For my friends in Chicago who reported seeing snow flurries and big winter waves this morning, things were a little bit nicer here on Maui. At least I think they are, although the water temperature is down to eighty degrees now.
Uh oh, the ocean is slowly beginning to cool off. It won't be much longer before I'm back to wearing my wetsuit once again. But I am still savoring every moment of the warmth while it lasts. Lucky sea turtles, they're cold blooded and don't care one way or another.
Maui Dreams Dive Company held their annual Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest this morning off Keawakapu beach. I counted about twenty-five SCUBA divers who managed to skillfully carve some truly creative designs. The one which used luncheon meat for a tongue and olives for the eyes was my favorite.
With Hurricane Ana only a couple hundred miles off-shore, not many people showed up for our weekly ocean swim this morning. And rightly so; with visibility rated poor (or worse), and following on a big shark attack yesterday, we wisely cut the swim short. Breakfast with the movie stars afterward was delicious (sorry, no photos there - celebrity privacy issues).
Green Sea Turtles were hunkered down this morning in preparation for the arrival of hurricane Ana.
They needn't have worried, even though all the beaches and most everything else on Maui is closed, the storm is predicted to stay far, far away. In fact it was another lovely morning for an ocean swim.
When swimming over them, these dark fish seem to be nothing more than a shadow moving along the ocean bottom. It was only when I got down close that I realized that they are probably in the Damsel family and not Tang family as I originally thought. Also, from looking at all the debris in the photos, they seem to be pretty aggressive chewers of coral. I love learning new things.
Murky water be darned, the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers decided to transcend poor visibility this morning.
Fortunately, things cleared up a bit out in the deeper reaches and we managed to continue down a sweeping current. We all felt like superheros with the current pushing us along, and managed to keep some superpowers in reserve for the grueling return.
The water was terribly murky this morning and we were about to abort the ocean swim, when Jackie spotted a Manta Ray. At first no one believed her, then one swam underneath us and we became believers. And not just one, but two large rays, just like last week.
Rather than risk wandering off into the mysterious and potentially hazardous murk, we allowed the Manta Rays to play with us for an hour before returning to shore.
I got to explore the secret, out of the way places at Twin Falls with my hiking club this morning. We were guided by Gloria of Hike Maui - and she was amazing! If you ever get the opportunity to do a hike with her - do it!
Shortly after my ocean swim on Tuesday the beaches were closed due to a large and aggressive Tiger Shark. I knew I cut my swim short for a good reason. Today the water was beginning to clear and should be perfect for the Maui Pink Cap Swimmers on Sunday.
Mo'okiha O Piilani visited Wailea this morning for cultural activities in conjunction with the Grand Wailea Resort. This traditional Polynesian sailing canoe was built by volunteers on Maui and acts as an educational resource for the young.
Also spotted on my walk this morning was a pair of the Peach-Faced Lovebirds which roost by my house every night. I now know that they forage many miles along the shore during the day.
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