Pastor Gail’s Hawaii photo journals.

Hello to all!

this is the first note from Travels 2013 as we head to Maui in the morning.  If you received this email and do not wish to be included, please do let me know and I will adjust ;-).

Weatherman had been pessimistic, but this day is a beauty! and we wandered Stanley Park for a couple of hours, and even dropped into Queen Elizabeth park on the way.



gail, mike and G’ma Shirley


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fair winds are blowing and in a few minutes we will be heading 50 feet to our beachfront for a little wakeboarding and our beginning snorkling. We participated in the great annual whale count this morning and while it was not a photo op, there was adventure for sure as we watched a competition pod (many males chasing one female) and even a DOUBLE breech!! monday afternoon is whale watching boat and hopefully there will be photos then.

Thursday and friday were very rainy, even dangerous on parts of the north east shore…the trade winds dump rain there and leave Kihei almost a desert in the rainshadow of the mountain. we toured a bit and saw big vistas and strange ancient lava formations eroded and beaten by the sea… they are called the Dragons teeth, and the photos show why!! After the storm a lovely sunset.

Sunday morning at the local Baptist Church. Perhaps next week at the local Hawaiian congregation, tho the locals tell me they encourage and welcome visitors the service is in the Hawaiian language!

bye for now
gail mike and g’ma shirley

Aloha! for all you keeners out there with questions….here is the information that our whale count volunteer leader sent to us!

gail mike and g’ma shirley

we were in the group that saw both the competition pod (males chasing one female) and also the double breech!!!

Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2013 09:10:45 -1000
Subject: Great Whale Count Results!
Aloha Great Whale Count volunteers,

Thank you all for volunteering your time to make the Great Whale Count possible this year. It was a successful Count, and the afternoon gathering seemed to be a fantastic way to sum up the event. For all those volunteers unable to attend the gathering (or for those that did attend but want more information), you will find a link to the results



Aloha once again!  we have successfully ended our first week on Maui and all are well, and no sunburns!  When we arrived the trade winds were howling most of the day and intense in the late afternoon…every day now it is softer and gentler and in the calm sea we have watched whales every day.   Often the whales can been seen just in the bay close at hand as the mothers and calves like to rest and nurse in the shallows,  but most of the activity is a few miles offshore in the deeper water trench between the islands.  Last night after supper we sat on the lanai, binoculars glued to eyeballs, and watched as a mother and calf traveled south across our line of site.  Together those two put on a continual show of breaching, tail flipping and flipper waving!

Tuesday we travelled the infamous road to Hana and i must say the road is everything it is reputed to be! windy  w i n d y WINDY and did i mention the 1700 corners and who knows how many one lane bridges??? I will try to post a video, i know how to do that for facebook, but not too sure how to send it on email, but i will try, just to give you an idea!  We stayed overnight in Hana and wandered leisurely back the next day stopping often to view waterfalls, jungle, bamboo groves and majestic sea vistas.


Tuesday afternoon was the much anticipated sail plane over Haleakala, and again, what a delight!!!   Hans is knowlegable, learned to fly at age 14 in Holland, and is semi retired and still loving it!  His skill was needed as those pesky trade winds made it a rather challenging ride near the mountain, and he was most careful not to make me air sick (i was fine).  Hans curled around in large lazy loops just like an eagle, gaining 500 to 900 feel altitude with every spiral….up and well over the top of the volcano, and at first it appeared the mountain was socked in with cloud, but it turned out to be only a halo ring of white mist, and the crater was open for a spectacular view!!!!  believe it or not i forgot to take photos in a few places cause I was too busy watching!   The vessel is a sail plane, which means a motor and propellor and we powered up and up, but it is a sail plane, so the engine was turned off and we softly floated over the top and down the backside of the ridge into the Hana airport!

G’ma was most excited to see me back on the ground! and then it was Mikes turn and we 2 ladies headed over to the black sand beach for lunch, where we discovered a nest of mongoose playing peak a boo in and out of the lava rock wall.


The mongoose were introduced to the island years ago to deal with the rat problem that the early sailing ships had brought into port and left on shore.  Bad move. The rats are nocturnal and the mongoose are day runners, so now they are the pests on the island and the rats have nothing to fear!  pests they may be, but awfully cute for inquisitive tourists!


Flowers abound, some i can name, others i have no idea!  but when i can i will label the photo so you can know which is which.


Son Craig and family arrive saturday, kayak adventures await, thanks Scott for the flippers!!!!!!!!  and most likely tomorrow we will head for a 2 hour drive up the flanks of Haleakala for the sunset and maybe a few star shots if we do not freeze!  temperature in Kihei is about 82F and at the top of the mountain is about 30F!!

Aloha for now

gail mike and G’ma shirley


good sunny morning to you!!

warm, lots of whales and still windy……windy  ( blowing wind) and windy (twissssssty roads)  is spelled the same and are fast becoming the descriptive words for this vacation!

Come along for a drive in the country….

Aloha everyone

Another lovely day in Maui, the kids arrived last night, and the little ones from Calgary are definately jet lagged, but so very happy to be here in this lovely space with us. Thot you might enjoy a little view around some of the sumptuous condo we have been resting in…ground level, walk out to the lanai (porch) for breakfast lunch and dinner if we wish to. 3 bedroom 2 bathroom and a lovely equipped kitchen for us cooks to play in…. coconut prawns and salad tonight for dinner! Large gas BBQ’s at the end of the lawn beside the warm fresh water pool and a few more BBQ’s on the roof if we feel like the big view! The end wall in the living room is totally glass with 3 enormous roller shades to temper the blazing late afternoon sunshine.

All of these photos are taken in on or around the property just to give you a taste.

A special little treat for me this noontime as i was walking knee deep in the menehune….all around me literally 100’s of little fish began to jump out of the water in repeated attempts to escape…. escape the eel that was chasing them for dinner!!
(no, no camera at the time)

The prevailling wind is up again and quite a swell is on the bay, but hopefully tomorrow morning will be calm as we go whale watching!!


gail mike and g’ma shirley


03-06-2013 Goodmorning all!

Frankolins woke me up again this morning squawking at the rising sun….tho there are plenty of chickens and roosters on this island, it is the chubby little brown frankolins who seem to be the morning activists!  Mom and I started off down the beach, promptly spotting turtles grazing at the algae along the menehune wall, and sandpipers snapping up their breakfast at the waters edge.  There is some type of a night crawling crab who live in burrows at the beach edge just above the waterline.  their tracks are ranging from a little  1 inch to a B I G 10 inches across, but they are long asleep in their nests before we go beach combing.  perhaps i will stake out at midnight on the beach to spot a few!


Soon we will be off up island for the day in and around Lahaina.

The flower photos (and a few critters) are a collection from over the past 10 days from various places on the island, some are named,  others i have no idea what they are called, but they are still pretty!  The best plumeria i have found so far was in the church yard where we worshipped on sunday,  the 1790 church foundations are still visible, and the community has simply installed a concrete floor, fiberglass benches, and church service is in the open air under the palm trees next to the flowers and smells and bird calls of the tropical morning air.

Tomorrow morning we will be up and away early on a Molokini snorkle adventure!


gail, mike and g’ma shirley


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One Comment

  1. I so enjoyed the walk, fly and drive around Maui with Gail and Mike. Thank you for posting these pics, videos and messages on your website. I will be glad when Gail and family are home safe and sound but so happy that they are having such a good time. May God Bless.

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