Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Splash Therapy

Disaster and destruction continue to dog my every footstep. With no respite in sight my spirits were drooping. Hopeless, everything is hopeless.

A quick dip in the ocean and everything was soon right as rain (whatever that means). Amazing how a little salt water up the nose can adjust my attitude. I have embarked on plans to repair the computer, repair the lenses, and more. Things are looking up.

Stay Away

Yesterday was not one of my better days. I got to my photo shoot and the clouds rolled in. I broke dishes, my most important camera lens shattered when I dropped it on the floor, and my computer is a non-functioning inert mass.

Warning: Don't come anywhere near me until the black cloud dissipates, or you may get struck by a stray bolt of lightening.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Yes or No?

Do we swim? Do we dare?

Occasional high sets of surf were still rolling in today and the water started out pretty murky. Once past the break I could see the bottom, barely. Out to the arch, more of the same. Should we continue?

Of course we did swim. And the ocean floor was always visible, which is our yardstick for water clarity. And we had fun being tossed around in the Elevator and the Slosh, but quickly scooted out when the really big waves arrived. All in all, we had fun and got a great workout. Plus we got to spend time with friends.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another First

I did something I've never done before.

I rented the movie Outsourced and liked it so much that as soon as it finished I got on the internet and ordered the DVD. I've purchased movies later, and I've promised to buy movies later, but I've never HAD to have the movie NOW.

Anyway, rent it.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Surf's Up

A south swell is rolling in with occasional giant sets. I was careful to get in the ocean during calm periods, but still managed to get crunched by random huge waves. Unlike the previous episode last week, these were smashing the entire coast line and stirring up murk everywhere. I opted to cancel my swim since visibility was nil.

As I left the beach I stopped on the rocks to photograph one of the big waves; but, of course, none came in. I waited and waited and waited - nothing! The photo above was of a standard wave.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Free For All

Twice this past winter when I've returned to the beach from a long swim, someone had taken my towel. In both cases I found the people and they claimed that they didn't think it belonged to anyone.?!

This morning people were crawling all over this sailboat which had been run aground overnight. I even saw people digging around in the cabin. How rude. That is not the way I was raised. I was taught to first make sure no one was looking...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Molokai Views

See that tired guy? That's me returning from a multi-day photo shoot on the island of Molokai.

It was strange being without cell phone or internet service. Molokai prides itself on being a place where you can get away from it all. The thing is, they don't give you a choice.

Strangely enough, I didn't miss a thing. And, hopefully, nobody died waiting for me to answer their emails and phone messages.

The house I photographed had a wonderfully organic feel to it, as if it had actually grown out of the hillside. Yet it was perched like a bird ready to fly with the ocean below and sky all around. What a treat to photograph something different.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Off Again

Sorry, but this is a super-duper rush blog entry as I need to run to catch a plane for an off-island photo shoot. Hurry, hurry.

Our newest swimmer, Olivia, finally joined us this morning. Since it was Fathers Day, her dad swam with us while mom kept her happy and fed.

We had at least four new members for the ocean swim. Maggie and Menny's excitement made the morning even more fun for me. The clear water after a week of murk was definitely a plus as well.

Ok, got to run. I may not be able to post tomorrow but hope to be back online Tuesday. Click HERE for more photos from today's swim.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Auntie Em - Auntie Em

The trade winds returned today - with a vengeance! Beach umbrellas were tumbling out of control down the beach and kayakers were struggling to return to shore.

Doug snapped this photo as we were driving back from the airport. If you look closely you may see Dorothy's house in there somewhere...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Guy or Gal?

The Maui Pink Cap Swimmers have often wondered if Bruce is a He or a She. I don't think there is any question on the matter. A good indicator which tells us if Bruce is home is a pile of empty food containers (lobster shells) which have been tossed out the front door. Definitely a guy trait!

Oh, good news. The turtle, which crawled ashore yesterday at sunset, has returned to the ocean and is undoubtedly munching seaweed somewhere with a big smile on its face. Kind of like my own smile of relief.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tired Visitor

One of my neighbors called me because they noticed a Green Sea Turtle lying motionless on our rocky beach. The poor thing has a growth completely covering its right eye.

We called the experts and got someone named Edward Fuentes. He reassured us that this is not unheard of and from our description of the turtle, it is probably healthy and will return to the ocean on its own.

I will check on it first thing in the morning and will report back to you.

Gate to Paradise

UPDATE: I stand corrected, and very impressed. Please read the comment to this post.

Just like the Renaissance, sort of.

Patrons of the arts supporting artists working on a large scale can still be found. Check out the gates fronting any of the hundreds of mansions on Maui. Each one is unique and many are true works of art. While a few (upper right) are manufactured off island, most are built right here by local artisans.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Best Gift

I told you today would be filled with adventure, and it was! I spent my birthday helping capture, measure and tag our local Hawksbill sea turtles. The best part for me was being surrounded by people who are truly passionate about helping this endangered species.

