Whales, Sharks and Firemen
It always came as a surprise to me when I would be talking with tourists as a concierge in say, June, and they had no idea that had they come in winter, they could have seen whales.
Two Maui vessels last week reported seeing the mammals, the first two credible sightings this season. Humpback whale season generally runs from November through May. As many as 12,000 whales winter each year in the waters off Hawaii. Endangered humpback whales are protected in Hawaii.
On another note there was another shark attack on a visitor at Makena on Saturday afternoon. A 51-year-old woman from California was approximately 20 yards offshore when she was attacked by a shark estimated to be between 10 and 12 feet long. The Maui News reported that the woman suffered “non-life-threatening injuries, including puncture wounds to her right inner thigh and lacerations to the front and back of her right hand from pushing the shark away,” according to Fire Services Chief Lee Mainaga. The woman was transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center in stable condition. Ocean safety crews closed the beach.
I was plenty naïve when I moved to Hawaii. Seeeing a fire truck go by with surfboards strapped to the side, I remember thinking to myself, wow, when the waves get big, they just pull over and go surfing? (That’s what everybody else does!) Noooo. Those surfboards are for rescuing people. I’ve come a long way.
To wit: The body of a 35-year-old male diver was pulled from waters near Maalaea Saturday and pronounced dead at the scene. He was reported missing at 4 AM having last been seen around 3 AM, according to Lee Mainaga. (What was someone doing diving is that time of the morning?)He was spotted by a commercial ocean craft floating facedown a half-mile from the Beach park, then taken to the Maalaea boat ramp where he was pronounced dead by medics.
All of this plus a tsunami watch. It’s been a tense few days on Maui, but nothing like they are experiencing on the East Coast.
For those in safe, dry areas…Happy Halloween! Lahaina will be celebrating like crazy downtown in what they call the Mardi Gras of the Pacific. It gets absolutely nuts with the scanty costumes and copious alcohol. In true Hawaiian fashion, nothing is without its drama. A Hawaiian activist went to court to try to get the celebration stopped… He said it would interfere with Hawaiian historical areas. It was thrown out of court.
A hui hou! Mahalo for stopping by.