Wednesday, January 27, 2010
So much for sticking to writing a few times a week? We'll get better soon. The new year has been busy for us over here on Maui. We're in the process of moving both our office and our home to a new place on Maui. We should be about finished with the move next week, then it will be business as usual.
We won't write much today, but we have had a couple of amazing whale encounters the past two weeks that we had to share with you all!
First was a surface interaction that Dan got some photo's of:
Some splashing in the distance drew our attention to a small group of whales "playing" at the surface. At first it seemed like a normal breaching baby whale, with it's mom and a male escort near by.
The closer we got, we realized that it wasn't a normal encounter at all!
One of the adult whales was actually lifting and throwing the baby out of the water? We had no way of telling if it was the Mother or the Male Escort doing the throwing.
We assumed it was the mohter, and that the behavior was playful in nature.
As far as we could tell, it didn't seem like harmful behavior, and the baby wasn't trying to get away.
We later learned that the behavior could have been brought on by the Male being aggressive enough to literally throw the baby away so that he could have mom to himself and try to mate with her.
We will never know for sure what was really going on, but it sure was interesting to see. We're all glad that Dan had his camera with him so that we could share this with you all.
Unfortunately the Whale Research permits have been on hold this year, so we haven't gotten to get out and swim with the Humpbacks this year. We've heard from a bunch of different people that one of the researchers violated the rules of their permit last whale season by taking paying tourists out to get close encounters with whales. Now, because of this idiot, every other researcher is sidelined until the permit officials decide what to do. As with many decisions these days, many suffer because of one person's stupidity. Can you tell we're bothered by this?
The second encounter was pretty amazing too! We were diving off Lanai and on our way home when we saw a pod of Hawaiian Spinner dolphins playing in their usual spot. We took the boat in to hang out for a while so that everyone could have their dolphin fix for the day. As we approached we noticed that the dolphins weren't alone, there were two Humpbacks swimming and playing along with the dolphins. We stopped the boat and watched for about 20 minutes as the new group of friends swam all around the bay, jumping, splashing and just enjoying each others company.
At about the 20 minute mark, the group took a turn towards the boat. We shut off the engines and waited to see how close they group would come. We knew that the dolphins love to come say hello and even play with the boat for a while, but since the endangered/protected Humpback Whales were with them we were stuck. The rules require that boats and swimmers stay at least 100 yards away from the whales so that they don't get hurt at all, so when whales decide to swim at you and get within 100 yards you just have to wait until they decide to swim 100 yards away again before you can turn your boat on and move. So we waited!
Pretty cool huh? They swam right under the boat! Did you see the dolphins at the beginning of the clip?
After these two encounters we're really hoping that the whale research permits get cleared soon!
Monday, January 4, 2010
It’s been almost a full month since we wrote our last blog entry and, as you probably could have imagined, a lot has happened. We worked on two shoots, had two holidays, had a brother move away, added a puppy to the gang, and the whales are finally here in good numbers so the research dives can start soon! For the most part, the month has brought a lot of exciting changes and adventures. We’re very excited for 2010!
The biggest news of the New Year is that our brother Mike is going to move to upstate New York with his new wife Jamie. While we’re very happy for them and hope that they are extremely happy on the their new adventure, Dan, Gwen and I are very sad to see them go. We hope that they will be able to visit a lot, or that we will be able to meet up with them on some dive excursions around the world. Mike talks of possibly taking up real estate on the mainland, but for a while he and Jamie will probably take some time off and relax.
While the business might be down a brother, the important thing for everyone to remember is that Mike is always going to be our brother and we love him dearly. C3 is a symbol that has always stood for our unique and strong bond as brothers; we got our tattoos long before the C3 became part of our business name. So please resist the urge to ask us if we’re going to change our tattoos or business name to C2. :)
To completely switch gears, we all had a good time in December working with some fun people on a couple of commercial shoots. The first was helping on an underwater part of a Hyundai commercial. We were merely background help, actually called “grip” in the business. The shoot was a lot of fun and we’re really learning a lot being around these much bigger production companies. We’ve worked with a local company called Ehman productions a few times now, and they have been great to us with luck we’ll get to keep working with them on future shoots. We’re not sure how long it will take to finish up the whole commercial, most of the shoot was out of the water too, so we really have no idea on a finish date. As soon as we know, we’ll share our info.
The second shoot was much different. It was for print ads and websites. We got to help out with a famous photographer named Erik Almas and MK productions. They were working to produce images for Genentech, a biochemical company working with cancer medicine. These guys were from southern California, and they were really nice and fun as well. We were around for three days of shooting with these guys and Gwen and Dan are actually in some of the pictures as models. You can’t really tell it’s them though, but if you want to see the work you can look at Genentech’s website. On the homepage there are images where you can see DNA strands in clouds, waterfalls and underwater beams of light. Take a guess which one we helped with? I’m actually not sure if the underwater ad is out yet, but we’ll keep you all updated when it becomes available.
The good news is that we’re meeting people in the business we’re hoping to crack into, if we keep working hard and impress the right people we might just get our chance to travel around the world living our dream and sharing our underwater Photography and Videography work even more!
Christmas on Maui was a blast. We had one of the best parties we’ve had in a while. We had a ping pong table in the driveway, Rock Band going on TV and more food than we did at Thanksgiving. All of our fellow divers and friends came over to hang out and we almost stayed up to 11PM, which is amazing for us. We’re usually asleep near 9! (Remember we wake up around 5 or earlier every day)
Next time you visit Maui, make sure you ask to meet Mango!
After all of the fun and excitement of the last month you would think that we would be all ready for a big New Years party. In truth, we even tried to have one. Unfortunately, Gwen fell asleep at 8:30, while Dan and I tried to make it a bit later. By 10:30 we were both sleeping on the couch by ourselves watching Family Guy. It didn’t matter though, we had a great couple of weeks, and we were happy to get the rest.
The diving has been pretty good too. The weather has been very nice, not too many big surf swells and not too much wind. We got to swim with dolphins a few more times, and the whales are starting to show up everywhere. It’s hard to drive the boat anywhere without seeing whales breathing, jumping, breaching, slapping and just hanging out. Which makes us very excited to start helping out with our friend Rachel Cartwright and the Keiki Kohala Project (www.caringforcalves.com) doing whale research. We’re hoping that this might be the year where we will really get some great whale photos as well as some interesting movie material. Who knows, maybe we’ll get enough for a cool documentary or short TV show.
Today, Sunday, Dan is out driving the Lahaina Divers boat with a bunch of long time friends and customers while I sit under the Banyan Tree and write and sell some of our photography. Gwen is running around with Mango making sure she gets trained well. I think she’s at Costco picking up food and hopefully a kiddy pool for the back yard so that Mango can begin her swimming/diving career early.
Happy New Year, we all hope you all have a wonderful 2010! We’re sure it’s going to be a great year for everyone.
John and the whole C3 gang