Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Party's Over?

Wow! It is hard to believe that summer is all but over and September is upon us. But, then again, I live on Maui - so who cares? The water will be warm for the next few months and soon after that the Humpback whales arrive. I would say the party is just beginning! Click HERE for more photos from this morning's swim.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

An Example To Us All

Yes, Scooter really is his name, and was, even before the accident which left his back legs paralyzed. Now, after two months of Chiropractic and Acupuncture treatments he is happily running down the beach without a care in the world. I could learn a lesson from this little guy (no, it is not a lesson about carrying my poop with me).

Friday, August 28, 2009


"Hey, Turtle Breath!"

Unfortunately I had the opportunity to discover that this really is an insult. Underwater critters seem to have lost their fear of me, first the eagle ray on Tuesday and today this turtle. Just before it ran into me, it took a breath at the surface at the same moment that I did. Not a pretty odor! At least that is what the turtle said to me.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Top Secret

Sorry, no photo for today's blog. Today's photo shoot was hush-hush and I was sworn to complete secrecy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Approaching Sanity

Another perfect day for sitting in the shade waiting for the next cooling breeze. Yet somehow I restrained myself and only did an eight mile walk this morning. Wow. One of these days it might actually be me sitting under that tree.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Search for ...

Watch out! This Eagle Ray almost rammed me.

In addition to missing its spots (they are usually freckled with white spots on their backs) it might also be sight impaired. Or maybe just hungry, it was intently digging through the sand looking for food and didn't care what got in its way. Including me. Or maybe it was searching for its keys...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Hands On Training

The girls seem to like Brian.

Josh's brother swam with us this morning and the ladies couldn't keep their hands off him. He wants to move to Maui and is looking for a job. Maybe he should consider working as a live-in "pool boy."

Today the combination of warm water and fun people led to much playfulness. This is why I swim on Sundays, to have a great time with my friends. Click HERE for more photos from today.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mad Dog

What could be more exquisite on a hot summer day than sitting in the shade of a palm tree luxuriating in the caress of a gentle breeze? Which means, of course, that I went on yet another of my "death marches" to Hell (oops, I mean Kihei) and back. I felt a little light-headed on my return, but considering how little is up there, that was no surprise. I guess Coward was wrong. It isn't only mad dogs and Englishmen that go out in the midday sun, but also demented bloggers.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Bouncy Swim

A triathlete, Erich, visiting from the mainland found me via this blog and asked to swim with me. Poor guy.

The waves were crashing against the rocks, but still I insisted on beginning from that treacherous spot. It wasn't a graceful entry, but at least he didn't kill himself getting in. Then I took him out of La Perouse bay into the big waves. What fun! Back and forth, up and down, and all around; the waves tossed us to and fro. This was an adventure swim.

When we finally got back on solid land he told me that he was no longer feeling well. At least I gave him a memorable swim.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sodium Chloride

I think I swallowed more seawater on my swim this morning than this turtle swallows in a week! So why am I craving salty snacks right now?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Delay Tactics

I don't know which of today's two photographs taken during my morning walk are better analogies for my life.

Yes, my life seems to be a smooth pathway strewn with flower petals. I am surrounded by beauty and great things come my way naturally. Of course, I work hard, very hard; but the blessings are greater than I could expect.

On the other hand, or by the other photo, life seems to pass me by. Yes, it is a glorious life, but I feel like I am an outside observer not an active participant.

Or maybe at this moment I'm looking for any excuse to avoid all the work I have to do; and the more I write, the longer I can put it off. Hmmmm...

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Alone, Alone...

Dirty, yucky ocean water this morning with a brown scum floating on top. But the fish sure found it tasty! They were out in large numbers gobbling it all up. In fact they were so busy chowing down that they ignored me and let me get as close as I wanted. Or maybe they just thought I was another piece of trash. Who knew fish could be so perceptive?

This poor scuba diver looked completely lost. I could see him searching and searching for other members of his group while struggling against the current. I don't think he fully understood the concept of a drift dive - simply let the current take you. The dive boat was waiting quite a way down the shore but zoomed back when they saw him surface.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Beauty Within

I was hired to photograph a commercial space which was basically an empty rectangular box, at least that was all I saw when I visited it the first time. My job, of course, is to show through a photograph how beautiful that box really is. After three visits, this evening I finally captured the beauty within. I still can't believe I made it look this good.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Fun Crowd

The fun group did a breakaway swim this morning. Unlike cyclists, we break away by swimming slower than everyone else. Maybe that's why we have so much fun, we see things which the others miss because they zoom right past them.

Summer is definitely upon us. Janet is even considering leaving her wetsuit at home next week! Normally I swim slower in warm water, but that was not an option this morning. A strong current ran against us and I got tired of swimming in place, so I actually had to work. Hard to believe, I know. Click HERE for more photos from this morning.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

High Finance

Why is this man so happy?

Because for the past few years he's been making (future) car payments into his own savings account. Today he walked into the Lexus dealership and wrote them a check for the full amount for this gorgeous hard top convertible. The only interest payments - have been to him, not to the bank.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Me Too

Today seemed to be "photos on the beach" day. The professional photographers in both of these cases were definitely being challenged by overly enthusiastic family members with their own cameras.

