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The Day We Nearly Washed Out to Sea

By August 21, 2009April 8th, 2018Photography, Travel Journal

Along the jagged coast of west Maui there exist geological formations that sing a siren’s song unapologetically  to ignorant tourists. Shear cliffs rise up out of the ocean and just above the sea level plateau to form bright blue and pristine pools as colorful and entrancing as a gemstone’s shimmer. Nature’s literal infinity pools. Some are quite popular due to accessibility from the road but others are quite hidden and require a bit of exploration and rock climbing to reach. It’s fascinating that on such a small and wildly popular island such places can be all your own.

However, nature is a cruel mistress and quickly luau-going and boat-drink sipping tourists will quickly be reminded that this isn’t the pool at the Atlantis resort and there are no lifeguards on duty. The Hawaiian Islands were born out of seriously violent geological activity and that red stuff still spewing out of Kilauea isn’t Strawberry Daiquiri. It is most important, however, to understand that the beautifully calm mornings on Maui quickly turn raging sometime around 1pm. The winds gust and the ocean swells. When the waves crash into the vertical ocean walls of west Maui’s pools they generate spectacular spray and in a matter of a couple waves knee deep pools are now waste deep and then chest deep. With each wave the flooding waters then recede with a suction powerful enough to upend an ox and leave the pools dry, exposing their razor sharp lava rock.

It won’t take the average dummy long to enter the panic state. Careful escape requires acute timing and precise planning. Run while dry and brace for waves. Mindless of the blood trickling wounds being suffered on shins and knees they can be seen scampering up black boulders to the safety of higher ground as the blood dissipates into whitewash. It only takes a few minutes to turn a memorable vacation into an unforgettable one. He he he, silly tourists.


One Comment

  • Brian says:

    Hi Brian, it’s me, your wife, and the person standing in your picture who you just called a dummy. You’re not scoring a lot of points with me today! No, but really, that was the scariest thing that has ever happened to us while traveling, and yea, we were realy dumb to go out there. But its a great story now that we’ve survived to tell the tale.

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