Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Haley

Even though it happened a couple of days ago, we celebrated Haley's birthday with a swim this morning.

Our kayak escorts told us we just missed a baby whale, but we got to hear them singing underwater. Glorious.

Click HERE for more photos from today's swim.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nice, Nicer, Nicest

I meet the nicest people on the beach. What's even nicer is when they offer me money. Well . . . . this morning they offered me work, which is almost as nice.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Popping Up

Those darn whales did not show up until I climbed into my kayak after finishing my swim this morning. Knowing that I do not get back into the water, they started popping up all over the place. They love to tease me like that.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Never Ending Battle

This afternoon cannons and muskets were booming and popping right and left.

But far more interesting to me than the reenactment of the Battle of Shilo was the way the participants lived the lives of people of the 1860's for a weekend. The tents, clothing, and cooking utensils were all of the period. Everything was made of cotton, wood, wool and iron; and cell phones were few and far between. Just like during America's Civil War. Ah, the good old days.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


No Way!

Today I got to swim with lots of Manatees. Wow!

They were just as friendly as Maui's Spinner Dolphins, but much slower moving. Good thing, because I did not bring my flippers with me to Florida.

I am still buzzing with excitement and glowing. Wow!

Friday, January 20, 2012


I saw two big fins heading straight for me as soon as I got out into the Gulf of Mexico this afternoon.

Today was only the second day I've been out in my "Tiger Shark" kayak since I've been here at our house in Florida, and both times I've paddled from our pier to the open waters of the Gulf. I nervously keep searching for alligators while dragging myself along narrow passages through the swamp, but so far haven't seen any while in my tippy kayak. Whew.

But two dolphins swam by me then circled back to swim by even closer before continuing along the shore. How great.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Swimming Buddies

Finally! I got to see some interesting critters here in Florida today. I even got wet, but I must admit it was too cold to actually get in the water for a swim. It is supposed to be in the upper seventies tomorrow - I will swim then. Who knows what I'll get to see...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Up In The Air

Flying things seem to be the subject this weekend. This morning I happened upon a Kite Festival with competitions for most skillful piloting, most creative kite, etc.

My favorites were the combo kites. The coolest, I thought, was the dog kite chasing the cat kite. Partially pictured below is the Batman kite chasing the Robin kite chasing the Riddler kite chasing the Penguin kite.

Did I mention that the most elaborate kites were GIANT? Another fun and interesting day on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

For the Birds

Today was for the birds...

...and a great adventure for me. I drove aimlessly this morning on a quest of exploration and stumbled across Honeymoon Island State Park.

It was a day of firsts for me. As I walked along the nature trail, I saw lots of Ospreys and osprey nests. A first-time experience. I watched an osprey land on a branch with a freshly caught fish and eat it while it was still flopping around (top photo). A first.

I saw an osprey land on another osprey and play piggy-back, at least I think that's what they were doing (photo on right). Another first.

I also saw a Bald Eagle nest. A first. The area of the park near the nest was cordoned off to keep people from disturbing the eagles. So I thought it was funny that one of the eagles was perched next to the observation area watching me (photo below). I guess there aren't any rules against eagles disturbing the people.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Tampa Heat

It was warm like Maui yesterday and I paddled my new kayak out into the Gulf of Mexico. Tonight there's a chill in the air and I'm cozily reading my Kindle in front of a nice fire. I love our Florida home. But don't worry, I'll be back swimming with the whales on Maui in two weeks.

Monday, January 9, 2012

In Not On

No, that is not me. I would much rather be in the water than on top of it. Just a shot I took while on my walk this morning.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

All Alone

Winter has definitely returned. How do I know this? Because I am now doing the Sunday Maui Pink Cap Ocean Swims alone.

The water is chilly (for us, that is) and once they hit the water, the swimmers zoom out of sight and are never seen again, until they pass me on the way back in.

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


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Uninspired Lilies

Sorry, but I wasn't feeling very inspired during my morning walk, so all you get to see today are some lilies from the pond at the Wailea Marriott.

At least I pulled the camera out and pushed the shutter button twice. That counts for something, right?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Their Mistake

As is often their wont, two humpback whales snuck up behind me while I was doing a short swim this afternoon. Usually, as soon as they realize that I've spotted them, they scoot away and disappear. Today I was lucky because they decided to check me out. They swam up to me and did a full circle around me before deciding that I wasn't really all that interesting. Their mistake.

Click HERE for a few more photos from today's ocean swim.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Smiling Houses

Today was a day for taking photographs of people taking photographs of people.

I am soooooooo very glad that I do not photograph people for a living. It is tough enough to get houses to smile, but people...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Go Below

Another flat, calm, voggy day today - drab and uninteresting. Underwater was where the action and color were.

Monday, January 2, 2012


I've discovered a great secret.

Shhhh. Promise you won't tell anyone but - Dr. Seuss is still alive.

Alive and running a landscaping company on Maui. He has to be! How else could you possibly explain the trees in Wailea?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

It Can Only Get Better



What a way to begin a new year!

I was invited on an exclusive whale watch cruise this morning, which meant leaving the house at 6:15 in the morning on New Year's Day. And, yes, I was awake to usher in the New Year at midnight.

We were lucky that three Humpback Whales approached our boat and continuously swam under and around us for fifteen minutes. I stuck my camera in the water (but not my head, unlike one of my buddies) and blindly pressed the shutter button a gazillion times. I was very fortunate that six photos actually turned out.

Well, I guess the year can only get better from here.

Click HERE for the other photos from this morning's boat ride.