Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Underwater Shooting

Today I tread into new territory and did an underwater photo shoot for a company using their employees as models. Even though none of the people were models or swimmers, I loved their enthusiasm and willingness to try new things. I even think that out of the hundreds of photos, we might actually have gotten one or two good ones. Can you tell what their product is?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Playing with Spinner Dolphins

Hooray! After being away for a week, the spinner dolphins returned today to join me on my ocean swim. I had lots of fun playing with them, but they wore me out! Click HERE or below for today's video.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Down and Back, Twist and Turn

It was a cloudy morning in Makena with the first bit of chill in the ocean water. The swimmers weren't quite ready for the cold, so they swam and swam without the usual large dose of play. Fortunately, George reminded us how to have fun when he directed a balloon twisting workshop at the restaurant after the swim.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Keoneoio Stumbling

I seem to have forgotten that a mere five miles from my house is a large wilderness area. Probably because rather than waterfalls and tropical jungle, that area is a barren old lava flow. The climate is desert and every step is treacherous. Nonetheless, this morning I decided to hike through it along the so called King's Highway trail. Loose jumbled sharp lava rocks in all directions up to the tall cliffs lining the sea.

Which made the sudden appearance of a green oasis in the middle of this hot sameness a true delight. The driftwood log and cool shade provided a much needed respite after stumbling over the shifting rocks of the trail. I followed a smaller path along the ocean's edge on my return, which at times balanced dangerously along the cliff's edge. The waves crashing onto the rocks and the cleverly balanced stones on the beaches made this route much more interesting. Now if I can just find a safe spot to get in and out of the ocean I will gladly return for a true adventure swim.

Friday, October 19, 2007

My Bad

I find it so easy to get caught up in day to day living that I forget how amazing my life really is. On my swim Wednesday in the warm tropical ocean waters just outside my front door, I complained to myself how boring and uninteresting it was. I only saw a few giant sea turtles and a few hundred colorful fish. Certainly nothing worth writing in my blog about.

Fortunately today I got to swim with a trio of frisky spotted eagle rays and got their play on video (click HERE or below for the video). I also watched a dive leader chase Bruce out of his home for the entertainment of the paying scuba divers (not dissimilar to what I do with my video camera on this blog). I amuse myself with my own hypocrisy - I start ranting about someone else, then realize that I do the same stuff myself. Silly me!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

New Camera

I tried out a new camera on this morning's ocean swim with the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers. As you can see, this small easy to carry camera is no match for the tank I usually drag through the water. On the other hand the video is superior to what I get from the ultra compact camera normally used for video. It will be interesting to see which wins out.

We managed to keep ourselves thoroughly entertained in the clear warm ocean water (click HERE or below for the video).

Friday, October 12, 2007

Dolphin Sex

After working two 14 hour days up on the other side of the island, it was GREAT getting back in the ocean this morning. And my friends, the spinner dolphins, were there to greet me and swam with me for a full two hours. I got some more wonderful photos (click HERE to see today's photos) and had lots of fun.

I do have a small conundrum. The dolphins will swim very close to me and interact with me when I am swimming fast enough to keep up with them. Those moments would make the best video and still photographs, BUT to use a camera I have to use my hand which slows me down enough that the dolphins lose interest. For now I take turns. I play with them a while, then I take photos or video, then I play some more.

The dolphins are very physical with each other, constantly rubbing up together in twos, threes, and larger groups. I never gave much thought to whether or not they were having sex in front of me until I watched the video I took today (click HERE or below for today's video).

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Dolphins Return!

Woo Hoo! The spinner dolphins were back and in a playful mood this morning. They were having so much fun zooming back and forth together and were keeping up a constant chatter. They would swim by from time to time, but they thought I was way too slow to be allowed to play their games (just like school when I was always picked last). It doesn't matter, I had a great time too, taking photos and video of them. Click HERE for lots of fun photos from today.

After I had been swimming in their company for a half hour, a visitor from Wyoming and three of the regular swimmers came out to join us. The visitor was thrilled, and frightened, by how close the dolphins would approach. Click HERE or Below for today's video.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Approach

It was clear on this morning's ocean swim we don't all approach wild animals in the same way.

When I want to get closer to a wild animal, I swim quietly alongside it for a while until it gets used to me. I try to let the animal make the first move (is this about underwater critters, or dating?). Since most of them are curious about this strange acting person (see, there are advantages to not being normal) they will come up to check me out. Then I take photos and video.

A certain member of our Sunday Pink Cap Swim group has a different approach. He swims right up to the animal and tries to grab or touch it (click HERE or below for the Video). The advantage for us is that we get to see how a wild animal reacts when it thinks it is being attacked. We also get to see them in a different light - see this same starfish which was featured in my previous blog entry.

Of course, most of you see right through my righteous rant because of how I approach my friend Bruce. And you would be right.

Friday, October 5, 2007

A New Star

Bruce was totally oblivious to my presence again today. One of these days I'll get over my fear of sharks and manage to get closer, maybe even hang on and go for a ride. But not yet.

Starfish come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Don't know the real name, but we call this the pillow starfish.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Close Encounter

Bruce was back after a week out visiting friends (click HERE for the story), but seemed a bit hung over. He was totally out of it when I approached this morning and let me get as close as I wanted. Here's wishing him a speedy recovery.