Monday, March 31, 2008

Hot Hot Hot

What could be better than playing in the waves at a sandy beach on a tropical island? Especially on the day they rip out the old air conditioning unit. With luck the new air handler will be installed tomorrow. I hope, I hope, I hope...

Even with sweat dripping from the end of my nose, it was fun applying a couple of Photoshop effects to the photos I took today.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Snuba Maybe

This might be fun to check out. When we swim past snorkel boats, we sometimes see people doing "snuba" - scuba but with the air tanks floating in rubber rafts on the surface. Unlike scuba where you have to be certified to be allowed to dive, anyone can do this. They might even let someone like me give it a try.

This morning's swim started out windy, cloudy and cold. Even after the wind died, the water grew calm and the sun came out, I was still chilled through and through. Nonetheless, I had a great time and was really glad I went out. Check out the video by clicking HERE or below.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It Takes Two

Stand-up paddle boarding has become all the rage this past year. In addition to snorkel boats and kayaks, the morning waters now see increasing numbers of paddlers. Today I noticed that it has also become a family activity. Can government safety regulations be far behind?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Instant Photo Blog

How do I come up with a blog entry when I'm working on a tight deadline and have been sitting in front of my computer all day? Why, take a photo of dinner, then walk out the door and take a quick snap of the sunset. Voila!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Power of Prayer

Nine days ago I encountered a monk chanting for peace in Tibet. This morning three guys were chanting for something else. The guy on the left would begin the chant on a single monotone note, then the other two would follow, all on one steady note, their words measured and overlapping. "Ohmmmmmmm_ _I_ _want_ _to_ _manifest_ _an_ _encounter_ _with_ _dolphins_ _ohmmmmmmmm_ _I_ _don't_ _want_ _to_ _wait_ _ohmmmmmmmmmm_ _I_ _want_ _it_ _today_ _ohmmmmmmmm." I'm not kidding, this was their actual chant! But all to no avail, no dolphins today.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Beach Walk

As you can see I'm still having fun exploring the world of black and white as derived from color. I also got to watch a competition pod (whales) in action and putting on a fine show.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More On The Way

I miss the spinner dolphins. I know they usually don't hang around during whale seasons, but I would like to see them again. I could hear lots and lots of whale singing during my swim this morning, but the only large mammals I saw were two schools of silverbacks (scuba divers).

Bruce was home alone, and once again rather sluggish. I swam right up to the doorstep and got no reaction at all. Closer examination of today's photo reveals that instead of looking for a large group of dolphins, I should be keeping my eyes open for lots of baby sharks.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Maui No Ka Oi

Just another perfect day in Paradise.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Easter Lobster

One of my all-time favorite movies is "Love Actually" and that movie has a joke about the Christmas Lobster. It seems, that among the animals present at the birth of Christ there were two lobsters, and so they needed to be included in the school nativity play.

Today on my swim with the Maui Pink Cap swimmers we encountered a lobster whose soul had recently departed this world. I had been brought up to never touch dead creatures, but none of my friends apparently had civilized upbringings, so they played with this poor dead lobster's body. Oh, my. Even though it did not resurrect, it was labeled the Easter Lobster.

In further tribute to this holy weekend my friends decided to reenact the final suffering of Christ by forming a cross with our bodies underwater and Josh, of course, played Christ. We never got it quite right, but our intentions were sincere.

Oh, and another theme of the swim was the Easter Bunny. Bunny ears were much in evidence; be they hands, or swim fins, held by the head and wiggled. The attempts at underwater hopping, though, left much to be desired. I imagine that we looked less like Easter Bunnies and more like Easter Lobsters (live ones, that is). Click HERE (or below) for the Video of today's adventures.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

If Only

I am tremendously self-repressed. I would love to wear brightly colored clothes and big floppy hats and play all day on the sea shore. Then again, some of my friends are quick to point out that I am not as repressed as I seem to think.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ahhhh, Rehydration

I get into the ocean nearly every day, so working extremely long hours yesterday left me jonesin' for the water this morning. The clear warm saltwater felt oh so right and the overlapping disharmonies of whale song soothed my soul. Bruce was home alone and silverbacks (scuba divers) were abundant.

Despite all the recent bad press, I welcomed the sight of two spotted eagle rays skimming the bottom. Rays seem to be replacing sharks as the new bad guys on the block. It is just not fair, rays are among the gentlest creatures out there.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Missed Catastrophe

I don't know precisely why, but I avoid photographing disasters. Back when I was photographing sports competitions, if someone fell or crashed, I would turn my camera the other way. This morning on my way to an all-day shoot, while waiting for a light to change I watched a four car pileup happen next to my car. Even though my camera was sitting on the seat beside me, it never occurred to me to pick it up and document the tragedy. I guess I don't want to embarrass others by capturing them in trouble. Or maybe it has something to do with my not being exactly the brightest guy around. So, sorry, but no photo for the blog today. Oh, and no one appeared to be seriously injured in the series of crashes.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A World Without Color

I read a magazine article about black and white photography; so, today's photos I present devoid of color.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Monks and Sharks

While scanning the horizon this morning for dolphins and whales, I noticed one of Maui's Buddhist monks chanting and ringing his bell. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Even though the sky was dark and the water choppy, I splashed in and managed a shortened swim. I was lucky enough to watch a white tip shark out swimming in the murk. Click HERE or below for the video of today's swim.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Cut Cut Cut

Today I saw tree trimmers in lift baskets and I saw tree trimmers with climbing cleats. You can't trim your trees enough, it seems.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Dartmouth Ladies

What to do now that my cousin is gone? Oh, right, a fun Sunday swim!

