Friday, April 30, 2010

Clueless Guys


Does anybody on Maui offer Turtle romance classes? Because this guy really needed help this morning. She was doing everything possible to make it easy, but he couldn't seem to figure it out. He kept biting her neck to get a grip, but then could not maneuver himself into position. She even did the backstroke for a while (and sea turtles Never do the backstroke), but still no luck. Oh well...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

In A Different Light


I wondered what kind of lizard I was seeing as I walked through a Heliconia grove this evening. They glowed with vibrant hues in the late daylight. Then I realized that I'm accustomed to only seeing Geckos inside our house where they try to blend in with the walls. Indoors they are a uniform beige color, but outside among the green and red plants they were beautifully colored. What a treat to see these gentle creatures in a different light.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Color Me Pink


I spotted six Eagle Rays this morning on my ocean swim. How great it must be to be cold blooded!

I decided to try my swim without my winter wetsuit and boy was I glad that the sun didn't disappear behind a cloud when I got out!! It took a while, but I did finally manage to get warm again - and a little pink as well. That's OK, the sunburn kind of matches my swim cap.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Flat Stanley Visits Maui


Stacey was taking Stanley Lambchop around Maui to see the sights today. There certainly are lots of beach activities in which to engage, but I don't think he has figured out appropriate attire yet.

Stanley was sent to Maui by his eight year old best friend from the mainland and will be flying back today via FEDEX - one of the advantages of being thin. He seemed like a nice guy, but there wasn't much depth to his character. In fact he struck me as being a little two dimensional. Then again, I should talk!

Monday, April 26, 2010

What's Wrong With This Picture?


I was thrilled by yesterday's sighting of a Seahorse in the wild, but disappointed that none of the photos I took were in focus. So, of course, when I got a break this morning I went back to try again. And, again, none of the photos, except the one below, were in focus. You would think I was a novice underwater photographer who didn't have a clue as to what I was doing. And that does, indeed, seem to be the case - at least with small creatures. Tomorrow I'm hunting for big game, so watch out sharks...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Meanwhile Back On The Ranch...


Wow! Real live wild Seahorses!!

The Maui Pink Cap Swimmers swam a different route this morning for Christine's birthday, and we found our first-ever wild Seahorses. We've seen them on TV and at the aquarium, but never just out in the ocean. How cool!

Word was out that seahorses had been spotted in a certain area, but it still took all of us carefully scouring the bottom for a long time to finally find them. But it was worth it. Happy Birthday, Christine.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Quick Catch

video

On my ocean swim this morning a Spinner Dolphin suddenly swam up to and around me before zooming off again. I can't believe I actually managed to catch it on video.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Beauty and Beasts


Finally! Success!

This scenic spot is just around the corner from my house. The colors often take my breath away and I have photographed it a gazillion times (at least), but I have never been happy with the results - until today. So here is one of my favorite places, Enjoy.

As for the photo below...

It is calling out for a caption or story, but creativity eludes me. Make up your own tale about the innocent baby and the dark creatures emerging from the deep.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Exercise Photos


What are these Emperor fish waiting for? Every day they are in the same spot waiting patiently in line. They will slowly move away if I get too close, then return when I swim off. But they are always there and always waiting.

On the other hand this Manta Ray was definitely on the move this morning. Like sharks they are constantly in motion, I've never seen one actually stop. This one made me work for a photograph - I had to swim hard to keep up, and each time I dove down it was ahead of me and moving away. I claim that I swim for exercise and take photos for fun, but today I swam for fun and took photos for exercise.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lost Count


The home I photographed today was surrounded by so many large waterfalls that I honestly lost count of how many there were. This place was a magical tropical paradise.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fashionable Flier


I watched from my kitchen window this morning as a Mynah bird attempted to steal my neighbor's newspaper. As I waited to see which section it would read first (sports, entertainment or world news?) it succeeded in removing the plastic bag, which it then wrapped around itself.

Back in Chicago I had a friend who was the display window designer for Sacs Fifth Avenue who would come to parties draped in layers of plastic bags. The outfits were quite spectacular, although they always looked like they would be too hot to wear for long.

The Mynah tried various styles before flying off fully clothed in clear plastic. That was one trendy bird!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wet Puppies


Simple pleasures are the best. Last week the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers were like kittens playing with a string - this week we were like puppy dogs playing with a ball we found on the ocean floor. Strange that the highlight of today's swim (for me) was playing underwater catch and not the endangered Hawksbill turtle we saw. Let's see . . . for next week . . . what do Sloths play with?

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

Friday, April 16, 2010

Float Your Boat?


