Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dead Booby Bird on Dive Day

Originally uploaded by KelKnits
Saturday we avoided the Ironman Triathalon (and accompanying traffic closures and lack of business) by going on an employee (and SO's) dive day on the boat.
Our first dive of the day was a "Blue Water" dive in 1200 feet of water out at Buoy ZZ: Far out to sea. This photo shows Buoy ZZ, with a (partially obscured) notation about not tieing anything to the buoy. The bird standing on the buoy is fine: We made sure he was hopping along un-hindered. The bird on the left is dead, it's neck still tangled in the fishing line tied to the buoy. Very sad.

We went on to have a fascinating dive full of tiny jelly critters, then went on to another two dive sites, where we saw sharks and eels and turtles and fascinating ocean critters.
It is very nice sometimes to dive for fun, but I find that I never turn off my safety and watchfullness instincts.

Friday, October 05, 2007


Originally uploaded by KelKnits
I just returned from a short mainland trip to Wisconsin (of all places...) to meet DBF's son and grandson (I KNOW!, Right?). Beside the family obligations, I had some goals: Cheese, Yarn, and getting photographic proof that there actually were crazy people who surfed Lake Michigan.
This shot was taken in Sheboygan WI on the shores of Lake Michigan. They were amazed that I had heard of the surfspot. (It is in "Step into Liquid" and actually "Surf's Up!" wherein the surfing chicken is from Sheboygan.) they had no tee-shirts to sell me, which is a shame: Someone should be cashing in on that.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Aloha Festival Parade

Saturday I went with my mom to the Aloha Festivals Parade in Waimea. It was a beautiful day! Unlike the famous Christmas Truck Parade, this paticluar parade is known for the horses! And the very young cowboys! I don't even remember which group this little guy was with, but he seems to take his job very seriously. My mother remarked, "No wonder they are bow-legged at such a young age!"

I got some knitting done in between groups. This, apparently was a helpful thing, since the Royal Court appears barefoot on hot asphalt:

They need socks!

We had Boy Scouts with the Flags:

We had the County Band, which we love!:

But the highlight is always the horses:

This is the Pa'u Queen. We have Pa'u Riders representing all the islands and a bunch of other groups. They all work on their costumes, leis, and huge horse's leis. The flowers in the leis represent the different islands: Like orchids for the Orchid Isle and a type of moss for Kahoolawe. It was noted that only in Waimea, home of Hawaiian Paniolo, do the horses in each group match each other, the riders start so young, and the riders really control their horses beautifully! I also wonder if we are the only Pa'u Parade that has so many actual real Parade Wranglers on horseback!
These guys did a great job!

And of course, with horses, come the pooper-scoopers!

Each group of riders gets their own group of loyal scoopers, who all compete for a prize for originality of theme! (And I'm not sh*ting you!)

We had a great time!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Birthday MEME

I've been tagged by Stilaholic Nartian Knits for a Wikipedia Birthday Meme: I'm supposed to type in my birthday (sans year) and list 3 events, 2 births and 1 holiday... (Have you ever done this on Wikipedia? It is awesome: There is a huge list! How to choose!)
3 Events:
1040 - King Duncan I is killed in battle against his first cousin and rival Macbeth. The latter succeeds him as Scottish Monarch. (Gotta love this one: Scottish History, AND that unlucky Shakespearean play!)
1843 - The Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, Hawaii is dedicated. Now the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, it is the oldest Roman Catholic cathedral in continuous use in the United States. (I'm cheating here: My birthday is a High Holy Day in the Roman Catholic church: The Assumption of Mary. I was a little smartass in Sunday School and when asked when the Holy Days of Obligation were, always shouted out, "My Birthday!"- Extra points because this Cathedral is in Honolulu!)
1969 - The Woodstock Music and Art Festival opens. (Yay! Cold Hippies in the Mud! Punks! They better not be stealing my Social Security to pay for their drug-addled health costs!)

2 Birthdays: (This one is easy: I always mention these two people because somehow I feel more like them than, say Ben Affleck-1972 or Debra Messing-1968)
1769 - Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French (d. 1821)
1912 - Julia Child, American cook (d. 2004)

1 Holiday: (You see how I cheated with mentioning the Holy Day up there?)
EgyptFlooding of the Nile Day. (Oh yeah: I have actually witnessed this holiday, and although it has been renamed the "Prophet's Birthday" and given the respectible mantle of monotheistic Islam, and although Nasser dammed up the Nile so it doesn't flood, it is still the oldest and most pagan of ritualistic fertility celebrations. The Nile used to flood once a year and deposit the rich and fecund silt all over the crops. Now, flooding couldn't be fun for those involved, but fertile fields fed everybody!)

Tagging: Well, I have no friends. So if you want to take part, please do so. Besides, it is really fun to read the whole list! But maybe if he wants to, I can persuade Adrastas to do this?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Friday, June 01, 2007

Night Dive

Remember to take time for you: Go on fun dives every now and then so you don't burn out on diving!

This was the advice given to me by my PADI Instructor-Examiner back in December. Last night, six months later, I finally took that advice. Sort of...
A fellow Instructor noted that, with all 3 jobs, my last day off had been May 12th (a day of a Kawaihae Canoe Club regatta that took up all the space and parking at the pier). Last weekend I worked three days (holiday) on the boat, and I found myself stressed and upset about the dives. On one dive I misunderstood the specific coral balmy the guests wanted to visit, and I led them to another one instead. On another day, I couldn't find any turtles for guests who really wanted to see them.
I know, I know:
I can't MAKE people have a good time.
The Ocean isn't a zoo: There are no guaranteed sightings here.
I can't re-create an exact dive that someone enjoyed in the past.

