Trip Number: 13401A
Staff: Martha Greason
- Work in a peaceful, history-filled remote Maui valley
- Share the company of local Hawaiians, hearing about local culture and
- Swim, snorkel, hike, and watch whales
- Lodging in an oceanfront condominium
- All meals (except one dinner), featuring many local ingredients
- All on-trip transportation including airport transfers
Photo: Marti Greason
Enjoy our ninth year of a Maui service project in the Honkawai Valley of west
Maui. Contrasting with our service days are activity days that include hiking,
whale watching, and snorkeling in warm Pacific waters. Relax and learn to know
Hawaii the way its local residents do, with time to talk, tell stories, understand
'aloha,' and appreciate the profound surrounding beauty of each place we visit.
Humpback whales winter in the Islands, coming to Hawaii between November and
April to breed, give birth, and rest before returning to Alaskan waters to feed
during the summer months. Seeing them and hearing the whales is an awesome experience!
On western Maui, the Honokawai Valley is the site of a farming community that
was active between 1400 and the early 1900s. The particular area where we will
work was once considered the "taro basket" of the Kaanapali region.
This is a historical site that bears witness to the scientific, engineering,
and cultural competence of the original Hawaiian community. This outing will
mark our ninth year of participation in this project.
Honokawai valley is now protected through a Maui Cultural Land Trust, which
works to safeguard historic and archeological sites on the island. This valley
is increasingly becoming an educational site, where visitors can learn about
ancient Hawaiians' sustainable systems for food, clothing, and shelter. While
currently not open to the public, the hope is that this educational site will
open in the near future. Puanani Lindsey will be our 'sponsor' when we are working
in the valley.
Our Service project will also include working with Les Potts from the Surfrider
Foundation. We will be picking up auto parts, old fences, and literally nuts
and bolts. Les says "if the land is clean of debris, it is a happy land."
Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit environmental organization dedicated to
the protection and enjoyment of the world's oceans, waves, and beaches.
Please note: The Sun, Service and Whales immediately follows
the East Maui Service Trip. The East Maui Service trip is located in Hana at
a local hostel-type facility. Work is scheduled to be in the National Botanical
Gardens and in the Kipahulu area of Halelakala National Park. If you choose
to do both trips, travel between trips will be provided by the Sierra Club.
Photo: Marti Greason
You will be picked up at Maui's Kahului airport around noon on the first day
of the trip and immediately driven to our condominiums close to the Honokawai
Valley, where we will be housed for the seven nights of this outing. Work days
will be alternated with ocean trips to observe humpback whales, snorkeling excursions,
hikes, and some relaxation time to enjoy the pool and ocean at our condo doorstep.
On Friday evening we will explore the former whaling port of Lahaina, a town
with many historical sites, now bustling with art galleries and other commercial
endeavors. On the last morning of the trip, you will be transported back to
the Kahului airport. It is suggested you schedule your departing flight for
no earlier than 11 a.m. Additional information on this will be available from
the leader after registration.
In the winter months, travel from the mainland can be 'uncertain,' due to
weather. You might want to consider arriving a day or two early in order to
guarantee your arrival by the trip's starting time. The leader will be glad
to share hotel information with you, as well as suggest areas to visit on your
own (not included in our trip). Please do not make travel arrangements until
the leader has confirmed you as a trip member.
Accommodations and Food
Photo: Marti Greason
Our condominiums in Honokawai are furnished. There will be several group members
assigned to each condo unit, with two participants sharing each bedroom. These
units are designed for people who know each other well -- there is not a lot
of private space. One condo will be designated as the daily eating/meeting location.
Washers and dryers are available on the condo site.
The Hawai'i sub-committee leaders pride themselves on the food they serve.
Local products and recipes are very much a part of the menu. If you have any
dietary restrictions, please discuss them with the leaders before signing up
for this trip.
With the exception of one dinner, all meals between dinner on the first day
and breakfast on the last day are included in the trip price. The first meal
served will be dinner on day one; the last meal will be breakfast on day nine.
Time in our condo is usually spent hanging out on our lanais, watching the
humpback whales. The whales are Maui's most frequent return visitor. The waters
off West Maui are the favorite vacation spot for these massive marine mammals.
This is the time of year when you can observe them doing their courting swim.
This trip requires physical labor, involving weed cutting and digging on our
work days in the Honokawai Valley. There will be bending, stretching, and pulling
involved -- all at your own pace. You should be able to hike up and down a moderate-to-steep
incline, as the entrance into the valley is a switchback trail with an uneven
Equipment and Clothing
Photo: Marti Greason
Long-sleeved shirts, boots, sunscreen, a day pack, water bottles, and a sun
hat are necessary. Mosquito repellent is a must! A more complete equipment list
will be sent to participants.
- Beckwith, Martha, Hawaiian Mythology.
- Culiney, John, Islands in a Far Sea.
- Daws, Gavin, Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands.
- Kaufman, Gregory Dean, and Paul Henry Forestall, Hawaii's Humpback Whales.
- Pukui, M.K. and Curtis, C., Tales of the Menehuene.
- Sohmer, S.H. and R. Gustafsen, Plants and Flowers of Hawaii.
The Sierra Club sponsors outings so members may experience new places, people,
and activities. Specifically, we aim to heighten awareness of the global environment
and encourage participants to take action to protect our shrinking world and
its inhabitants -- human and otherwise. On this trip, we will learn about contentious
water and land development, which affects all island residents and visitors.
See the How to Apply for an Outing section for more details on registering for this trip and details
about our Reservation and Cancellation Policy.
The payment of a deposit does not confirm you as a member on the trip. Participants must be approved by the trip leader. After signing up for this trip, you will be sent a confirmation packet containing approval materials (Participant Approval Questionnaire, Medical Form, Liability Release Form). Each applicant (including those on the waitlist) must fill out these forms and promptly mail them to the trip leader. The leader will review the approval materials and notify you of your acceptance in a timely manner.
Marti Greason has over a decade of experience leading Sierra Club trips to various destinations in the United States as well as abroad, introducing participants to varied landscapes, exotic cultures, and fascinating creatures (elephants and octopi, anyone?). She has traveled extensively in Europe, trekked through the Serengeti, visited the Orient, and explored the Holy Land. She has also scuba dived in the Caribbean, zip-lined in the Costa Rican jungle, and followed Darwin's footsteps in the Galapagos. She currently resides in Tucson, Arizona, where she is a docent at Tohono Chul Park, introducing visitors to the basics of desert flora and fauna.
Aurora Roberts was a resident of Hawai'i for nearly 25 years. She loves Hawaii and returns frequently to visit family and friends. She led hikes in the islands for years and acquired a great wealth of knowledge about the flowers, birds, and animal life. She hikes all over the world but finds her roots in the 'aina of Hawai'i. Now she will introduce the beautiful island of Maui to those who share the love of the great outdoors.
As an engineer for the California Air Resources Board, John Lee understands and enjoys the fresh air which is one of the many reasons he appreciates the islands so much. We are lucky to have someone with his experience both as a Sierra Club hiking leader as well as a cook. As our chef, John will perk up our tastes buds with his favorite island dishes.
General Notes About Sierra Club Trips