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Thread: Maui time (Pictures)

  1. #301

    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Glad to hear that Friendly showed back up!
    Ray
    Good people need to be there for each other. It's the only way to stay sane in a sometimes insane world.

  2. #302
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    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    those pics make me feel like taking a vacation.

  3. #303
    Flashaholic Barefootone's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Hi Don,
    Thanks so much for sharing your pictures with us and taking the time to post them. Despite what Darell says about your toes, he's just jealous of those toes being out there in the warm Pacific. So nice to see Friendly again and know he's doing well. I know this will sound nuts, but has there ever been any form of recognition from Friendly over the many encounters that you have had with him? The Whale and calf are a terrific shot it must be a rush being so close to such magnificent animals.
    It must be so wonderful to have your work and paradise all in the same place that you live.
    Thanks again,
    Jeff/Barefootone
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  4. #304

    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Jeff,

    I have no idea if turtles recognize people. Obviously it would feel good thinking that they do. When I encountered Friendly the other day, we drifted into each other at one point and one of her front fins ended up in contact with my shoulder which has happened before. She kept it on my shoulder for a fair amount of time and if not out of familiarity then I would think out of trust at least and that alone gives me a feeling of warmth not to mention responsibility. I have seen tourists chase after the turtles and grab them. I have seen Friendly take off when someone likely pushed her limits of tolerance. When I have my camera rig, I would think this might be somethig Friendly might recognize to some degree but I have had close encounters with her with and without the camera.

    12 to 15 years ago, I had a daily routine of swimming about 1/2 mile up the coast from the house I would be guest in. I found an area that I took to calling Turtle Canyon because there were always at least a dozen turtles hanging around and typically double that number. I turned my brother on to the location about 10 years ago and he would visit the area by paddling to it when he was over here. I hadn't been back there for probably 6 years. My brother and I paddled to the area yesterday and although the watter was a bit rough with wind and swell action and visibility not great, we were amazed at not only the number of turtles present but their size!! This is a spot where the elderly statesmen and stateswomen hang out!! Friendly and her neighbors are just youngsters!

    The male turtle can be identified by a large and prominent tail comparied to a female. I don't know them well enough to be certain of sex in many cases but assume Friendly to be female because she has a very small tail. In the pic below taken at Turtle Canyon yesterday, both turtles may in fact be male but for dang certain, the one on the left is male!! The term well hung comes to mind!



    I have seen coupled turtles a few times and the male mounts the female and uses the tail to curve around her shell and aid in keeping them "hooked" together. This guy could perform with great tail!

    Some of these turtles were the largest turtles I have seen. Some were so thick from top to belly that they looked more like a barrel than a turtle. In the shot below, this turtle was so long that the super wide angle lens makes it look like it has a tiny head which I guarantee was not the case!



    Look at how thick the turtle below is:



    In the pic below, I got a shot of my brother taking a pic of me and the same turtle. I need to get his photo from him.



    A couple more shots:







    Turtle Canyon is rarely visited by people and these turtles do not have to contend with people often. My brother and I were slow and obvious in our movements and for the most part, these turtles allowed us to share their space with little indication of concern or annoyance. My brother did see one turtle that was missing a nice section of shell (probably shark attack) and this turtle was not interested in letting my brother get close for a shot.

    There are numerous areas in the reef where deep and smooth depressions have been worn through the years and serve as resting spots for these gentile creatures. Even with limited visibility, you could be anywhere in the area and at any time, you would be hard pressed not to be able to see a few turtles in a visual sweep. The ones at a distance were just dark silhouettes gracefully in flight. Turtle Canyon is a most memorable place to visit and I look forward to returning again when there is better light and visibility!

    Thanks for showing enough interest (or feigning it) to the point that I feel inclined to bore you with turtle pics!
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  5. #305
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    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    I'm blown away by these photos Don - I highly doubt anyone is feigning interest!

    I can never get enough of watching programs that talk about the oceans - there's just something about them that enthralls me.. it's like art - no point in trying to clutter it up with words.

    Jean-Michel Cousteau's programs are great. So are the Blue Planet series put out by BBS. It bums me out that I don't have cable - I'd be hooked on channels like Discovery, Animal Planet, and National Geographic. (I'm sure there are even more than that).

    john

  6. #306
    Flashaholic* BigHonu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Don,
    Nice pics!

    Keep one eye out for your toothy friends too!

  7. #307
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    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Never seen a barrel chested turtle before. Talk about good living. Learn something new everyday. Thanks. Keep it up.

  8. #308
    Flashaholic Barefootone's Avatar
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    Crackup Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    [QUOTE] Thanks for showing enough interest (or feigning it) to the point that I feel inclined to bore you with turtle pics!

