Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Break

It must be spring break because Wailea Beach was hopping this morning. Even though the water is still a bit chilly, a dip was the best way to deal with the arrival of summer temperatures. Mmmmm

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Crashing Safely

I saw a strange moving shape on top of the car ahead of me, so as I pulled even I took a quick snapshot out the window. The good news is that should he get in an accident from texting while driving, at least he will have a mattress to cushion the blow.

Monday, March 29, 2010

New Construction

This woman stumbling over lava rocks carrying a bright umbrella caught my eye this morning. When she passed this vividly colored beach towel, I couldn't not take a photo.

Surprisingly, not many sand castles are built on our beaches. People love to dig holes, but I don't see much creativity. Sadly, this is one of the nicest ones I've seen in a long time. Then again, it was far superior to any that I've ever made.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bloody Canadians

Calgary's Cascade Swimming Club joined the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers for our ocean swim this morning. Unlike Dartmouth last week, these kids were fast, fearless and ocean savvy. And we thought we were the only ones who regularly left a trail of blood behind us as we swam (we like challenges - tight spots are our specialty). Several of them came ashore dripping blood and even I got thrown onto the rocks by an unusual current. Maybe I should go back to swimming with sharks, they're safter.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Can't Beat Yesterday's Post

After yesterday -- what can I say? Guess I just have to struggle on with my boring Maui life. No story today, just a couple of snapshots from my walk this morning...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Friendly Whale Calf

Some of my swimming buddies dragged me out into the ocean this morning (like anyone would ever have to drag me into the ocean!) and I am thrilled that they did. I honestly cannot remember how many times this Humpback Whale calf swam by us to check us out, but it was at least five times. Click HERE for more photos from this morning.

Today was easily the highpoint of this whale season. Wow.

Click HERE or Below for today's video.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Basking in the Sun

Lots of Humpback Whales this morning very close to shore basking in the spring sunshine. Also lots and lots of kayakers and paddleboarders checking out the whales.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Am Not Alone

Ouch!! I don't know what this vaguely tubular jellyish thing was this morning, but boy did it STING. How cruel of it, especially considering how careful I was to not cause it any damage (photo above).

I was so focused on attempting to photograph the various jellies (not easy since they're transparent - and they keep moving!) that I didn't even notice that I was suddenly surrounded by a flotilla of kayaks. They were, of course, following a trio of Humpback Whales which passed within yards of me (no whale photos, my brain was in jellyfish mode - or maybe my brain was jelly?). Then after the kayaks came two snorkelers, Ice Cream Annie and UM Suzanne. I thought I was the only one crazy enough to swim out deep - I guess not.

Monday, March 22, 2010

This Is Only A Test

My glamorous life continues with today's client having me photographing rock walls. Not too exciting...

I took a brief break from work for a stroll along the shore where I found this Test. This is only a test...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another First for Me!

High surf had been pounding shores all night so when I went out to swim the water was all murked up. Shark attack risk goes up as visibility goes down, so my only swimming option was to go deep. But first I had to get my teeny, tiny little kayak through these waves and out into the clear water.

After having been swept away in a strong current last week I was still nervous - and rightly so! I swam straight out, then turned North into the wind for the second half of my swim. Even though I swam North for over thirty minutes, my GPS showed me slowly swimming South. That was some current!

Now onto my New Experience. First Times are usually memorable, and I'm sure this one will stick with me for a long time.

Many times I've swum very close to singing Humpback Whales, and my friends tell me about the Great Vibration they've felt in similar situations, but I've never felt it. Some of these friends can be enthusiastic about "healing vibrations" from dolphins and whales, which I've taken with a grain of salt. Maybe there's something to it, maybe not.

Today I was shaken to my core. Wow! As the singing whale in the photo below swam toward me, my entire chest vibrated with the sound. I never think much about my body, but I do consider it to be fairly solid. During those moments as I shook throughout, it seemed I was loosely put together. I swear that I was able to feel, actually feel my internal organs. OK, now I'm sounding strange, but it was a bizarre experience. And pretty cool too.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Translation Challenges

I wasn't sure what that hump was out in the water this morning, so I sat on shore with my camera out. Soon one of the few remaining, critically endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals (identifier RH-44) swam right up to me. She seemed to be asking if I would come in and play with her, but my seal linguistic skills are worse than my dolphinese - nonexistent. She gave up trying to communicate with me and swam away. I wonder if Maui Community College offers a Seal Language Course?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

It's Just A Game

This greedy Spinner Dolphin is heading to pick up another leaf, even though one is already being balanced on its left front flipper (see photo above). They sure love carrying small flexible things around with them. Plastic bags are another of their favorites.

I watched as a dolphin dropped the leaf it was carrying and another quickly zoomed past and picked it up. The first dolphin furiously yelled at the second dolphin and tried to bite it. I've never seen a Spinner Dolphin act so threatening. It was scary, I definitely wouldn't want a dolphin mad at me.

