Tuesday, September 30, 2014


West Maui and Waving Palms
I am seeing lots of octopus.  Since the first day I spotted one, I've been surprising them all over the place on the clearer days.  About half the time, it's because I dive down, and they move.  If any people are snorkelling nearby, I point out the octopus.  Only about a quarter of them see what I'm pointing at.
  Today I show a group of four snorkellers an octopus hiding in a crack.  I dive down and point my finger at it from about 5 inches away.  Only one of the four spectators manages to dive down and see it.  Maybe they're not sure it's really there?  People see lots of turtles and get really excited about them.  Why not octopus?

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Molokini and Kaho'olawe, 6 x 8 oil

It is Labor Day weekend, and here in the campground are quite a few groups of Hawaiians camping. OK, some are in tents like the visitors, but others have huge metal pole structures forty feet on a side, with tarps strung over the top and screen sides.  Inside there are tables and camp stoves and cots, and big plastic coolers.  When they strike camp, everyone helps, taking down tarps and poles, loading it into pickups.  They pull away, leaving bare grass, every bit as if the circus had come to town.

Friday, September 26, 2014


Tree by the Sea, 12 x 16 oil
I am camping on a beach in Kauai.
There is a sign in the campground bathroom.  It says:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Distant Cottages, 9 x 12 oil

Afternoons on this Kauai beach are quite windy, so most of the tents are anchored among the few trees around the edge.  These trees are multi-purpose.  The ubiquitous Kauai chickens roost in them at night.

If you've ever lived with chickens, you know that "the rooster crows at the break of dawn" is a myth.  The rooster crows whenever he feels like it.  In a campground with maybe eight roosters, they feel like it a lot.  I am up with the chickens, and it is 3 AM.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Sunrise Reef, 12 x 16 oil
Over the years of diving and snorkeling, I've learned the common names of many reef fish, and even which families they belong to.  Coral is another story.  You can't identify corals very well by gross appearance.  The same species can vary quite a bit in color.  Even the growth patterns can change. Just for fun, I did a search on coral identification, and found this page: http://www.chucksaddiction.com/CoralGenus.html

Somehow, while I'm looking around underwater, I don't think this will be much help.  First of all, so many parts!  And how am I going to remember all the details of what I was looking at to look it up later?  I think people who identify corals must either take photos or specimens.  I might as well keep on doing what I've been doing.... just appreciating them in their great variety.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Makena Landing, 9 x 12 oil

I am camping at a beach park on Kauai.  I found a guy who had a tent set up for me, with an air mattress and sheets and pillows.  I have 2 beach chairs and a cooler.  I even have a power cord, complete with 4-outlet surge protector, that runs a thousand yards to an electric outlet at a picnic shelter.  The sunsets here are a premium show.  What more could I want?

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Tropical Morning, 9 x 12 oil
An eel, with his head out of the coral, is breathing.  His open mouth widens, then water passes through and out the billowing flap behind his head.  It reminds me of the octopus and the water constantly moving through his siphon.  If they want to breathe, they cannot be still.