Tag: animals

The 12 Days of Fishmas (Scuba-Santa)!

It’s almost here – the 12 days of Fishmas at the Maui Ocean Center. The fun starts December 14 and lasts through December 25th.

Visiting with Santa in the shark tank! How cool is that? I posted about this last year – here is a teaser picture!

Book online (a day or two earlier) and receive a complimentary week-pass upgrade! This is an awesome deal especially for young families! If your kids don’t have the attention span to last the for the entire aquarium visit, just come back later in the week and check out what you missed at the first pass! And if you still didn’t see it all, pick up the DVD at the gift store or online.

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That glamorous topic… tropical pest control

Pest control… it’s one of those things we don’t like to talk about. Truth is, noone likes to think about bugs. Well, most people don’t.

But it does need to be addressed. I certainly don’t like bugs. So what do we do about them? Will you see a bug while on vacation?

These are the tropics and the truthful answer is – yes, you will. But we do try to mitigate them. State law dictates that all vacation rental condos are treated regularly for bugs (pest control). For the comfort of all owners and guests, this treatment is very important.

What types of bugs can you expect to see? Some examples are tiny ants (harmless), millipedes (harmless), cockroaches (yes, eww but harmless) and rarely centipedes (those are not nice, if you are bitten by one, you will want something like Benadryl to help with the swelling). We do have a can of bug spray in each condo.

So if pest control comes knocking, please help us (and the guests who come after you) by allowing them in (you will typically get a day’s heads up that they are coming, so put all your food into cupboards or the fridge). Unfortunately pest control cannot be rescheduled.

What will pest control do? One pest control person will enter the condo together with one of the property’s employees (for security). He will spray along the entrance, baseboards and under the sinks. If you have noticed bugs in any particular location (such as those tiny ants sometimes found in the kitchen or bathroom), leave a note in a conspicuous place (such as the table or taped to the front door) so they especially treat that area. While the pest control companies are bonded, we ask that you please put away your valuables (we have a guest safe in each of our condos, or take them with you). You may want to leave for an hour during/after the treatment, or at least sit outside on the lanai. Turn on the fans and air out the condo.

What else can you as a renter do to avoid unwanted bugs? Please keep food covered and put away. That bowl of fruit on the counter, crumbs in the toaster and on the counter, dirty dishes in the sink, trash piling up in the condo… these are all bug magnets. Please help us by keeping the condo clean and also the screens closed.

If you do have bugs, please let us know as soon as possible. We will try to help.

Will pest control get the geckos? Hopefully not. Geckos are a natural pest control. They used to terrify me (and can still startle me), but they will not hurt you. They eat bugs, so really, they are our friends! In fact, in Hawaii geckos are considered to bring good luck!

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Cool new shark tracking tool

You may have heard about the recent increase in shark attacks on Maui. For those of you terrified of sharks, let me say this: it is extremely unlikely you will bitten by a shark in the ocean. In 2012 we had 2.3 million visitors on Maui (with the numbers increasing for 2013). In 2013 we’ve to date had 6 shark attacks (one resulted in a death, the first shark-related death since 2004). Statistically that is a 0.00026% likelihood you’ll get bitten. Should you choose to avoid the ocean when the water is murky (typically a day or two after rainfall), this likelihood decreases substantially.

So, please keep sharks in perspective. Their target foods are turtles and monk seals. When the water is murky, you may look like a snack. So please stay out. I know this ‘bites’, especially if you are here for just a week, but do you really want to be shark bait?

Given the increase in shark attacks, the State of Hawaii has recently commissioned the University of Hawaii Manoa to undertake a shark study. Researchers have completed the first phase of their project, tagging 15 tiger sharks found on the South side of Maui. No, sharks don’t exclusively hang out in South Maui, they can in fact be found anywhere the ocean water is salty (anywhere in the ocean). This is simply where they have started their research.

Researchers (and you too) can now track the sharks’ movement as they go (or should I say ‘swim’) about their every day lives. As I understand it, the GPS transponders transmit a signal whenever the dorsal fin breaches the surface.

I don’t know about you, but I find this fascinating.

The website warns, this website does NOT provide real-time monitoring. Please do not rely on it for safety advice.

How to best avoid a shark encounter (some common sense advice)?

1. Do not go into the ocean if the water is murky – sharks generally avoid humans, however if the water is murky, they may mistake you for prey.

2. Do not go into the ocean when it’s raining or right after (again the murkiness factor). But also, the water could be murky because of run-off from land, so it is a sanitary concern. Plan a different activity until the water is clear again.

3. Avoid swimming/surfing at dusk and dawn (they may mistake you for prey).

4. Do not go into the water if you have an open wound or are bleeding – apart from sharks being attracted to blood, you could also get an infection. Be careful if there is sharp coral or lava rock in the water – best to wear water shoes.

