Monday, November 30, 2009

Not Yet, But Soon, Very Soon

My apologies to the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers and all those who joined us on Lanai this past weekend. I continue to be slammed with work, but I will process and post all the photos soon. Hang in there.

In the meantime, enjoy a couple more dolphin photos from our Friday arrival swim.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Place of Refuge

Strong gusty winds drove salt spray which stung like small hail stones on our ocean swim this morning. It was our last day on Lanai and we had to get back into the water for one final swim. It was wild out there, and yet it was fun. I was truly frightened by the ripping current and crashing waves, but I survived.

All I had to do to escape the cold and rough conditions was dive underwater. Down there it was calm and warm. Mmmmm. Now if only I could breathe underwater a little better...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Purple People Eater

This morning began with an adventure swim out to Sweetheart Rock and
the mini islands just beyond. As usual, Lanai's Manele Bay was crystal
clear with gazillions of colorful tropical saltwater (duhhh) fish.

We haven't met any dolphins yet today, but Janet got to meet a
jellyfish wearing her favorite color (purple). Our next mission is to
find a blue Hawaiian.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Welcome Mauians

Within two hours of arriving on Lanai for the weekend, we were
swimming with more than eighty Spinner Dolphins. Hooray! Nap time now...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Work Sweet Work


Who could possibly want to be anywhere else?

And it is looking more and more like I will get to spend my Thanksgiving holiday weekend on glorious Maui (having fun playing working stiff on the computer). Oh boy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We Are Family

It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it is amazing.

Spinner Dolphins are wild animals. While curious, they are also cautious and keep their distance. But every now and then a group will include me as one of their own. They will closely surround me: above, below and on both sides. They will stay with me both below water and above. They treat me as one of the family. What an incredible feeling! And today was one of those days. Wow!

Click HERE for lots more photos from this morning.

Click HERE (or Below) for today's video.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Plan Of Escape

Families with children have begun arriving for their Thanksgiving week vacation on Maui. During the year we see a variety of visitors, but for this week, as well as for the Christmas - New Years weeks, it will be all families, all the time. And lots of them. I'm actually looking forward to getting off the island this weekend.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Happy Me

I was in hog heaven today. Not only did I get to swim with my friends, the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers, but I also got to swim with Spinner Dolphins. Better yet, I got to swim with them all at the same place and same time. What could possibly make me happier? Nothing!

Click HERE for many, many, many more photos from this morning's swim.

Friday, November 20, 2009


Winter has arrived. Fortunately, the days are still in the mid 80's, but I was shivering under the down comforter last night when it got down to 72. Brrrrr.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I can fly!

My favorite thing about ocean swimming is the feeling I have that I'm flying. Especially on a clear-water day when I can see the ground below me as if I were flying through the air.

I was surprised this morning by what an awkward swimmer this Hawksbill turtle was. I felt graceful in comparison - maybe the poor guy was hung-over from eating too many jellyfish.

My thanks to recent visitors Bruce and Alan for their photos of me flying with dolphins.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How Ya Feelin'?

Are you having a bad day? Are you feeling grouchy? Me too. But at least we don't have this guy's life. He feels Crabby all the time.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Accidental Art

I've always been envious of artistic people - mostly because there is not an ounce of creativity in my body. I strive to live by the rules, you know, drive between the lines; which does not leave any room for trying something extraordinary, for being different.

My photographs of the Spinner Dolphins which I encountered this morning are about as close to art as I am going to get, and that is only by accident. The water was rather murky for most of my swim and anytime a dolphin was more than five feet away from me, it was blurry and indistinct. So, many of today's photographs have an ethereal, almost artistic feel to them. Today I get to be a fake artist.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fun Time Swim

What has changed? Why has the Sunday swim with the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers become extra fun once again? I don't know and I don't care, but I've been having a great time the past few weeks.

The fun (slow) group got to meet a feeding Manta Ray, and saw Bruce and a buddy out and about (instead of sleeping in their caves). Out in the middle of nowhere we ran into a couple of Masters Swimmers from California (yes, it must have been one heck of a swim for them) who joined in the fun as if they had always been a part of the group. As it should be. I can't wait for next week...

Click HERE for lots more photos from this morning's swim.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Coy Koi

This bird had better watch out! It was intently hunting for something to eat, but I'd say it was snack size for the giant Koi in this pond.

Interesting fact: Koi are just normal Carp which have been selected for their color.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

First Contact

What's going on here? I noticed a couple of friends snorkeling, and they weren't where I would normally expect to see them. I swam out to them and they said they saw dolphins from shore. The guys kept swimming out, but so did the dolphins.

