Vog Blog


Okay…brace yourself, Bertha. You may not want to hear this. If so, feel free to stick your fingers in your ears and go neyh, neyh, neyh. But here it is: the Vog is THICK here on Maui. Tourists on the Scotch Mist sailboat yesterday were asking Cap’n Mike, “What IS that?” (They think it’s fog.)

Sadly, not. Vog season has cometh. A blog reader wrote the other day to say that she and her husband were planning to move to Maui, but she has chemical sensitivities. She asked when the Vog comes in, how long does it stay? And the answer is… It can come in as early as September and stay till May. If we’re lucky, as we were this year, it didn’t get thick until November. But November happens to be NaNoWriMo month for authors (www.nanowrimo.org) and I had committed to write a novel (50,000 words) in 30 days. No problem, right? Yeah, as long as I can breathe, don’t have a Vog headache, don’t have itchy eyes… And can think straight. Alas, I had “Vog brain” three weeks out of four, and no novel. Not even close.

So Jenna, the reader with chemical sensitivites should think twice about the Big Island, Maui, Oahu, and right now, even Kauai. Here’s a photo from our news. (I tried to do the video, but apparently I need a Premium WordPress site…)

Vog Forecast on Maui

Many people just want Maui to be Paradise. They don’t want to hear about the problems, they’re looking for fantasy. Sometimes I wonder if this is because Maui is, as one friend put it, “The last bastion of hope on earth…the place I can go when it all falls apart.” But if you can’t breathe well, where the heck does that leave you?

Now, to be sure, there are worse things. This is not terroristic bombing. But to be able to breathe is pretty important. My doctor doubled the dosage for my asthma medication, and our house is all closed up. I don’t go in the jacuzzi or out in the yard.

Many people want to know if it’s on all the islands. When it’s bad, yes, it’s on all the islands.

And here’s a photo of our Maui sunset:

Vog haze on Maui

Vog haze on Maui

I doubt you’d be able to see the famous “green flash” through that haze, since you can’t see the West Maui mountains and they’re right there. A friend said she had a Vog headache all day yesterday. Not everyone is affected, but many are.

Don’t shoot the messenger. Much of why I write this blog is so people can make informed decisions about a move to Maui.

And now a moment of silence for our allies in France. And to our own dear French friends….Bonjour Christine, Olivier, Roxane, Maxime, Jo and Regis. Please know that our hearts go out to you! Je suis Charlie.

A hui hou.

Aloha, Jamaica

7 thoughts on “Vog Blog

  1. I love your blog! I read it for almost a year before moving to Maui myself. Keep up the great work!(*PS* That picture looks like it could have been taken in my back yard. 😉

    • Aloha Jenny,
      Thanks for writing. Glad to hear you’ve been reading the blog for that long! So has Maui turned out to be what you envisioned? I’m sure the readers would love to hear your experience.
      Do you live Upcountry too?
      Aloha, Jamaica

  2. Aloha, Jamaica! Beautiful tribute at the end there! I didn’t experience the vog much on our one and only Maui trip in May 2012, but you mentioned NaNoWriMo, so I wanted to reply…

    I participated in November for the very first time, and though I thought I’d never be able to do it, I ended up exceeding the goal by some 10,000 words! It was so much fun, and I hope to do it every year now! I’m writing my third and fourth books at the moment, but that NaNo book I began will be all ready to return to this summer. I’ll probably/hopefully finish it with just enough time to start a new one in November 2015. All of this seems impossible at the outset, but once you publish your first book, it gets easier to do the next. My first took me 10 years to complete, and it was only 200 pages. The second took me 10 months to finish, and it was 256 pages. Don’t take 10 years to get started–and I say that to anyone who may be reading this. You can do it, and you can do it THIS YEAR!

    Mahalo for the vog information and for all the info you always share so well! May you return to that jacuzzi sooner than you think!


  3. Stumbled her through the magic of Google and I swear we must be neighbors… your sunset view looks suspiciously like mine on the golf course Upcountry. Moved to Maui from the frigid Northeast almost 4 years ago, bought a house a year ago, and have to laugh – you capture the beauty and realities of life here perfectly Jamaica! Wish I had found it before we moved – though I know we would have come anyways, I might have brought more than a suitcase! Aloha and maybe we will meet at sunset one night.

    • Aloha Cheri,
      Thanks for writing. I am glad that you feel I capture the beauty and realities of Maui life perfectly!
      And yes, we are probably in general proximity to each other Upcountry….small world! Glad you stumbled upon the blog.
      Aloha, Jamaica

  4. The vog sucks for breathing but makes for some gorgeous sunsets. By the way, Oahu isn’t so bad, vog wise. I grew up on Maui, lived on Oahu for two decades after and moved back to Maui 5 years ago but still regularly hop to Oahu for my sanity. I do find an air purifier to be very helpful. Also on Oahu, you may spend more time in buildings that the vog can’t get in due to more high rises and air conditioned environments.

    • Aloha Tania,
      Thanks for writing and sharing your experince with the vog. Interesting that you find it’s less on Oahu, but it’s very true about the high-rises.
      Mike’s sister-in-law was visiting on Oahu in February and had to double the amount of inhaler she was using for her asthma because of the vog. They also did not come to visit us on Maui this trip because of the vog.

      Aloha! Jamaica

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