Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Wow, a lot of water under the bridge in 2007, including about 300 miles of ocean swimming. I'm definitely looking forward to lots more in 2008. Thanks to Maui's own Hot Island Glass for making this spectacular paperweight as a Christmas gift for Doug.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The High Price of Flying

I love swimming here in the tropical ocean waters of Maui. What's even better is my weekly swim with the Pink Cap Swimmers which happens every Sunday morning. Since the humpback whales have returned, we decided to celebrate by mimicking their practice of jumping out of the water - called breaching. I gave it all I had with a mighty pull of the arms and giant frog kick to help me clear the water - when, OUCH, I felt a twang in my leg. Could I really have pulled a hamstring while swimming? I better try that breach again to make sure. OW! That time was even more painful (I'm not exactly the brightest guy around). Hopefully, I'll be up and around soon.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

New Year's Resolution

On the days I don't swim in the ocean, I try to do a serious walk. I had a choice after blowing my knees out from running: either get surgery or switch to walking. I chose walking and was surprised to find that I seem to work more muscles walking than I did running. Plus I am better able to appreciate my surroundings. I came from Chicago and while it was below freezing there today, it was 80 degrees here, flowers lined the way with loads of flower petals strewn under foot. I usually walk past several tony resorts and appreciated this candy and gingerbread house I saw today. Then again I have had enough sweets to last me forever! A friend today told me to throw out all the food which was given us for the holidays; but I just can't do it. In my mind the only way to get rid of all those cookies and candies is to eat them. And the faster I eat them, the sooner they will be gone. Oh, my stomach is roiling and expanding!

I generally don't believe in New Year's resolutions, but I feel I need to make a serious commitment to this blog. So, my resolution is to make a blog entry every day. I'll try to not be too boring.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sloppy, Sloppy

Where is my brain? Let me know if you find it.

I keep composing blog entries in my mind, then completely forget to make them when I get home.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday at the beach chatting with friends. For about a half hour I watched a mother and baby humpback whale as they repeatedly breached traveling from horizon to horizon. Another whale swam past only a hundred yards out. Of course when I got in the water I saw no signs of any whales, but boy was the water clear. Crystal clear. It isn't often that we get that kind of visibility. After my swim while I was toweling off, another whale swam by about two hundred yards off shore. They have definitely returned to Maui and I am excited to see them back.

Today I get to spend twelve hours photographing a house up on the other end of the island. It should be fun.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Where Are They?

After seeing and hearing whales all week, of course there was no sign of them for my friends on our usual Sunday ocean swim. We thought it might be possible that a couple of the faintest of noises we heard just might be whales in the far distance, or maybe our imaginations were working overtime. The cold water (78 f) took my breath away when I got in and the larger than usual wave chop was a challenge, but it was a fun swim. It was great seeing Janet and Patti again, back from Thailand.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Whale Song

The humpback whales have definitely returned to Maui. I've seen them in the distance the last two days and was serenaded by them during my ocean swim this morning. Their songs were so clear and loud that they must have been near, but I didn't even catch a glimpse of them.

I did, however, see Bruce who was out and about this morning.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

They're Back

No, I'm not talking about Janet and Patti (they don't get back from Thailand until Thursday), I'm talking about our friends from Alaska. Doug reported seeing them near Molokini island on Saturday and Sunday.

While swimming in the ocean today I saw a manta ray feeding along the bottom. I followed it for a while and it brought me to a second manta ray lazily floating on the surface. Unlike some mantas which are inquisitive, these two kept their distance from me.

Then off in the distance I saw big splashes of water. Humpback whales breaching! Two of them repeatedly jumping out of the water. Unfortunately, they were briskly swimming away so I did not get to see them up close. That's okay, I'm thrilled to know that they are back in the neighborhood.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Swimming with Sharks

Wow, what a week! Strong winds, constant torrential rains, no phone or electricity. I loved the change from our usual desert conditions, but really missed getting out into the ocean for long swims.

Put off by the bad weather, our group of Sunday swimmers was reduced from the usual fifteen or twenty to only four of us - again. But this time we actually got in the water, and was it worth it! Nice clear water and an active shark. Click HERE or below for video of us and the sharks.