Saturday, December 21, 2013

Diving with the Sharks

We had booked a shark tank dive at the aquarium here in Maui - it has a catch / release program which is great to see.  They have a 750,000 gallon tank where they currently house 23 types of sharks/rays.  The team that works with these animals are awesome - we met our dive master (Scott) who is a biologist and works with the sharks and we had John helping us out (also a dive master).  

They did a behind the scenes tour of how and what they do - very cool.  They talked about how the Hawaiian people believe sharks are special and are the totem animal for a lot of clans.  They bless each shark that arrives and leaves (alive or dead) and they name each Tiger shark that is captured based on the capture circumstances.  The current one's name is Hina.

Not only was this educational, but it was a BLAST.  The animals pretty much left us alone, except during traffic jams, sometimes we'd get bumped or if they wanted the muscles we were holding for them...of course there was the very curious hammerhead - just kept circling......he was awesome.  No touchy, touchy though - unless they were sleeping on the ground, then you could come pet them on the back.  The rays were ok to pet, as long as you came to them from the front or underside where they could see you or otherwise you'd get stung with their stingers (which are left in tact because they are released eventually back to the wild).

our friendly hammerhead

feeding our moochy eagle ray friend





really up close and personal

grama, grampa and auntie were watching from the other side











got bumped by this guy in a traffic jam

flying right above my head, a ray

Spence enjoyed getting his dad and then spending some quality time with the Dahl part of the family.  I decided I was wiped and went to bed at 9:30 HI time .... trying to stay on Calgary time the whole trip.

Today our plans are pretty much hang out, maybe a bit of beach/pool time but not much else.  Spence is going to spend some time with his dad, which I know he will enjoy and I'm going to get some of my overdue work done today as well.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Almost time to get Spence up for our dive at the aquarium.  We are doing the shark tank dive today - 40 min (if I don't get too cold) in the 750,000 gallon tank with sharks, then we plan to head to Lahaina for lunch with the folks and a bit of walking/shopping.

Tonight we're doing spaghetti and then Spence is off with grampa and auntie to grab his dad from the airport.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

It was our really big beach day - well, not intentionally.

We started by heading off to the surfing beach at 9:30 - but it really was a beginner beach.  No one actually had to paddle, you waited for a swell and then stood up on the 12' board you rented from the surf shack....needless to say the two shorter boards we own, were not meant for that.  Spence then stepped on something sharp and cut his foot - so we were done.

I took him home, put his leg up and told him to let me know if it swells or turns red...all good though.

I turned back around and headed out to the beach to meet up with grama, grampa & auntie and then stayed for a few hours to get some sun.

When I got home, we chilled and then headed off to the dive shop to get the gear we will need for tomorrow and then off to Maui Tacos for supper.  When we got home, I packed all our gear for tomorrow and found out my dive socks went missing - which is a bummer as I love those socks - they fit and it is hard to fit my little feet.  So I had to get a pair of socks which are way too big but were the smallest the dive shops carry - not what I need, but it'll have to do.

All packed for tomorrow, pics loaded up on facebook and now it's time to get a bit of work done before my midnight conf call with a client.

supper - 2 tacos + taquito platter - for Spence

At Molokini - on the wall (300' depth, we maxed out at 70')

White tip shark


Going down the anchor line to the St. Anthony wreck


Me trying to take pics of Spence in the wreck






The world from 50' below

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Boat Dive Day

I was up at 4:45am to get ready for our dive and Spence was up at 5am.  We had a quick light breakfast and headed out to the boat ramp down the street.  We handed over our gear and they replaced our BCD hoses with an integrated secondary breathing apparatus and BCD hose - very cool.

It was as advertised - the fastest boat - we left shortly after 6am with 3 other boats and were the first to arrive.  We had taken anti-nausea pills, but the waves were virtually non-existent until we arrived at Molokini.  We added some wrist straps and gum to the mix and that helped.  We dove the wall - which was a surprise for me as I thought we'd be doing the crater with so many divers who had not dove in years - but with 1 instructor, 2 dive masters and only 8 passengers - it was more than safe.  We had hired Toby to be our guide and it was well worth it.  Toby was great, he made sure all our gear was on right, helped us back onto the boat, took care of rinsing everything - great guy.

We dove the wall, which was a drift dive and had a bottom of 300' - we stayed at no more than 70' and we typically hovered about 50'.  We saw white tip sharks (3-4) they are TINY - subway sandwich length.  We saw the regular tropical fish, schools, etc - lots of coral, crabs, etc - great dive.

We surfaced with 800 psi - Spence and I suck air at the same rate, so all good - poor Toby had lots of air left and probably could have dived all day.

We then headed over to the St. Anthony which was in 80' of water and it was also a blast - turtle, a spotted eel, another diver saw a manta ray, lots of fish of course.  We entered the wreck at the back, looked around inside and in all the crevices and then headed up the front hatch and then headed into the wheel house which was open on all sides and very cool.  We dove to the bottom of the wreck which is on rubber tires/cement artificial reef and that was neat, because it's now 30 yrs into being a reef and the marine life is thriving on it.  We found a sand dollar - biggest one I've ever seen and once we hit 30 minutes, we headed up for our 3 minute stop and then off to the surface.

