2019 Return to Maui

Many of you know that Billie and I make an annual trek to our favorite place to stay on Maui. Because we’ve been there many times we do very little site-seeing, preferring to use the wonderfully relaxing environment of the Napili Kai Beach Resort (NKBR) to just recharge our batteries for the remainder of the year.

This year was no exception; for the most part we just stayed on the property either cooking our meals or enjoying the Sea House restaurant on premises, visiting with friends we tend to see vacationing at the same time and place each year, and occasionally heading out to eat at other restaurants in the area or to shop the local grocery stores and Farmer’s Market. However, we did go a bit further afield to enjoy a mid-day meal at the wonderful General Store (at Hali’imaile – pronounced hi-lee-e-mile-e) which is about an hour-plus drive away “up country” (on the lower, beginning edge  of Haleakala mountain).

Since that took us nearly to the east coast of the island, we drove a bit further after lunch to visit Ho’okipa Beach Park. We also took advantage of the weekly horticultural tour of the resort property led by Joe – the man responsible for all the landscaping and beautiful plants at the resort.

Around Napili Kai

Even though we’ve been at the resort quite often, we’d not taken advantage of Joe’s expertise before (even though we certainly had noticed the obvious landscaping improvements every time we returned) and decided we were overdue for some education. It would have been impolite, and probably annoying to others on the tour, to take photos while Joe was explaining things but I went around later by myself and took shots of things interesting to me.


For example, it turns out that after an orchid plant has spent some time in a guest’s room, it is provided to Joe to plant on the property. Many of them are “planted” on trees and trained to be ‘air plants’ getting moisture and other nutrients from the air. Others are planted in the ground. Here is a slideshow sampling of some of those orchids:

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(Incidentally, I’ve done my best to find the correct names for these flowers but if you know I’ve made a mistake, please let me know.)

There have been many other additions to the flowers and trees at NKBR over time. Here are a images of a few other plants found around Napili Kai (click to see the image larger):

Other West Maui Images

Of course, I also captured a few other images of the general environment just to satisfy my need to take photos – starting with the more-or-less iconic sunset shot presented at the top of this blog page.

Layers of early morning color in the sky prior to sunrise
Layers of early morning color in the sky prior to sunrise as a full moon prepares to set behind the island of Lanai
Napili Bay beach just after sunrise
Napili Bay beach just after sunrise and before the beach fills with swimmers and sun worshippers.
Hiking the Kapalua Trail in the morning
Hiking the Kapalua Trail in the morning in West Maui
An amusing new weather device installed near the beach

Ho’okipa Beach Park

This beach park is on the eastern (windward) side of the island and gets significantly more and higher surf. It is a very popular location for wind surfers – and is therefore also popular for people like me who occasionally like to capture more action-oriented images. Wind surfers primarily use wind to power their boards and can ride their boards in almost any direction both out to sea and back toward the beach (board surfers are using the power of the waves to drive their rides mostly toward the beach). Because they are powering their boards against the direction of the waves (going out) they are also able to leap the boards into the air, sometimes actually flipping their boards in a complete circle before landing on the water again. Here are several shots of this activity:

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Wind surfer "catching air"
“Catching air” at Ho’okipa Beach Park, Maui

We happened to notice this somewhat older gentleman (compared to the other wind surfers out there) starring at the ocean for a time. We wondered if he was just a beginner at this sport so we 

Wind surfer checking out the surf
Checking out the surf at Ho’okipa Beach Park, Maui

kept an eye on him while also enjoying the spectacle being presented in the ocean. When he suddenly put his board in the water and immediately began surfing out we realized he was no beginner. I shot a fairly shaky, hand-held, 12-image burst of him as he hit a small wave and then turned it into this animation of him catching air (and landing it while still surfing). 


All in all, this was a great day and another wonderful trip for us to the island we love to visit. 

Many of the images in this blog (but not all) are also posted on my photography website CedBennett.Photography where they can be seen large and in a higher resolution. Please feel free to leave comments in the section below or at the photography website.


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