Maui Bound

I’ve heard many people say that all of the Hawaiian islands have very different energies that make them feel uniquely their own. This week has certainly been a testament to that. In one day, I went from participating in spiritual ceremony at the Hui to the big box busyness of one of Maui’s main condo districts. One of my very longest and closest friends from Victoria, Hayden, was visiting his vacationing parents there. We haven’t seen each other in three and a half years since he moved to New Zealand and then Australia. A chance connection on Facebook left both of us surprised and excited to be able to visit each other–in no less than the busy tourist town of Kihei. For a friendship that involved a lot of budget dancing nights on the town, punk music, recycled art-making, and the cheapest wine money can buy, it was not a scenario I could have ever predicted. I love this about my life: every time I think I see the course of my journey ahead of me, a bend in the road sends me on a new path and reminds me I’m really just along for the ride.

And what a ride it was. It started with the plane ride to Maui, which hugged the cliffs all along the northeast of the island. I was busy watching the gentle sloping hill we live on to catch a glimpse of the Hui when suddenly the ground dropped out from underneath us as we crested the edge of the 2,000-foot high coastal cliffs. After recovering from momentary vertigo, I locked my eyes on the cliffs beside us as they morphed into steep mountains and giant valleys extending far inland. These areas are only accessible by boat–a handful of off-grid houses were visible on some of the shores but separated from each other by walls of rock. One after another, we passed about seven or eight massive valleys of lush, pristine forest leading to countless long white lines of water falling far away in the ancient cracks in the cliffs. By the time we reached Halawa Bay, the most remote location accessible by paved road that I described in an earlier post, Halawa felt like a familiar bastion of bustling civilization. I found out later that Maui tourists pay over three times the cost of this plane ride to see the same view in a helicopter. Yep, I felt pretty lucky.

Hayden and I picked up right where we left off. It was straight to the pool with drinks in hand, and then across the road for a sunset on the beach. Hayden’s mom and stepdad graciously adopted me as their temporary daughter for the weekend, feeding me delectable macadamia nuts, lettuce wraps and an absolutely mouthwatering recipe for BBQ shrimp that I can’t wait to get the recipe for. It’s a kindness that reminds me of small-town BC and reminds me how excited I’ll be to go home.

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The most magical part was snorkeling just offshore of Kamaole Beach. Just a few dozen feet into the water, we could see bright hills and valleys of coral, spiky sea urchins, and schools of technicolour fish. Suddenly, I spotted a little octopus being chased by some bothersome fish. Its camouflage ability was absolutely stunning! Belonging to the family of cephalopods–along with squids– octopuses (not octopi, I found out) can completely change their movement, colour, patterns, and even texture. Having shooed away the fish, the dark blue, translucent creature suddenly stopped on the side of an outcrop of rock and transformed itself into rough, pale pink coral. When it felt safe to continue forward, it turned black and sunk down to the ocean floor, slinking along with the movement of a panther, its tentacles like claws. Again, it froze instantly into a dark and grey spotted rock lying obscured by the fine sand. I floated on the surface, barely moving, knowing that if I took my eyes off it for a second that it would disappear. Not long ago, I learned about the camouflage ability of cephalopods from my roommate, Torrey. She shared this video with me, and if you have 4 minutes to spare, it will most certainly blow your mind and help express the incredible sight I had the privilege to see firsthand.

Returning to the Hui, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The entire garden looked way bigger! Things are really starting to grow again at an amazing speed now that we are coming out of winter–I can barely keep up with harvesting it all! Which reminds me, I’ve been here exactly two months now. And though Marc hasn’t been here quite that long, it took him no time at all to get comfortable. After enlisting me to shave his head in solidarity with a family member who has cancer, Marc decided to take a short detour down memory lane and relive the old days of his mohawk… And then another detour–one that can only be described as a side twist…..

The Before Shot

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The Hot Shot:

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The Bald Shot:

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The Side Twist:

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The Money Shot:

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