Saturday, July 31, 2010

Lonely Mango

How could this huge mango tree produce only ONE mango?

I can understand parents wanting only one child, but a giant mango tree and only one fruit?

It doesn't matter. Served with Salsa and homemade Quesadillas, it was amazing. Yum. Mahalo Doug.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sparkling Clean

Five Spotted Eagle Rays kept hovering near the turtle cleaning station this morning for sporadic scrubbing by a pair of Rainbow Wrasses. They were a little shy around my camera but tolerated me from a distance. Maybe they didn't want photos taken until they were sparkling clean.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Maybe Tomorrow

I was totally uninspired with ideas for a blog photo today, so I ran out into the yard and took a quick photo of a Rainbow Shower Tree and another of a Plumeria Tree. I'll try to do better tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Invisibility Cloak

Scuba divers are totally oblivious. At least to anything which is not immediately in front and below them. I dove deep next to these guys this morning and waved, but they did not see a thing. I often dive down to wave "Hi" to scuba divers and only rarely am noticed. Then again, I have lost some weight recently, maybe I'm too thin to see...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Backward and Forward Thinking

Maui is an incredibly backward third-world kind of place in some ways. And therein lies some of her charm. Three years ago in this blog I expressed amazement at seeing public transit appear on our streets - something I never thought I would experience. Today I actually took a Maui Bus for the very first time and was pleasantly surprised. It was clean, relatively comfortable, air conditioned and ran on schedule. Plus it only cost one dollar to cover the more than eighteen miles from Kahului to Wailea. Gas for my car would cost more than twice that to cover the same distance.

Another benefit was that in walking from the auto body repair shop to the bus stop, I discovered two large farmers' markets which I never knew existed (a big one at Kahului Shopping Center and another in the Queen Kaahumanu Shopping Center). Live and learn.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Doing the Impossible

That expression "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps" always struck me as silly. After all, how can you lift yourself up off the ground by pulling on your feet? Can't be done. Silly. Or is it?

Spikeless tree trimming is now all the rage and if you watch these guys, they actually pull them selves up by their boots. No kidding. With their hands they hold tightly onto the tree trunk with a strap, then they bend their knees and lift their feet. The feet are attached to a little platform which braces against the tree when weight is put on it. So they stand on the platform, raise the strap in their hands and do it again. Great workout for the abs! Not to mention the sense of accomplishment for doing the impossible..

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Josh's Story

Brothers, Josh and Brian, decided to swim through the lava tube near the end of this morning's ocean swim. Josh went first through the narrow tunnel and popped out the far end. Brian dove down and came face to face with a shark. Brian quickly decided against swimming through. He called to Josh who dove down to find not one, but two sharks swimming around in the passage. How had he missed them? How had they missed him?

By the way, sorry about today's photos. I only brought a small point and shoot camera, not my usual underwater outfit this morning. Click HERE for more photos from today's swim.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Maybe A Little Crazy . . .

I adore my afternoon visits with the Julie mango tree in our yard. No, I have never confirmed its name by talking to the tree, it is the fruit which speaks to me.

I have always been a fan of tree-ripened fruit. Or vine-ripened, or bush-ripened or whatever-ripened. If it grew ripe before being picked then it is probably impossibly delicious. I know because I grew up in a very fruity area of Michigan (which could explain an awful lot) and got to eat lots of very ripe fruit. Mmmm. I can taste the sun warmed and very juicy strawberries, sweet cherries, peaches and apples now. Incredible and indescribable.

Okay, back to Julie. Our Mangoes have an interesting habit of hanging onto the tree only until the moment of absolutely perfect ripeness, then they leap to the ground shouting "Eat Me!" And I obey.

Oh, I am more than just a little crazy for mangoes.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Not Me

It was GREAT being an innocent bystander this morning while somebody else was doing the directing and photographing! Yes, I love my job, but sometimes it is fun watching someone else doing it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Now You See Them . . .

I saw more amazing Frogfish on my swim this morning. Two of them together, actually. They are more easily identifiable in the photo below and I have helped you out with arrows in the photo to the right (click on the photo to see the large version).

I pointed them out to a passing scuba diver. He was so excited he didn't pay attention when he anchored himself and grabbed onto a spiny sea urchin. Ouch. Poor sea urchin.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I wanted to get more photos of these guys but the current was so strong that, whoosh, I was gone after one shot.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lots of Money

I was surprised on my swim this morning to see a commercial fishing boat operating at a popular snorkel spot in less than ten feet of water. They were dropping their net right onto the coral and had to have a guy in the water yanking the net free as they pulled it in. If you ever wondered why you see so few fish and so little healthy coral when you snorkel on Maui, now you know.

I talked to the guy standing in the boat and he happily said they were going to make lots of money from these fish.

Monday, July 19, 2010

So There!