We had hot showers available - I took advantage as I was freezing once on top, and then once dry and in warm clothing (parka came in handy today) we headed back to the boat ramp.

Great dive, great company - will definitely use these guys again (Scuba Shack) when we dive again. Spence said he's good for boat dives now, but I might go one more time if I can get on a boat before I leave.

Once home, we had lunch and then I took a nap after getting a new SD card (my camera's SD card split apart after many years of use) and tonight we head out with grama, grampa and auntie for pizza.
Spencer's pic of urchin at Ulua

Turtle Town - turtle just hanging out

St. Anthony in 80' of water

Toby on the left (our dive master) and Spence next to him on the St. Anthony




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I will load up pics once I can - my computer decided it no longer wanted to read SD cards....and the internet, although up and running now can only handle one program at a time accessing the internet - so it's still really spotty.

Yesterday, I had a great time on the kayak tour, we did turtle town and saw about 4 or 5 turtles lined up getting a cleaning from the cleaner fish and we saw another 15 or 20 turtles milling about.  We saw a manta breach close to us, but then it took off before we could get in the water to see it properly.  The whole time we were snorkeling we heard the wales and saw the spouts way out - it was a very cool kayak / snorkel trip - highly recommend it.  It's a really easy paddle and snorkel.

It was around 10:30 when we were done and I headed home to make sure Spence was up - he was.  Yesterday, he decided it was a stay at home day (pool/beach), but the cable guy came at 10:30 and so by the time I arrived, Spence had the guy working on the internet connection.

He sorta got it fixed - well as fixed as it was going to get for a 2008 router (which they did not replace).  So now we have spotty internet from two devices and so we have basic access - I still can't get onto my client's citrix server to do work, but at least I can log into their mail server once in a while and I've sent out an email saying I will be able to answer questions when I have access.

So once the internet on that was fixed, my 2nd device blew up and is being replaced - it's spotty now too....and to top it off my computer decided it was time to break down too - so the SD card went on it, for some reason it is using all 16gb of memory to access the calendar, so I can't actually open any programs on the computer without it rebooting - I'm off today to the Apple store as they couldn't fix the problem after almost 3 hours on support with Apple.

So today will be the beach/pool day once I come back from my Apple appointment :)

Last night we decided to try out Maui Tacos and really liked the meals we ordered and we'll go back at least once more during the trip.

Other than that, we'll prep for our dive tomorrow by getting all our gear in our bags again and making sure we're ready to go.

Monday, December 16, 2013

It's been a few days - lack of internet and busy schedule :)

Friday we got to the airport in plenty of time (thank goodness) as the agent had never processed a surf board bag and it took us 45 minutes to figure out how to do that and to make sure it would fit on the plane.  When we were seated on the plane, we saw them drive away with our bag still on the carriage and were a bit worried the bag wouldn't make it....we had our two suitcases, two dive bags and surf board bag - so lots of luggage.

We made it to Vancouver and saw that the bag had made it as they show you pics on the screen and you ID your bags that way.  We met up with Leora and then once on the flight (we were sitting in different seats) we settled in for 6 hours of videos, reading and a bit of work for me.

We made it to Maui without incident and met grama & grampa as we exited.  Grandparents had a good plan - grampa would stay with Leora and Spence and they would gather our luggage, while grama took me to Budget to grab the vehicle.  I got the truck after making sure it would fit the boards and off we went.  Grama gave good directions to Kihei once we loaded up the truck.

We had snacks at their place and then headed up - I am still on Calgary time, but was still wide awake until past midnight Maui time.

The next morning we got up and headed out for some groceries, new board shorts for Spence who had grown out of almost every pair he owned and a rash guard because we couldn't find his at home.  Then we headed down with snorkel gear to the beach across the street from the condo and did some snorkeling after I got knocked over by a wave trying to put on my fins - then off to the tidal pools and then back home to do a bit of work and try and sort out the internet - which was non-operational.  Turns out it was broken and they said hopefully within 48 hours they'd have someone out to fix it (the router is 6 yrs old...maybe time to replace it).

Then we met up with grama, grampa and auntie for dinner at Fred's (taco joint) where we had some good tacos and then headed home afterwards.

Sunday - grampa left us a Sunday care package (scone and cinni bun) and we met them at Ulua beach around 9:30.  They had been there for a while already and had staked out a spot for us.  Spence, grama & grampa got right into the water - I was too cold (cloud cover made me cold) and Spence took about a dozen pics of the fish and coral.  Then we went off to take pics of Spence surfing - turns out he forgot to put the fins on and the waves were breaking too close to shore.  Once we got the surf board back in the truck, we took grampa on a 5k hike along the resorts and then headed home for the day.  I booked our diving and kayaking tours and then got a snorkel keeper, mine is gone and then got ready to head up to grama & grampa's for dinner - spaghetti w meatballs - spencer's fav - grama makes the best meatballs and sauce so we couldn't miss that.

Today I am heading out in about 10 min to do the kayak tour - Turtle Town - it's a beginners tour, but I wanted to see the turtles.  Then I have to confirm our dive tours this afternoon and we plan to go to Maui Taco's (fast food joint that I've heard good things about) for supper.  Spence has decided he needs a day off of any tours, snorkeling or activities and plans to hang out at the pool and in the room.