It is said that the demigod Maui
loved to fish. One day his line caught, and as he pulled and
pulled, one by one the Hawaiian Islands broke the surface of
the sea. But he did not stop there. Standing on the brink of
Haleakala's awesome crater, Maui snared the sun and received
a promise to give the islands more daylight hours so that he
and his people could have more time to fish
Maui started five million years ago. It was the result of volcanic
eruption on the ocean floor creating two adjacent volcanoes.
An undersea volcano, an embolic island try to reach the
surface. These volcanoes formed into one island and became
Maui. One of the volcano that was made was the West Maui
mountains that extinct million years ago. The other volcano
is Haleakala which is 10,023 above sea level. Haleakala is
now considered a dormant volcano. Fountains of molten magma
soared into the sky as eruption followed eruption. Red lava
ended in huge clouds of steams as they flow slowly into the
ocean. Lava flows and the gradual erosion of the volcano's
slopes combined together to form a land bridge between the
islands. The isthmus became the rich plain of Central Maui,
which today is where most of islands agriculture, industries
and population is located.
The first people to migrate here in Maui were the Marquesas. They sailed
in 750 A.D. from the pacific in their flagged doubled-hulled
sailing canoes. The Marqueses didn't know anything about the
island. They just notice that every time their birds go to
this direction and come back after several month are much
fatter. Marquesas started traveling. They chose the best of
their best to go to their new land. Example is they brought
with them their best hunters, so that they won't starve when
they reach their destination. They also brought with them
their families, animals, crops, and plants. For hundreds of
years they built grass houses and stone temples, made tapa
cloth and outrigger canoes, fished and ground the root of
the taro plant into poi. The Tahitians followed the
Marquesas and brought with them their goddesses and
religion. The Tahitians introduced to the islands the kapu
system, a strict social order that affected all aspects of
life and became the core of ancient Hawaiian culture.
The Hawaiians were living on simple life style. This changed when Captain
James Cook discovered Maui on November 26, 1778. In Cook's
wake came traders, whalers, and missionaries. At the height
of the whaling era (1840-1865). Lahaina served as anchorage
for more than 500 ships. The mid 1700s began the modern
King Kamehameha I took up residence in Lahaina after conquering Maui in
bloody battle in Iao Valley. Kamehameha's descendant reigned
over the islands until 1872. They were followed by rulers
from another ancient family of chiefs, including Queen
Liliukalani who ruled in 1893 when the monarchy was
overturned. One year later, the Republic of Hawaii was
founded. They island was annexed by the United States in
1898 and made territory in 1900. That made Hawaii the 50th
state in U.S.
Maui Facts Known as the Valley Isle, Maui is the 2nd largest
island in the Hawaiian chain with land area of 729 square
miles. It is 48 miles long and 26 miles across at its widest
point. Maui is known for long stretches of beautiful beaches
and the landmark Haleakala Crater, the House of the Sun.
Maui is also the breeding ground for the Humpback Whale, who
winters here before returning to Alaska. Maui is
approximately 48 miles (76.8km) long and 26 miles (41.6km)
wide, totaling 728 square miles. Maui County includes the
islands of Maui, Lanai, Kahoolawe, and Molokai. There are
actually 132 Hawaiian Islands, atolls, shoals and reefs! The
newest Hawaiian Island, not yet to the surface, is Loihi,
located southwest of the Big Island of Hawaii.
Population: 117,644. Ethnic mix: 36% Caucasian, 23%
Japanese, followed by Hawaiian, Chinese and Filipino.
Biggest Towns: 1. Kahului 2. Wailuku 3. Lahaina
Major Industries: 1. Tourism 2. Sugar 3. Pineapple 4. Cattle
5. Diversified Agriculture Average
Temperature: 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Miles of Shoreline: 120 linear miles.
Number of Beaches: 81 accessible beaches. 39 have public
facilities. Sands may be white, gold, black, salt and
pepper, green or garnet, due to ancient volcanic activity.
Principal Resort Areas: In West Maui the principal resort
areas are Ka’anapali and Kapalua; South Maui’s prime resorts
are Makena and Wailea. Hana, Kihei, Ma’alaea, Napili,
Honokowai and Upcountry are also visitor destinations.
Highest Peak: Haleakala Volcano (dormant), 10,023 feet. The
summit depression is 21 miles across, and 4,000 feet deep,
large enough to hold the island of Manhattan.
Number of Hotels: Approximately 61, with 10,664 rooms.
Number of Vacation Condominiums: Approximately 103, with
Number of Bed And Breakfast Inns: 40
Number of Visitors Annually: Approximately 2.2 million
visitors visit Maui each year.
Number of Whales Annually: Approximately 3,000 whales winter
in Maui waters. There are only 7,000-8000 humpback whales
surviving today. An adult whale is 45 feet long and weighs
40 tons. Baby whales born in Maui waters weigh a mere 2,000
Most Popular Visitor Attractions: The attractions and places
consistently drawing the most visitors are Haleakala
National Park, Lahaina Town, ‘Iao Valley State Park, Hana
and the Maui Ocean Center.
Parks: There are 10 state parks, 94 county parks and
community centers and one national park, Haleakala National
Golf Courses: Maui has seventeen golf courses.
Superlatives: Maui has been voted “Best Island in the World”
by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine for ten
consecutive years and “World’s Best Island” by the readers
of Travel + Leisure magazine for five years.
1. Maui has more miles of swimmable beach than any other
2. Maui has the largest dormant volcano in the world,
3. Maui has the second highest waterfall in the United
4. Maui had the lowest temperature ever recorded in the
Hawaiian Islands, 11 degrees in 1961, atop Haleakala.
