Posted by: kerryl29 | January 6, 2020

Hawaii Day 8: On to Maui

Day 8 in Hawaii was the end of my time on Kauai; I had an early afternoon flight to Maui so I did have time to photograph early in the morning.  Based on my experience on Day 7, I had decided to photograph sunrise from the stretch of the Ke Ala Hele Makalae Path just south of the Kealia Beach area.  Having spent a couple of hours in this area on the morning of Day 7 I had been struck by the numerous different perspectives available at this location, many of which were very easily accessed.  (Some of them were obtainable from the paved path itself.)  I could only hope that there would be a nice sunrise this morning and, fortunately, I was rewarded with one of the nicer sunrise skies of the two-week trip.

Kealia Beach at Sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii

It took less than 10 minutes to arrive at the now familiar parking area just west of the path itself.  30 seconds or so after I’d hauled my gear–exposed to the humidity overnight on the balcony of my hotel room to avoid having to deal with the condensation issue–out of the trunk of my vehicle I was on the Ke Ala Hele Makalae Path.  It was still dark but the first signs of light were visible in the eastern sky; the possibility of something really nice was evident, given the partly cloudy conditions.  Within a few minutes developments led to worthwhile shooting conditions.

As you can see in the image above, I started with long exposures and it was quite some time before they shortened all that significantly.

Kealia Beach at Sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii

I changed my shooting position–and shooting direction–a bit, which had a significant impact on the composition itself.

Kealia Beach at Sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii

Kealia Beach at Sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii

I eventually shortened the shutter speed to the point where some semblance of the structure of the waves was discernible.  The nature of the sky itself continued to evolve throughout.

Kealia Beach at Sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii

Kealia Beach at Sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii

I continued to alter my position, sometimes subtly, sometimes substantially, before the pre-sunrise period came to an end.

Kealia Beach at Sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii

Kealia Beach at Sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii

Kealia Beach at Sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii

Kealia Beach at Sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii

Eventually, I returned to the spot with the mangrove tree that I’d found the day before and made one final image before calling it a morning.  The sun crested the horizon during this time.

Kealia Beach at Sunrise, Kauai, Hawaii

I packed up and headed back to the hotel and did what I needed to do to prepare for the transition to Maui.

The flight from Lihue, Kauai to Kahalui, Maui wasn’t a particularly long one.  In fact, the wait for luggage at the airport in Maui was about as long as the flight had been.  The wait at the rental car counter was almost as long and then I was finally able to make the drive to my new accommodations, in the southern part of the town of Kihei, on the southwest Maui shore.  It was late afternoon by the time I had checked in and dragged my belongings into my room.

As had been the case in Kauai, the hotel I was staying at was right on the beach–the west facing Keawakapu Beach, in this case–and I could have stayed put and photographed from there but I was itching to do a bit of exploring so I made the very short drive south to a public parking area that serves Wilaea Beach.

It was less than an hour until sunset when I arrived.  There’s a paved pedestrian walk along this part of the Maui shore–the Wailea Beach Path–that runs for several miles, from Ulua Beach on the north end to Polo Beach at the south terminus.  This is a very ritzy part of Maui, including extremely expensive homes, rental properties and resorts–for too rich for my blood, but state law in Hawaii requires public access to the shore and the path itself is accessible to the general public.  I picked it up just north of Wailea Beach and wandered, ultimately, all the way to Polo Beach (and back) of course.  I wasn’t sure what I would find, so this started out mostly as a scouting session.  Still, I couldn’t help but make some images, first of a stand of palms that I found, right along the path, adjacent to Wailea Beach.

Wailea Point Palms, Maui, Hawaii

Wailea Point Palms, Maui, Hawaii

I found more palm trees as I moved south on the path.

Wailea Point Palms, Maui, Hawaii

I dawdled at Wailea Point.  Dodging other pedestrians, I found access to a small, rocky beach and discovered some compositions I liked in the ever-improving light.

West Maui Mountain from Wailea Point, Maui, Hawaii

I turned my gaze to the southwest, in the direction of the island of Kaho’olawe…

Wailea Point at Sunset, Maui, Hawaii

…then more to the northwest, in the direction of Lanai…

Wailea Point at Sunset, Maui, Hawaii

Then it was back to palm trees…

Wailea Point Palm, Maui, Hawaii

At this point, I wanted to view something with a wider lens, so I pulled out my 14-24/2.8, swapped out the 24-70/2.8..and that’s when I realized that there was something wrong with the ultra wide lens:  I could barely move the zoom ring.  It was as though it had jammed or something. This was one of the “equipment problems” that I referred to in a previous blog post.   I couldn’t understand what was wrong as I had used the lens without incident a few days prior, when I was at the National Botanical Garden on Kauai.  It literally hadn’t been out of my camera bag since that time, so I have absolutely no idea what the cause of the problem was.

The best of the light had already peaked by the time I switched lenses and what was still worth using dissipated while I was unsuccessfully fooling with the damaged lens.  All I could do was pack up my things and make the trek back along the path, in the gathering darkness, to the parking area.

As far as the lens is concerned, in a tiny spoiler alert–it was unusable, so I was restricted to a wide angle limit of 24 mm for the duration of the trip (this turned out to be pretty much a non-issue, luckily).  When I returned to the mainland I sent the lens off to Nikon for repair; the more than $700 it cost to repair the lens (which costs well over $1500 new) was covered by my personal articles insurance policy, fortunately.  Unfortunately this wasn’t the last problem I had with a lens on this trip.  I’ll discuss that matter when I relate the experiences that made up Day 9, my first full day on Maui.


  1. Those sunrises are spectacular.The composition of the third image is my favourite. A tropical paradise for sure, but not without its challenges. I am wondering about the focusing ring-sand? but will wait to hear and see more.

    • Thanks Jane.

      I mis-typed when described the problem with the lens; it was the zoom ring that was stuck, not the focus ring. It had nothing to do with sand…there were multiple elements that were out of alignment. The question I have is how did this happen? I still don’t know. It was as though the lens was dropped or something and that decidedly did not happen. As I noted, the lens worked just fine a few days earlier and hadn’t left my camera bag in the ensuing time. I remain befuddled by this experience.

  2. Absolutely stunning!

    • Thanks very much!

  3. I too really like the sunrise photos. What a great way to end your time on Kauai (just wondering…do you think people who do business in Hawaii wear out the vowel keys on their keyboards faster than the consonants?).

    • Thanks, Ellen.

      Re the (mostly in jest, obviously) question about the keyboard keys…only some of them. Some of the consonants where out as quickly as the vowels. The written Hawaiian language (and by extension, all of the Hawaiian place names) contain, as a practical matter, only 12 letters: all five vowels and just seven consonants (h, k, l, m, n, p and w). So those are the letters that will wear out on the keyboard more quickly. 🙂

  4. Love the rosy skies

  5. Lovely chatty commentary and lovely light on your superb photos

    • Thanks very much!

  6. Beautiful pictures of a Hawaiian Beach. I really like your lighting and some of those clouds are pretty dramatic.

    • Thanks very much!

  7. These photographs are absolutely stunning! Nice job!

  8. […] transitioned to Maui, there were three principal locations on the island that I wanted to visit:  West Maui (north of […]

  9. […] spend the rest of the daylight hours photographing along the same section of coastline as I had on Day 8:  Wailea Point.  I was now familiar with the location and, having been sidetracked the previous […]

  10. […] past both of the entrances to the refuge multiple times since arriving on Maui, beginning with the day of arrival.  The guidebook I was using made it sound as though there was no point visiting the refuge at this […]

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