Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Recipe for Bliss

OK, my bad, putting work before fun. Late or not, I have finally posted photos from our weekend trip to Kipahulu and Haleakala National Park (Click HERE for the photos).

Watching the video made it seem like a different place. The first time we jumped from a new ledge into a pool below, we were close to being terrified. The water seemed so far away, and each subsequent jump was still a thrill. Yet, on the video the distances all seem so small.

My heart would race before each jump and the shock of the cold water would invigorate me. In the afternoons the waterfall itself was surprisingly warm, the water having just passed over shallows of sun heated rocks. Then a swim back through the cold pool, carefully climbing out (slippery rocks) into a chilly wind, and lying on smooth hot rocks to warm back up. Repeat through the course of the day to achieve a state of relaxed euphoria. Click HERE or below for the Video.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Flowers of the Day

Even though I am buried by work projects, I still got in a good walk and managed to fire off these photos of shell ginger and water lilies.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Zoned Out

This past weekend was one of my best vacations. Ever! I was gone less than three days but I would swear it had been a month. I am still relaxed and content.

Bruce was home with a guest today - otherwise, I've been busy in front of the computer working all day. Close (or even distant) observation of the past days' pictures will reveal why I am impatiently awaiting the arrival of my new underwater camera housing.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Splash and Be Happy

Jump off a cliff into a pond, swim up behind a waterfall and let the force of the cascading water massage my shoulders, slide down another waterfall then join my friends for breakfast. That is how today and yesterday began. Wouldn't it be great if every day could start that way?

I live an amazing life, but the past two plus days have been the most fun I've had in a long time. I felt like I wore a gigantic smile the entire time. Thanks for having another birthday, Christine!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Yee Haaaa!

Let the adventures begin!

Every year the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers go camping off the grid in
Kipahulu. No running water, no electricity, no cell phone service, no
Internet (hooray).

This small group headed out this morning with others following in
dribs and drabs.

Let the games begin!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Not Impossible After All

Less than three hours and the whole desk unit was assembled and ready
to go. Except, considering how much this behemoth weighs, it ain't
going anywhere!
Thank you Doug. I couldn't have done it without you.

Panic Attack

I am a complete klutz with tools. I'm great with a camera or computer, but put a screw driver and screw in my hands and I guarantee you that I will strip the screw and bend the screw driver.

My new desk arrived yesterday and it was with a rapidly sinking heart that I pulled from the box 34 different wooden panels and two hundred various screws and fasteners, each of which can only be used in one specific place. Total Despair. And a strong desire to throw it all out and keep using the board over two file cabinets which have served me well for years. Unfortunately, it is too heavy to easily dispose of; so the project begins.

The good news is that I leave town early tomorrow morning. I am hoping that some wonderful Menehunes might manage the task while I'm gone.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Smooth Sailing

While I thoroughly enjoy being tossed around by big waves, it was a pleasure swimming in a glass-smooth ocean this morning. I watched some silverbacks (scuba divers) who couldn't quite decide which way to go; first one way, then another, then back again. Bruce had a house guest who stirred Bruce out of a nice sleep. Check out the video (Click HERE or Below for the video) for the brief flurry of activity.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

For Sale

I had the opportunity to photograph yet another truly spectacular ocean-front residence today. As usual, I got so caught up in my work that I forgot to eat, drink, and even go to the bathroom.

One interesting feature which I had never seen before was the free hanging mirror over a vanity island in the dressing area of one of the master bathrooms. Can you say "luxurious"? I was also quite fond of the wooden staircase in the entry.

This home on Keawakapu beach is for sale, so let me know if you are interested in a lovely Maui getaway. Oh, and I finally ate, drank and was merry.

Monday, April 21, 2008

More Stand-Up

Stand-up paddle boarders are everywhere, they are even taking over traditional long board surf spots.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Don't Rock the Boat

The South surf has subsided and clear water was back for the Maui Pink Cap ocean swimmers this morning. Allie's husband, A.J., escorted us on his stand-up paddleboard, so we all gave it a try (poor guy didn't realize that he was going to be forced to swim the distance with us). I found it extremely difficult to keep my balance (read, I kept falling off) and am very impressed by how easy these guys make it look.

My underwater camera is still out of commission, so my appologies for the poor quality of today's photos (click HERE for more photos from today).

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Letting Go of Memories

The carpet layers begin their work on Monday, so Doug and I filled an entire second dumpster with the refuse of a comfortable life. Seven years of spring cleaning all at once. I felt myself being cleansed each time I let go of an object to which I had emotional attachments.

