Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Hi folks! Out of boredom, i have decided to start on a new blog. As i am not the sort to actually have a diary of sorts, it's going to be more of a place where i can display the pictures that i like. Yes, i'm more of a visual kind of person so i guess it's more fitting for me to fill it up with my pictures rather than words..

Monday, June 20, 2005

Hi folks, just to let you know that the underwater pictures i posted recently has been replaced with scanned ones, so they're more clear now.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Why i like window seats..

Tabitha & I

My flight to Taipei was at 7am the next morning. Thankfully, I have a friend in Honolulu to keep me company for a while. Tab, if you're reading this.. Thanks for dinner!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Last day in paradise..

I'll miss the wonderful scenery..

But too much of paradise can kill a man.
I'm flying to Honolulu tonight to catch a morning flight home to Singapore via Taipei. Hard to believe i'm going home. In a way, i'm relieved. I miss my friends and i'm down to my last packet of Fisherman's Friend.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

We have finally moved into the new place. She has chosen the apartment which was the last choice in one of the previous blogs. It's about the size of a 3 room HDB flat (less 1 bathroom). The furniture has not arrived yet so we borrowed 2 beds from the hotel plus towels and toiletries. The barstools were bought from a 'moving sale' next door for US$15 and these are the only things we have to sit on! And praise the gods.. we finally have INTERNET!!

The place is located only 10 minutes from the beaches and 5 minutes from the shopping areas.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

If i spend another 3 weeks here.. i'll go CRAZY!!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Reminds me of Tiger beer..

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Interesting fact: Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States only in 1959 (Prior to that, it was only a United States territory) and is the only US state that does not have a white majority. Asian Americans form the largest percentage of the population.
Ok folks! Here are some of the pictures (the better ones) i took with the underwater camera. These are pictures from my digital camera which i took of the developed pictures, so they're kind of 'fuzzy'. I'll replace these with scanned originals as soon as possible. (Note : These have already been replaced with scanned ones on 20 June 2005)

I spent one hour snorkelling along the reef just to catch sight of a turtle.

I had to 'skin dive' to take these pictures. There were some close-up shots of coral and other stuff but i guess the camera was not made for close-up shots. Hmmm.. i should look into getting an underwater casing for my Canon.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

The not-so-fantastic view.
Being an employee of the hotel, my mom was of course, not entitled to the best room-with-a-view. It's also close to the gardener's entrance so it can get noisy once in a while. Well, i'm thankful that it's clean & comfortable and doesn't have any 'special guests'!

The hotel room.
I went snorkelling this morning to try out the underwater camera. Took some shots of Rectangular triggerfish (humuhumunukunukuapua'a)and Snowflake moray eels, then decided it was best to return to shore as the sea was getting choppy. Hopefully, it'll be calmer tomorrow.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Singaporeans UNITE!

Chinese 'fast food'.
We met a Singaporean living in Maui today! She's a manager with Panda Express and has been living in Hawaii for about 8 years. We have been eating there quite regularly so today, she asked where we were from and that's when she told us that she was from Singapore too. She said that she recognised our 'accent'. My mom exchanged numbers with her before we left.

Waterproof Fujifilm camera.
Bought a disposable waterproof camera today. I was snorkelling at the beach yesterday and i came across 3 turtles! I was even swimming along side one of them for a couple of minutes. The visibility (water clarity) and lighting was perfect for a photograph. Now, i won't be caught without a camera when that next underwater photo op arrives. I should have bought it before the trips to Molokini. The downside to it is that i would not be able to post the underwater pictures online until i get them scanned.

Today's sunset.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Pure bliss..

My observations for those who wonder what it's like here.

1. The weather here is great. It's nice and warm, but not humid like Singapore. And the beaches here are beautiful with plenty of offshore reefs to explore.

2. Some of the girls here are really really gorgeous. They're caucasian and either half chinese/japanese or hawaiian. Very exotic!

3. The key to not looking like a tourist is to NOT wear an aloha shirt. I realise that if you do, you're either a tourist or a hotel staff! Better to walk around topless. Also, leave your shoes at home. The norm here is flip-flops. And i recommend Havaianas! Some people will say Reef flip flops are the best but don't listen to them..

4. There is public transportation here but it's not frequent. Having a car here is a MUST!

5. Maui is basically made up of 2 volcanoes which are connected by low-lying land. So even though i think Maui is bigger than Singapore, it's not as heavily populated.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The 'Maka Koa'.
I dived with Maui Dive Shop and i'm quite impressed with their service. They basically rig up everything for you even if you bring your own gear. Rental of BCD and regulator is an additional US$10.00 and the wetsuit is provided FOC!

The 'local' boy..
I was the only 'non-caucasian' on board and the boat captain asked if i was a local boy.

