We hadn't been to the Maui County Fair in years - until last night.
I had always assumed that the Fair games were fixed making it impossible to win the prizes. But there sure were a lot of people carrying large stuffed toy animals around with them yesterday, so I guess I was wrong.
And, of course, the fresh Malasadas were great. Maybe we'll be back next year too.
Seven Spotted Eagle Rays swarmed all around me in shallow water this morning. If I didn't know them better I might have panicked, they kept swimming at me from all directions. But I do know them, and know that they have no desire to do me any harm.
At first I thought I had run into my buddy, Lynne, because I saw a dark shape emerge out of the bubbles from a breaking wave - and Lynne loves to play in bubbles. But no, it was the group of Rays that was playing in the bubbles. I joined them and had a great play time myself.
Help me out here. I see these fish sitting on the coral every day, but I don't have a clue as to what they are. They are about six to eight inches long. They usually hold their ground until I get within three feet, this one today did not budge while I took its photograph.
Cheryl and Laura had their first swim with the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers this morning. They were visiting from California where they often swim in the ocean.
So color me surprised when they described our flat, calm water day as being rather rough. It is a good thing the water wasn't mildly choppy or I would have been reading on facebook about "the hurricane" they swam through.
I see a little bit of everything on Maui beaches, lucky me.
Many weddings are held on the public beaches every day, and photographers and beach goers are mostly cordial toward each other. It gets a little tricky when two or three weddings are taking place on the same little stretch of beach, but even then fisticuffs are only a matter of last resort.
In the photo below a company was holding team building exercises this morning, while a young beach goer was looking on and wishing he could be part of the fun. I love living here.
I decided to mix it up a bit this morning and swam in the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve.
Because the land part of the reserve is closed, I began my swim a hundred yards away where there are almost no fish at all. Once I entered the reserve waters, I was surrounded by tropical fish. It is amazing what a difference it makes to prohibit fishing in an area.
I also love how unafraid of people these fish are. What a joy.
I saw lots of interesting critters on my ocean swim this morning - but the real show was on shore.
Cheryl, the turtle lady, was visited by a pair from the Colorado School of Mines who were scanning a Turtle Nest with electromagnetic radiation. Cheryl is hoping this test will be successful and will allow better future monitoring of the endangered Hawksbill Turtle population. And who knows, maybe our visiting specialists from Colorado may even get a little bit of a tan.
For the past couple of months I kept hearing tales of four baby sharks hanging out in an area of shallow water. Today the water was finally calm enough (and my sanity was conveniently out to lunch enough) for me to go looking for them. And lucky me, I found one of them. It had obviously grown from the first stories I had heard, but it was still small and kept running away from me (a very good trait - unless you're trying to take photos). Maybe next time I'll get luckier and find all four together.
I often feel like I live in an aquarium surrounded by lots of beautiful tropical underwater creatures.
Today I spotted a new Hawksbill Turtle which must have just moved into the neighborhood. I hope she decides to hang around for a while.
Also, I've been noticing more and more Crowns of Thorns (photo below) which are killing more and more coral. Fortunately, this means that Tritons will begin proliferating (they eat Crown of Thorns) and we will be seeing lots of beautiful large shells.
These were just a few of the bathing beauties I saw on my walk along the ocean shore this morning. This is my favorite time of year because the water is at its warmest and I love to lay back and float.
The photo below is yet another example of the kind of extreme tree trimming which abounds on Maui. And yet, in this case, I would have to say it works.
I don't know how my in-laws did it. Somehow, coming from extremely modest means, they have ended up in glorious mansions. We are visiting Doug's aunt and uncle in Detroit in their home, built in 1905 by the first mass producer of electric cars in America. Doug's mom lives in a beautiful former plantation home built in 1880. Like us and our future home in Florida, they scrimped and saved to purchase their residences during difficult times. And now they live like royalty. Except without the money or the strange relatives.
It is Sunday morning in the rural South, which means everything revolves around church. In fact preparations began yesterday with churchyard mowing, turning on the church's A/C, etc. After all the work done to get ready it seems a shame that we're not going, but apparently the new minister isn't very popular so nobody actually goes to church. Things are done differently in the South.
I'm a guy who likes to get out into the ocean several times each week and interact with the creatures I encounter there. I often swim with dolphins, sharks, rays, and whales. Check out my photos on my website: www.TropicalLight.com