When I visit Maui, one of the first places I go is Maui Tacos. Thankfully, my plane touched down today just before lunchtime.
After lunch, I traveled down South Kihei Road to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Sanctuary’s education center. And on to Papawai Scenic Lookout. Because the wind whips through the isthmus—between the two mountains—this place gets blasted, making it hard to spot whales. I did manage to witness three breaches, though, in the hour I spent here chatting with Kara. She works for the Pacific Whale Foundation.
Here are a couple tidbits I learned today about whale calves:
1. No one has ever documented the birth of a humpback whale.
2. A newborn calf can drink as much as 100 gallons of milk a day.
3. Humpback calves are born with proportionately large tails and small mouths, because they need to swim well immediately in order to make the 4,000-mile trek to Alaska and they will not begin capturing food until they are about a year-and-a-half.
Then, it was on to Lahaina and the whaling museum, located in the old courthouse.
After I watched the sun set over Lanai, I walked to the Lahaina Grill for dinner. The word “grill” in this restaurant’s name is a bit misleading. There is nothing “bar and grill” about this place. Not a chicken wing to be found. Mary and Annabelle, however, rank right up there with my all-time favorite bartenders. The restaurant does, too. I recommend everything I ate: the spinach salad, the “cake walk”—featuring a crab-cake, fish-cake and lobster-cake–and the vanilla bean crème brule. I loved everything about the place—food, wine, décor, ambiance and, of course, the bartenders. It was packed with visitors and kama ‘aina alike. Warning: The Lahaina Grill isn’t cheap. Not even in these days of bargains, deals and clearance prices. But it is worth it. Make it your anniversary dinner choice or honeymoon splurge.
Tomorrow, I head out on the water in search of whales.