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by smmmarti guide
September 7, 2002
I suppose that might have been how the cliffdiving pros of the Sheraton's nightly torch lighting and dive ceremony started many years ago. Yet, it is hard to imagine they ever wavered when you watch them now so skilled, strong and graceful at their task.
The other day we watched the show once again under the glow of a sudden burst of sundown breakthrough light that followed a long day of overcast skies.
The Melemele, that stupendous golden, honey rich light that drapes itself over Hawaii with almost unreasonable regularity
drove us once again to witness the ritual. Always a thrill, the sun setting over the Pacific beyond Lanai from Kaanapali captivates everyone with an unceasing array of colors and patterns across the sky. On nights of the melemele the vast kaleidoscope whirls all shades of gold, fuchsia, crimson, violet against brilliant blue patches of sky and sea.
But that's not the only WoW! of sundown at the Sheraton. When the sun gives out, leaving behind only dim silhouettes, distant sails and a beach littered with newly inspired souls, a distant sound of chanting and the wail from a conchshell turns all eyes mauka.
As if from out of nowhere, a sarong clad torch-bearing runner thunders toward the beach. With swift and sure footed leaps, steady as a gazelle, he gracefully bounds up the craggy lava rocks. With great flourish and uncanny accuracy he lights the torches lining the path in a ceremonious gesture to honor all the souls that had reentered the great beyond from this point. (Legend states that at Black Rock the souls of the departed pass from the land of man into the hands of God.)
Once the final torch is lit, the bare chested warrior silhouetted at the top of Black Rock by the only remaining light the sun would cast that day, raises his arms high in salute to the earth, the sky, the sea, the souls...and then plunges into the waves below.
I would guess this is how those young tourists envision themselves when they climb Black Rock, all bold and confident and powerful. It is a wonderful image that would inspire just about anyone to do anything.
The Black Rock torchlighting and dive is a nightly event at Kaanapali. Sundowners at the Sheraton offers the best views, but you can also bring your own libation, nab a lounger in the sand and enjoy all this for free. Daily.
From journal Maui - Hikes and Upcountry Delights
May 3, 2002
Here, shoppers find quintessential Hawaiian goods in the Honolua Surf Shop, the ABC store, McIrney's, Blue Ginger, interesting Pacific Rim import shops, and exclusive designer shops of Chanel, Versace, and Gucci. The tone is decidedly low-key regardless of which shops suit your style or pocketbook.
A popular kiosk offer "pearls in an oyster" and South Sea jewelry. The food court gives visitors plenty of options with a choice of McDonald's, Pizza Paradaiso, and Ganzo Kawara Soba restaurant. A mist-cooled coffee kiosk at Kimo Bean Coffee Company keeps you on your feet for the long hours of beaching, playing, shopping and relaxing that are inevitable when visiting Kaanapali.
Fridays are Aloha Hula Show night in the plaza. Special events such as Sand Castle sculpture competitions, cooking demonstrations, the Maui Onion Festival, Maui Tacos 5K Run, Fourth of July Celebration, Maui Marathon, Keiki Hula Competition are all hosted at the Whaler's Village during the year.
The Whaler's Museum is a free interactive exhibit detailing the history of the great age of Whaling and is a must-see for history buffs and whale lovers. The free self-guided audio tour is available in English, Japanese, Spanish, and German. On display are hundreds of artifacts and exhibits which inform visitors of the unique lifestyle of the whaling men of old. For the keikis, there are often special free activities such as palm frond weaving, lei making or sand print designing at the "creation station."
Just a few steps away at the broad ocean beach, swimming, sailing, surfing, water-skiing, parasailing and snorkeling, are some of the optional ways to spend your leisure hours. If snorkeling is your choice, you'll find the most popular snorkeling spot on the island at Black Rock, a volcanic cinder cone directly in front of the Sheraton Maui hotel.
Some of Maui's most beloved dining establishments are also located at Kaanapali. Hula Grill's "eat in your swimsuit barefooted" grill with tables and chairs situated right into the sand. Leilani's on the Beach is another festival of great dining with seafood and prime meat highlighting the menu.
The Rusty Harpoon restaurant and tavern serves a terrific breakfast, lunch and dinner menu of local and classic favorites from eggs benedict to burgers, Hawaiian fish to barbeque ribs.
As you can see, it's easy to pass the day leisurely and satisfyingly indulging in Kaanapali's many shops, events and services. But the gorgeous and lively beach, as always, is the main star of this attraction!
From journal Maui - More, More, More!
Victoria, British Columbia
February 20, 2001
From journal 3 Months on Maui
by Foxboro Marmot
May 9, 2001
Now for the editorial - PLEASE watch out for a rogue wave if swimming at Kaanapali. On a day when there wasn't much wave action I was out a bit more than waist deep with my two year old daughter. I saw what looked like a bigger than normal wave coming and only realized how much bigger when I saw it how much it rocked and lifted a catamaran anchored a little offshore. I picked up my daughter and tried to get into shore but the wave was just too strong... It crashed over my, knocked me to the ground... when I hit bottom I lost my grip on my daughter and she got pulled away. I got to my feet and looked around - couldn't see her. Thank God, as the water receeded after the wave she was being pulled and rolled along the bottom and just was lucky enough to bump into my leg I grabbed her and pulled her out. We never saw a wave that big earler that day or later - just the one. We've been back many times through the years and never saw a fluke wave like that again. PLEASE remember that this isn't Disney World, its the real world and bad things can happen. Have fun but be careful!
From journal Snorkeling on Maui!
November 7, 2005
Ka'anapali Beach is a huge beach. It is fronted by a dozen or so resorts, along with Whaler's Village shopping mall. It can be quite crowded at times, so this isn't the beach for relaxing. It's also known as Dig Me Beach, if that tells you anything.
There is great snorkeling at Black Rock at the north end by the Sheraton, but like the rest of the beach it can get very crowded. I swam out around the point and saw two sea turtles snoozing on the bottom. On our last day we snorkeled there and a spotted eagle ray swam right under me. That was pretty cool.
At times this beach has a wicked undertow and big swells. It can be challenging getting in and out of the water without getting knocked down. With a little practice and patience, it can be done without filling your suit with sand!
People watching is great here. Think of it as free entertainment. This is also a great beach for watching those amazing Maui sunsets. There is a paved path that fronts the beach and goes past all the resorts. It's a very nice stroll in the evening, but again can be crowded depending on the day of the week.
From journal Marvelous Maui
San Antonio, Texas
June 3, 2006
We did visit other beaches but this is the only beach that we truly went swimming in or lazed around on.
From journal December in Maui
Manchester, United Kingdom
December 11, 2005
From journal Maui Paradise
Saddle Brook, New Jersey
January 12, 2004
From journal My Honeymoon In Maui