Whales and Dolphins Playing at Sea, And Inviting Us To Join

I truly lead a charmed life. I was helping a friend out with a retreat he coordinated, and we had about 15 or so people out on kayaks and SUP boards the other day. Most of these people were not experienced in the water, so it was good that the water was mellow. The wind was blowing us south though, so our fearless leader set us off in a northerly direction so that we would not have to fight the wind coming back in. Not only was that smart, but it happened to put us RIGHT near a mama humpback whale and her baby. I couldn’t believe how close we were, at times they surprised us about 10 yards away.

I was mesmerized, as you can imagine, paddling along on my beat up rental SUP board. At one point, they hadn’t come up for a bit, and I noticed for the first time that scattered throughout the choppy water were large circles of smooth, calm water. Wherever they surfaced, they left behind a beautiful circle of calmness. Then, I sensed to turn left when others turned right, and they surfaced very close to me. I began to paddle alongside them, traveling about the same pace. It was playful, and I felt just like a kid….romping around with the whales. Eventually, they went down, so we all paused, and I looked back toward Molokini Crater, where I thought I saw snorkelers. It seemed awfully far out for snorkelers, and then I noticed more and more black spots coming out of the water. It turned out to be dolphins! Lots of dolphins. They were to our left, behind, and in front of us. they were so playful, and it was evident they were playing with the whales that day. The whole sea was at play! As soon as I realized we were encircled by the dolphins, I turned left, and there was a breach maybe 50 yards away. Amazing! It was as if the dolphins and whales were working together. “Okay, we’re going to gather the people in while you get ready. When we signal, jump!”

The magic of Maui never ceases to amaze me. We are truly students here, with nature our teacher.

SUP on Maui!

I just found the video from my first ever Stand Up Paddle (SUP) session, just a month after landing here on Maui. Suzie Cooney, whom I had met the day before, was the perfect person to introduce me to Maui and SUP. I blogged about it HERE and HERE. Here is the video. (I am in the white and tan striped suit).

It would be a while until I got back on a board (more financial than anything), but I did have the opportunity to partake in some fun. Back in May, Keely and I participated in a Fun Paddle for the Olukai Ho’olaule’a Race weekend. I blogged about it HERE. Here is the video from Ocean Paddler TV. Keely is right behind the announcer in the beginning, getting her board ready, and I follow right behind her. Thankfully, they didn’t get me the many times I fell off my board!

It was a great time hosted by amazing people, and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to join in it all. It was definitely a good bonding experience for my daughter and I! Thanks to Olukai and to Suzie Cooney, who turned me on to SUP.

Sprecklesville

What a great night of serendipity! I just got back from Sugar Ranch Maui, where the owners Justin and Ali held a dinner party. I hadn’t met them prior to the dinner, but I had responded to one of Justin’s emails in a cycling listserv, and he invited me over.  I hadn’t realized how neat Sprecklesville is until tonight. The homes are large, with plenty of land, and somewhat secluded on the outskirts of Paia. Some of the roads lead to red dirt leading into rock, leading into the ocean. This is not far off of the infamous Hookipa Beach, the windsurfing mecca.

Anyhoo, I met people from Australia, Northern Ireland, Canada, Sweden, and several of them had lived in other countries as well. There were mostly couples there, and quite a few small kids! The oldest was 7, so since my daughter is the oldest, I suddenly felt exponentially older. Yet, I felt younger in that most of these people had successful businesses, and I am barely starting out.

What I really loved was that most people talked about all of the activities they do. Careers came up last and only by request.  People there were avid SUP’ers, windsurfers, paddlers (canoe), cyclists, rock climbers, ice climbers, kite skiers, etc, etc. I didn’t hear much about running or yoga, but that’s probably just because I didn’t bring them up.

There is a fun paddle event this Saturday that I think I will have my daughter and I do. I found out about it from the owner of Olukai, whom I sat next to at dinner. What a visionary this man! He can truly take a vision and make it happen. I will post more about the event later, but now I should probably get some sleep.

Aloha!

What’s SUP? ME! In a bikini!

I was very fortunate to get to do a free stand up paddle (SUP) clinic with Suzie Cooney on November 13, 2010. It was my birthday gift to myself to indulge in this early morning. It was fantastic!! I blogged about it HERE.

What an awesome day with awesome women!!

Well, there is supposed to be video of the event, but it hasn’t gone up yet. There ARE quite a few photos though, and I am in lots of them. I am usually on the left side, the only one in a white bikini. What can I say? It makes me look more tan. There is even a good one of me holding the board. I look somewhat fit! SEE HERE

Suzie is now in Costa Rica. Must suck, huh?

I really admire what she does and how far she has taken what she loves to do. She has managed to expand her business through following her passion, not the dollars. I am sure the dollars are coming, but I can tell that isn’t her main concern. She really loves to help people and has had her share of injuries she battled through.

I will certainly share the video once it’s up. Excited, even if I look silly!