Calgary Expatriation - The return home

Episode 31

6th January, 2007

With a few more days left on the big island, it was then off to Maui for a few days before returning home to Sydney.

Above: Sulphurous smells and steam escape from the Kilauea caldera. Unfortunately it was a very hazy day with a lot of wet weather to hamper my photographic ambitions.

Below: A volcanic black sand beach makes an unusual contrast against the vibrance of the greenery.

Above & below: Resting in the sun along the black sand beach is a Hawksbill turtle.

Above: Very slowly, life starts to grow out of a lava flow that destroyed the fishing village of Kalapana in 1990.

Below: Having spent a few long days exploring the big island, I planned to spend a few more days exploring the island of Maui, and what better to do it than in a convertible Mustang!! If only it hadn't been such a windy and hazy day to try and take photos in.

Above: One of the great things about Maui are the coastal drives, particularly the drive from Kahului to Hana. Full of hairpin turns and only metres from coast-side cliffs, the scenery was spectacular. Unfortunately you can't stop anywhere to take photos! This photo shows how a lot of the road is literally cut into the side of the coastal cliff faces.

Below: A lot of whales migrate from Alaska to the waters off Maui, often with their young close at hand. It is in these waters that you can sometimes seen these magnificent creatures breach out of the water, seemingly against the laws of gravity.

Above: I was pretty fortunate to get some of these shots as we were lucky that some whales breached near us, that I was poised with the camera pointing in roughly the right direction, and that the photos didn't turn out too blury given that I was hand-holding a 400mm lens (640mm equivalent) with exposures around 1/60th of a second. Since you never knew where they were going to surface you had to be prepared and waiting, otherwise you couldn't react quickly enough to snap off a decent pic.

Below: Diving deep to escape the boatload of camera-toting tourists.

Above: When I took this picture it was one of the first sightings of a whale breaching. I was excited to capture it, despite it being a very long way away, but after seeing the whales breach very close to us I couldn't help but focus on those pictures instead. But in flicking back over all the whale photos, this is definitely one of my favourites because it portrays a sense of the joy of a free spirit whilst presenting these magnificent creatures in a wild and undisturbed environment.

Below: On the way back from snorkelling cruise out to the Molokini reef we came across a large number of turtles swimming below the surface. Roughly every 20 minutes they will come up for air, which is when I snapped these shots.

Above: These huge guns on the front deck of the Battleship Missouri could launch an 16" projectile at a target over 24 miles away! It was on this ship that the Japanese officially surrendered to end World War 2. The ship last saw service in the 1991 Gulf War.

Below: The wreckage of the USS Arizona rises out of the water from its resting place, a casualty of the WW2 attack on Pearl Harbour. The circular part in the above image is the forward main guns mount, similar to those on the USS Missouri in the picture above it. Even after 60 year, oil can still be seen seeping from the wreckage in the lower left corner. It is now a memorial to those who died during the Pearl Harbour attacks, including the 1177 men who died in the cataclysmic explosion when a Japanese bomb ignited the ships forward munition magazine.

Above: The memorial to the 1177 casualties of the 1400 crew of the USS Arizona.

Below: Honolulu and Waikiki beach from Diamond Head crater rim.

Well, that's the last picture in this photo journal covering my 11 month expatriation to Calgary, Canada. If you have gotten this far through all the pictures you have done exceptionally well! I just hope I have been able to share some of the beauty of the environment I have explored during my own voyage of discovery.