Thank goodness I photograph buildings. Seldom do I have to deal with a bedroom stepping forward and getting in the way of a shot of the kitchen. Laundry rooms, on the other hand, are an entirely different matter...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Going, Going, Gone

Glorious morning for a swim! Well, maybe more of a float. The water was warm, warm, warm and relatively clear. I saw lots of fish and turtles and came across three spotted eagle rays hanging in the current in their usual spot. The water was flowing along the shore pretty fast, so I wasn't able to spend much time with them, but I soon encountered a manta ray scooting along the ocean floor. Except for battling the current on the way out, I didn't get much exercise. That's ok, there's more to life than always going, going, going.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

RIP Felicia

Maui's beaches were closed this morning due to an impending storm (Felicia) which never arrived. That, of course, did not stop me from getting in and swimming with three Spotted Eagle Rays.

Out in the deserted ocean I ran into a free diver whose personal best for breath holding is four and a half minutes (mine is twenty seconds). It was amazing to watch him forty feet below me hanging out with the rays, and hanging, and hanging, and still down there. After he swam off I tried to hold my breath for a longer period. Nope. Still can't get past twenty seconds.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Banned by the Church?

Hey, Honey. Can I make you a green papaya salad with papaya seed dressing?

I found the following paragraph about Papaya in Wikipedia:

Women in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and other parts of the world have long used green papaya as a folk remedy for contraception and abortion.[citation needed] Enslaved women in the West Indies are also noted for consuming papaya to prevent pregnancies and thus preventing their children from being born into slavery. Medical research in animals has confirmed the contraceptive and abortifacient capability of papaya, and also found that papaya seeds have contraceptive effects in adult male langur monkeys, possibly in adult male humans as well.[4] Unripe papaya is especially effective in large amounts or high doses. Papaya is not teratogenic and will not cause miscarriage in small, ripe amounts. Phytochemicals in papaya may suppress the effects of progesterone.[5]

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pre-Hurricane Swim

Hurricane, Tropical Storm, Tropical Depression - the National Weather Service can't seem to decide which one will hit us tomorrow (or the next day) nor exactly where it will hit. First Felicia's track was to be to the north, then to the south, then right on top of us, and now back to the north again. I can't cope with all the uncertainty. I tossed and turned in bed last night making pre and post storm plans. My head was swimming with sandbags, plastic bags, water stashes, generators and oh so much more.

So it was a relief to splash out into a warm, calm ocean this morning for our weekly Sunday swim. My swim partners, Janet and Patti, were feeling good so they challenged me with a hard workout. There was no room in my head for anything but attempting to keep up. I kept my mind focused on technique in hopes of increasing my speed, but I only managed to lag further and further behind. Click HERE for more photos from today's swim. The great news is that my head is back to being empty once again.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pipes A Callin'

I heard bagpipes wailing in the distance.

I had to check it out. Sure enough, someone was playing for a wedding on the next beach down from my house.

Beach weddings are a big business on Maui and you can get any kind of music you want. I've heard string quartets and solo flutes. Harps are popular, but dragging one of those huge things through the sand does not look like fun. Today was the first time I've seen a piper for a beach wedding and he looked overheated. Yes, he was wearing a skirt (well, a Kilt then) but all made from very heavy, non-tropical wool tartan. Every day brings a new surprise.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Today's Big Thing

This video was too amazing! If the link below doesn't work, try clicking HERE.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Not A Pest

Our version of the Raccoon, the Raccoon Butterflyfish, is just as cute as the furry mammal but much less of a nuisance. They don't tip over garbage cans nor do they climb onto roofs. In fact I've never seen one prowling around my house at night.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Viva La Difference

Just after this woman jogged past I overheard a large woman commenting to her husband, "Did you notice how her skin jiggled?"

I did not like the comment, but caught myself making similar mental notes about a buff guy I passed a few minutes later. Does it make me feel better to put another person down? No. On the other hand it does level the playing field a little. I tend to put "beautiful" people on a pedestal and am then afraid to talk to them because they are "better than me." When I notice flaws in others, hopefully I can use the awareness to realize that they are only human - just like me. Neither of us is better, we are simply different.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Opposite but the Same

Just us slow swimmers today. And when the water is warm like now, I swim even slower.

I met my mirror identical twin today while photographing this turtle. He swims the exact same route as me, also several times each week, but earlier and in the opposite direction. He's also better looking, but that's not saying much...

Monday, August 3, 2009

Held Hostage

One of my clients recently finished work on a bank building and wants me to photograph it. So today he took me inside the bank and began showing me around, walking into the conference room and employee lounge. He didn't seem to notice that the tellers were all looking strangely at us and that no one had the faintest idea of who he was. Finally I edged us over to the nearest bank employee and explained who we were.

We left the bank and were looking at the exterior when the bank manager came out and was soon surrounded by hordes of police officers. I overheard one of them telling her that, because of the silent alarm, no one could enter or leave the building until they were sure there were no hostages being held. My client, noticing the police, went on to tell me that because it was a bank there were certain security issues restricting what we could and could not photograph - all the while COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS to the fact that he had just caused the bank to go into lockdown. It should be interesting to see how the photo shoot goes next week.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Toss Me Around

The ocean was rocking this morning! I love swimming in rough water with waves breaking over me - as long as it only happens every now and then. The "elevator" (see photo) is normally a tranquil spot where the water gradually lifts you then lowers you, but today we were getting tossed back and forth. Yeehaw!