April 9, 2002

12:11am, the next day - I took some jaw dropping shots today -- a PERFECT end to this trip. :) The morning started out with a run down to Lanai with Maui Dive Shop. We dove "Monolith" and "White Hill" (aka "No-name Paradise"), and saw, at 120', some Hawaiian Longfin Anthias, which are apparently a very rare endemic species of anthias. I was very narc'ed from nitrogen narcosis at that depth, and I rather enjoyed its overpowering ringing silence. :) In the late afternoon, we headed out again for dusk and night dives at Molokini crater. The dusk dive presented us with a fairly normal sized manta ray (6-8' wingspan) circling around a cleaning station, and because Dave and I jumped in so early, we got him to ourselves for fifteen minutes before the other 15 divers splashed into the pool. By the end of the dive, many small gray reef sharks and white-tip reef sharks had gathered, and were circling the mooring line and the boat. Some of the grays even came up to the surface to investigate floating objects, which apparently is unheard of. :) After a glorious sunset (the day itself was glorious, too. the sky was a perfect blue textured by a few puffy clouds, and it was so clear that we could see the snow on top of Mauna Kea -- on the Big Island -- from Lanai!), we descended into the darkness wielding cameras and bright dive lights. It was the best night dive I've ever been on. :) Eight oval squid hovered near the bottom of the mooring line, which kept me busy for the entire dive. However, when I did happen to look up, gray and white-tip reef sharks were almost literally everywhere. Jerry was bumped three times by a 5' white-tip, and Aldo even managed to record it on video. :)

The raw, unedited Canon D60 images are spectacular.

April 8, 2002

7:24pm - I woke up at 5:15am again this morning for diving at Molokini Crater. This time, Angela accompanied me to snorkel along with the divers. We dove the mid-reef and the back wall drift. The water wasn't as clear as it was a couple of days ago (the rain yesterday clouded everything up), but the dives were still a lot of fun. As we approached the crater, a small humpback calf was breaching with his mother, not too far from out boat. It was a fantastic sight because the calf was very small, and he was able to get almost entirely out of the water. :)

In the afternoon, we went to a large 28 acre Bed & Breakfast place called Hono Hu'aka, where Angela had to do some work. It's nestled just above Waipio Bay, and has a gorgeous panoramic view of the water. However, it's also in the middle of the jungle, and I proceeded to acquire one or two mosquito bites per minute until I locked myself up in an enclosed mosquito-free room for the remainder of the visit. I have a love/hate relationship with mosquitos. They love me, and I hate them. :)

April 7, 2002

10:34am - "Darwinism doesn't apply on this island." (just uttered by someone in the house). It stormed all night, resulting in the cancellation of today's morning dives, and I was jolted awake a few times this morning by loud birds fighting outside, and a domestic dispute next door. The father hit his kids with a fishing rod before driving off, cursing at the mother (while the kids were begging him not to go), and the police showed up shortly after. I drove Kenny to the airport an hour ago, and there were three young kids riding bicycles in the road, circling around aimlessly while two cars waited to get by. I made a comment about Darwinism, and Kenny replid, "Darwinism only works if you have no conscience." :)

It was very, very nice to sleep in this morning. (more updates later)

7:04pm, the next day - So I lied about adding more content yesterday.

In the mid-afternoon I drove up the hill to Dave's place to hang out, and it was soon time for bed. I found out that he was one who took an amazing flying fish photo I had seen before! It was featured in a two-page spread in Skin Diver Magazine.

I'm learning slowly about the demographic make-up of Maui. There seem to be a lot of uh... non-indigenous folk here from the mainland, whom I always feel like calling "ex-pats." The ones who seem reasonable are the most familiar to me. However, in areas like Paia there are hordes of pseudo-hippies (Mauitian spiritual folk) who like to talk about having dreadlocks for "spiritual reasons," and who debate about the "density of thought," where "density" still means "the quantity per unit volume, unit area, or unit length." Perhaps, in this case, it should take on its other definition: "the quality or state of being dense."

I'm staying with a theoretical physicist, an AI guy, and a soon-to-be genetic counselor, so I'm getting a good dose of atypical Mauitian life, but simply looking across the street at the HUGE pickup truck with the license plate, "RNM OVR," gives me another look at what this particular suburb is really like.