I love watching team-building beach games for corporate groups. Some people take the activities way too seriously but, fortunately, they are designed to be so impossible that you can't help but laugh when they fail.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Triton to the Rescue


When I saw a Crown of Thorns Starfish last week (click HERE for the post) I mentioned that I expected Giant Tritons to soon appear to eat the toxic starfish. Lo and behold, this morning I saw the first Giant Triton that I've seen in a long time. Ain't nature grand?! (By the way, the Giant Triton is in the photo above, not the one to the right)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Very First Ride


Hundreds of people learn to surf every day at the Cove. It doesn't matter how old or young, they all manage to catch and ride at least one wave. Family members line the shore waiting to get a photograph or video of that exciting very first ride. While I was content to sit on the sidelines for most things as a kid, I don't think I could have passed up the opportunity to try out surfing.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sloshed

South Shore, North Shore, which is it?

When I lived Upcountry, I used to go to North Shore beaches where the trade winds were always howling and the ocean waves were frothed into whitecaps. Which pretty much describes the normally placid South Shore this morning: wind, waves and murky water.

That didn't stop me from getting in and swimming, but I swallowed so much sea water that I now slosh when I walk.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Coconut Flowers


Coconut flowers (above photo) don't much look like most other flowers. When the palm's flower sheath splits open, you see long strands of male flowers (they look a little like corn on the cob) and strands of female flowers (little baby coconuts).

In a couple of weeks the male flowers all fall off and the little coconuts begin to look like acorns (photo below). Here on resorty Maui, coconut palm trees are aggressively trimmed a couple of times each year to prevent people getting bonked on the head by falling coconuts. Even though it would explain a lot - I have never been conked by a coconut . . . at least that I can remember.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Wet Kittens


We're like kittens. Give us a piece of string and we will be entertained for hours.

Yes, we saw some interesting turtles, fish and starfish, and even found a Spiny Lobster. But we had the most fun playing on a boat's anchor line. Ahhh, life's simple pleasures...

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

Friday, April 9, 2010

Going Under


When the water's as clear as it has been the past few days, there is only one thing to do - get wet and explore!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Crown of Thorns Redux


I panicked several years ago when Crown of Thorns Starfish were taking over and killing our coral reefs. I read about massive outbreaks on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and how scientists were testing various methods to eliminate the destructive starfish.

Time, of course, heals all wounds. Just as Crown of Thorns seemed to be everywhere leaving swaths of dead coral heads in their wake, they suddenly disappeared. Giant Tritons, one of their few predators, were gobbling them up with voracious appetites. I am always amazed at how well nature manages to keep everything in balance.

On my ocean swim this morning, I spotted this Crown of Thorns Starfish which is the first one I've seen in a long time. I wonder if it just made a brief appearance to commemorate Good Friday. Or perhaps I will get to watch the cycle of life and death on the reef repeat itself...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

All Fledged


Thank goodness all of the eggs hatched successfully and I was able to get the bird's nest removed from my head! The hardest part was always swimming with my head above water so the little chicks wouldn't drown.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Last Whales of the Season?


What is it about swimmers and whales?

A group of swimmers dragged me out into the ocean again this morning to celebrate yet another milestone birthday (Happy Birthday Doug). Mom, baby and escort whales swam by us twice to check us out. I wonder what they think about the umbilical cords which link us to the kayaks which we drag behind us while we swim? They can be a little awkward when posing for underwater photos...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Summertime Summertime


The water may still be chilly but otherwise it feels like the middle of August. Hot sun, vacant lots have turned brown, and late summer wildflowers abound. C'mon ocean, time to catch up and get warm...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bunnies


Everybody wanted to be an Easter Bunny during this morning's ocean swim (notice the big ears in the photo above). Well, almost everyone. Three of our swimmers who wanted to be birds tried flying from the cliffs. They managed to stay in the air quite a long time before splashing down. Cick HERE for more photos from our swim.

Even though it is Spring, the water was surprisingly cold. We were able to take off some of the chill by hanging onto Coach Janet's kayak but, brrrr, it was even colder getting back in again. Hurry up, summer, we're waiting...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Pinkies


Pink seems to be the predominant color this Easter/Passover weekend. Not even the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers will be able to out-pink the people I saw this morning.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I've Been Flashed


I love watching Comb Jellyfish. I saw lots of them this morning and they were doing their neon sign trick. Imagine a long standing row of shiny reflective dominoes, you knock the first one over and it knocks the next one, then that one knocks the next one, and so on - only they pop right up after falling over, then do it all again, and again. Because the jellyfish's cilia (dominoes) are reflective, it appears that colored lights are constantly running up it's sides. You can see a little of the lights on the lowermost edge of the jellyfish in the photo above. I love swimming in the ocean - I never know what I'm going to see next.