You have to let them come to you, I explained, and after five minutes of waiting in place we were surrounded by dolphins. The dolphins were peacefully playful and my friends (their first-ever Maui dolphin encounter) were quietly respectful.

After a nice time together we were inundated by an excited crowd who had seen us from shore. There was suddenly way too much energy and I decided to call it a day. Click HERE for lots more photos from this morning.

I managed a very brief video - click HERE or below for today's video.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sunken Treasure

Boring they are not. Frequently bathrooms are the only rooms of the house where designers let their creative juices flow (yuck, I didn't mean that literally) and show a bit of their wild side. Today's sunken tub with mosaic Koi was no exception. I have never seen a bathtub quite like this one. Calgon, take me away... Please...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Posterior View

I got a phone call this morning from an aspiring photographer and I now feel bad for being overly optimistic. Those of you who know me are asking yourselves, "Don? Overly optimistic? Are we really talking about Don? Nah, must be somebody else."

I had indicated that there is lots of work out there, but I forgot to mention that there is lots of work out there IF you are the best in your field. There are many average photographers, but if you work hard on improving yourself, then you can rise above the field and clients will come looking for you. Oh, well...

I stumbled across a group of five Spotted Eagle Rays this morning when a photo shoot was postponed and I got to swim. Hooray. They were a bit camera shy and the only shots I got of the entire group were of their rear ends. Nice rear ends though...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Paddle and Reach on the Beach

When I tried outrigger canoe paddling, they just threw me in a boat and sent me out to sea. The hotels are much more cautious with their guests, giving them sand paddling practice first.

The resorts must have a lot of healthy, athletic types in residence. This is the largest beach yoga class I have ever noticed. Don't believe them when they tell you that yoga is safe and low impact. Us type A personalities can manage to make anything dangerous. My friends organized a private yoga class and many of us pushed ourselves too hard and ended up having to drop out with injuries. We could probably hurt ourselves playing checkers.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Yes, the ocean was murky this morning (at least that's my excuse for the lousy underwater photos) but my friends, the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers, and I still had a great swim. The surf was big enough that we got thrown around in shallow water. Yeeehaaa! The other swimmers commented on how big Bob's eyes got (a visitor from the flat Midwest) and were worried that we scared him away from future swims. Not to worry, he looked like he was having fun to me. (Click HERE to see all the Photos from this morning).

Josh's brother, Brian, rode the Slosh for the first time today. Click HERE or below for a brief Video.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Protection Against . . .

The tastiest seaweed seems to grow on rocks in shallow water. Or at least that is where I often see giant sea turtles feeding, getting tossed and banged about in the waves. Ohhhh. That's why they have those tough shells...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

In Hot Water

Hey, I love working at home, don't get me wrong. But on days like today when there is way too much work to do, I have been in front of the computer from six this morning and am still going strong now at 8:30 p.m. Although I must confess that I did make it out onto our lanai for lunch. Ah, the great outdoors!

What sounds really good right now for my aching shoulders would be a dip in a hot tub like the one above which I photographed earlier this week. And, yes, the waterfall is heated too.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Open Wide

This morning was only the second time I've ever seen a Frogfish (that I've been aware of), and that was only because it was crossing a large stretch of sand. A frogfish's only defense is their incredible disguise; when one is among coral and rocks, they blend in perfectly. In the photo below look for the tail fin, the open mouth and the eye with a radial design. According to the Wikipedia article, they hunt by sucking in their prey and can swallow a fish which is twice their size (kind of reminds me of myself last Thanksgiving).

Monday, November 2, 2009

Here and There

Pervasive. I grew up in the Midwest and weather was pervasive. If it was raining in town, then it was raining in the country. If it was snowy in Milburg, then it was snowy in Stevensville. If it was sunny in Dowagiac, then it was sunny in Coloma.

I still find myself amazed at Maui's micro climates. This morning I saw dark clouds and rain a few miles away in Wailuku and yet I knew that it would continue sunny and hot in Kihei. I have driven into town when it was raining heavily in Makena, only to find it clear and dry in Kihei; and upon my return a couple of hours later it would still be raining in Makena. And the dividing line between wet and dry would not have moved! Remarkable.

I still slip into the old mentality when it is raining at home to think that it must be raining everywhere. Yet a short drive can always bring me to someplace warm and dry, or cold and dry, or cold and wet, or . . .

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Change Of Pace

Somehow the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers managed to break out of their rut for the second week in a row (the Apocalypse must be near)! And La Perouse bay couldn't have been nicer. Even outside the bay the open ocean waters were manageable, if a little bouncy. Fortunately, we will be back to our usual course next week (whew!). Click HERE for more photos from this morning.