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Picture of the Day

February 24, 2014

Back before there was a Pi'ilani Highway, a schooner used to round the island and stop at this rugged outcropping. You can still see remnants of the dock where there used to be a winch for cargo--humans, wares, livestock, and timber. Nu'u used to be a highly populated section of Maui, though now it is one of the most desolate. The reason for this is there was a sandalwood forest here, but after contact it was "harvested" (decimated) and sold to China, the profits from which financed Kamehameha's "unification" (conquest) of the islands. Without the trees and the moisture they trapped in cloud forest, the rains abated and soon there wasn't enough fresh water to support a large population so the people moved. It's a complicated place. This section of shoreline was purchased by HILT. It's a gorgeous stretch of coast and a fine protected spot for snorkeling when the conditions are right. It's pretty marvelous to swim far out and then look back at a landscape where no human intervention is visible--no roads, buildings, or utility poles. The ocean is great medicine, even if all you're suffering from is a mild hangover. (Hoyt and I hit the tequila a little hard sitting around the fire last night.) Sarah stayed home and Heidi hung out on the beach. You might think I'm joking but the highlight of the swim was watching a parrotfish poop. Live! In 3D! Their hard mouths grind on coral and rock which they ingest and granulate in the process.
Nutrients are absorbed and the mineral portion gets egested.
It's how local white sand beaches are formed. Thanks, uhu!

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