Friday, December 30, 2011

Evaporating Nerve

I am afraid of swimming into unknown caves underwater in the dark without air tanks. But the temptation is looming larger and larger.

Above is my buddy, Michael, recounting his adventure immediately after returning from a journey into the "Bubble Cave" near my house this morning.

To enter you have to dive down fifteen feet to the entrance then swim underwater a fair distance in blackness to an air pocket trapped against the ceiling. What's going on here? When I started this entry, I felt like I finally had the nerve to explore this cave, but now I'm getting frightened again. Anyway, congratulations Michael.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Holiday Madness

The beaches, and even the ocean, are packed with people, people, and more people this week.

I am accustomed to a slower, quieter Maui where automobile drivers are courteous and only honk their horns to say hi. That hasn't been the case this week, but it will all be back to normal in a few days. I just have to be patient.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Holiday Rush

Where did all these people come from?

This morning there were a crowd of people kicking the water into white foam while chasing a pod of dolphins. Oh, that's right, the week between Christmas and New Years is the biggest tourist week of the year.

I suggested to my dolphins buddies that they might want to hide out for the rest of the week until things return to normal. In fact I think I might do the same.

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

Monday, December 26, 2011

Proper Table Manners

When I sat down to lunch just now, this gecko was on the window facing me also having lunch.

It must have grown up watching my partner eat because it, too, didn't chew its food before swallowing.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mele Kalikimaka

LinkWhat better way to spend Christmas morning than out in the ocean with good friends.

In fact, I wouldn't mind spending every morning this way.

Click HERE for more photos from today's swim.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Where Are Marley & Co?

Where are all the holiday decorations?

I walked through the four big (huge, actually) Wailea resorts this morning to get into the spirit of commercial Christmas - but failed miserably.

The oceanfront grounds of all four hotels had not a single decoration. Not a ribbon or even Santa hat was to be seen anywhere.

Each resort had a Christmas tree in the lobby area but not many other decorations. Well, the Grand Wailea (photo right) maintained its preeminent tackiness with lots of gaudy oversize decorations in the lobby area, but it was the only one. The Four Seasons was so subdued and their tree was so poorly done that I couldn't bring myself to take a photo - it was that embarrassing.

Please don't tell me that the only way I'm going to get into the holiday spirit is by watching "Die Hard" again.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Super Slow

I got to swim with my buddy and champion bodysurfer, Judith, this morning. She was sweet and swam super slow so that I could keep up with her. She was nice enough to take a photo of me too. Thanks, Judith, it was fun.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Farthest South

I haven't posted recently because I've been photographing a house for the past two days, and what could be more boring than seeing my photos of houses? But I'm feeling perverse at the moment, so I'm going to subject you to this photo (above) of the house's back yard.

And below (and right) are photos of my back yard at sunset. Really posted because later in the year we will repeatedly ask how far south the sun sets in the winter. Here's the answer from the shortest day of the year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Stingray Visit

This morning was only the second time I've ever seen a Stingray here in Maui waters. It got curious and swam up from the ocean floor to check me out, then scooted back down once it saw how ugly I was (in stingray terms, that is). Poor guy.

This Silverback (below) was one of the few SCUBA divers that I've ever seen looking anywhere but down. Usually divers never notice the cool things going on right over their heads because they only have eyes for what's below them.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Place for Pills

Pill Boxes from World War Two still guard many of Maui's finer beaches. At seventy years old, they have been around longer than me. I know, hard to believe.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Mutated Caterpillars

Once a year, caterpillars dangle on silken threads from the trees here. I often don't notice them until I suddenly realize that my hair is full of squirming worms (and if you've ever seen my hair when it gets long, you'll know that I might not notice the caterpillars right away). I wonder if they've mutated this year? In the past they've always been green...

By the way, today is yet another glorious day in paradise.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Most Popular

Lots of people were in the ocean this morning and we were mobbed by more than sixty Spinner Dolphins. I swear that the dolphins were actually posing for people carrying cameras.
And the bigger the camera the better. Which made me, of course, the most popular person there by far. Or maybe it was just my winning personality. Nope! Had to be the camera.

Click HERE for lots and lots more photos from today's swim.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Front Yard Gathering

I swam an entire hour this morning without seeing a single turtle. Until, that is, I got back to my house where I saw at least six along the shore.

I wonder what they like so much about my front yard? Or maybe they had just gathered to wait for me. That must be it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Die Hards

LinkThe gloom and wind kept all but a few people from the ocean this Sunday morning. Then several turned back when they couldn't find the arch through the murk. For those of us who kept on keeping on, the water cleared up and even smoothed out on our return. Thank you, die hard swimmers, I had fun.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Big Beach Captive

Hawaii - the land of simultaneous sunshine and rain.

It did not rain a drop here in South Maui but the rainbows off Kihei this morning were spectacular.

I still do not understand why I am fascinated by Kiawe (a kind of mesquite) trees, but here is another. At this place a tall cliff dropping into the ocean terminates Big Beach. There is something about the pure blue sky, the red cliffs, the green kiawe scrub and this lone dead kiawe tree which takes me captive every time I walk past.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Classics

Tonight we cranked up the air conditioning, put up and decorated the tree, drank some eggnog and watched that Christmas classic "The Lion in Winter" starring Katherine Hepburn and Peter O'Toole. Tomorrow night we will watch the other Christmas staple "Die Hard" starring Bruce Willis. We are in the spirit of the season now.

Not the Real World

Once upon a time, long, long ago, I lived in Chicago where it is now 34 degrees and dropping.

I love living on Maui where it is a pleasant sunny 80 degrees out. All Year 'Round.

I saw many visitors this morning, here for only one or two weeks before heading back to the real world. I am so glad that I do not live in the real world.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Break Time

The monotony of my swim workout was broken by a quick swim-by visit of a group of Spinner Dolphins this morning. Thanks for the interruption.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Miracle Cure

I went out to gargle with salt water this morning because I have been suffering from a cold and a nasty sore throat. Out in the ocean I ran into my buddy, Scott, and the famous photographers, Monica & Michael Sweet (check out their gallery by clicking HERE).

I almost ran into a jelly fish and pointed it out to them. True to form, Scott touched it to see if it would sting and Michael got close to photograph it.

We also briefly encountered at least twenty four Spinner Dolphins which zoomed by so quickly I was only able to get off a couple of quick photographs. Because of my cold I happened to cough at just the wrong moment and swallowed some sea water and dolphin poop.

I now feel better than I have in days.

Click HERE for more photos from this morning.Link