Almost amazingly, until yesterday, I had never swam at Honolua Bay. I’ve driven past it a ton of times, but never snorkeled there.
The last time Corinne visited (about two weeks ago), she came back telling me about seeing some squid — which got me REALLY excited (I love cephalopods). I was really worried that we’d show up and there wouldn’t be any.
Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed! I also took some video, that’s going to take a while longer to go through. For now, enjoy the squid and eel photos that I posted to the Underwater Photo Gallery (along with one nice “seascape” looking up at a huge coral head from about 20′ down).
I just realized that it’s been two months since I updated last. Oops.
I can say I’ve definitely been busy.
At the end of February, I had 2.5 weeks of travel for work. I flew back to Boston and stayed there for a week. Then I flew to San Fran and stayed in Mountain View for 1.5 weeks for training. I got back home on 3/7.
Corinne and I managed to have some good weekends since then and we had one of her friends visit us for a week. In the midst of all of that, I took myself to the ER for what turned out to be kidney stones. It’s been a pretty uncomfortable week due to that, but it’s nothing that’s been debilitating by any means.
And now that I’m fully back into my routine, I’m catching a red eye on Wednesday back to Boston. While I’m going to be gone for two weeks, thankfully only a week of the trip is for work. I’m going out early to hit up PAX East and then I’ll be visiting my mom in NC at the end of the trip.
The day after I get back, we’ll have another visitor and then two more not even a week after the first departs. It’s going to be VERY busy through the end of May.
Should be a blast!
Corinne wanted a whale watch trip for her birthday. How could I deny that – especially when I get to go with her!
One thing she really wanted to see was a spy hop. Unfortunately, as it pertains to humpbacks and especially during their time in the Hawaiian islands, spyhopping is a fairly uncommon activity. But fortunately, someone forgot to tells this delightfully inquisitive whale that today.
I posted an additional 15 awesome whale images in the Fauna Gallery. I took about 1200 shots today and these are the ones that I liked. There were a lot of “empty” frames right before and right after the action in addition to incredibly redundant shots. There are plenty more that I liked that just weren’t as nice. I’m still holding out to get a nice shot of a breach. Maybe after I get back from my upcoming travels.
Went to take a shower today and I was surprised (not startled) to see a rather large gecko chilling on the wall of the shower.
For what it’s worth, I rotated the image 90 degrees. The gecko was hanging on the wall head-down. I think the original pose (vertical) detracted from the shot, so I took the creative license to rotate it. If you’re familiar with my shooting style (no cropping, close to zero editing), this is actually a big deal.
The gecko itself appears to be living behind the medicine cabinet, which I find cute for some bizarre reason. I know this because I was only able to fire off 4 shots before he realized I wasn’t going away and fled wall-to-wall to his hidey-hole.
I’m just happy I had the opportunity to get some decent shots before he disappeared. I’m sure we’ll see him again.
Since moving, we’ve been a one-car household. For the most part, this hasn’t been a real problem since I work from home and Corinne will use the car to get to work as needed.
There are three issues though.
The first is that if the jeep has a problem and ends up in the garage, Corinne can’t get to work. In Boston, we had the extensive public transportation system to rely on as a backup plan. While Maui has some busses, they’re nothing like the robust public transportation system a larger city has and it won’t be reliable enough for daily commuting.
The second is gas. The jeep is a ton of fun and perfect for Hawaiian island life. But jeeps don’t get good gas mileage and Hawaiian islands don’t have inexpensive gas to buy… so a smaller, more fuel-efficient car has a lot of benefits for the bank account over the long-run.
And the third reason is that when I get off of work in the early afternoon, many days I’m just stranded for hours because the jeep is on the other side of the island. That’s no fun. While it’s a totally personal issue and something I knew that I’d have to deal with when we were planning the move and planning on only having the one car, it does wear on you after 8 months.
