Friday, May 30, 2008


Wednesday I got a phone call from Harry, telling me he was at the vet's office with Stacy, getting her cat's shots. He said he was just sitting in the office and this kitten came up to him, snuggled, sat on his lap. He said it was such a good kitten. It was a drop off, staying at the vet's office until someone adopted her. I said, "why are you telling me this?" His response, "I don't know." Sarah was due at the vet in a while, too, to get her cat's vaccinations, so Harry said he'd show the cat to Sarah. Harry claims to have firmly said no, we don't need another cat (which we don't), and that he has witnesses (Stacy). His witness just laughed and said she doesn't remember. Mmm hmm. You get the picture. We have yet another cat. This kitten will be mine (ha, really it will be Harry's - see pictures below). Her name is Belle. I almost named her "Parrot'. Pirate (pretending not to like her) and Parrot alias Belle.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Another beautiful dive weekend

It was another beautiful dive weekend for me. We dove Lau Lau and Obiyan on Saturday, then Obiyan again on Sunday morning. Lau Lau didn't have the best visibility, but Obiyan was really clear and pretty. Here's Harry heading off over the rocks looking for nudibranchs. This was such a pretty group of coral and fish. It had some soft coral swaying in the current, with fish playing in and out, and the hard coral forming a little arch overhead. Fun.
I'm getting a little better with my macro shots. This was really pretty, but I had to sit still for a while with my camera resting on another coral, to wait for the fish to swim back over the top. Barry found this really nice pillow starfish. Pillow, nap, yep Barry catching some zzz's down under. After a nice nap, Barry is hovering over the coral formations nearby. Harry pointed out this little lion fish. I actually got a nice couple of photos of him. This was just a little clam, about 3 inches long, but I was practicing my macro shots. Here's another practice shot of a nudibranch, but I had him in my dark corner too far this time.
I love this feathery coral, it's so graceful flowing in the current.
This was another practice macro shot. I'm very happy with this one. It looks exactly like I see it under water. It's such a beautiful world down there.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Princess Oleai

Everyone in my family is an animal lover. My son currently has 3 dogs, and one guinea pig and one rabbit. But he's had two ferrets and three cats with two of the dogs before. He can't help himself, I guess, as he was raised with dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs. Sarah is the same- but her love for animals is more selective, as she prefers cats. So this past weekend, while we were sitting at Oleai Beach Bar and Grill, Chris pointed out a kitten that was hiding under a table hoping for food scraps. Sarah had to oblige, of course, and took over some scraps from our table. In feeding the kitten, she discovered it was unusually friendly. It let Sarah pet it, purred even. So Sarah began her rescue pitch to me. We already have two rescued cats, so I wasn't really interested in adopting another one. But Harry said, what's one more cat? So "Oleai", alias Princess Oli came home with us. This is a picture of her before we cleaned her dirty little ears and before Sarah took her to the vet for a checkup and flee bath.When she first got home, she spent alot of time tucking her head under our arms. But she purrs the whole time she's being held. Sorry, I got this one a little blurry, but you can see she found a safe place to snuggle and rest, her first day home with us. The kittens always like Harry's beard. Our other two cats are adjusting to Oli, each in their own way. Alex ignores her, and Charlie plays with her sometimes and runs from her other times. She's learned to give Emma a little hiss and swipe, when Emma is too pesty or rough. So all in all, I think she'll fit into the family just fine.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Boat Dive

Welcome to my very first boat dive. Here are some of the things I saw. I didn't take my camera down on the first dive, which was at Bonzai, Spotlight. The waves were a bit big there, so I just focused on getting myself around. But Harry took some nice pictures there, so you can check out his blog for those. Our second dive was at the arch at Wing Beach. I have to admit, there is something really appealing about just falling off the back of the boat and dropping down into the deep blue. This first picture is Brad and two other diver's bubbles. There was a group of 9 of us. A couple of the other divers had big cameras and video equipment with them. Here's a couple of the guys hanging out at the anchor line. While swimming along the edge of the crevice, Harry motioned for me to come and look in this hole. He had me pet the tail that was sticking out. I always enjoy seeing these guys playing in the anenome. Sorry my colors aren't so great. I'm still working on that.
Brad and another diver approaching the edge of the crevice. Another diver. Sorry, but underwater I'm not always sure who is who, especially since I just met some of them on the boat. Here's Harry on the edge of the crevice looking out to open sea. The next two photos are Harry looking up at me from the bottom of the crevice. I joined him on the bottom, after taking a few pictures from the top. It was really cool to swim inside of the crevice.