This morning the Dartmouth Women's Waterpolo team joined the Maui Pink Cap swimmers for an ocean swim. Normally when a college swim team joins us, they end up wandering all over and swimming in circles, looking for the white line to follow on the bottom of the ocean. Waterpolo players are trained by their coaches to rip off the suits of their competitors (don't worry, we kept our distance) and to look where they are going. This adventurous group wasn't afraid to check out Bruce the shark and his two visiting sharks, nor were they shy about leaping from the jumping-off-rock.

We kept playing after they headed back and encountered a Humongous Manta Ray, the biggest I've seen since moving here. Click HERE or below for a great video of today's swim.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Aloha, Danny

My cousin just boarded the jet back to dreary late winter in Indiana. Cold and rain is not my idea of fun. Makes me appreciate living on Maui all the more.

This morning we had surprisingly calm water for our two plus hours of kayaking with humpback whales. One calf kept swimming up to our kayaks and even lifted it's head a couple of times to check us out. Click HERE or below for a video from yesterday and today.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Civilization - At Last

Waterfalls were a surprise to my visiting cousin, Danny. Lots and lots of waterfalls. Plus with the rain last night our tents made their own waterfalls (mine inside the tent, his outside).

We also worked on our cliff diving skills, ignoring all the signs prohibiting jumping from rocks. Danny did well, but I wouldn't call my spastic jump and splash routines anything to be proud of. We managed a couple of medium hikes through dense bamboo forests, so at least I got a modicum of exercise this week.

Danny was good enough to maneuver the cliff roads on our return trip to Makena today, making nearly record time. While I always enjoy getting out into the wilderness, it sure feels good to be home again. I hear my comfortable bed calling to me now.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Off the Grid

I took my cousin, Danny, out to experience some of old Hawaii in Hana
today. We are spending the night camping at the edge of cliffs with
the ocean crashing loudly below. There is no electricity, running
water, or cell phone service; so this blog entry won't get posted
until we return to the mean rush of civilization. We visited some
beautiful waterfalls and even swam up to one of them. The photo is of
the only black sand beach on Maui. Lots more adventure in store

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Danny and the Whales

Danny and I spent three hours this morning kayaking with humpback whales (and all afternoon lying on the sofa recovering). He traveled thousands of miles for five days in Hawaii and I asked why he wasn't outdoors experiencing Maui. He said, "It's enough to know that it is warm outside."

Several times whales approached our kayaks to within yards, and even swam directly underneath at least once (murky water is why the photo is so indistinct). I still haven't figured out how to take good photos while bouncing around in a small kayak on rough ocean waters (at least that's my excuse for the lack of photos today).

I saw my first ever bottlenose dolphins today. I got into the water when they came by, but unlike spinner dolphins, they chose to ignore me. Spinner dolphins generally swim as a group, but these dolphins kept in pairs within the larger group. They led us to a group of whales and then kept swimming right up against them. Dolphins and whales, what a treat! This cartoon from today's "Maui Weekly" captures some of the feeling of the day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Crash and Burn

My cousin, Danny, spent way too much of the day receiving medical care after his attempt at kayaking. And here I thought ocean kayaking was a no brainer.

The first wave as we waded out lifted his kayak over his head, caught it in the curl and slammed him down into the sandy bottom. Fortunately, only his pride (and attempts at self diagnosis) was damaged.

Thanks, Danny, for being such a good sport and putting up with my kidding.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Tormenting my Cousin

From sunset at Little Beach to sunrise on the 10,000 foot summit of Haleakala, I have been running my cousin, Danny, non-stop. Today we trudged for twelve miles through the crater including a sojourn below ground.

He found the long cave a bit intimidating, but fascinating as well. I thought he handled the bats and giant spiders quite well (just kidding, no critters of any kind in these lava tubes).

The subtle colors, Grand Canyon terrain, and cliff trails remind me of why this was made a National Park. Now I need to devise tomorrow's tortures...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sunset Big Event

It wasn't more than three hours after he had arrived on Maui that I dragged my cousin, Danny, to Little Beach for the big weekly "happening" at sunset. He said something about not being in Kansas any more.

I don't know if that was in reference to the drumming and chanting, or to the nude women and men. Click HERE or below for the Video.