The first two put up quite a struggle, both while being brought to shore and while being measured. The third one was just plain adorable. Hard to believe that this tiny turtle is five years old.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go.

I spent the day photographing another beautiful home on Maui. I always seem to get totally absorbed in my work - the day flew by without my noticing it. Tomorrow, on the other hand, definitely promises to be filled with adventure. Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Not Yellow

It felt soooooo good getting back into Hawaiian ocean waters this morning. Attendance for the Sunday morning swim was down and surf was up making for murky waters and nervous swimmers. Even though visibility was poor, it was much better than I experienced last week in the Gulf of Mexico. And it wasn't yellow!!! Yellow water just felt wrong, and blue water feels oh so right.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ya Done Good, Bev

All those hours of sitting in planes on runways with lightening
flashing all around led to us missing our flight back to Maui.
So I got to experience the home of America's largest public
institution (ASU), Tempe Arizona. What a nice little college town!
Thanks to Doug's huge heart, I am sitting at this moment in 1st class
winging my way back home. The food has been Great! My kudos to Bev
Gannon (I photographed her home kitchen a while back).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Stuck On A Plane

A new first for me! We've been sitting on the ground for four hours
now squeezed into undersized seats waiting for a thunderstorm to pass.
The good news is that the light show has been spectacular, often three
or four simultaneous flashes of lightening!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Yellow Haze

Too murky for me. I only lasted forty five minutes in the Gulf of
Mexico this morning before I finally gave in to my panic and swam to
shore. I could barely see my feet following behind me.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Silly - Practical but Silly

Why do so many bodybuilders have massive chests and huge arms, but
skinny little legs?
I come from the Midwest where houses are built on solid below-ground
concrete foundations. Even in Hawaii our houses are built on
substantial cement slabs.
So my funny bone has been tickled by all these pastel McMansions which
stand on rickety looking stilts. They make sense on this Gulf barrier
island which is regularly innundated by hurricane flood waters.
That doesn't mean they don't look silly to me. Almost like a tornado
has lifted the houses off the ground and they still have yet to return
to earth.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


At this instant I'm out in the Alabama back woods eating Mudbugs
(crayfish) and listening to a great cover band called the Relics
playing the Beatles.
Michele (on left) says her Mawmaw (great grandmother from N'awlins)
wanted to come back as a crawdad because then people would eat her
body and suck out her head.

Peanut Butter and

Swimming in the Gulf of Mexico was fairly uninteresting. I did not see
any fish this morning, but I did find this pretty Jellyfish (and the
marooned boaters).

Rescue Mission

My first morning in Gulf Shores Alabama found me out swimming in the
Gulf. I passed a boat and asked how the fishing was.
"Dont know," they said "Our engine broke down."
"Would you like me to pull you in?" I asked.
"Can you do that?" they asked in surprise.
"Sure," I said "I pull a small boat behind me on my deep ocean swims."
They threw me a rope and one of them then asked "Can you tow us to the
I did get them to shore, not too difficult actually.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Transition Time

One final dip in the Pacific Ocean for me before heading down to the Gulf of Mexico. I wonder what creatures I will encounter there? I'll do my best to let you know. A hui hou

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Packing My Bags

Nice easy laid-back summertime on Maui. Who could want to be anywhere else?

Me, apparently. I head off tomorrow for a week with the in-laws at their annual Mudbug Festival in southern Alabama. Good Old Boys and Fried Food. Oh boy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Invisible Dolphins

Way too murky and not getting any clearer.

I turned around ten minutes into my ocean swim this morning because visibility was horrible and I've learned that if a shark can't see that I'm a tasteless human, it may decide to take a bite.

Suddenly from the gloom emerged the great white whale... oops, wrong story. No, but as I was heading back into shore a pod of spinner dolphins swam by me including the white dolphin which I've been seeing recently (no, not the dating kind of seeing, but noticing). Anyway, they kept swimming by and under me, so I decided to hang around for a while. As you may notice from the photos (Click HERE for all of Today's Photos) the dolphins were nearly invisible unless they were really, really close.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Bait Ball

Where are my goggles when I need them?

During my walk this morning I watched this stand-up paddleboarder chasing a dark spot in the water. Almost certainly a very large school of small fish, probably being herded by larger predator fish. I love swimming through bait-balls of fish and am fascinated by the behavior of the bigger fish chasing the smaller ones.

I am amazed at how well the swirling strategy of the smaller fish works. When swimming with dolphins I am easily distracted when they break into smaller groups and swim in different directions. I start to follow one group, then find myself following another group, then another. Like I said, it is amazing how effective their defense mechanism is. It really works.