Here's another shot of Harry inside the crevice, where I am beginning to follow him down. It looks like a tight squeeze, but it really isn't too narrow. Harry and Brad are looking at things under the ledge. Harry taking pictures under the ledge. Leaving the crevice.
Another diver outside of the crevice.
Looking out from inside the crevice through one of the holes.
Back on the boat with Harry (bunny ears) Mark and Brad. Mark and Brad enjoying a couple of cold beers after the dive. It was a great experience for me, I had alot of fun. Check out Harry's blog to see some really good pictures of the two dives.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother's Day Part Two

After our fun dive together at Lau Lau with Sarah and Chris, Harry and I went home to rest a bit before dinner. Since Harry was on a night dive earlier in the weekend, he was really tired, so he actually got a nap before we headed out for the evening. I started getting ready for dinner about 30 minutes before we had to leave. I woke him up with about 5 minutes to get ready but that works for him. Harry took his nice camera along to Giovanni's, and the staff was kind enough to help us out with a group photo. However, Chris is in deep doo doo for messing up a perfectly nice picture of us. And it's hard to catch a good picture of him, so I'm guessing this is evidence that he only takes good pictures if he's up to something bad. Hmm.
Sarah and I are waiting in front of the ponds at the Hyatt. The garden area is so pretty there. We are wearing the new shawls she brought back from Dubai. Here's me in front of the stone walls near the Giovanni's entrance. Sarah and I are trying to smile for Chris's camera, while Harry took our picture from the side. We had a fun time taking pictures in the garden. Kelli and Sarah are enjoying the fine dinner at Giovanni's. We shared the spinach ravioli, a seafood appetizer, and the amazing wild mushroom soup. I could easily make a meal from their mushroom soup and fresh bread. Check out Sarah's cute black pearl necklace. We brought it back for her from Bali. She looked very lovely Sunday evening. It was fun dressing up and going to a very nice restaurant to celebrate Mother's Day. I felt like a "queen" for a day. Thanks to my family for making the day so special for me. And thanks to Chris for treating me to such a nice dinner. Thanks for calling me - Josh and Regis - I know you wanted to be here and I miss you both very much. But enjoy your family visit with Britany and Steve and Kate.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day Part One

I have to write about my Mother's Day in two parts, as I had such a spectacular day, with plenty of nice pictures, that it will take two posts to share. I'm definitely not complaining. I had a great time. I woke up Sunday morning, put on my swimsuit, packed my dive gear and our picnic lunch to take on our boat dive to Bonzai. We were scheduled to go with a group of ten, for two dives. We decided to meet Sarah and Chris for breakfast first. Just as we were walking into the restaurant for breakfast, Harry got a call letting us know that our boat dive was cancelled for the day, due to rough seas. When Sarah and Chris arrived for the breakfast, I told them that since my boat dive was cancelled, they had to go diving with me at Lau Lau. Thankfully, they were willing. But really, what can they do when it's Mother's Day, and the Mom says she wants them to go diving with her? Sarah bought me some very nice, very thoughtful gifts. And now she was going to go diving with me, so already I felt like I had a great Mother's Day, and it wasn't even noon.
Below you see Harry and Sarah checking something out at Lau Lau. Yes, it would have been nice to have Josh and Regis along on my Mother's Day dive, too, but they did call me while I was at the dive shop - to wish me Happy Mother's Day. I miss them. Here's Sarah sharing her findings, so I can take a picture. Yay, my daughter and my husband are diving with me on Mother's Day! Fun stuff. Sarah at the rope, no doubt shivering. Nemo and friends also not too far from the rope. Mystery ball hanging out in the coral near the pipeline. Sarah pointed this out to me. She also pointed out a couple of nudibranchs, but my photos were all blurry. Bummer. Here's Harry holding a private meeting with some of his friends.
I'm not sure what they were discussing, but they decided to take it under ground. Notice the bouncer dude standing guard. Harry found a shell with the operculum still there - very nice. He knows the names of these shells, but I don't, so you just get "shell" from me.

The coral is so pretty along the pipeline. I got Harry to look at my camera for this great shot of him and the coral formations.
This was a photo from the beginning of the dive, but I thought it made the perfect ending to my Mother's Day dive story. Chris and Sarah are swimming through the fish ball on their way out to enjoy the rest of the dive. The visibility was not so good when we first jumped in, but it was ok once we got out a ways. I also got a picture of this really big fish that was chasing the fish ball, but maybe I'll post him another time.
Sarah and I are at Oleai beach after our dive. It has become our annual tradition to remember my Mom on Mother's Day, with a small floating memorial of island flowers. This year Sarah made it on a palm frond. We waded in, thanked God for the time we had my Mom in our lives, and pushed our little float out to sea. Happy Mother's Day, Mom - I miss you so much.