Guest Blogger: Mike Neal11:00 am
It's great to see the Guest Blogger segment take off. I hope you've enjoyed reading Larissa Felsen and Alex Beadon's blog posts. For this next guest post, Mike and I found each other through the power of Twitter. Mike has some great nature and landscape photographs that I was really excited when he expressed interest in writing this week's guest post. Enjoy and show him some love~
Aloha from Maui :)
My passions in photography are surfing and nature. Maui is an incredible place for both, with places like Haleakala Crater and Hana for natural beauty.
We also have some of the best surf spots on the planet, Honolua Bay and Pe'ahi (Jaws), where the best riders in the world come to challenge the giant waves.
Maui is home to some of the most endangered birds and plants on the planet. I work with groups like the Maui Forest Bird Restoration Project and Nature Conservancy to protect these amazing creatures.
The environment where the birds live, high on the slopes of Haleakala, is a cloud forest largely inaccessible. Waikamoi Preserve is the exception and well worth hiking if you get the chance.
Hawaii gets some of the largest and most powerful surf in the world! These giant waves slam Maui's North shore every year from November to March. I began photographing these swells after injuring my shoulder a few years ago and am addicted to being where the action is.
We have two world class big wave spots: Honolua Bay on West Maui is a flawless right point. The action at the Bay is nonstop on a huge day, with over 50 surfers ripping every wave that comes through and hundreds of spectators on the cliffs.
Pe'ahi on the North Shore (aka Jaws) is an open ocean peak that can break to over 70 foot! This wave is one of the surfing wonders of the world and must be experienced to fully appreciate its size and power. Standing on the cliff overlooking the lineup you can feel the ground shake and the air vibrate when a set comes in.
On the biggest day, only those being towed in by jet skis can physically catch the waves. Jaws has produced the winner of the XXL Biggest Wave Award every year that it was eligible. There is a carnival atmosphere, with hundreds or thousands of spectators cheering on the cliff and boats, skis and helicopters making it a must see event if you’re lucky enough to be on Maui when it goes off.
Mike Neal is a photographer and woodworker based on Maui. His work can be seen at NealStudios.net or at the Maui Hands and Native Intelligence galleries.