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

Lava Flow Moves Closer to Homes


The June 27 lava flow from Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii is named for the date it began erupting from a new vent. What does this mean for those of us living on Maui? A new vent equals more VOG (volcanic organic gasses)–and the attendant asthma and breathing problems.


And for those of you planning a trip to Hawaii, consider this: I had a conversation with a woman whose husband had had lung cancer. Guess where they decided to go for him to recuperate? Yep, a nice trip to the Big Island. This was before this latest vent had opened… and she said it was “the dumbest thing we’ve ever done!”

The USGS says the lava could now reach Pahoa town in eight days, and is just 1.7 miles upslope from Apaha Street. The flow has narrowed from 100 feet to 50 feet, causing it to flow faster.


You can read more about it here:


Tell me, do you get these same news reports on the mainland, or is it only regional?

A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right. Mahalo for reading along!

Aloha, Jamaica