Maui Island is known for it’s unique nature. A wide range of climatic conditions and weather patters, lush flora and landscapes, beautiful ocean and shoreline. But it’s hard to imagine that in the very beginning there was absolutely nothing, just the ocean. Maui's diverse landscapes are the result of a unique combination of geology, topography, and climate. Each volcanic cone in the chain of the Hawaiian Islands is built of dark, iron-rich/quartz-poor rocks, which poured out of thousands of vents as highly fluid lava, over a period of millions and millions of years. So all there was, at the most isolated land mass in the Pacific, just an inhabitable rock in the middle of the ocean.
Hawai’i acquired plants and animals only as they arrived on wind and sea currents traveling thousand of miles around the ocean. Relatively few creatures and seeds survived such a long and arduous journey. Once established in the Islands however, many developed into multiple unique species that flourished in a setting with few predators or competitors. Some birds lost the ability to fly and many plants lost protective devices such as thorns. With such great distances of open ocean to cross, no land mammals or reptiles survived to make landfall in Hawai`i.
What we know today as Maui Island (and Hawai’i in general) is a result of millions of years of volcanic eruptions, occasional seeds reaching rocks over wind and sea current and millions years of evolution. Imagine how different it could be or non-existent at all if one day current would destroy one of the seeds or wind would be a little less strong.
My favorite spots on Maui are the ones with "fresh" rock formations that long time ago were technically streams of lava coming down into the ocean. By "fresh" I mean relatively fresh. It happened many thousands years ago, but not long enough for any vegetation to appear and cover rocks with jungle. It is exactly how I imagine Hawaii before seeds reached this rocky islands in the ocean million years ago. Everything without anything.
One of the places like that is Nakalele Point or how it is better known to tourists—"Blow Hole". Most people just come down to the shore to see the "Blow Hole"—a hole in rock formation that is right above the water. When the wave hits the rock underneath, a powerful water jet blows up, similar to whale exhaling. But if you come down to the shore and climb some rocks you will find yourself (on Mars) in multiple little bays that are all different color with rock statues.
Last December myself with old school friends Igor and Vitalik, packed our car with gear, cameras and obviously home cooked borsch (борщ) drove around Western part of Maui. We stopped to explore Nakalele Point more in depth.
More photos to come! But if you search for "Hawaii" in this blog, there are tons of photos here from my previous trips.