Monday, August 30, 2010

Hydration Techniques

At a 10K running race, cups of water & gatorade are lined up on tables and handed out by volunteers. At this morning's 10K ocean swim race (yes, 6.2 miles!) each swimmer had their own hydrater passing them beverages and snacks by pole.

Maui had been hosting the Junior Pan Pacific Championships at the Kihei Aquatic Center last week, and today's 10K ocean race was the "fun" finish. Australia took 1st for the boys and U.S.A. took first for the girls.

If you look closely, you can see Malcolm officiating at the finish line (photo below on the right) as the girls complete the distance.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Can Fly!

Hallelujah! I can fly!

We had the clearest possible water for our ocean swim this morning. The farther we swam, the clearer the water got. This kind of extreme clarity is rare, it only happens a couple of times each year, and is well worth celebrating. The photo below is before we hit the crystalline water, the ones above and to the right are after (Click HERE for more photos from this morning's swim). When the water is this invisible, swimming truly feels like flying. It was an amazing experience.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Portrait

Part of the fun of being me, is visiting lots of spectacular homes. Some people have artwork that I just don't get, but today's I liked. Why? Because they captured my essence! It's me, baby, it's me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sandy Eyed

Yuck! Sand in my suit is bad enough. This poor Flounder had sand in both eyes!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Worth It

Sugar cane is still burned regularly for harvest in Maui's central valley. It leaves those of us downwind coughing and gasping for breath, and our outdoor belongings covered in black, sooty ash. But it is worth it. The smoke and ash cloud is always spectacular!

These three Spotted Eagle Rays swam up to me on my ocean swim this morning. They were much more laid-back than in recent weeks, and just hung quietly in the current. They even seemed a bit shy. Then I noticed a group of scuba divers coming up behind me which explained the rays' behavior, these rays do not like scuba divers. Why? Maybe the divers' bubbles tickle...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Set It Free

If you love something, set it free;
if it returns, it's yours forever,
if not, it was never meant to be.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tropical Desert

Not dessert, as in sweets after dinner, but desert as in few living creatures. Compared to temperate (which to me means COLD) ocean waters, tropical waters are practically empty of life. Of course, I post photographs with underwater critters in them, because photos of empty water are mostly boring. But most of my swim time is in empty water, like this morning. I swam at La Perouse bay because I felt ready for a change of pace, but it was a meditative swim over a uniform sandy bottom and only very few fish were sighted. The only critter I was able to photograph was myself, and even he was pretty elusive.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Over One Thousand

All my photos are beginning to look alike to me, so I thought I'd play with black & white a little today. The purpose of this blog is for me to take at least one photograph each and every day which I am not ashamed to share with others. I have done so for over one thousand posts now and it has really helped my photographic skills. Plus, it has been, and continues to be, fun.

I found these in a tidal pool at Kam II this morning and I'm assuming they are some kind of soft coral? Let me know.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Dorky Fun

Today was Brian's final Sunday outing with the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers before heading back to the mainland (worse, actually - to the Pacific Northwest) to return to school. You brought a great sense of dorky fun to the group, Brian, and we are going to miss you.

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

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Smoothies for Everyone

Yet another banana tree is in bloom in our yard. Which, of course, means gobs of bananas on the way in a couple of months. We cut one bunch last week and the entire 60 bananas turned yellow in our kitchen last night. Looks like the time has arrived for more smoothies. Lots more smoothies.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Interesting Choice of Disguise

Collector Urchins disguise themselves by carrying debris on their backs. But sometimes choice of camouflage can work against you, bringing more attention instead of less. Kind of like these two Collector Urchins I saw on this morning's ocean swim.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And The Winner Is . . .

Surprisingly - it was the Tree that won this bout of machine vs. nature. Why surprising? Because these Monkeypod trees have lousy root systems and will fall over if someone sneezes too hard (I'm thinking of my former landlady whose sneezes famously echoed throughout the entire neighborhood. "What was that?" strangers to the area would ask. "Oh, that was just Rita. Her allergies must be acting up again.").

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Small and Fun

I was invited to a mid-week swim at La Perouse bay this morning. I really enjoyed being part of a small group where we all stuck together, and had fun together. Click HERE for more photos from today's swim.

Even though we were several miles from yesterday's swim location, we encountered another four Spotted Eagle Rays. They are everywhere right now!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Turtles & Rays

This was one of the smallest sea turtles I've ever seen. It reminded me of the little turtles you used to find in pet shops - sooooo cute. But it was being picked on by these two fish which kept following it around and nipping at it. Bullies!