Egrets have taken to roosting in the Shower Trees outside my window at night. In the morning they all start clucking like a brood of chickens before flying off to their day jobs around the island. Their occasional squawks are very loud, thank goodness they do not crow like roosters. The roosters down the block are annoying enough, if these guys started up, I would buy my first ever gun - and use it.

My fondest memories from my youth were of rare summer days at the beach. I love being an adult. I get to spend time every single day at the beach and no one can say otherwise. So there!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy Returns

Ali is back on Maui. And with a husband no less! Congratulations to both of you!
Click HERE for more photos from this morning's swim.

Friday, July 16, 2010

And the Winner Is . . .

Finally! After years of searching I may have a candidate for mascot of the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers. What does it take to be our mascot? Any animal with low enough self-esteem to wear a pink cap, that's what. And, no, the pink cap was not photoshopped in.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Too Long

Wow! I can't believe it has been Four Whole Months since my last dolphin encounter!

I was on my way back from a swim to the Pinnacle when, suddenly, there they were. They were definitely in sleep mode so I floated in place for a while and watched them pass back and forth. I love being surrounded by these inquisitive creatures and am so very happy to have seen them again. Click HERE for more photos from this morning's swim.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lost Head

I chose this stretch of beach for today's photo because there weren't any sunbathers in view. What I didn't realize until I saw the large version was that there had been someone lying there, but when they left they forgot to take their head. Something I would definitely do if mine weren't attached!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Most Popular

This little Rainbow Wrasse is accustomed to being the center of attention. All kinds of fish, from the big barracuda to the smallest tang, stop by to get cleaned. Its bite as it removes algae and parasites sometimes hurts, even the toughest fish on the reef will sometimes scoot away in pain, but they all keep coming back for more.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Beach Sights

Like an ancient warrior armed to do battle with Neptune, this gentleman is a regular at the beach. Some days he teaches martial arts, some days he babysits small children, and today he was doing water exercises.

This unusual beach chair caught my eye because of the way its occupant seemed to levitate above the sand and into the water.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


I constantly swim with so very many Sea Turtles that I thought I knew them.

It appears that I don't have a clue.

The Maui Pink Cap Swimmers came across this turtle which had just captured an octopus and was attempting to tear it apart and eat it. Whoah! I thought turtles were vegetarian.

A little research reveals that they are meat eaters from the time they are hatched but eventually become vegans as they grow older. Who knew?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Not Again

I was stung by yet another bee today. No it didn't involve these flowers which Doug gathered from our yard (although a gecko did hitch a ride indoors on them), nor did it involve my usual practice of stepping on a dead one at the beach. No, this one actually dive bombed me and stung me through my rash guard (swimming shirt) as I was entering the ocean for my morning swim. What the heck?!!

Here's what's weird. I revel in the experience.

No, I don't like getting stung, nor do I enjoy the discomfort. But I do savor the physical sensations. No, not the actual sting - ouch. But the itching fascinates me, especially the skin tingling electricity while scratching it. I am also amazed at how the skin hardens in the affected area and how it radiates heat. Way cool.

I love being fully present in the moment and being able to truly experience all that life has to offer.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Dog Days

Now that the ocean has warmed up (still not enough for me or this dog) the beaches are crowded with people who want to do nothing more than float.

Me? I was out on an up and down walk this morning. I chose a flat course, but emotionally went up then down then up again. I was stopped by someone who told me she loves my blog (thanks Caren) which put a huge smile on my face. Then talked to someone who told me that the government has begun files on each of the dolphin swimmers and has even begun tracking their movements. Oops. No more smile. Then ran into someone who insisted that I should write a book about my adventures (thanks Cathy). Back to smiling again. In fact I was feeling so good by the end of my walk that I floated for a while myself.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I'm feeling kind of lost today. I will find myself tomorrow, but where?

Monday, July 5, 2010


This was yet another of those exquisite summer days, perfect for taking the kids to the beach or for simply sitting under a tree and reading a book. I do love summer.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day

I am always rejuvenated by entering the ocean - which is finally almost warm again. Freedom from gravity has to be one of my favorite things about swimming -- I can fly. No need for wings or sails, just a pair of goggles allowing me to see, and I soar above the ocean floor. The real thing is even better than my flying dreams, where staying aloft is tricky and a struggle. In real life flying through the water is easy, automatic, a joy.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Let's Try Something Different

She was totally into this photographer's concept for an innovative portrait session at Wailea Beach this morning. He, on the other hand, was not at all happy with the idea. In fact, it wasn't long before he stormed out of the water saying he'd had enough. Ah, young love...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Patience Wins

I'm learning. I don't catch on right away, but slowly, slowly it comes.

I'm finding that when I dive down to observe underwater critters, they don't swim away if I swim with them instead of toward them. They often allow me to slowly edge closer as we go, but then, of course, I desperately need to breathe and I have to make a dash for the surface. Kind of ruins the whole procedure, but I'm slowly getting better and more patient. And so are they.