Airports: The main airport is in Kahului at the center of
Maui. There is also a smaller airport in Kapalua (West
Maui), and a commuter airport in Hana. All major airlines
offer direct service from the U.S. and Canada to Maui.
Maui Weather Maui precipitation offers something for
everyone...from rain forest to desert conditions! Kihei
typically receives 13 inches (all during the winter), while
Hana is drenched with 90 inches per year and mountain areas
may get over 400 inches!
Weather and Surf info available at: 244-8934, then enter
either 1520 for a Maui weather report or 1521 for Maui surf
information. These hotlines are just a local phone call
Average Temperature: Winter months - 71 degrees;
Summer months - 78 degrees.
Highest Recorded Temperature: Kahului Airport - 96 degrees,
Kihei - 98 degrees.
Lowest Recorded Temparature: Kahului - 48 degrees, Haleakala
- 14 degrees.
Trade Winds: These nearly constant breezes keep the humidity
down and the heat tolerable. Coming from the northeast at
about 5-15 miles per hour, they naturally cool and clear the
Kona Winds: Come in the opposite direction of the trade
winds and usually forecast bad weather. Local residents are
so in touch with their surroundings they can usually smell
and feel the change these winds bring.
VOG: Volcanic activity on the Big Island of Hawaii creates a
hazy type of weather condition. It only rarely affects Maui
and you'll probably only know it's vog if someone tells you.
If it looks smokey, but there's no fire, it's probably VOG.
Rainbows are plentiful here, but be on the look out for
ghostly moonbows at night!
TSUNAMI WARNING SIRENS: The tsunami warning sirens are
tested on the first Monday of each month at noon. You don't
need be alarmed unless the sirens go off at some other time!
When a rare tidal wave or hurricane is on the way, turn on
the radio or television.
Maui is balmy and warm, with northeasterly trade winds
prevailing most of the year. Average temperatures differ
only about 7°F from winter to summer. Near the coast, daily
temperatures average a high of about 83°F (28°C) and a low
of around 68°F (20°C). Winter is between December and March,
when about twice as much rain falls as in summer. This is
the high season, largely because of the unappealing weather
on the US mainland. Winter storms can last for days, which
can make this season slightly less appealing than summer,
but not by much. If you're on a tight budget, low season is
April to mid-December, when accommodation rates are cut by
up to 30%. Avid divers should come in summer, keen surfers
Sugar Cane Sugar cane begins with a 12 inch long "slip" cut
from a stalk of cane that is machine inserted into the
earth. The sugar cane then receives irrigation and
fertilization, but not much else in the way of human
attention beyond that while it is growing, and is ready for
harvest in 24 months. A single cane stalk can produce three
crops. Then the field is replanted with new slips. An acre
of land can yield over 90 tons of cane or 12.5 tons of raw
sugar. Sugarcane Burning After a cane field burn, especially
on calm days, there will be lots of smoke in the air.
Tradewinds will clear it out by the following day. Cane
field burning is used to clear debris and excess leaves from
the cane. It does not "cook" or prepare the cane in any way.
The cane burning must be carefully scheduled to take
advantage of favorable winds and weather conditions. The
sugar companies have teams that coordinate within the
company and communicate to the public. Often announcements
of planned harvests are made on the radio. Use the
information and take another route if at all possible. Avoid
breathing the smoke if you can! While these huge sugarcane
fires are amazing and sometimes beg to be photographed,
bystanders can get in the way. It is NOT safe to stop near a
burn and it is foolish to even get close. Fires are
carefully watched, but a sudden wind shift can direct smoke
or flames in any direction. The smoke can be dense enough to
disorient anyone and the dry fields burn quickly.
Driving On Maui
Driving on Maui Get used to hearing directions with the
terms mauka (toward the mountain) or makai (toward the sea)
rather than north and south. (Example: Alio Street is mauka
of Front Street) Don't honk. It is considered poor manners
to honk your horn in traffic on Maui. You don't honk in
Paradise! Right turns at stop lights and stop signs are
permitted after first stopping. Avoid driving in the bike
lanes on Maui. Confused drivers often assume they're
additional traffic lanes! When exploring the beautiful
beaches just a few feet from the pavement in places like
Olowalu and Kihei, use extreme caution. I wish I had a
dollar for every car I've seen stuck in what looked like
trustworthy sand. And, it's often tricky getting back onto
the road again due to the sometimes heavy traffic flow in
these areas. Look for the red and yellow markers in the
shape of Hawaiian warriors along the roads. They mark
historical landmarks and points of interest. When you see a
whale, pull over carefully to the side of the road. Don't
just jam on your brakes...unless you have great insurance
coverage! Every whale season we see dozens on traffic
accidents caused by visitors who sight their first whale and
go immediately for the brakes. Do not ride the brakes going
down Haleakala. Try downshifting, by using a lower gear,
well before the car gets going too fast and you burn up the
brakes! Traffic is often heavy and we tend to drive somewhat
aggressively here; you'll be driving like a local in no
Whale Watching Maui, among other things, is known as the
breeding ground of the Humpback Whale. Visitors coming here
in the Winter months have a rare opportunity to glimpse the
Humpbacks frolicking during their annual stay in our waters.
No one is quite positive as to where the whales have been
before arriving here. Some of them appear from the
northeast, as though they've come straight from their
feeding grounds off Alaska, while others arrive from the
south. Our Humpback visitors appear in Maui waters from the
middle of November through May, seeking refuge from the
forbidding weather of their northern habitat. They come to
Maui waters to mate and give birth to their young, and their
annual migration north begins in April and by June most of
our Humpback friends have left the area.