Aug 102011

We had but one last morning of snorkeling, so we had to make it a good one. We returned to Po’olenalena to swim with turtles one more time. We had four travelers going into the ocean, and another three enjoying the beach, which meant lots of towels and mats and so on to pack into the minivan. (We also had to swing by Snorkel Bob’s to exchange some too tight snorkel fins on the way.) Parking in the small public access lot at the Makena Surf condos was not a problem, but the weather was less cooperative: wind and clouds kept building during our time in the water, making it a bit chilly to hang out on the beach.

Is it possible to become a jaded snorkeler? After a couple days on this reef, the turtles seem no more unusual than the common fish here. Still, a turtle’s face is very expressive, and when one looks you in the eye, it is a special experience. Meanwhile, I was on a quest to find some eels, and I did. The pictures are somewhat blurry because under overcast skies, the shutter speed was too slow to compensate for my movement while diving. I guess I’ll have to come back again to complete the job.

For lunch, we took out from Ba-Le. Since we were planning for an early dinner, we tried not to each too much. As usual, we did anyway.

Guitar legend George Kahumoku Jr. hosts a weekly Slack Key Show at the Aloha Pavilion nestled amidst the Napili Kai condos. For our pre-show dinner, we chose the recently opened Napili location of Café O’Lei, a popular Kihei restaurant with a broad menu. There probably are some rules about what to eat before a concert, and I may have transgressed those rules in ordering a decadently rich beef shortrib cooked with soy sauce and star anise seasoning. I split it with Lisa, and we also had an order of lettuce wraps with chicken. That was pretty good as well.

After an entertaining sound check, George started the show with a few tunes accompanied by explanations of the lyrics and of the techniques of slack key tuning. He introduced the evening’s featured guest player, Ledward Kaapana. “Uncle Led” was a favorite among the players and the crowd, both for his remarkably intricate and energetic fingerwork and his infectious sense of humor. After he played several songs there was an intermission for buying CDs and getting them autographed. The audience appeared to include many local friends as well as first time attendees. After the break, Da Ukulele Boyz played a few tunes before the other three players returned to the stage for several pieces with increasingly showy solos. It was not as difficult to stay awake and entertained as I had feared. On the contrary, this beats a luau show any day.

We got home late, but not too late to start packing and cleaning for our departure. We won’t have much time in the morning for last minute shopping, so we need to be as efficient as possible.

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