    Don,
    Au contraire I love to see your pictures, there is no feigning on my part at all. I regularly check your Maui pages on your site to look for new pictures. So you keep posting these terrific pictures and I for one will keep on enjoying them.
    I once saved a very large Snapping Turtle from certain death crossing the highway. As luck would have it I had a newly purchased plastic garbage can in the trunk and used the lid as a prodding device to get the Snapper moved off the road and you should have felt his recoil as he struck at the plastic lid, if that was my finger I'd be missing one for sure. You should have seen the traffic slowing down to avoid me and see what this lunatic was doing in the middle of the highway . I have an affinity for Turtles, a creature that causes no harm to anything and yet some will cook them up for soup . I guess at 59 years old I just don't understand, maybe I'll understand when I get older. I digress.

    [QUOTE]
    I have no idea if turtles recognize people. Obviously it would feel good thinking that they do. When I encountered Friendly the other day, we drifted into each other at one point and one of her front fins ended up in contact with my shoulder which has happened before. She kept it on my shoulder for a fair amount of time and if not out of familiarity then I would think out of trust at least and that alone gives me a feeling of warmth not to mention responsibility. I have seen tourists chase after the turtles and grab them. I have seen Friendly take off when someone likely pushed her limits of tolerance. When I have my camera rig, I would think this might be something Friendly might recognize to some degree but I have had close encounters with her with and without the camera.

    Don if Friendly doesn't recognize you per se will then maybe she recognizes you as a familiar non threat from past experiences at least. For sure Friendly has a high degree of trust for you, since she placed a fin on you and left it there for awhile. I think we as humans don't give animals enough credit and I think they know or sense far more about us then what we would like to think IMHO. You should feel warmth and responsibility toward Friendly because this animal IMHO has come to trust you and quite possibly recognizes you. I know what a dreamer . Maybe some day I'll get to have such experiences.
    Thanks again for your pictures and narratives,
    Jeff
    ~ I've lived to see another sunrise ~
    ><(((•>
    ~ To love and be loved there is nothing else ~

  9. #309

    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Don,

    Turtle Canyon is sweet. Have any idea how old some of those big barrel chesty ones are?

  10. #310

    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Hi guys,
    My brother wanted another chanceat some whales so today we drove south of Lahaina where the trades weren't as strong and there was more sun. I had my doubts about any encountersbut out we went. Bro took the pic below of me:



    We were out there for about an hour or so and a mom, calf and escourt did show up. At one point, they all surfaced near my brother and while mom and calf hung at the surface, the escourt droped down and gave us a good tail view. This typically means a deep dive and I yelled at my brother to be ready for a breech. Sure enough, moments later, the escourt came out of the water completely about 100 feet away from my brother.

    A while later, they all surfaced again but closer to me and when the escourt dove down, he was headed in my direction and again his tail came out of the water. I just wasn't game to be sitting there oblivious to what might be coming down under water so I put my mask on and jumped off the boat. I saw the escourt pass below me, probably 30 feet down:



    He swam almost out of view but I saw him turn back and back he did come!






    He stopped below me for a while and rolled a bit and checked me out. It is unfortunate that the camera doesn't capture the detail the human eye can nor the "feeling". These big guys just give me goose bumps! The escourt came up a bit and then swam past with a dive down and then a resurface further away:









    I was probably in visual contact under water with this whale for a little longer than 5 minutes but there was a timeless feel to the encounter and I was really able to savor the moment and get some good mental images and record of the experience.

    Later on, the mom, calf and escourt showed up close to my brother and just hung near by. I yelled at him to slip in the water and he too had a great close encounter and I watched the three whales swim by him within 10 feet I would guess. If he had had my camera and housing instead of his marginal rig, he probably would have caught some great images. He is here for a few more days so recess is still on and I will let the flashlights slide until next week.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  11. #311

    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    And so it is that this thread continues to be one of my favorites anywhere on any forum. Thank you for continuing to let us share these glimpses into your world Don.
    -Brian

  12. #312

    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    WOW>

  13. #313
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    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Geez Don, get a tan!

    J/K, those are awesome pics. I bet being there with those whales is just surreal.
    I may not be that bright, but my lights are!
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  14. #314
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    Grinser2 Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Hi Don - Thanks for the cool pics and the peak into your new world. Now be careful as whales are in a different league as Friendly and his tribe are....
    Last year on the other side of the world, in the waters between Seattle and Vancouver Island, Gaby and I found ourselves in the middel of an Orca feeding frenzy. It was a rare occasion where all three Orca pods (families) living there were hunting in the same area. The Salmon runs were going on and there was so much food in the area that all 80 something whales had enough to eat.
    They were all over and around our boat. It was way to cold and dangerous to get overboard and take pics. I felt however a strange electricity in the air as we were watching them. It was a very special and wonderful feeling to be there among them. We stayed with them for about 3 hours and it was a very humbling experience to us.