With some money assigned to the task, we went out today and poked around to see what was available. The thing to keep in mind is that selection is just really limited and the dollars don’t stretch as far as on the mainland. So while I ended up spending more than I had wanted to, I’m happy and confident in the purchase and am now the owner of a ’02 Ford Focus. I think it’ll work very well as a primary car for Corinne and as a backup in general.
Without any family on the islands, the routine we had fallen into for spending our holidays is gone. This year, I decided that it’d be fun to go out on a whale watch since Pacific Whale Foundation was running them still on Christmas.
It’s still fairly early in the whale season here, but there are still whales to be seen. Here’s a shot of one of the pairs that we saw this morning:
The other decision I made was to take the first trip of the day. This meant getting up at 4am, but it also meant we got to see a beautiful sunrise this morning.
There’s a few more in the Landscape Gallery.
I hope to make the Christmas day whale watch a tradition.
Instead of spending hours and hours in stupid lines to fight stupid people for stupid things that we don’t really need anyway, we set out to see if we could spot any whales from shore today. While it’s still a bit early in the season for regular shore sightings, the whales are in the area and it’s not impossible to spot some already.
While we didn’t get to see any whales, we did come across an incredible treat — a Hawaiian Monk Seal!
There’s two more in the Fauna Image Gallery.
Latest estimates put the entire Hawaiian Monk Seal population at only 1060 individuals with only about 150 that live outside of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (which are mostly uninhabited).
The image may imply that I was pretty close to the seal, but the reality is that I was on a cliff above him and still a decent bit away from it. At no point could I have actually approached it (not that I would have) and at the first sign that it wasn’t totally comfortable with our presence (when I got an unexpected phone call), we packed up and headed away.
I phoned the sighting into NOAA and I emailed them copies of the images.
I’ll trade a whale encounter for a rare seal encounter any day!
I woke up yesterday and it was windy. Really windy. Generally speaking, this is a bit odd. We have a rather predictable cycle where it’s calm in the morning, the wind picks up in the late morning / early afternoon for a few hours and then dies back down again. Plus, I get up early (typically 5am every day), so it’s usually very calm that early.
Figuring that other people would have the same idea, when I was done with work, I headed over to Kite Beach to check out the kiteboarders. With my photo gear in tow, I fired away a ton of shots.
If you’ve never seen kiteboarders in action, it’s something to behold. If you get to Maui, be sure to head to Kite Beach in the afternoon and enjoy the crazy aerial acrobatics that these people bust out.
I can’t believe we’re already more than half way through September. That brings my time in Hawaii thus far to 4.5 months. It simultaneously feels like no time at all and something approaching forever. Before I know it, it’s going to be 2012.
I know a lot of people that say that they’d miss the seasons if they moved to Hawaii. I’m not one of those people. I’m happy with having a single, awesome, sunny season. But one thing that I realized is that the seasons definitely do add a nice pacing to the year. And for someone like me that is really bad at mentally measuring the passage of time, a month can flash by without even noticing.
That doesn’t bother me too much since most of my recognition of the seasons boiled down to something like the following:
Spring: being happy it was no longer Winter, but really just waiting for it to be Summer
Summer: being happy
Fall: being sad that Summer is over and dreading the approach of Winter
Winter: being rather miserable and basically just waiting for Spring to bring a reprieve
That basically left me only 3 months total to really enjoy myself… and if those few months happened to be fairly busy with non-fun stuff, it was particularly painful.
Now, without having been here a year, it’s had to say what annual patterns will really imprint on me. There’s one huge one that I’m extremely excited for – and that’s the arrival of the whales. That highlight aside, I’m sure there’s other things that will be noted and measured year-to-year. They just escape me right now.
The other important thing to consider is that I lived in Massachusetts for over 30 years before finally moving. The passage of the northeast seasons is somewhat ingrained into parts of my brain that I can’t even access. It will definitely be a little while until I’m able to mentally decouple what the seasons “should be” and what they really are.
Until then, regardless of the speed at which time appears to fly by, I’ll try to just enjoy the great weather and total lack of the “bad” seasons.