I may get claustrophobic on Maui, but having Kehei Aquatic Center around helps me forget for a while. In Idaho, outdoor pools have a very limited season (June – August?) Plus, they are either kiddie play pools or private lounge pools in back yards. Swimming in the Kihei lap pool added one more way to enjoy the beautiful vacation on Maui.
First of all, there are no entry fees. It is obviously paid for somehow, and with so much of the economy based on tourism, I will assume that I have helped pay for it somehow. 🙂 You just need to sign in when you come through the main archway, probably just to count heads. Life guards are up on elevated chairs and wandering around the pools.
There are 3 pool sections with lap lanes, about 8 lanes per section. I spoke with a very friendly life guard who told me that the cement partition that you see in the photo above is moved when they want 50 meter lanes for competitions. Other than that, the lanes are the standard 25 meters for the average lap swimmer.
It was not crowded at all. Arriving around 11 AM, my friend and I were able to get into lanes right away. There was a constant turnover of swimmers, but no sense of rushing or “get done with it, it’s my turn.” It looks almost empty in the picture, but there were quite a few kids and parents in the other pool, and a few people scattered among the bleachers.
The locker room was small and uninviting compared to the elaborate pool complex. There were not many lockers, there wasn’t much light, and it was a bare cement floor collecting shower water. We hadn’t thought to bring our gym locks on vacation and the only option was to use a lock (no coin operated locks) So we wandered out to the pool.
At the end of each lane was a nice cement bench. We saw that most swimmers had just put their bags on those benches, so we followed suit. A lifeguard was stationed at the end of that pool looking very serious about his job, and very capable of carrying it out.
The ocean may be magnificent, but the outdoor pool was marvelous to swim in after dealing with low visibility, wave action, and creatures in the wild. I could get MORE exercise, but be MORE relaxed in my mind. The wide border of grass at the end of the pool was convenient for laying out our towels and drying in the sun for a few minutes after swimming.
Swimming in this outdoor pool made me all the more eager for the small pool with a Fastlane that we are putting in. It might not be as warm here year round, but at the Kehei Aquatic Center they don’t get to swim surrounded by crisp fall air or mounds of snow. The Amazing Engineer Husband is even now brainstorming on pool top enclosures to keep me warm.