Monday, May 3, 2010

What are two great reasons to visit Maui other than the jaw-dropping beaches?

Waves and whales, of course!

The locals know that "Jaws" is the name given to a big wave surfing reef break on the island of Maui, the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The surf break, a deep water reef break, received its name due to the size and ferocity of the waves. The waves at "Jaws" can reach heights of 70 ft. on the face of the wave, moving as fast as 30 mph. The biggest swell in several years lashed the Hawaiian Islands on December 7, 2009 and Pe'ahi (a.k.a. Jaws) on Maui came to life for the cleanest tow-surfing session in ages. An all-star crew was on it, resulting in a number of waves which figured in the 2009/10 Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards. Also included are a few wipeouts, some really good wipeouts, in fact:

Maui is also a leading whale-watching center in the Hawaiian Islands due various populations of Humpback whales. Here is an amazingly close-up video of a humpback whale on a whale watch tour in 2008:

Fast facts:
• Maui's wide variety of landscapes resulted from a unique combination of geology, topography, and climate.
• Maui wintering in the sheltered ʻAuʻau Channel between the islands of Maui county.
• Coffee, macadamia nuts, papaya, tropical flowers, sugar and fresh pineapple are just some of Hawaii's premium exports and are a great example of its diversified agriculture.
• Maui is also an important center for advanced astronomical research. The Haleakala Observatory [1] was Hawaii's first astronomical research and development facility at the Maui Space Surveillance Site (MSSS) electro-optical facility.

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