The Word From Hawaii: Weather Delays Let Us Enjoy Paradise
Photo by Mark Murphy
So I’m the bearer of all kinds of good news from the islands of Hawaii. Even what might not seem as good news, I have a positive #TravelForward take on this storm situation for you.
First, the picture above. That’s what we’re seeing today in Maui. Yes, the worst may be ahead of us, but it’s looking like a borderline hurricane-tropical storm. Big winds, a lot of moisture. But essentially a big-time rain storm.
Yes, I know there was an earthquake. But at just 4.5, we barely felt it. The alarmists might say the gods have it out for Hawaii right now. I’ve survived a 7.0 in Northridge, Calif. In 1994, so this was just a rumble.
I’m taking my lead from the residents here. Again, the vibe is, “It’s all good. No damage, just a hiccup. Carry on.”
Personally, my good news was my family and I were able to make our flight out of Waikiki and made it to Maui late Wednesday night.
Even I bought into the media-spun hysteria, as a Costco was our first stop after we left the Maui airport.
MARK'S FIRST DISPATCH: I Wasn't Expecting To Be A Witness To History
By watching some of the national coverage, you would think we were in a full-on rush for supplies, like a blizzard was hitting the island. There were plenty of shoppers at the Costco, but all I saw was full shelves. There was plenty of milk, dried goods and Pellegrino to go around.
No looting, nobody fighting each other for the last rations. Just calm. I could get used to this Hawaii vibe.
So let’s address the airlines situation first. Yes, there’s some cancellations. American Airlines, Island Air, Mokulele, United Airlines and US Airways have made flight cancellations today but there’s still plenty of flights going out.
@lisayee1 Most of our flights are still operating to Hawaii today, Lisa. Please check with us closer to your departure to double check.— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) August 7, 2014
Island Air has already announced it is suspending operations Friday. I’d expect others to follow that plan, as Friday seems to be when the worst of the storm will hit the island.
I talked to one tourist from Los Angeles hoping to make a 1 p.m. flight out of Maui. I told him if he sees his plane on the ground, they’re going to want to get the plane out.
My personal friends on the Kona Coast, they are going to get the first hit. They are staying at the Fairmont on the big island and are suppose to be going out on Friday. But the resort is already shutting down pools, beach restaurants and hunkering down. I told my friends to settle in.
They will be a domino effect of delays. Island Air has already said they hope to resume full operation Saturday, and the second storm, Julio is expected to turn out to sea all together.
My suggestion to them and others: Ride out the storm and extend your vacation. People scheduled to arrive here have changed their plans, so it’s not an issue of availability. The folks that already here will be able to extend their stays.
The schools are closed here Friday, the evacuation centers will fill up to take care of the locals caught in low-lying areas. Residents are likely to feel some power interruptions.
But the tourists at the resort will be taken care of. The resorts have backup power for the backup power and are built on high ground. No need for evacuations.
We made our Costco trip, we’re headed to our condo at Honua Kai and we’re doing what I’m telling everyone to do.
Just make the most of it. This is a 24-hour window. Extend your stay. Give yourself a few extra days in paradise to avoid the chaos of the airports. You might feel rushed to get out, but it will be a hurry-up-and-wait game traveling out of the islands through the weekend.
Thankfully, my kids aren't too stressed.
Tell your boss you had extenuating circumstances and you had to what’s prudent for your family.
I’m the boss and I’m even telling myself that. I’m a “go, go, now, now” guy. But I’m taking my own advice. I’m taking what Mother Nature is offering and using it to slow down and enjoy paradise for a bit longer.
More by Mark Murphy
Recent Travel Opinions
Destination & Tourism
Features & Advice