    Thanks and enjoy your diving trips. Take that H1 knife with you at all times, please!

    Jurphaas.
    Last edited by Jurphaas; 03-01-2007 at 03:09 AM.
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  15. #315
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    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Don, thank you once again for taking the time to share these pictures and descriptions with us. I don't use this word too often, but the pics are just AWESOME!! I can't even start to imagine the priceless experiences & living you get to do there!! Certainly would make me feel like such a minute participant in this GREAT, BEAUTIFUL world!!
    -"Must control self"-
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  16. #316
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    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Forget the lights and bring on the pics

    So ... how big are those? They look gargantuan in the pics. Weren't you afraid? I mean ... they are bigger than you are

    bernie
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  17. #317

    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Bernie,
    The lights and almost all work related stuff has been on hold this week and I am getting behind but will get back in the saddle next week.

    The Humpbacks can grow to 16 meters in length and weigh in at from 30 - 50 tons. I need the fish-eye lens on the camera to hope to get the full whale in the frame if I am at a close enough distance to get a sharp and clear image. I wasn't close enough in the pics above and I would guess the whale got within 25- 30 feet of me. My camera was tethered to the boat until the very end and I hadn't put my swim fins on in my haste to get in the water. Should have, would have, could have. He hung around long enough that I could have dove down for a more intimate encounter. Next time. I must say that an animal this large does take up most of your field of view in your mask when it is close!!
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  18. #318
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    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    I think I would have **** my pants and fainted.
    They are gentle, are they? and even when hungry they don't eat men?
    I mean ... he is bigger than you are ... and he was protecting his family.
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
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  19. #319
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    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Yay!

    I hate to answer for Don or anything, but I live in another place with humpbacks. They're seriously some of the most awesome creatures on this planet - I wish everyone could have some up-close time with them.

    Humpback whales are filter-feeders, they mostly eat a kind of animal called "krill," which are basically unbelievably tiny shrimp and plankton. Even though the are truly enormous animals, they aren't active predators - they don't even have proper teeth, instead using a material called "baleen" to strain krill (And small fish, such as herring) out of the water.

    You have to work really hard, in general, to tick off a humpback - it is simply so much bigger than you that, basically, it doesn't perceive you as a threat [Of course, pushing your luck isn't the right thing to do, either.].

    The most danger you can be in, in general, is if you get caught in a "bubble net." Pods of humpbacks use these to round up schools of herring; what they do is swim around in a circle, expelling air from their blowholes around the fish. The bubbles come up, and the fish close together, being "bound" by the rising ring of bubbles around them. The whales then swim up from the bottom with their mouths open (And holy cow, them's big mouths!) and gulp up the fish. The reason you can be in danger here is that if you've got a little boat and you getcaught in a bubble-net, you run the danger of getting hit by a while as it surfaces, which can knock you into the (very cold, in Alaska where I am) water, which can kill you very quickly. Even in a bubble-net, you are exceedingly unlikely to wind up in a whale's mouth, and he certainly won't intentionally go after you.

    Not many things eat humpbacks (Other than humans, and that's mostly going away), so they don't have a hugely active "defense and protection" instinct like smaller mammals do - bears come to mind. They are some of the gentlest giants on Earth in my experience - and some of the most majestic. I envy Don being able to swim without a drysuit and SCUBA gear, though!
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  20. #320
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    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Ah ... thanx
    Makes one appreciate those even more. Such a pity we are exterminating them.
    There is a type of perfection that transcends the quest for lumens. Buying a $250 1-cell light for "lum factor" is like buying a $250 single malt Scotch for the alcohol content.
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  21. #321

    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Bernie,

    I might be wrong, but I believe the humpback whale has staged a nice come back, so much so that some people are allowed to hunt them under certain circumstances.
    As I said though, I might be wrong on this one.

  22. #322
    Flashaholic* LouRoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Don,

    I have had one of your pictures of Friendly as my desktop picture for the past year. It makes me feel like I could dive right in and be in the water. Glad to hear Friendly is still around. Thanks for all of the new pics-- and please post more!

  23. #323

    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Yes,
    I believe the humpbacks are getting stronger in population again. The humpbacks that visit Hawaii every year in the winter spend their summer in Alaska feeding. They don't eat while they are here; just play and procreation on the agenda; much like other visitors to the islands!

    On a serious note, their health and well being is much in man's hands and its a responsibility that I hope those in a position to manage, do so!