A little while later six Spotted Eagle Rays zoomed up to me and kept swimming around and around me. Of course, by the time I got the camera going they had settled down, but I still got a brief video of some of them. Click HERE or below for today's video.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My Life's A Beach

Even when I lived in Chicago, I spent time nearly every day on the beach. Summer, winter, rain, snow, or sunshine, it didn't matter. When I was getting ready to move to Maui, I was given a collection of Beach Glass which was my favorite going-away gift. Me and the beach - we are inseparable. Only here, unlike on the beaches of the Midwest, I get into the water every day of the year.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Swimming Free

It's not the camera, it is the photographer. At least that is what I tell people who want to know what makes a great image. Well . . .

Apparently the camera comes into the equation as well. I decided to swim light this morning and only carried my tiny little point-and-shoot camera tucked into my swimsuit. As you can see, the camera does make a difference. But I had fun and thoroughly enjoyed swimming free without a huge contraption strung about my neck.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Some cities have shanty-towns but Wailea Beach, which couldn't be more affluent, had its own overcrowded umbrella-town this morning. I guess even the uber-wealthy suffer sometimes.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Innate Skill

I wasn't sure I would remember how to swim this morning, it has been so very very long since I've been in the water. But, sure enough, it all came back to me; including being able to swallow gallons of salt water. It's a special talent I have, and it came naturally to me since day one. Aren't you jealous?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gods for Sale

Every day someone different is selling these Tiki Gods at Wailea Beach. Today was the first time I've seen the actual wood carver at the table.

Click HERE for an interesting article about Ancient Hawaiian Tiki Gods.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Pool

My friend Terry sent me these photos from a Reuters article about a 150 meter long infinity-edge pool on the 55th floor of a new building in Singapore. I would still prefer swimming in the ocean over this, but this would be almost as much fun as swimming at Maui's Upcountry Pool where you can watch the sun set into the ocean at the evening Masters workout.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Everybody's Surfing Now

I walked past Cove Park this morning which is where everyone in South Maui learns to surf. This photo only captured about half the people in the water at that moment, plus there were still more on shore taking the land class. I must admit to being amazed that hundreds of people learn to surf on Maui every single day of the year.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Crazy People Unite!

After my little bout of insanity yesterday, I felt a desire to spend time talking with another loco person. And who should I run into on the beach this morning but my friend Mary! Perfect. She is not as nuts as I am, but she's the same kind of crazy that I am. After a few minutes of quality time together I was feeling right as rain. Thanks Mary.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Do Not Read

I'm not kidding, do not read this post. Seriously. It is just going to be me feeling sorry for myself, and the self-pity will not be pretty.

Really, turn away and come back tomorrow.

So, is everyone gone? I hope so. Last chance...

The empty photo today? Because the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers left on the weekly ocean swim without me this morning. They started the swim fifteen minutes early and I could see their arms splashing the water as they left me standing on the beach. Each time I got close to them, they took off again. I was hurt, very hurt, and majorly pissed off!

Of course, I am angry because I crave being the center of attention, and it didn't happen today. Worse, they probably left because they don't even know I exist and started early because they thought that everyone was already there. I'll get over it -- eventually.

See? I told you that you did not want to read this ugliness. Don't worry, tomorrow will be better.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Good Day To Be On The Water

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cloudy and Clear

A big south swell has been rolling in the past few days, stirring up sand and debris and making the water cloudy. But just around the corner from this fish hiding in the coral, the water was gloriously clear and calm.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Attack of the Noodle People

Snorkel boats give their passengers brightly colored styrofoam "noodles" to help them stay afloat while snorkeling. So, of course, we call herds of snorkelers - Noodle People.

We're still searching for a good name for Stand-Up Paddlers. From a distance it looks like they are walking on water, so maybe something related to that?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Too Many, Too Close

I was mobbed by six Spotted Eagle Rays this morning just as I rounded the corner to the Slosh. They zoomed at me, and then around and around me as if I were Santa Claus handing out gifts. My friend, Leilani, is nervous about their dangerous-looking tails - she would have totally freaked if she had been there. I was feeling a little nervous myself. I prefer it when the wildlife keeps a reasonable distance.

Doug told me that this is Shark Week on TV, so here is a photo from this morning just as this five foot long White Tip Reef Shark turned and headed toward me. But don't worry, I didn't hurt it.

Monday, August 2, 2010


I don't get it. Airport security is supposed to be this huge big deal, but then . . .

I was helping a neighbor by driving one of their cars to the airport for their arrival this morning. When I got to the private jet area, I was waved onto the runway by a security guy who pointed to their jet. No one stopped the car, no one asked for ID, nothing. And the drive to the jet was unnerving because two huge commercial jets landed on the main runway only fifteen yards away, shaking the car and me.

This wasn't the first time either. It was even weirder a couple of years ago when security was much higher and you couldn't even enter the parking lot across from the terminal building without having your car searched. Yet driving onto the runway was fine! Go figure!