Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Visiting Maui and Lanai islands, Hawaii................

 This is our view from the lovely house we are staying in on the island of Maui this week.  Across the water, where we saw whales this morning, is Molokai.

 A short walk through the garden brings us to 
the small private cove with plenty of kayaks available.......

 ...........and the swimming pool, all very lovely.

I have to admit that I love this kind of outdoor living in Hawaii and, despite always saying I was not a lover of the tropics, this is not so bad after all! In the living area, the entire wall of glass slides open and the garden becomes part of the space where one can enjoy breakfast and other meals, or just kick back and relax, listen to the birds, and feel the trade winds gently blowing. There don't appear to be any flying, or more important, biting insects here......perhaps I am in paradise.

 Yesterday we took a day trip leaving Maui and crossing to Lanai by ferry.  The pleasant 45 minute boat ride included some whale spotting and I did manage to get the good pic below..........

....'fluke up' dive, occurs when a whale lifts its tail upward as it begins to dive revealing the ventral (underside) flukes. 

Lanai is a very interesting island.  We loved exploring this desolate beach named for a WWII liberty ship which wrecked here and has been left in the ocean, a rusting hulk battered by the relentless waves.

 There were a few ramshackle shacks with interesting, think 'shabby chic' peeling paint, probably used by fishermen......

........and flotsam and jetsam thrown up by the sea.

Paula had us climb the rocks - Bob, me, Rob and Kim - for a beach shot.

More on Lanai later.......it is the former home of the huge Dole company which shipped up to a million pineapples daily when growing here. Sadly, if a Lanai resident wants to sink their teeth into a juicy, fresh pineapple now, they have to shop for one on Maui.

Monday, February 27, 2012

5th Anniversary!

I'm here on Maui in the Hawaiian Islands at present.......but had to just post quickly 
on my special anniversary!

I can't believe 5 years have somehow past since I first picked up a digital camera and started on the fun journey of taking photos and writing words for my blog! When I decided to have a go at blogging I was such a neophyte entering a completely new technical world. Not too many people were blogging back then and it took a while to know if anyone was even interested in reading my posts. 

Looking back at what now seem somewhat blah and blurry pictures, and ordinary day to day happenings, I see I started my first blog named Across The Pond on February 27, 2007. It gradually became a place where I found so many new and wonderful friends living all around the world, and a way to continue to be creative following a career in art and advertising which I was missing so much. Almost two years ago I had to start this second blog when Across The Pond was 'hijacked' and I could no longer post photos there. So, here I continue to share snippets of life and what my eye sees day to day, both at home, and abroad.
Being a blogger changed my life, made me see the corners and colors of the world close-up through a lens.......and gave me the wonderful chance to get to know YOU! Thank you for always stopping by to encourage me to keep blogging. I love to read your generous comments, and when possible, meet you for lunch, shopping, a cup of tea, even gather together for a fun blog party! Knowing each one of you, and being gifted with your friendship, whether in person or online, has been a very special part of my life which I will always treasure. This year I will be traveling often. I hope to bring you many stories and images from some very special places around the world. Hope so much you'll continue to come along with me.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Whale watching in Hawaii............

Whale watching off the Big Island of Hawaii........two and a half hours on a bright yellow boat, searching the cobalt blue waters for those immense creatures, the female humpback whales, who come to Hawaii at this time of year to give birth and nurture their young in the warm waters. The males accompany them hoping to mate again before heading north to Alaska to feed. There will be up to 10,000 whales here in Hawaii over the Winter months.

Watching for these beautiful huge, yet gentle, creatures on a warm and sunny day is extremely pleasant - except when the woman with the big black floppy brimmed hat keeps jumping up in front of your camera just as a whale breaches off the starboard side!

My whale pics are not great........................catching these gigantic yet fast moving humpbacks requires a fast shutter and a much better camera than my present one.

So this time all you get are some whale glimpses, however we are going out again in a few days time here in Maui.........hopefully I'll have some better ones then.

I'm now planning to get a new camera.  I think it's about time I upgraded to an SLR with a good lens and a fast shutter.  I've put it off because I don't like carrying that heavy, bulky equipment, and I'm just lazy when it comes to learning new technology whether it's cameras, computers, or washing machines, ha! ha!

Our whale watching boat....a fun trip in the blue Pacific.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

To Market on the Kona Coast........

A quick trip to the outdoor market in downtown Kona was really interesting.  I enjoyed the handcrafted items using shells, stones, and tree bark.  The people were friendly and shared stories of their families who made the items.

Great looking fresh veggies, always a market must-have.................

.....beautiful leis made from local Plumeria tree blossoms,
we saw many farms across the island growing 
these small trees.....

...............orchids, about the only thing 
I've seen which costs less here than 
on the mainland!

I've no idea the name of this stunning flower, 
but it's very colorful and pretty!

More of those delicious papayas we're enjoying at breakfast - and yes, I'm thinking also much cheaper than at home!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Good Morning................

...........from my breakfast spot yesterday, a surprise, a very large visitor, the Norwegian Line cruise ship, Pride of America, just outside the window. 

 This shot was taken from the the pool where I took an early dip.  With 2,000 plus passengers and a large number being tendered onto shore for the day, we stayed away from the town center until early evening when the ship sailed away as the sun went down.

You perhaps heard on the news that Pele was grumbling on Kilauea yesterday, and there were many small earthquakes here on the Big Island.  We didn't feel a thing!

Off this morning on a whale watch cruise - hope to get some pics to share next time.  We fly to Maui tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More from the Big Island of Hawaii.......

 Place of Refuge National Park, Hawaii......

..................a very windy spot

 Note the snow just visible on Mauna Loa behind 
the blowing coconut palms on the beach below.

Bob at the Hale O Keawe, Place of Refuge

 Young boys don't mind the wind though, fishing 
from the lava which has reached the sea is still 
fun on a school holiday.

 Funky little towns with delightful shopping.........and shop we did!

This salesman was wearing the usual Hawaiian shirt and 
a sarong! Kim and Paula checking out a Koa wood 
ukulele - Rob in the background - my Bob hanging about somewhere outside, 
need I say more about his shopping enthusiasm!

 Tropical color everywhere.......

Near Hawi on the northern coast of Hawaii.....today 
was very mixed weather, warm and a wee bit humid, 
somewhat windy again, then almost chilly for a while, 
and an occasional heavy shower.......

...........the Big Island of Hawaii seems to 
have several different areas of weather all on 
the same day!

 Our group, pic by our waitress, left to right - Bob, Me, Paula, Kim and Rob.
We've traveled together often and always have a great time.

 Hawaiian sunset.