We swam in the huge, shallow, Ko’ie’ie Fishpond and saw dogs surfing on our very first morning in Hawaii.

We learnt all about whales and other local fauna at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.  We particularly liked the sting ray and hermit crab hand puppets.

We enjoyed a tour of the cool, coral block walled, missionary’s house, belonging to the Baldwin family in sleepy Lahaina.  The children were amazed to learn that letters took six months to get to England and decided that Skype was better.

We drove half of the twisting, perilous Hana Highway.  We stopped for lunch at a waterfall with a natural swimming pool, where crayfish ate our sandwich crumbs and visited our first, stunning, black sand beach.  On the way home we stopped to watch surfers at sunset.

We snorkelled over fantastic reefs, teeming with fish on Ulua beach and in the ‘Ahihi-Kina’u Natural Area Reserve.  The latter was a black sand beach reached across a lava field.

Local Boy Shave Ice was the best we found, and the roadside kiosk was a good place to watch the comings and goings of Kihei.

The Baldwin and Alexander Sugar Museum was fab.  We particularly enjoyed learning about the sugar making process and how the immigrant sugar workers lived.  Also the free sugar samples.

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