Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fickle Spring

Today was the final day of February and it felt like summer had arrived. I did an early swim in a glassy calm ocean, the sun was hot, and it was almost warm in the water.

Then as I emerged from the Pacific, the water became not very "pacific." A gusty and cold north wind stirred up big waves and I ran for my car as the skies opened up. Brrrrr. I guess we still have a little more spring to endure...

Friday, February 26, 2010

It's in the Bag

The director and camera operator kept sticking their heads in this cloth sack. No, I don't think it was because of something they ate. No, I don't think they were part cat either. Part ostrich maybe? Actually, the bag protects the video viewing screen from glare and reflections, and they were checking the shots.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Little Competition

I got to experience my first ever competition pod up close and personal this morning. They were traveling fast but when they got nearby, they paused to show off for me. Two out of the three Humpback Whales blew lots of bubbles and rolled and dove and swooped while the third whale watched from a special position directly below me. I was thrilled.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Don't Get It

Guys love to bring shovels to the beach to dig holes. I don't get it. Sandcastle building, I can understand. But just a hole? Why?

Excavation was immediately halted after this photo was taken. You may notice the shovelful of sand headed toward dad's face - he did not seem to appreciate its arrival. Dude, you're on the beach, it's only sand, and you're the one who brought shovels, lighten up. It's not the end of the world.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Glassy and Calm

What great swimming conditions this morning! Glassy and calm, hooray! The weird part was that I didn't see a single living creature the entire 1.7 miles.

It was a different story once I climbed into my teeny tiny little kayak for the paddle back home. I had to stop and wait for a whale calf to breach its way past me (Click HERE or Below for the Video). Soon after I was completely surprised when two whales surfaced right next to me. I wanted so badly to be in the water with them, but I don't do that, so I dipped my camera into the water and snapped blindly away. The resulting photos were blurry at best, but I'm sharing them here anyway. Fun, fun, fun.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Working Non-Stop

I spent all day photographing a wonderfully casual beach house. What a life I get to lead!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I Spy

I didn't see much on my swim this morning; but saw lots of interesting things later, including some Pink Cap Swimmers. The main pod of swimmers was already back on shore by the time this photo (below) was taken.

The Humpback Whale calf was doing spy hops in an attempt to see if I had bothered to comb my hair today (oops, I seem to have forgotten - I did remember to shave and to brush my teeth though).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Playing Spin the Dolphin

I was out for a short swim this morning listening to the whales singing when I also started hearing dolphin noises. And then I was surrounded by 36 playful Spinner Dolphins. They dove and spun and circled around me over and over before heading off into the blue. What a great morning! Click HERE or Below for today's video.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Perfect Day

Originating (many, many years ago) in the Midwest, I'm still amazed that EVERY day on Maui would be the Absolutely Perfect Summer Day in the Midwest.

And almost every day at Cove Park the waves are exactly right for learning to surf. There were easily 50 people taking surf lessons when I walked by this morning and I'm sure that every one of them stood up for at least one ride. Even I managed to get up and ride a wave the day I tried.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Object of Curiosity

I was tired, I was cold, both legs were seizing up with cramps - but I decided to swim just a little further this morning. And I'm glad I did. Moments later a Humpback Whale swam under me coming from behind and then I saw the mom and baby off to the side. They checked me out as they passed by and kept on going. I seem to be an object of curiosity out there in the ocean, and that's fine by me.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nowhere to Sail

Where are the boats? This tropical island is surrounded by beautiful, calm water; so why is a sailboat anchored offshore a rare and unusual sight?

It turns out that boaters actually like to go out in their boats. Who knew? While leeward Maui is almost always flat and calm, the deep waters just beyond are horribly treacherous. And even if it wasn't so dangerous, the nearest land mass is over two thousand miles away - definitely not a casual weekend cruise. I guess it could get pretty boring seeing nothing but water stretching in all directions.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bold Visitor from the Deep

I knew whales were following me. I could see their backs breaking the surface off to my side as I did my ocean swim this morning.

Finally, one got bold and swam straight at me to check me out. I wasn't the least bit concerned, this has happened many times over the years and they always veer away just before reaching me.