Fortunately, they were playful with me this morning, dropping leaves near me which I would briefly carry, then leave for them to scoop up again. Fun, fun, fun.

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

Click HERE or Below for today's brief video.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Home Sweet Palace

Wow! I don't know which room of today's photo shoot home I liked best. The Dining Room, the Kitchen or the Living Room? Heck, I wouldn't mind living in their garage.

Here They Go Again

Remember that brilliant treadmill video on YouTube from ages ago? (if not click HERE)

Well, those people have done it again - but this time with the best Rube Goldberg Machine ever! Click HERE or below to watch the YouTube video. What makes their videos especially brilliant is that they are done in one continuous take, there is no room for mistakes.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Underwater Mass Transit

As long as this Cornetfish kept behind the Sea Turtle's head and close to its shell, it got a free ride. Kind of like drafting a Semi on the highway in your car.

I had always assumed that hanging around the much bigger turtles was the fish's defense against predators, but now I see that it may be part of an underwater Mass Transit system. Who knew?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rough Job

What a life! I spent the morning sitting on this sixth floor lanai waiting for clouds to clear so I could take the photos I was hired to get. Fortunately, I brought iced coffee and a good book, so the time flew. I think I'll go back again on Thursday...

Sunday, March 14, 2010


I almost lost it this morning. I could feel panic rising and had to fight hard to keep from freaking out. I haven't been this scared in years.

I seem to have slipped into a major Pacific Ocean current during my swim this morning. I did more than three miles in just over an hour (very very fast for me) and found myself a little too far out to sea. I climbed into the kayak I tow behind me for the trip home, but three hours later had to give up paddling and call for help - a first for me.

The only whale I saw was the one above who passed me like I was standing still. But I wasn't the only one struggling. I saw the submarine I wrote about on Tuesday (Click HERE for the story) being hooked up for a tow back against the current.

All in all, a memorable swim (I just hope I don't have nightmares tonight).

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Who's Zooming

A huge, densely packed group of Spinner Dolphins kept zooming past me this morning, first one way then the other. Out to sea, then in very shallow, down South, then up North, back and forth. They would slow down just a little bit as they passed, before zooming away again.

Nonetheless, I was thrilled on several passes when they included me as one of the group, swimming within inches of me on all sides. I was impressed when some tourists showed up, by how respectful they were toward the dolphins. Nicely done. (Click HERE for lots more photos from this morning's encounter)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tired Arms

The ocean was so calm and flat this morning that I kept swimming and swimming and swimming - I just couldn't stop.

As I passed over these three Humpback Whales (mom, calf and escort), they had the courtesy to surface next to me. They headed one way and I continued swimming and swimming and swimming the other.

I think I overdid it. I can't lift my arms and I'm having to type this with my nose...

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Life is returning to normal here in South Maui now that the howling winds have begun to abate. Even the Humpback Whales are back from their extended Spa Weekend off the Big Island where they've been soaking in lava heated water (thanks for the tip, Leilani).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Oh Boy, Bubbles

I am fascinated by scuba diver bubbles. I like watching the large discs of air split and sometimes rejoin before reaching the surface. I would probably be an easy mark for a door-to-door lava lamp salesperson.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shark God In Action

For those of you thinking ahead a couple months, please do NOT get me one of these for my birthday. I much prefer the feel of the ocean water on my skin (not to mention my claustrophobia issues).

It is way cool, though. The Kamohoali'i (shark god) looks like a fighter jet, easily dives to 1000 feet, and can stay under for twenty hours (but passengers begin to get "squirly" after two hours). With a support staff of: 3 divers, 1 sub pilot, 1 coordinator, and 1 captain for the support boat, plus maintenance of lots of sensitive equipment, it is understandable that they charge almost $4000 per ride. Click HERE for their promo youtube video.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Don't Want to Know

I'm not sure if this was a: defensive posture, attack posture, or ready to mate posture. Since I didn't want to find out, I kept on swimming. I'm not sure which would have been scarier, being attacked or having a giant sea turtle with seaweed breath trying to mate with me. [Shudder]

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Organizers Deluxe

Many, many thanks to Janet, Malcolm and Sandy who keep organized swimming alive and vibrant on Maui. Even though they love being out in the water, they were working the finish line of the 17th annual Swim for Your Heart 1 mile ocean swim race this morning. You guyz da bomb.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Just me and the blue sea. Again. Alone, alone, all, all alone...

Where did the whales and dolphins go? I couldn't go for a swim last month without them stopping by to say Hi! and now, not a word. Is it something I said? Or did?

Anyway, I had a great swim through chilly water this morning and know they'll come around again soon. They can't resist me.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Just Passing By

I was getting cold and tired after an hour and a half of deep water swimming this morning. They must have sensed my disappointment at having seen absolutely nothing during my swim, because a large group of Spinner Dolphins chose that moment to zoom by me. They passed by me like I had a rock tied around my waist, oh wait, I was lugging my kayak behind me. No wonder I couldn't keep up. It didn't matter, they made my day!