we took on our visit.
Mele Kalikimaka In Hawaii
As I'm sure you can guess, Christmas came with the Christians, The Protestant missionaries who arrived in 1820 introduced the story and celebration of Jesus's birth but long before the Hawaiian had a 4 month celebration with the essence of peace and goodwill and all wars were forbidden. The early Hawaiians were a brutal group so getting them to all agree to a temporary truce was an early Christmas miracle.
Mary Dominis brought a Christmas tree and Santa Claus or Kanakaloka to the Hawaii's first Christmas party on the 24th of December 1858. King Kamehameha IV declared in an official holiday in 1862.
We can now enjoy decorations and lighting ceremony's throughout all the islands. A real stand out is at the Grand Wailea in South Maui which is available to the public. For those so lucky to be in Maui for Christmas - Enoy.
The Whales are Here!!
Aloha Stokes makes great videos about just about everything on Maui. This is one of my favorties as is the Pacific Whale Foundation. Wonderful tours from experts.
Airbnb's are not always what they apple to be....
When I was shopping for a vacation rental condo I would fly into Maui for a day or two as new units came on the market and I booked a room through Airbnb. I've done this in New York, Rome and Serranto and couldn't have asked for better. Great locations, great prices and local advice from the owners who lived there.
So when I was staying over night in Maui I thought, "Why Not?". I choose women owners, with cleaning, modern condos. The ad implied I'd be sharing the condo with the owner and though I was a single woman I felt safe staying with somebody in their own house, especially another woman. The truth was terribly disappointing.
The "owners" had rented apartments - not condo's, put locks on the bedroom doors and rented the rooms out to different people. The living room area was blocked off and the kitchen empty except for a coffee pot and paper cups. Really weird and really uncomfortable. I found myself sharing space - including the bathroom - with strangers who had no connection to the unit. I feel fortunate the others were quiet and stayed in their own rooms.
These Airbnb's were "illegal", meaning in complexes that don't allow vacation rentals. In Maui, a vacation rental property has a different zoning than a residential complex. A vacation rental complex often has a front desk, social activities open to guests and more security. But to me the biggest difference in an illegal unit is the people living in the complex don't want you there. Would you want strangers in and out every fews days on your street?
Illegal Airbnb's can be be huge money makers. I paid $100/night in a three bedroom apartment and if all three rooms were filled the woman made around $9000/month. That much money is a great incentive but morally and socially wrong. Each illegal unit takes away available housing for local people and lack of available, affordable housing is a huge problem in Maui. I want to be part of life solutions, not problems.
How to avoid illegal Airbnb's? There are good people who want to share their homes with you. Here are some rules to avoid the bad ones.
Part time Maui resident sharing my Kihei condo with guests when I'm staying in my mainland home.