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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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12.20.11         fun!  

So I bought this Kayak….


….and on Sunday wanted to take my Dad out for a quick trip around Makena. He's never been kayaking in his adult life and doesn't get out to do water type activities so I thought this would be a fun time. We get out there and start paddling around, and another Kayaker comes by and tells us that someone on one of the snorkeling boats saw a 12 Foot Tiger shark in the area. (A 12- Footer is pretty big, where 6 and 8 footers have killed people).

I was a little bummed about this because I was hoping to get my Dad in the water snorkeling and obviously, no one in their rational mind is going to go snorkeling where a 12 tiger shark has just been sighted. In any event, I still wanted my Dad to have a good time, see some sea life and other wise enjoy the afternoon. I like pointing out different types of marine life, sea urchins, coral, etc.

I found myself wanting to get into the water, especially after the shark had been sighted. I realize this probably sounds insane, but my reasoning on it is simple: There are sharks everywhere around Maui, and for the most part, they are absolutely not interested in eating us. If they really wanted to, they would be eating people like hamburgers every single day. Just because someone on a boat says they saw one, doesn't mean they are not there when someone on a boat does not see them. Sharks are always around. Always. There is equal amount of danger whether someone just so happens to see one or not. If a tiger wanted to kill someone, they would never see it coming anyway.

Secondly, it was a little scary to hear something like that, and to be honest, I like doing things that freak me out a little, just because of the fear factor. If you are afraid of something and conquer it, it is extremely empowering and confidence building which can last you your whole life.
So I jump in the water and start swimming around looking for a few different types of urchins to show my Dad. I collect urchin shells when I find dead ones, they are pretty incredible. If I have a special guest I may show them a collector or pencil slate urchin, etc.
About 10 minutes into it, I look up and there is a freaking shark like 5 feet away from my face, clearly checking me out. In the very instant I saw it, I wasn't sure what kind or how big it was, but it turned out to be a relatively small White Tip Reef Shark, I would say just over 4 feet long. I've never seen sharks in the water in Maui. Ive seen them in Honduras and Florida, but not here, well at least until Sunday.

I pop up to let my Dad know, but he cannot see it. Thats the way the glare works on kayaks, it is very difficult to see even a foot or two even in clear water if there is any glare. I was able to get my little camera out and get a picture of it as it was swam away. Kinda hard to see, but he is there.
LIterally seconds after the shark swims away, a medium sized Turtle comes swimming up to me. It was so chill it was incredible, literally swam beside me and the Kayak for a good 3-4 minutes. It was very curious and several times I had to swim away, as well as push my kayak away so we wouldn't touch it.
Looking into getting a good underwater housing soon so I can improve on these underwater shots. (These last ones were taken on another day)

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