Playtime in Maui

The condo has a cute little pool for me!

Walk walk splash splash bounce bounce

Nap time

We woke up just in time to see the sun dip behind Mauna Kahalawai, Maui’s other volcano

The wind would rip through everyday in the late afternoon until evening

The wind doesn’t stop us from firing up the bbq though

yummy

Since we’re on the topic of food, most of the week we stuck to the local foods that we love and we visited Costco a couple times for some good meats. Our lavishly indulgent meal of the week was at Nick’s Fishmarket in the Fairmont Kea Lani. I’m not a big food eat, but I know good food when I try it, and I only take pictures of food that earn my approval.

Ahi Tiger Eye Sushi with Sake Mustard Sauce

Grilled Hawaiian Opah with a Thai Red Curry-Coconut Sauce

Day Boat Catch – Red Snapper on Buckwheat Soba Noodles with Maui Pineapple Ponzu in Sizzling Peanut Oil

This was Jaden’s favorite: Smiling Original Goldfish Crackers served in a Hand-Carved Kona Honu (Turtle)

Of course, he didn’t want to eat any, he thought it was more fun to watch them fall on the floor.

While at the Fairmont, I noticed how the clouds opened up enough to let the sun’s rays shine through. Sweet! I picked up my camera and headed down to the beach

Alright, here is something I’ve never done before. I’m going to post some pictures from our little point and shoot elph camera. Now before you thrown your camera in the pool, keep in mind that we used a waterproof housing specially designed for our model camera (SD950). I know some people have been successful with the plastic ziplock bag method, but I can’t recommend it, esp in sea water where there is lots of sand and rocks.

I didn’t wear any contacts (Winnie did) or get the prescription goggles (I was being cheap), so everything past 4 feet looked blurry. How do you like the fluorescent yellow goggles? And I’m looking a little cross-eyed…

One of the most difficult things about underwater photography is getting a clear shot with good color, especially when you are near a beach, it’s windy, the waves are pounding, and the water is cloudy. Most amateur snorkelers will stay near shore by the beach because they are afraid to go too far out, which is perfectly okay. The problem is that the areas where snorkelers are most comfortable going is where the reef is most likely damaged and the water is very cloudy.

To see real live coral and fish, you need to head out to the rocks where the waves crash and bring nutrients in the water. If you’re a strong swimmer and an experienced diver, the shallow reefs near the rocks are teeming with life. If this scares you, go out another 50-100 feet and you will see lots of life below you. When we were out there, we only saw one other snorkeler, which made the waters less disturbed and I didn’t have to worry about slapping anyone with my fins.

In the photo below I swam up a little closer to the rocks to take a look at a school of fish hanging at the edge of the water.

One of the first things I noticed when we approached the reef were the numbers of fish on the sea floor. You know you’re heading in the right direction when you start seeing more life. These fish looked like they were sleeping on the bottom until I came down to disturb them. They reminded me of those Chinese paintings.

The real reason why I didn’t get the prescription goggles is because I didn’t want to look at everything from 10-20 feet away. I wanted to be down there, looking at all the coral and urchins and fish up close. The further away you are, the more water you have to look through, the cloudier and the blue-greener everything gets. The photo below is a perfect example of this. I just adjusted the brightness and contrast a little in Photoshop, but I did not do any color correction or masking (imagine masking all those edges around the urchins!). To take the picture, I zoomed as wide as possible (~35mm), came in close to the coral and red urchin, composed, and shot. It’s easy to see how rich and saturated the color is in the foreground, but the background is completely washed out.

The state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapuaa (also known as the Picasso triggerfish, but that’s no fun to pronounce) were everywhere, but very skittish. If you try making a move towards them they zip away. It took a few chases and a number of shots to get a decent picture of one.

The highlight of the snorkeling experience was seeing these sea turtles up close in their natural habitat. I’ve seen them before sleeping on the beach, but never in the ocean. We found this one chilling about 15-20 ft down on the coral.

These amazing creatures are so calm and relaxed as they glide through the water.

This guy let us follow him all over the place. He never went too deep for us to dive, and he always stayed within a certain area.

Bye bye!

We were waiting for our plane to arrive and I got bored. Vacations are always over too fast.

3

those are amazing pics underwater. next time i’m going snorkeling with you guys =P i love the turtle!!!!!!!

ahhh…..i love your hawaii pics! the food looks so yummy and the underwater pics turned out really good!

hahha love the second picture