Sunset at Baldwin Beach - North Shore, Maui
impressionist painting of sunset at Baldwin Beach on Maui's north shore
Image © Alison Whalen
An afternoon at Baldwin Beach on Maui's north shore is a smorgasbord for the senses. Big beach, big waves, every shade of blue imagineable against soft sand the color of unbleached titanium, topped off by the ever-changing tradewind clouds. This seldom-crowded local beach is a treasure, and not surprisingly, my favorite beach on the island. The water's too rough for snorkeling, but conditions are perfect for boogie boarding, body surfing, and parasailing.

Scattered about are several unusual sculptures built around the trees and upper vegetation with 'sandrocks' that wash up in the tide. These rocks can cause serious injuries to swimmers and boogie boarders, so the lifeguards and locals remove them daily from the surf and add them to existing sculptures or begin new ones.

Beachcombing is good here. If you walk toward the west Maui mountains past the crescent of trees and cross over the lava rocks, you'll eventually come to an area where the sand is replaced with a striking rich red clay. Keep going - the beachscape will change dramatically. If the tide is low, you can walk along the lava rock shelf and explore the numerous tidepools. It's well worth the hike to one of the most beautiful spots on Maui. And if you're lucky, you might even meet the stubby little black and white dog who lives down the road but chooses to spend his days schmoozing at Baldwin.

Don't park under the palm trees (falling coconut hazard)...and do stay for the sunset.

acrylic on paper
actual image size - 5" X 8"

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