Maui - A State of Bliss
We all have deliriously happy friends. Friends who have found their formula for life and enjoy a state of bliss. Well, for my friend David Fleetham and his wife Denise, it all began (after meeting each other, of course) with a move to Maui. They eventually wound up with a home in the "upcountry" near the Makawao, a quiet village where you wouldn't be surprised if someone rode up on horseback for their morning coffee. And for David, a professional underwater photographer, each day eventually leads to the sea even if it's not for an assignment.
Now we all have our key points, our ideal list of why we'd want to make a move like this. And although Maui might not exactly be going pure expat, it sits atop the world's list as an ultimate tropical paradise especially for divers. Between Molokini, the dives off Lahaina and the nearby island of Lanai, there is a lifetime of underwater discoveries. And between November and March, humpback whales settle in just offshore to calve and mate. During that time, the ocean fills with their soul-haunting song. For most of us, the possibility of an encounter with a whale mother and calf sits firmly in the category of dying and going to heaven. You'll also find sharks, sea turtles, manta rays and a host of tropical critters found only in these waters. David has been searching and exploring these reefs for almost 20 years and still has trouble pulling himself out at the end of a dive. But when he does, he goes home.
When I talk to David about Maui he always tells me, "Maui no ka oi": Maui is the best. And though David's work takes him around the world, the assignments he cherishes are those in his own backyard, because he always finds a new experience one more reason to be deliriously happy.
Quick Guide:For diving, lodging and land tours, check out PADI Five-Star Resort, maui dive shop (mauidiveshop.com) in Kihei. Also in Kihei, longtime Maui dive experts at scuba shack (scubashack.com) can help you experience just about anything underwater. For a PADI Gold Palm Facility in Lahaina Town, stop by lahaina divers (lahainadivers.com), or maui scuba diving (mauiscubadiving.com)which offers full PADI certifications. Hawaiian rafting adventures/dive maui (hawaiianrafting.com) visits the protected side of Lanai, which has more than 30 dive sites. Find more information through maui's official tourism site (visitmaui.com). Learn about real estate by visiting mauirealestate.com.