Every other moment has found me sitting in front of the computer finishing a project which I need to have out the door on Monday. So what to do for a blog photo? Especially with a light mist beginning to fall.

Step out the front door, snap a photo of an agave plant, and post it, of course. I would love to make a large print of this, but after throwing away piles of beautiful prints, it really wouldn't be practical.

Friday, April 18, 2008

My Contribution

I met these two spotted eagle rays while out swimming this morning. Who knew that they could do the ink trick?

The surf was still high and I was uncomfortable swimming in far less than clear water. So after playing with the rays I did the only reasonable thing and went out to lunch with Doug. The cook at the Makena golf course clubhouse was really 'on' today and the food was spectacular. We enjoyed critiquing the passing golfers' tee shots - which we could do since our own technique is so laughably bad.

No one I saw today could even begin to approach the depravity (yes, that is the right word) of my golf swing. While I have not been 'officially' banned from any of Maui's courses, I have refrained from playing golf as my way of making this world a better place in which to live.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Maui Real Estate

Newly Remodeled, Great Ocean Views, On the Beach. Only 11.2 Million Clams.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Almost Naked

What a delight to swim this morning without a rash guard and without a big camera strung around my neck or waist. I felt almost naked. My little go-anywhere Olympus camera was tucked in my Speedos; and, while lacking in image quality, it did a nice job getting a couple of photos this morning.

I got to swim with two different spotted eagle rays, one at each of the rocky points, then had a blast body surfing. My first ride was the best: I caught the wave perfectly and rode it for fifty feet with my head, torso and arms out of the wave. This wave waited until the very last moment to break, spitting me out ahead of it to land feet first standing on shore. I had several other good rides, but the first was one of my best ever.

No, that's not me in the photo (obviously, I was holding the camera), but that is how I looked without needing the crutch of a boogie board.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I love discovering things new to me. So a game I play when spending the day photographing a luxury home is: what does this home have that I've never seen before? A few things which created lasting impressions were: the house with secret passage ways, the large flat screen television which rose out of the floor, pocketing sliding doors which opened and closed automatically, and glass windows which turned opaque or clear at the touch of a switch. There have been many more, but these are the ones which readily jump to mind.

The landscaping around today's house made it feel like I was on a private estate in the middle of the jungle instead of on a cul de sac in a gated community. This was the first house I've been to which had a pool cover operated by a wall switch. Nice. I also liked the glass wall which separated the tub and showers from the rest of the bathroom. I'm actually amazed that after all I've seen, there are still things which surprise me. To you budding architects and designers out there, keep up the good work and keep it fresh.

Monday, April 14, 2008


No, no, don't worry, Bruce is fine. But my underwater housing sprang a major leak this morning and my favorite point-and-shoot camera was pronounced dead on the scene at 9:22 a.m.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Shark Attack

On our ocean swim this morning the kids found a dead shark on the bottom of the ocean and wanted to bring it home. Toni would not tolerate it on her kayak so the poor thing was returned to the deep. The good news is that it was not our friend Bruce or any of Bruce's friends. It looked like it had been attacked by local fishermen who cut a steak and a fin from the tail area before throwing it back. Of course the kids had to play with it and pretend that it was still alive and looking for swimmers to eat.

Besides the shark we didn't play much, I guess the water was too cold for most people, but the crew had fun posing for photos and video (Click HERE or below for today's video). Click on any photo to see other photos from today.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Olive of a Different Color

My workouts alternate between swimming and fast walking, and most of my usual ten mile route can be seen in this photograph (walking route, that is). My usual swim route is along the farthest bit of shore in this photo. It may not be as nice as where most of you live, but hey, we have to make do with what we're given.

The painters are gone (finally), the doors are back on their hinges, and I have privacy in the bathroom once again. In some lights the new wall color is more avocado than our choice of dull olive. The good news is that at night if I turn the lights off, the color looks just fine (as long as the moon isn't shining).

Friday, April 11, 2008

Following Ray

What's with the weather the past few years? For my first twelve years on Maui it was never ever cloudy for more than one day. Now clouds, rain and even thunder (absolutely unheard of) are regular visitors to the desert of Makena.

I prefer ocean swimming when the sun shines, but I finally got tired of waiting and got in the water this morning. The water was clear, clear, clear; which is also fairly rare here. I swam to my usual turn-around point and commented to myself "with the water this clear wouldn't it be great to see something large like dolphins or a whale?" At that moment this manta ray appeared below me. I swam with it for thirty minutes taking lots of photos and even some video (Click HERE or below for today's video).

