On this page we have put some things that we think are cool or important, related to not just to our condo, but to Honokowai in general.Contents of this page:
Time-Lapse Videos of sunrises and a sunset - taken from the lanai
of the condo.
How to shoot great sunset photos A tutorial.
West Maui Panorama - a high-resolution panorama of the West Maui Mountain.
Night Sky - a long-exposure photo of the night sky seen from the condo.
Turtle Trax, a web site dedicated to sea turtles.
The video content and high-resolution images content on this page are bandwidth-intensive. The video is now hosted by YouTube. Depending on your connection speed, it may load slowly or stop while buffering. If you've started a video and encounter these problems, you might want to try lowering the required bandwidth by clicking on the resolution, e.g. "360p" indicated on the red band at the bottom of the video frame and selecting a lower value. Alternatively, you can view it in higher resolution by pausing the video, setting a higher resolution, and then waiting for YouTube to download the whole video. If your connection is very slow (i.e., dial-up), save yourself the frustration and skip this page.
Morning View of Beach and Ocean
You'll want to watch this at full 1080p HD resolution if you can. This is a time lapse video taken from the lanai of Kulakane 302 on a beautiful west Maui morning. It compresses about 40 minutes into 20 seconds. You'll see the clouds "boiling" over the island of Lana'i, several snorkelers enter and exit the water, a large charter catamaran power by on its way to Honolua Bay for a snorkeing tour, and a kayaker paddle by (at the end). This was shot with a Nikon DSLR on a tripod, taking one frame every four seconds. The 500+ individual photos were then converted to a video clip using PhotoLapse software.
One Day at the Kulakane, Compressed
Looking northwest from the lanai of Kulakane 302, a full day compressed into about 55 seconds. Not a true time-lapse, this video was created using a Flip Ultra HD pocket video camera on a tripod, taking 4-second clips every hour or so.
West Maui presents many opportunities to take photos of spectacular sunsets, yet sunset photos often don't turn out well. We've just added a tutorial dedicated to helping you take the perfect sunset photo. See it here.
We created a high-resolution panorama of the West Maui Mountain in November 2007. The image opens into a huge (8,800 x 2,400) photo taken from Lahaina. View it at 100% in your browser by panning back and forth.
The large "L" on the mountain side at the left of the photo is for Lahainaluna High School, which is said to be the oldest high school in the US west of the Mississipi. (You'll see the "L" when you view the photo at full-size.)
There are nearly always clouds above the peak of the West Maui Mountain, and it is usually raining
at the mountain top, as explained on the the Location page. The peaks of
the mountains on the east and west portion of Maui (and some of the other Hawaiian islands) are some
of the wettest places on earth, yet the shoreline of west Maui receives relatively little rain.
Due to time zone differences between California and Hawaii, we always find it very easy to get up early in the morning in Maui. For the first few days, we often rise well before sunrise. It is a great time to examine the night sky - which looks different than it does at home due to the difference in latitude. For instance, summer constellations that are close to the horizon in California (such as Sagittarius and Scorpius) appear much higher in the sky. Although there are many security and safety lights along the oceanfront of west Maui, the overall sky brightness due to light pollution in Maui is much lower than most urban locations in the continental US. If you live in or near a major metropolitan area, you will be amazed at how many more stars are visible in the Maui night sky.
It was during one of these early morning star gazing sessions that we decided to see if we could capture the view with our camera. The result is the photo below. (Click on the image to see a full-resolution version in a new browser window. Taken on 7/26/2007 at 4:58 AM with a Nikon D80, 18mm lens, 30 seconds @ f/3.5, ISO 1600. Although it was about an hour before sunrise, the sky had already begun to lighten slightly.)
In the photo, the "light dome" of Honolulu (some 80 miles distant) can be seen behing the west end of Molokai. (Molokai contributes very little to the glow, as there are very few lights on Molokai.) Also visible are the trail of blinking navigation lights from a passing aircraft (seen as a dashed line leading from close to the center of the photo to the top of the palm tree on the right), and boat traffic (green and white horizontal streaks near the center of the photo). The constellation Lyra is seen between the palm trees. The motion of the waves breaking over the reef and the palm fronds swaying gently in the light breeze causes them to be blurred in this long exposure. If you look closely at the stars, you can see that each is streaked slightly due to rotation of the earth (about 1/8 of a degree during the 30-second exposure).
During a visit a few months later (November 2007), we shot this night panorama. If you click on the photo to open it in a new browser window, you'll see that the sky is full of stars. The surf was up a little, so waves were breaking on the Honokowai reef. In this long exposure, the breaking waves and white water show up as a blur, as do the tops of the palm trees, which were swaying in the wind. It was a beautiful time to be awake and watching the ocean from the lanai of Kulakane 302.
Every visitor to the Kulakane is virtually certain to see the Honokowai reef's resident sea turtles. Turtle Trax (www.turtles.org) is a web site created by Canadians Peter Bennett and Ursula Keuper-Bennett for the purpose of promoting awareness of the wonder and beauty of Hawaiian green sea turtles (honu). Peter and Ursula have been diving in the waters of Honokowai for well over two decades, and have followed the health and behavior of dozens of individual honu during that time.
Here's one of the many underwater videos shot by Peter Bennett, posted on YouTube and on Turtle Trax. In the video, a female honu leaves her resting spot on the bottom to surface for a breath. When she returns, another turtle has taken her place. Watch and see what happens....