Maui Arts & Entertainment

Cliff Dive into the Deep Blue

December 17, 2010, 11:14 AM HST
* Updated December 17, 11:16 AM
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Imagine standing 50 feet above a tumultuous sea, waves breaking on the volcanic rocks below. About to jump.

Think you can handle it?

Well if you aren’t quite ready to take up the challenge, you can do the next best thing. You can watch a professional show you how it’s done.

Every night at sunset, the Sheraton Maui, Kaanapali, hosts a traditional cliff diving ceremony for tourists and visual thrill seekers alike.

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It is a reenactment of the legend of Maui’s King Kahekili, who was said to perform this challenging feat to the awe and wonderment of his people in times of ceremony.

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In this nod to ancient Hawaiian culture, a young man dressed in traditional ancient garb carries a flaming torch to the edge of the massive rock, and executes a perfect dive into the waters below.

Onlookers gasp and sip on their daiquiries from nearby Tiki Lounges, or from the cushion of the perfect white beach below.

The Sheraton is perched at the top of legendary black rock, Puu Kekaa. As you prepare to watch the ceremony, take note of the ancient roots of the tradition. For native Hawaiians, Puu Kekaa was thought to be the place where the spirits of those on the island who had recently passed would transition into the heavenly realms.

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Kaanapali Beach used to be the vacation retreat of Hawaiian royalty. Now it is where people from around the world come to bask in the most beautiful beach on Maui. It is home to three miles of pure white sand and ice blue, perfectly clear water.

You can snorkle around the base of Black Rock as the sunset approaches. There are often turtles perusing the waters, and plenty of beautiful underwater eye candy.

As the sun sets, sit back, relax, and prepare to live vicariously through this stunning feat of bravery and athleticism.

For more information call (808) 661-0031 or (800) 245-9229.

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