Sunday, February 27, 2011

I Am Horrible

It's not fair. I am HORRIBLE at remembering people's names. HORRIBLE.

I only began to re-remember Bonnie's name about a month ago and now she's leaving for another year. I wonder how long it will take me to remember her name when she returns next winter?

Click HERE for more photos from this morning's ocean swim with the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Express Commute

Several of my friends live up on the mountainside only six miles away, yet getting to them involves a forty mile drive and an hour of my time each way.

How to shorten the commute? One word - Paragliding! Step off the edge of a cliff and before long you are home. Getting back Upcountry may be difficult, not to mention that anything fun on Maui is technically illegal. Within a minute of this guy landing on the beach, police sirens could be heard converging on his location. Here's hoping he is a quick chute packer.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sleep Swimming

One of my Humpback Whale buddies swam by to say hello to me this morning. For a couple of seconds I was worried that he might get too close since his eyes were closed but, as always, it wasn't a problem.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yet Another Day In Paradise

Even though lightening flashed all night and rain poured just before sunrise, this morning was another perfect one on Maui. Why would anybody live anywhere else?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ocean Traffic Jam

This morning there was a traffic jam of kayaks and paddleboards off Wailea Beach, which is the busiest beach in South Maui. Closer inspection revealed that instead of heading out in search of Humpback Whales, everyone was staying close to shore following a pod of dolphins back and forth. What a treat.

I also found a family that takes its Sand Castle building very seriously. They had professional tools and even a construction retaining wall. They have my respect. I only wish I could have stayed around to see the final result.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Clear or Not - Doesn't Matter

I always enjoy getting into the water on Sunday mornings with my friends, the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers. I love zooming along with the group, then stopping to catch up on the week's happenings.

Bonnie was amazed at how clear the water was this morning. She kept diving below to take in the scenery and to point out turtles. Actually, it was not very clear but she had new goggles on and, for her, it was glorious. Clear or not, it was wonderful and I had a great time.

Click HERE for more photos from today's swim.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I almost pooped my pants three times this morning.

This group of eleven Spinner Dolphins sneaked up on me during my ocean swim. Twice.

I was minding my own business (looking for whales, actually) when I was suddenly surrounded by this pod of dolphins. Yeow! I didn't quite walk on water, but it was close. I floated in place while they circled me, then continued back toward shore when they left. Eeek! Unexpectedly, there they were again.

Then, when I was almost to the beach, a Humpback Whale appeared under me. Right under me. Close under me. Yeow again! It was so unexpected and moving so fast that I didn't even notice the baby whale above it until they were both gone. Wow! What a morning.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


I usually have some lame excuse for not watching the sunset. Today I had a lousy reason for watching the sunset - I hadn't taken any photographs today for my blog.

What a treat. I got to sit on the lawn while a warm breeze ruffled my hair. Perfection.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It Is Worth It

I saw this guy on the beach this morning and even though I don't know him, I feel like I know him very well. I too have a bowling ball of an underwater camera housing, and going for a swim takes loads of preparation and equipment care. And that doesn't even count all the time and effort required to process the photographs.

The thing is, it is worth every bit of the time and effort.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy V. D.

. . . or at least that is what I would say with a snicker when I was a teen. Boy, I was such a dweeb.

Today is a great opportunity for me to realize how important those closest to me really are.

Will you be my valentine?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Rich

It was lifeguard-extraordinaire Rich's birthday today. Lots of people turned out to celebrate with an ocean swim. Happy Birthday, Rich.

Click HERE for more photos from this morning's swim (especially you, Bonnie, so you can see what you saw).

Saturday, February 12, 2011


What are they looking at? Don't worry, I couldn't figure it out either, and I was there.

I have been seeing more plein air painters around, although this guy is a regular at the Wailea beaches. The other painters spend their time painting, he spends his selling. Hmmm, I wonder if he outsources the actual work of painting to someone in India or China?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Another Whale

The only whale I saw up-close this morning is the one in the photo to the left. I can't believe that I've put on fifteen pounds since Thanksgiving. No wonder the Humpbacks have been so accepting of me.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Good Old Days

The boss was riding me hard today and I have only left the computer for meals. I never even made it out the door. So here's a photo from yesterday's photo shoot, back when life was good.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy Ending

Okay, okay, I know I've put on a lot of weight this winter. So far it hasn't been a problem - until now. This whale did not seem to realize that I was not a Humpback Whale this morning and, um, how shall I put this? Let's just say that we both left the encounter happy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Green and Yellow

With all the recent rain the wildflowers are going off. Everything that was brown and dead in the prolonged drought last year is now verdantly lush.

More big sets rolled in on west facing shores this morning, making getting in and out a challenge. My heart was racing yesterday morning at the end of our swim when I timed my exit from the ocean for between sets. I almost waited one too many, but got out unmangled. It should be interesting dragging my kayak out tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Vigilant Escorts

Maka-Mai is so proud that she gets to wear the same color suit that her father wears on the Sunday ocean swims. She is an amazing escort, keeping her eyes on him at all times.

Good thing, too. The water was way too murky today for swimming. A very wise first group turned back when the conditions were bad. The remainder heard someone advise that the water would get clearer further out, and took off swimming out to sea. Visibility did NOT get better and a smart second group decided to return to shore, while that same voice reported that water was clearer further out, and a few continued deeper. The ocean finally cleared up but several swimmers decided that they were far too far from shore and headed back. The remaining group (photo left) reveled in crystalline water reverberating with Humpback Whale singing. We saw hints of whales on the surface but were not approached by any today. Maybe next Sunday...

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

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Calm and Quiet

Another calm, quiet, toasty Pacific morning. Even stand-up paddlers were making the 6 mile round trip to Molokini. Me? I went back to bed after a late night. Hmmm. A nap right now sounds mighty good...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Popping Personalities

I passed a beach wedding this morning and took a quick snapshot. Interesting. If you dress everyone the same in very plain clothes, their personalities clearly reveal themselves (or so it seems).

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Big Smiles All Around

Just as these two Humpback Whales swam by putting on a big show, a small juvenile whale surfaced next to my teeny-tiny little kayak. Which way to look? Which one to photograph?

I stuck my camera over the side and randomly pushed the shutter button. Two shots actually got most of the small whale in the frame.

By then the two big whales had moved closer and I was able to get the photos above and below of tail slaps and fluke slaps.

Everyone had a great time and we all went our separate ways with big smiles on our faces (whales can smile, right?).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Maui Morning Rush Hour

Keawakapu Beach was crowded this morning with runners, walkers, swimmers, and many more.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Personal Trainer

I've noticed that Humpback Whales usually wait until my swim is almost over before stopping by to say, "Hi!"

They wait an hour because either: a) it takes that long for them to become curious about the lunatic deep-water swimmer, or b) it takes them that long to become comfortable around me, or c) they don't want to interrupt my swim workout.

Anyway, this juvenile swam right up to me exactly one hour after I began my swim this morning. It congratulated me on a good swim workout then went its way.