The dive site at Molokini.
Just look at how blue the water is! And you can see many trigger fish swimming around the boat. As i mentioned earlier, there wasn't much coral to look at compared to Pulau Aur or Tioman but there was a lot of marine life. I was looking out for my favourite - sea anemone with clown fish but couldn't spot any. We did see a white tip shark, moray eels, sea turtles and an octopus. The dive master found the octupus and we were basically playing with it.. or rather traumatising it! We prevented it from swimming away by placing our hands on it's head to stop it from swimming away. When i held it, it crawled up my arm using it's sticky tentacles and wrapped itself on my head! I was so afraid that it would start gnawing on my head with it's beak! Ahem, i've been told that i have a tasty head..

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Ma'alaea Harbor
Our boat for the snorkeling trip was the 'Frogman II'.

View of West Maui.

The view was great!

The lucky bastard..
The first snorkel site was Turtle Town, which was off the south shore of Maui. It's called so because turtles come to this place to rest and and for the 'cleaning' stations. It was about 12 metres deep and there were a few of them 'sleeping' at the bottom. A few land blubbers attempted to free dive to get a closer look but of course, it took a real pro (me) to show them how to do it.

The second spot was Molokini. It was an 'okay' spot i guess. I couldn't help but notice that there were many dead coral at both locations. I guess the draw was the clear visibility and the marine life.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The beach in front of the hotel is great for snorkelling. It's only good in the mornings though because the wind and surf builds up in the afternoon and the sea will get quite rough.

I have already spotted 3 eels, several trigger & puffer fish and i was told that a turtle was here yesterday. Sometimes, i feel like saying 'What is the big deal?! I was once a diver at Underwater World in Singapore! I worked with sharks and turles everyday!' But then, i guess it's the thrill of seeing them in the natural habitat.

Tomorrow (monday), we'll be taking a boat trip to Molokini crater for a snorkelling trip and on Wednesday, i'll be scuba diving there.

Molokini crater.

Man, after all this spending of money, i'm broke!!
We took a tour to visit the Haha Highway yesterday. It's not really a highway of the normal sort. It's more of a simple road that skirts the east side of Maui. It is 52 miles long, has 617 curves and 56 bridges. Some parts of the Highway is so narrow that only one car can pass at a time. The road also can sometimes take you over steep ledges, so if you're not an experienced driver, best to let a tour guide take you! I saw several car wrecks lying at the bottom of the cliff during the tour. A certain portion of the highway is also unpaved, so i can't imagine how people who are proned to motion sickness survive the trip. Furthermore, for 80% of the trip, the driver is navigating through the 617 sharp curves in the road!

View of Wailea & Kihei and Kahoolawe, Lanai & West Maui.

View of South Maui coast.

Ohea Gulch (Seven Pools).
I was quite disappointed with the tour as i thought that we would stop by at some waterfalls for us to take dip in. The only place where i could take a dip was where we stopped for a 1hour lunch. Plus, it was a 5 minute walk to the waterfall so i only had about 20 minutes because we had to gulp down our lunch and all that. Well, at least there were some girls in bikinis for me to ogle at at the waterfall..

Waterfall along Hana Highway.
This was one place i would have loved to stop by and spend some time swimming in the pool below.

Another waterfall..

North Coast of Maui.
This picture was taken from the van and as you can see, it was VERY close to the cliff!

Surfers & Windsurfers at Hookipa Beach.

A different kind of sunset..

Saturday, May 28, 2005

The last few days were spent housing hunting in a rented car. Here are the potential candidates..

House in Pukalani (Upcountry Maui).
New and clean but it's 45 minutes from the hotel.

The following places are located in Kihei Town..

Ohana on Alulike St.
Nice personal yard.

Ohana on Aliilani Place.
Great storage space and parking spot but it's dark and dinghy inside the house. The front of the house has a great view of the West Maui mountains.

Ohana (left corner of house) on Halama St.
This place is only like 20metres from the beach!

House (upstairs unit) on Kaiola St.
Now this is my favourite place! The unit is on the second floor and has a big deck (balcony)! And from the deck, this is the view..

The deck & the view..
The owner says that she used to sit on the deck and whale watch. I could just visualise myself sitting here in the evenings with an ice-cold beer in one hand and Jennifer (Not YOU Sin!!) in the other..

Apartment (1st floor) along South Kihei.
This place is also quite close to the beach and the shopping area. It has plenty of parking lots. With my mom's atrocious parking skills, i think this would be best for her!

There was another house which we visited. And the only reason why i liked it was because the owner had such a HOT BABE of a daughter!! Pity i didn't have my camera with me..

So can you guys guess which one is the 'chosen one'?