Shark Bait!

Paddle boarding is one of the things I've wanted to try for a long time. I even put it on my list last year with the hope that I might try it before my next birthday. Well, how about for my birthday?! Yep, I got a little bit older wiser on Thursday! What a day! I found a surf school teaching stand up paddle boarding, made the appointment, and psyched myself up to learn something new. Not such a big deal for most people, but I have a little bit of a phobia when it comes to fish. What? Don't you?

I grew up playing in the waves in San Diego, never really giving much thought to what was in the water with me, but at some point that changed, and ever since coming to Maui for the first time a couple of years ago, I realized being in the water really freaks me out. I've tried not to make a big deal out of it because I don't want my kids to adopt the same fear, and I think I've actually made some real improvement in overcoming my scare-dee-cattedness during this trip. But it also points to why I was drawn to paddle boarding - you get to be on top of the water! Genius!

The lesson was a lot of fun, taught by a sun-baked guy named Armadillo. I had two other ladies in my group, and one 10-year old...so how hard could this be? Not that hard really! It reminds me of riding a horse, only steering is opposite, and it's more like you're standing on the horse trying to balance. I only fell in the drink once! Well, twice, but that second time was Armadillo's fault. We had absolutely beautiful conditions for first-timers - no wind, and no waves! Hooray! The bad news though was that the tide was very low, which gave us very little wiggle room over all the coral - and there is a ton out there! We were in this perfect little lagoon, and once we started to feel very solid on the boards we sat down to take a break. That was when Armadillo mentioned the sharks......and then we saw them! Crikey!!

At the edge of the reef, about 50 feet from where we were sitting, we could see fins pop out of the tiny waves every once in a while. While I sat there thinking "Worst Nightmare!", my teacher said, "Let's get closer!" Ha ha, right? He told us that they were white-tipped reef sharks, that they were usually in this area, and "pretty harmless". I'm proud to say that I didn't ask, "Where is the motor on this board because I'm outaaaaa heeeeerrreee!" We stayed a few more minutes, and it was pretty exciting to spot them come up into the waves like that! Then we left them in peace, but I will say that I kept looking back to see if there was anything following me. Shiver me timbers!

So, anyway, I did it! I loved it, and I'm going to do it again today! Hooray for trying new things, and for awesome birthdays!!


Meet My New Friends - The Honus

I was surprised that during the first two weeks of our vacation in Maui we didn't seen any green sea turtles (honu in Hawaiian). When I mentioned this to Andy, he said casually, "Oh, I saw some when I was surfing yesterday." But that doesn't count! I wasn't there! Then a few days ago our friends who live here told us about a "secret spot" that was guaranteed to deliver, and oh my gads, did it ever!!

Armed with our new snorkel masks, we dove in to take a look. I am so excited that I got Andy the GoPro camera for Christmas last year. Usually it hooks onto his surfboard so he can get "rad videos of himself shredding," but you can also just hold it and take underwater pictures and videos. Yippee!

You can look, but no touching!! These guys are sadly endangered, and you will get in
BIG trouble if you mess with them.
Check it out! Listen for the crackly noise - I couldn't figure out what it was, and frankly it gave me the creeeeeps because in real life it's pretty loud, but Andy (a walking encyclopedia) told me it's the sound of the fish and turtles taking little bites of stuff off the coral. Chew with your mouths closed, my friends!

Can you believe how close it swam to my little Rachel? Ollie and I were watching from the rocks just above the water (these guys were right at the shoreline), and we were ooohing and ahhhing, and then jumping up and down when we saw that! Getting this close to nature is exhilarating for me - I can't even imagine how my safari will be!! I leave in two weeks! Yaaaaaay!!!


Rainbows of a Different Kind

I am loving all the color around here! We are so lucky...


Green Puzzles

Say hello to my little friends! Love these guys...just don't want to touch them, that's all.