In 1795, before unification of the islands, the town was conquered by Kamehameha the Great. Lahaina was the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1802 to 1845. It was once an important destination for the 19th-century whaling fleet, whose presence at Lahaina frequently led to conflicts with the Christian missionaries living there. On more than one occasion the conflict was so severe that it led to sailor riots and even the shelling of Lahaina by the British whaler John Palmer in 1827. In response, Maui Governor Hoapili built the Old Lahaina Fort in 1831 to protect the town from riotous sailors.
Originally whalers only chased the enormous and slow Right Whales. They were so slow you could catch them from rowboats off sailing ships as described in Moby Dick. After nearly killing off the right whales, whalers discovered that at certain of the year the faster Humpback Whales would travel to Hawaii to mate and Lahaina became the center to the decimation of this species. However in 1970 things changed and so did Lahaina.
The United States listed all humpback whales as endangered under the Endangered Species Conservation Act in 1970 and then under the Endangered Species Act. The international outlawing of whaling has enable the Humpbacks to survive and thrive. Lahaina changed from being a center of whaling to becoming a center for whale research and conservation. Today the boats still leave Lahaina Harbor in search of whales but to photograph them and enjoy their frolicking in the warm Hawaiian sun
A must see destination in Maui is Haleakala which is an inactive volcano at the island’s center. Most visitors get up in the middle of the night to see the sunrise over the crater. If you do that however you miss another wonderful sight. This is west Maui in the morning sun.
The one thing you can be sure of when visiting Maui is that it will rain every day. However, Lahaina is on the “desert” side of the island and gets less rain than the interior or the south and east sides of the island. Still it will rain. The good news is that because of the prevailing trade winds it is rare to get anything more than a short shower or thunder storm and ten minutes later the sun comes out and it’s pool or beach time.
This picture was taken from a boat out of Lahaina before a short and cooling shower.
I love watching street artists. I am always amazed by a number of things. One is that they can make something so complex and not be distracted by people staring and walking around. Or distracted by noise, dogs, little kids, the wind and a host of other things. This guy was particularly amazing because one slip of that chisel and his foot is chopped liver. I didn’t have the nerve to ask him if that had ever happened. This was shot on the street in Lahaina in Maui County Hawaii.
While having lunch in Lahaina we saw this shipwreck in the harbor. I couldn’t help but wonder how long it had been there, probably since the last major storm. However as I took this picture I couldn’t help but think back to Lahaina’s history when the old sea town was frequented by Whalers and Pirates instead of tourists. You can buy a print of this on my commercial gallery by clicking here.