These two large mean-looking fish swam by to check me out, and followed me closely for a while. I was quite happy when they finally swam off. Strangely (to me) the manta ray brought me right back to the same beach where I started my swim.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fuzzy Thinking

Whoa! Yesterday's was the first blog entry I've missed in a long time. Blame it on cobwebs in the brain caused by continuous breathing of paint fumes. But the painters promise they will be finished with the interior tomorrow. Hooray! It has been kind of strange living in a house without any doors for two days now. Especially no bathroom doors.

I don't know why, but I found myself photographing spiders today. Maybe something about those cobwebs in the brain...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Twisting Growth

I loved playing among trees as a youth, and I still do. I was always drawn to the nearest woods and would spend hours moving silently between the austere upright pillars. I was an Indian scout or a hunter stalking his prey.

I still find peace walking among what pass for trees here in the tropics. Instead of marching between orderly columns rising to the sky, I find myself ducking and weaving through a jumble of trunks and branches. Roots grow from the tree tops and trunks passionately wrap around each other.

It has been a long slow process, but I find that my own ardor has emerged in years of twisting growth on Maui. I have learned to wind my arms around myself and embrace all that I am. On rare occasions I even bring others close to share this marvelous life.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Painting Greens

I could say painting blues, but that wouldn't be accurate. Doug is alarmed that the walls have taken on a day-glo hue which does not match the original paint swatch of drab olive green.

I'm simply grateful to be allowed back in the house by the painters. My youth comes flashing back, a time when my parents would kick me out of the house, telling me to "go play outside." I would sit dejectedly on the doorstep for a couple of hours until they let me back in where I could climb back into whatever book I was reading. In this case the computers are still disconnected, so the photo shoot I did today will have to wait for a couple of days to be processed.

We were forced by circumstances (disconnected television) to try the Netflix Watch Instantly option for the first time. Definitely not as good as Blu-Ray on a 50 inch plasma screen, but for instant gratification it was Great! I will be using it again in the near future. And again and again.

I was lucky to have a photo shoot today. Tomorrow, if you are out driving and you see a pathetic person sitting on their doorstep, it is probably me.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Doug

Happy Birthday Doug. Thank you for all of the life, energy and youth which you bring to our Sunday swims. Not to mention the valuable oral traditions (Ted's Point) which you single-handedly keep vibrantly alive. See you in the water again next week (Click HERE or on the Photo to see more photos of today's swim).

Click HERE (or below) for the Video of today's open water ocean swim.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Eating Out

We enjoy eating lunch at the golf course restaurants because of the spectacular views and good food, but not so much for the prices. Sometimes it is worth paying extra, just to get out of the house; especially now that we are packing everything up getting ready for the painters.

How could we have acquired so much junk over the past few years? Today we disposed of our entire VHS film library and were wondering how long until our massive DVD collection becomes obsolete as well?

I'm feeling totally overwhelmed by how very very much still waits to be packed. At least the stunning sunset helped me get out and I am already anticipating tomorrow's brunch with the swimmers.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Pumping Up

We always groan when the national news runs a story about the high price of gasoline. Filling up the tank in our cars has cost us at least $50 for quite some time now. It would be nice to pay the prices that others are complaining about.

Fortunately Maui offers plenty to do for free. Outdoor activities are best early in the morning before the trade winds kick in and the Makena cloud builds. So I am up by dawn every day and seldom out after dark - kind of a reverse vampire.

Seeing buildings with their lights on came as a shock to my system as we emerged from the movie "In Bruges" this evening. This was a perfect film for people like us who see lots and lots and lots of movies; it was clever and absurdly funny. Definitely not your standard Hollywood script. I would liken it to "Pulp Fiction," although no one tries to rob the customers of the diner. Then again, the main characters took public transportation and did not live on Maui, so they weren't desperate for gas money.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Wild and Wooley

Wild and wooley conditions met me on my swim this morning with gusty winds and nasty choppy waves. And there was the current. I swam in place for quite a while before breaking through the worst spot. Usually the swim back is fast and fun, but today waves kept crashing over my head from behind. As one of the pink cap swimmers said Sunday "I must have swallowed half the ocean!" At least there was enough water left so that the fish, whales and turtles were not left stranded.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Mixing Things Up

The new a/c unit has been installed and now the trauma of packing begins in anticipation of the painters taking over next week. I'm almost afraid of the monsters which might lurk in the dark recesses of my closets and bookshelves. Perhaps I could get an injunction by archaeologists interested in digging through layers of time...

Today my exercise walk took me through new territory which is why you are being exposed to photos of rocks and flowers. Sorry. (At the time they struck me as quite beautiful)

To make up for boring "pretty photos" I also managed to take a double-exposure of a whale breaching not far off shore.