Storm at Slaughterhouse Beach
impressionist painting of storm at Slaughterhouse Beach
Image © Alison Whalen
Every beach on the island has a distinct personality. During the winter months, Slaughterhouse Beach is the neighborhood bully, roaring its challenges from the high surf vortex, taunting the swimmer to a serious battle. No idle threats here. At Slaughterhouse you'll find fierce rip currents, brutal shorebreak, and sudden wind gusts with the capacity to sandblast flesh. Weather and ocean conditions change in the blink of an eye. There are no lifeguards and no facilities. There is a painting of a wolf's head on one of the cliffs. You're on your own here, so it's best to respect your common sense.

This beach's Hawaiian name, Mokuleia, means 'place of abundance'. Its nickname is a remnant from the days when the Honolua slaughterhouse was located on the cliffs above the beach. Although the slaughterhouse was torn down in the 1960s, the unfortunate name stuck with the locals.

I love this beach for its wildness and unpredictability, and also for the great views of Lanai and Molokai. Since we're usually on Maui during the winter and early spring, I don't swim here very often, but the beachcombing is great and the storm watching is unequalled.

The storm in this painting blew in like a mini gale one afternoon around 3:00. We could smell and taste the ozone as the sky turned the color of cinders and enfolded the sun. A few scattered rays managed to escape and paint the surroundings in a dramatic palette.

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

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