Kayaking Makena Maui

Here are some pics from a couple of years ago. Makena was my favorite place on Maui for kayaking, snorkeling, or just playing with the dog on the beach. The beach was quiet and an made a great spot to launch from. Late in the morning, snorkel cruise boats and kayak tours would show up, but if we got there by 7 am, the sea would be calm and we'd have the place to ourselves for a few hours. Makena is a very appropriate name for this area, as it means "abundance".

I had to scan these pictures from prints and my scanner is not in good shape, so I apologize for the quality. (That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it). The pictures here were not all taken on the same day.

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Pandabonium on the water

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K on the water with our launching beach behind her

The kayak K is using is a very small sit on top. I had an equally small sit-inside kayak (one that looks just like the blue 2-seat model you see on FH2O's blog, but shorter). I liked the small kayaks as they only weighed about 16 kgs so I could carry one without help, and at 2.6 meters they fit in the bed of my Toyota pickup with the gate down.

Makena is called "turtle town" as there are lots of the graceful creatures about. Green sea turtles are protected species. Sometimes you see them on the surface when they come up for air. Oftentimes they are to be found laying on the bottom under the edge of a rock or coral outcrop.

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Green Sea Turtle on the bottom keeping an eye on me

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This fellow is coming up for air

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Near the surface, its reflection can be seen above.

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Turtle on the surface with the volcanic cinder cone "Puu o'lai" in the distance. There is a famous 'clothing optional' beach around there.

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My daughter Laura on the water with Ulupalakua Ranch on the slopes of Haleakala in the background.

Some of the fish below....

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Other times, when the ocean is calm, I go over by Puu O'lai and snorkel around the coves there which are more shallow and filled with brightly colored corals and fish. The turtles can be fickel, and sometimes it is necessary to paddle a couple of miles (3 kilometers or so) to discover where they are hanging out.

The air/water temp is usually around 28C/26C (82F/79F) so it's always comfortable. The sea is not always calm of course, and if there has been a rain storm, the run off can make the visibility in the water poor, but otherwise it is excellent. It is also a good idea to get off the water by late morning, as the trade winds start to pick up and blow fairly strong. If you are late (I learned the hard way) it can be a long hard paddle up wind in choppy water to get back.

I hope you enjoyed this taste of kayaking Makena.


@ロウ 。LOW@ said...

Now that's what I called family outing! Loved the picture on turtles - that was some close encounter! I would rather go without kayak, to be honest :p

Thanks for the ride!

YD said...

oooooo mi god!

a good splash of water and a sunny day is just what i need desperately now. london climate has gone crazy again (as usual). the temperature dropped to zero these few days, with strong winds. now i m defeated with a sorethroat n flu courtesy to it. :-P

thanks for making my day!

Happysurfer said...

Pandabonium, very nice. Thanks for sharing.

'Clothing optional' beach - interesting - must be a crowd-puller most days.

FH2O said...

Nice, very nice shots of u, K and the turtles! Ahhh to kayak in Makena!

One of my dream kayak trip is the Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai.

Thanks for scanning to share this with us.

Pandabonium said...

Low, you can go without the kayak , but it is a long swim be around turtles. Lots of fish and corals to see. It is hard to photograph the colors of coral without filters, so here they just look bland. Strange.

YD, get well soon. Just rest today.

Happysurfer, the "nude" beach is not easy to get to and is not legal. The police tried to arrest people for going there, but the judge threw it out, so now are free to do that. Not so many bother to visit as you might think. After all, anyone who comes and does not take off their own clothes isn't very welcome - no fair just looking. :P

FH2O - glad you enjoyed it. I never did the Na Pali kayak, though one of my kayak buddies did. That would really be awesome. That shoreline with its cliffs and valleys is pristine and very beautiful.

Chen said...

Nice shots :)
The quality of the pictures are good despite yr scanner is not in good shape.

Lrong said...

Hey, very nice looking are indeed... and you left the place for somewhere else?

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hi, Nice blog and pics. Hey, but how do you get such a nice title up the top of your blog? I still haven't worked out how to do links etc. in the sidebar. Must find the time to work it out?
Thanks for putting 'babasiga' in your links.

Pandabonium said...

Lrong, yes, I left for many reasons. Chiefly because I'm building a house in Fiji which is much like Maui was about 50 years ago, and not so likely to change as much in the future in the ways Hawaii did (over-development). I'll also be exploring other South Pacific island nations and cultures.

Pandabonium said...


Thanks. To add links on your sidebar or change the header you need to make changes to your template.

For how to do links: go to help.blogger.com and in the right column click on "how do I edit my link list?" They have a good explanation of it. You're not alone - it is their #1 question!

For the header picture, you need to create a picture using a graphics program and insert it into the template. I followed a tutorial at:
but it's a movie file and you may need a high speed connection.

If you can't use that tutorial, drop me an email (from my profile), and I'd be happy to send you some tips on how it's done.

PinkPanter said...

Those photos were definitely crystal clear, what an attractive Green Sea Turtle and fishes were swimming under the colorful coral. Especially you and K’s nice ‘n sweet smiles on the photos and let us shared and felt your family’s outing time in “Makena Maui”.

I can imagine if I could go there for diving and having fun with that turtle someday in the future, must be fun. What a pity, I don’t know swimming and diving.

Pandabonium said...

Thanks Pink Panther. As I mentioned, these photos are from different days. I always made it a point to go kayaking with my daughter 1 on 1 when she was home from college - quality time together that I will always cherish. K and I went out on the water at other times.

To live by the sea and be able to be on it and under it anytime is a wonderous thing and gives one an appreciation of the oceans and of nature as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Makena is the best place in the world to vacation if you like to snorkel and sun bathe. I just got back from 9 days there and had a blast. My kids loved it. While I was there we experienced a astronomical tide (full moon) and saw all kinds of life. One day a tiger shark came in to the surf and scared everyone. All in all a awesome place.

Pandabonium said...


Glad you had a great trip.

Makena is a great place to swim, snorkel, kayak and dive. I used to live just a few miles from there so it was my favorite spot to take the dog to the beach or kayak and snorkel. My oldest daughter was married there in the old Keawala'i Church.

I miss it. Thanks for visiting.