    Today the conditions were very favorable but the whales were not very active on the surface. We paddled out off Friendly's beach and hung out for a couple hours. At one point, a typical pod (mom, calf and escourt) came up to the surface not far away at all and as they went back down, you could see they had altered course and came in by me, off my bow. I could see them below the surface and straddled the surfski with camera held underwater and infront of my right leg. The sequence below is uncropped to give a better feel for the perpective in the sequence. The framing of the group sucks but I could only guess at the camera aim as I was shooting from my ankle as it were. For the most part, it was the escourt who was closest to me and visible below the surface and I was surprised that I got all three in the images as I was targeting the escourt.













    When a calf isn't bouncing around and goofing off, it is often in what seems to be synchronized motion with its mother and directly above her.

    My brother has one more day, tomorrow, to visit the whales this season and I hope he can get some good shots. Sitting out there in the ocean waiting and hoping for a visit is kind of like fishing and like fishing, it can be very enjoyable even if the catch is zero.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  24. #324
    Flashaholic* Derek Dean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Gee, spectacular images, and lovely descriptions to boot. And to think I was sending YOU pictures, ha. Thanks for the glimpse into paradise.

  25. #325
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    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Awesome, Don!

    L.
    So much for not being able to find my happy a** with both hands and a flashlight! (Do not look into Tank Searchlight with remaining eye!)

  26. #326
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    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    While I appreciate the "hobby" here, looking at these pics is like opening the window for a breath of really fresh air...sooooo different from my "everyday treks around these CPF hallways"...REFRESHING!!!

    I know it's like looking at a picture of the Grand Canyon though. One just can not appreciate what is pictured here as compared to actually seeing it in person. Priceless experience I'm sure!

    I'll never get tired of these pics Don!
    -"Must control self"-
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  27. #327

    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Went for last paddle with my brother for this season at least and we again had some cool encounters. Today was his day which was as it should be. We ended up in shallow water not far off the beach and a mother, calf and escourt kept showing up around us. Initially and outside further, I thought I had maybe a dozen shots of the escourt as I watched it circling below me but I had switched my camera to full auto and I guess it was not satisfied with focus as it turns out not a single image was recorded. Once in the shallows, my brother got in the water and the whales got real close to him. He got some shots but I haven't seen them yet. I stayed out further from shore and got in the water when I saw the escourt headed my way. The visibility was impared close to shore by something in the water so the pics are marginal that I got but it was really cool to watch this giant animal cruise in water that was shallower than its length:



    You can see its shadow below it on the reef.
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  28. #328

    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Awesome!

  29. #329

    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Hi guys,
    Yesterday was my wife's last full day on Maui for this time around and we went to the beach and snorkled and I went out for a whale paddle and even caught a couple more images of mother and calf but not worth uploading and boring you guys with. The conditions don't get any better than they have been and I will need play some hooky during the work days ahead!

    I took Alice to the airport this AM and stopped in at Lowes Hardware by the airport for some hardware I need for some fixed LED installations I have to get on. While there, I visited their plants section to see about a small palm and I was distracted by a little reptile that I had never seen before! It was hanging on the side of a palm pot on a palate. I was a bit concerned because there are invasive species concerns on the islands and I caught this guy to find out more about him. Besides, I figured since he was already here, I could give him a better home than in the middle of a hardware store complex! I checked with a pet store that is in the complex with Lowes and it turns out this guy is a Madagascar Day Gecko which I guess has become somewhat established in the islands. I hope this guy enjoys the landscape around my home as much as I do. Before I let him take off, I did have him pose a bit for me.



    The obligatory shot:



    And my favorite pic of the shoot:



    This guy was really cute and didn't mind crawling all over me! I put my hand up to the plumaria leaf shown above and he jumped onto my hand and crawled up to my shoulder. His colors really come alive in the sun and his skin looks like bead work. Unlike the house geckos who have been established in Hawaii for probably 50 years, this guy is up and around during the day so he will be competing with the agressive anoles.

    The eco system over here is in flux like anywhere else and it is an interesting thing to consider given the fact that much of the current life of both plants and animals has been brought here intentionaly or not, by man. There are organizations concerned about invasive species but who is to say what squatters rights might be and unless there is a grandfather clause, one could argue that probably some on the the invasive species commitees are invaders themselves?!? The history of the Islands is riddled with some interesting issues which could be debated on moral as well as ethical grounds. I figure I am a visitor here as well as on the planet in general. Hopefully there will be no cause to put me on an invasive species list; or at least singled out on such a list!
    Build Prices .... some mods and builds (not 4 sale) "Nature can be cruel- but we don't have to be."~ Temple Grandin

  30. #330
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    Default Re: Maui time (Pictures)

    Whoa...what flavour of S27-pd is that in the Obligatory Shot? Sexy!



    Fantastic Pictures too btw, sooo jealous, so cold here.
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