Then I realized that this whale was rather small. Oh no! What is the mother going to think? What is the escort going to do? I quickly started backpedaling away. I did not want to get between a mother and her calf!

Although it was small, it wasn't that small. Whew! It was undoubtedly a year-old juvenile on its own. It swam under me, then around me twice looking me over. Then it swam casually away. I gave thanks for the experience then quietly swam away in the other direction. Click HERE for lots more photos from this morning's encounter.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Love on the Beach

Ah, true unconditional love. Who could want anything more?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Code of Conduct

I was nervous and jumpy during my ocean swim through murky water this morning. When they can't see you, there is a much higher probability of a shark attack. Thank goodness I did not see a single thing during the entire swim, I think I would have had a heart attack if I had.

Of course, once I climbed into my kayak I was surrounded by whale spouts. I was watching a couple of singers 150 yards away when this guy (top photo) unexpectedly surfaced and dove right next to me. I could probably have gotten a great photograph if I had jumped into the water right then, but I have a personal rule that once I'm in the kayak, I stay in the kayak. I know, it is a silly rule, but it works for me.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Purple Palace of Prayer

How could I live on Maui all these years without ever noticing this bus? Purple interior, purple exterior, purple bike and purple clothing. I wonder what her favorite color is?

BTW, no swim today, surf and murk levels are up, up and away.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Home Away From Home

Today's job was to shoot an ad to convince people that they might want to stay at this apartment. What do you think? Would you enjoy sitting on this lanai?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Riding My Wake

This mom, baby and escort swam by me just after I passed the one-hour mark of my ocean swim this morning. Following behind them was a group of kayakers. One of them told me that these three Humpback Whales had been following me for some time. I'm guessing the whales finally realized how slow I was swimming and had to give up trying to draft in my slipstream.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Romance at Sea

These two Puffer Fish swam toward each other until they finally collided mouth to mouth. One inflated and the other appeared to be biting the puffed-up one's mouth. After a couple of minutes the one on the right swam away and the other slowly deflated before also swimming off. Ah, L'Amour.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Fun in the Waves

Yo Ho, I love getting offshore into the deep blue water in my teeny, tiny little kayak. An unusual wind was blowing so I was able to sneak south, staying out of the wind by hugging the shore. Then I headed out to sea and let the gale blow me back home. I almost got flipped by some big waves, and did get thoroughly soaked, but who cares? The sun was shining and the wind was warm.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hide and Seek

Where are the whales? I've been seeing several every day and have heard them clearly when I stick my head underwater. But today - nothing. No spouts and absolute silence. I wasn't the only one looking without success. Oh well, I'm sure they'll turn up again tomorrow.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Too Serious

Sixteen Spinner Dolphins and my buddy, Lynne, joined me for part of my swim this morning. They were all pretty sleepy, except for the guy above (and Lynne who couldn't contain her joy at seeing dolphins).

The good news is that they actually managed to put a smile on my sour face. But don't worry, I'll get over it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Comfort Clothes

Brrrr. It is only in the low 70's today and we are all shivering in the cold. Even though the sun is back from it's day off, the beaches are still mostly deserted. I'm doing laundry, and the warm clothes from the drier feel really good. Mmmmmm. You know what sounds really nice right now? Snuggling up for a nap in the middle of all those clean, warm clothes piled on my bed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Duck and Cover

People were taking shelter wherever they could this morning. Well, it was the visitors to Maui who were trying hard to avoid the passing rain showers, while those of us who live here were out enjoying the warm, gentle moisture. Rainstorms used to be a disaster when I lived in the Midwest, here in Hawaii they are more of a blessing.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Only the Music

Today was the first time in a long time when I did not see a single thing during my ocean swim. Two hours, three miles, and not even a jellyfish.

Ah, but the whalesongs! They were music to my ears. In fact, I heard a new song which was actually (and unusually) music. Usually the "songs" are a series of squeaks, moans, chirps, and many other strange sounds. But this new song, which I heard repeated over and over, was a sequence of three notes - basically "do - re - mi". Perhaps the whale was mimicking some music from one of the huge snorkel boats? I don't know, but I was truly shocked to hear it.