Thursday, January 31, 2013

Literally Explosive

I've heard of explosive diarrhea, but never took the phrase literally before today...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Anywhere Else

Yet another absolutely exquisite morning on Maui.

Gentle trade winds were blowing and a small swell was providing fun waves for weekend surfers.

Who could want to live anywhere else?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Games Dolphins Play

A favorite sport of Maui's Spinner Dolphins is the Leaf Game. They catch and carry floating leaves for long distances. Every now and then, they drop a leaf and everyone rushes to be the first to pick it back up. Sometimes, they even drop one in front of me and then race me to pick it up (I have only won a few times). Mama was trying to teach the game to baby (above photo) but wasn't having much success.

Baby, however, had no problem playing Peek-A-Boo (photo below).

Click HERE for more photos from today's swim.

Friday, January 25, 2013


I did a quick swim-out from shore with a couple of friends this morning, when mom and baby did a few brief swim-by's and then were gone.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wet Feet

I got my feet wet today and took baby steps toward getting back into the ocean. I decided to try a quick dip along the shore and had only swum about fifty meters when my dolphin buddies swam up to welcome me back. I guess they missed me and wanted to offer me some encouragement. My shoulder is definitely not ready for prime time, but the good news is that it still works.

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

Monday, January 21, 2013

Not Here, Not Ever

 What a day!

It's days like today when I absolutely adore living on Maui. Of course, every day is like today here on Maui - but it seems even better when my home town is waaaaayyy below freezing. Not here. Not ever. Mmmmmm...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Easing Back In

 I'm not quite ready to get back into the ocean, yet. But I began the process this morning when I leaned over the edge of the boat with my camera and randomly pressed the shutter button.

Out of nearly a gazillion photographs (mostly of bubbles and blue water) I actually got a few which showed something of interest. Lucky me.

Next step, getting something more than just my arms wet...

Friday, January 18, 2013

Not Even Twenty

Today was my first-ever visit to the world famous "Jaws" surfing spot.

A couple of times each year the waves exceed 60 feet in height, and the only way to catch a wave is by being towed in by either jet ski or helicopter. Yep, helicopters drop ropes which surfers grab onto to get their rides started. And people think I'm crazy.

Today's waves did not even make twenty feet, but the show was still entertaining.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hunting Egrets

Lots of Egrets were out hunting lizards this morning and this one was totally oblivious to my presence (kind of like me when I'm eating - never get between me and my food). Good thing too, because the little camera I walk with doesn't have much of a zoom.

This is what lies across the street - golf course and ten thousand-foot mountain.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

It's All Over

After today's shark encounter, my ocean swimming career is all over (well, at least for now).

I have been doing deep-water swims during the winters for over five years now, and the past two weeks have been my only two winter encounters with tiger sharks. Two weeks, two encounters.

Today I noticed a big shark coming up from behind me on my right side only THREE feet away. I screamed (well, blew some noisy bubbles) and jumped away. My spasm of fear startled the shark, it moved its head quickly away. I thought of pulling out my camera but noticed the shark turning back toward me. SHIT!

Thank God for the kayak I was towing behind me. I had already begun pulling the kayak toward me, but now I practically flew into the kayak. Which is when the damage was done. Apparently, my body is not ready for olympic style gymnastics moves, especially my right shoulder. And even if it weren't injured, I'm not sure I would be getting back into the ocean again for a while.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Beach Banana

I noticed a lovely banana flower (well, lovely for a banana flower) at Polo Beach this morning.

Now that the big holiday rush is over, Wailea Beach was peaceful once again.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Idiots Like This

Why would anyone want to live anywhere but here?

Well...maybe because of idiots like this...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Come To Me

Thirty-some Spinner Dolphins caught up to me on my ocean swim this morning, then never left my side. I guess they had new members who needed to learn good technique by watching me (and then doing the opposite). A couple of snorkelers from California appeared at one point and seemed to be thrilled by the sight of so many dolphins. I coached them on not chasing the dolphins, but letting the dolphins come to them - and it worked - big time.

This was the first time I've ever seen dolphins blow a bubble ring. I've seen it on YouTube, but never in person, and it was much more fun in person. I tried swimming through the ring, but only managed to break it apart.

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

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My Morning Stroll

The Mana Kai (above) is my usual turn-around point for my morning ten mile stroll along Maui's south shore. And not just for me, but hundreds of people walk this beach every day, and their dogs too.

This gazebo (right) usually marks the high elevation point of my walk with great views of whales breaching.

And there's something about the Monkeypod trees along Wailea Mauka Road (below) and Wailea Ike Drive which captivate my attention and keep me snapping photos there day after day.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Huge Disaster

This morning was my second deep-water swim of the season - and my final one without an emergency vehicle.

I was out almost a mile from shore when I saw a creature heading directly for me from below. It wasn't a whale and it wasn't swimming like a dolphin. It was a shark. A BIG shark. A big Tiger Shark!

Strangely enough, I did not panic but put into action what I have been told to do. I stopped swimming, I faced the shark and dropped my feet down below me. I spread my legs and arms to appear as large as possible and tried to look threatening. I even threw some jabs with my fists as it got close (I must have looked totally ridiculous). Deciding that I was too obnoxious for words, it turned and headed back the way it had come.

But the biggest disaster, the Huge Disaster, was that I had entirely forgotten to take a photo! I would be worthless as a photojournalist where rule number one is to get the shot first. I grabbed my camera and turned it on and waited and waited and waited until I could get a shot. I finally got a couple of blurry ones as the shark disappeared into the gloom.

Still, I decided that chasing it down to try and get a better photo was not a good idea. Instead I set a personal best speed record for my swim back to shore.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wailea Beach Morning

Morning activities at Wailea Beach here on Maui. What could be better?

...and the mailbox of a neighbor just down the street.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year Accomplishment

We started our New Year off right with a sometimes treacherous hike along the lava sea cliffs near our house.

There's nothing quite like overcoming a challenge to give a warm sense of accomplishment. We wish you all that same feeling of accomplishment in this new year.