5. Do not wear high contrast clothing or jewellery. Sharks see contrast very well.

6. Swim, surf or dive with other people. Don’t move too far away from assistance.

7. Don’t swim near people fishing or spear fishing.

8. Avoid swimming near dolphins – they are prey for some types of sharks.

9. If fish or turtles start to behave erratically, move quickly and calmly out of the water. Refrain from excessive splashing, sharks are attracted to that type of behavior.

10. Check with the life guards. They will post signs and close the beach if there is a shark sighting. Don’t go into water if sharks are known to be present.

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Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze

I took the boys upcountry to the Kula Country farm stand for some fall fun. Fall fun in shorts and t-shirts, that is! The weather was partially sunny and a wonderful 73 Fahrenheit (23 Celsius). I enjoyed cooling off a little. Here are a few pictures for you!

corn maze at Kula Fields

inside the maze – just $3/person, the dirt is pretty dusty, kids LOVED it!

king protea with bee

mutant pumpkin?

pumpkin patch with a view!
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An interesting hitch-hiker

We had a hitchhiker on our truck this morning as we drove to Kahului. I thought for sure he’d get off, but he hung on all the way to Costco, carefully guarded the truck while I did my shop, then continued on with me to the Lowe’s parking lot… At Lowe’s I finally helped him off the truck and onto a bit of grass. He must have really sticky feet to hang on that well.

What is it? A 3+ inch preying mantis. He sure is cool. He eats bugs and apparently organic farms use these guys for pest control. Not sure why he liked my truck, though.

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Sharks – it would figure…

Yesterday one of our guests called to report in zero damage from Flossie at the condo (thank you!). She also asked about sharks in the water.

I told her what I usually say… sharks do live in the ocean, and yes, there is always the potential of a shark attack, however, they are really quite rare.

I also gave her some common sense advice about sharks that I’ve posted here before, quite relevant because of tropical storm Flossie: don’t go into the water when the water is murky, especially after rain. Sharks typically don’t attack humans, however, if the water is murky, they have difficulty seeing humans, so the risk is higher.

Guess what hit the news today… a shark attack off Ulua Beach in Wailea. Sigh. It does figure… If you look on this newsreport there is a 6 minute interview with the lady who was bitten – very interesting. The lady tells that the water had a fair bit of debris in it.

I hope our guest isn’t too scared to go into the water and enjoy her vacation. Officials have closed Ulua Beach and the surrounding beaches and are patrolling the area, looking for the shark. Tomorrow morning they will re-assess the situation before opening the beaches.

Should you worry about sharks? Honestly, there is a much greater chance of you having a car accident while on Maui than being bitten by a shark. Do use common sense and if you are concerned, stay at beaches that have life guards (who keep an eye out for sharks and can help you).

I had to smile at this sign that is posted at a local pool. “Warning – Sharks may be present. Shark bites have occurred in this area.” It is highly unlikely that there are sharks at this pool. Not even of the time-share selling variety 🙂

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Maui Humane Society Anniversary Celebration

Tomorrow (Saturday July 20th) is the Maui Humane Society‘s 60th Anniversary Celebration. I know this may seem like an odd thing to post on a blog whose readers are mainly tourists. However, I’ve heard from at least two of our guests who have gone and volunteered at Maui’s animal shelter while on vacation.

So, in case you are interested… here’s the information on their celebration. Check out their website if you are interested in helping out with the animals while on Maui.

I’m curious to hear – have you done volunteer work while on vacation? If yes, what organizations have you worked with. Mahalo!

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July is Shark-tacular month at the Maui Ocean Center

It’s a Shark-tacular Summer at the Maui Ocean Center!
Join them as they are celebrating sharks this July!
Sharks, called mano in Hawaiian,
are as incredible as they are misunderstood. The Maui Ocean Center’s goal during the months of
Shark-tacular, is to dispel myths and uncover the truth about these animals
with engaging presentations and activities.
Visit the Maui Ocean Center website for more details. This is a great aquarium located in Maalaea (just North of Kihei) that displays many of the fish you will find in our local reefs.
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Lunch at Mulligan’s on the Blue

Did you know, we have a great Irish pub/sports bar here in Wailea with a beautiful view? Mulligan’s on the Blue is located on the Wailea Blue Course (the first golf course south of the Wailea hotels, near Polo Beach).

They do have local beer on tap – but we had to have Guinness and Kilkenny to go with the mahi mahi fish and chips!

If you come here in the evening, they have a bagpiper playing at sunset, and there is live music in the evenings, some evenings dinner shows with Maui’s own Willie K.

While waiting for our food, I kept myself busy trying to take a picture of the two red-crested cardinals that just wouldn’t stay in one place long enough for me to take a picture! Probably because our food hadn’t arrived yet!

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