The only thing I can do is keep people safe, return them to the boat, keep up the friendly standard of Aloha, and try to show them some neat things. Much of their good time has to do with their own attitude, and just plain luck in seeing something cool. Those amazing dives that you remember and want to re-create? Often they were good because you were relaxed, and happy, and maybe you saw one big-ticket animal. The sure-fire way to make sure you see nothing at all is to really really want to see it!

So last night I went on a night dive with my fabulous dive-buddy bf. We went on the boat, so I worked in as far as slinging tanks, setting up gear, and working the lines. But I didn't have to lead anyone on dives. I informed my buddy that we were staying away from people, I was not going very far, and I might turn off my light.
Plan your dive and dive your plan:
We were first in the water and descended in blackness, right over a huge free-swimming moray eel. I then led us off to an area filled with big coral heads in about 50 feet of water. We stayed in that area and saw shrimp, crabs, lobster, nudibranchs, urchins, sleepy fish, cowrie shell, cucumbers, worms, sea stars, and a Spanish Dancer. When we got too focused on the tiny spot our lights illuminated, we turned off the lights and floated in the dark. At one point dbf flailed his arms and fins and swam like crazy in a circle around me, then swam back and watched as it appeared I was floating in a black sky of plankton stars. We could see by moonlight, and I found my way around the site in the dark. When we ascended after an hour, the sky was full of real stars and I was calm and happy.
Saturday I may have off, and we are filling tanks in case it is a day for more fun diving.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


"Hooray Hooray The First of May! The Outdoor Fucking Begins Today!"

My college roommate's mother cross-stitched this ditty on a pillow and displayed it in her street-side front window every May First. How awesome is that?
May you have a joyful Spring!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Diving with a Monk Seal!

This Saturday I had a fabulous drift dive in between two of my favorite dive sites, and about 10 minutes into the dive, we were joined by an endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal! We didn't approach him, and attempted, with the current we were trapped in, to not scare or move towards him, but the seal was very interested in us! He would sneak up behind someone, then, when he was discovered, he would check out the diver head to toe, play with the bubbles, shoot to the surface, bounce the mooring ball, and otherwise show fun, curious behavior! It was really amazing.
He had a transmitter on his back, and his flipper-feet were tagged with #42-43. I called NOAA and let them know.
On Sunday I dove with this fabulous jewelry designer! Check out her stuff!
(Cute Monk Seal Photo courtesy NOAA.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Lookit What My Bro is Digging About In!

My awesomely smart and handsome brother (lookit him!) is keeping this BLOG as an assignment for his selection in the NASA Spaceward Bound! Mojave 2007 program! From what I understand, it is a program that mimics the type of scientific research that is/will be happening in space exploration. Among other things, it is meant to encourage future or current Science educators to teach the future students of astrophysics...and the future employees of NASA! Right on!

Moored Sailing Canoe, Sunset, Lahaina Maui

Monday, March 12, 2007

Vampyr Slayer?

Did you guys see this?
Vampire slayer impales Milosevic to stop return
Apparently, in the witching hour of the eve of the first anniversary of his death in UN Prison, Milosevic got a 3 foot Hawthorne stake driven through his heart. Apparently this was to keep him from returning from the dead and sucking even more blood from (former) Yugoslavia.
I cannot imagine the pain that area must be in, and I hope this somehow, strangely, helped. Evil really does walk among us!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Coconut Bombs

That's a guy (Phil) who climbs coconut trees and saws off old frond branches and precarious clusters of coconuts. Very entertaining to watch coconuts crashing to earth, bouncing along the ground, and bursting open. Tasty fresh coconut water!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Whales of March

On Saturday, leading dives with Kohala Divers, the Whales were singing. On the surface, we saw many curious calves and their protective mom's and male escorts. The baby whales are getting big enough to try out the moves: little spy hops and sounds and many curious surfacings. A friend even spied a mom teaching her calf to breach: The mom would jump out of the water and come crashing majestically down, followed by the calf struggling out and flopping down after her. So cute!
It is March, and that means these lessons in adult behavior will culminate in the whales leaving us for cooler, Northern, summertime waters. Just as I nervously anticipate their arrival in November, I dread the slow trickle as they leave the islands. Every week, the sightings decrease and the songs grow fainter; from a chorus to a solo to silence. I love to share the water with them. People in other places must feel that same awe and joy with the large creatures in their world: The bears or lions. Here we have the glimpses and songs of these leviathans. I am thankful for their visits.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

TGI(n)F: Thank Goodness It's NOT February!

The Great Grey Beast is past us, and may I take this opportunity to wish you all a fabulous March! This month gets us past the dreaded February and into Spring, which brings flowers and happiness and Girl Scout Cookies!

I saw the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet company last night at the Kahilu, and it was a wonderful way to usher in the new Month!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


This time of year seems to bring fires. This one I could see from my house, especially the eerie glow of the flames after the sun went down. And remember last year?
More about this fire here.
Please: Residents and Tourists alike: Stop throwing the lit cigarette butts out of your car windows! We live on this tiny rock in the middle of the ocean, and we need all the land we can get.