Monday, October 22, 2012

Swimming Mermaid in Maui

I just got back from a week in Maui.  I love Maui!

It was mostly a vacation trip but I brought my swimming mermaid tail with the aim of getting some fun underwater photos by Maui's clear blue ocean reefs.  

We went to a snorkeling spot in Kihei.  My swimming mermaid tail is pretty well designed, in 2 pieces so it's a little easier for me to get around than in a one-piece silicon tail, but it's still kind of fiddly - I have to pull the top half on then sort of waddle as close to the water as possible before sitting down to pull on the bottom half, and then there's a lot of strap-tightening and velcro and snapping that needs to happen before I'm ready to swim.  I found a fairly convenient rock and started the process, focusing hard - every time a wave splashed in, it tried to carry away the bottom part of the tail, and the rock I was perched on was so knobbly and volcanic that it was quite the task to get tailed-up.

Once I got the last snap in place, I looked up.. to see a whole gaggle of tiny little girls standing 10 feet away from me, stock still, with their mouths hanging open.  I cracked up and almost fell off the rock.  I waved at the girls and scooted off the rock into the ocean where I swam away into the surf.

We rented an Olympus TG820 and discovered that it takes really amazing clear photos underwater.  I also discovered that my tail is *very* buoyant in salt water.  

We did 2 days of shooting.  The first day, our location wasn't all-that but the lighting was nice.  Unfortunately, I look like I'm holding my breath and squinting in almost all the photos.  It's sort of a "this is painful" face, which doesn't quite sell the mermaid.  :)  The second day I was a bit better about that, and we found some good coral, so we got some good shots.. but MAN is it hard to 1) hold your breath without seeming to, 2) swim as hard as you can to as deep as you can get with a very buoyant tail, 3) maintain the proper distance from the photographer, and 4) smile in a relaxed and lazy way at the camera while your eyes and lungs are burning.  Next time I am wearing a weight belt. 

Actually that might be my next project.. making a pretty, mermaid-approved weight belt.  :)

I imagine there will be some sort of slide show / video made from all the photos at some point, but for now.. here are my favorites!

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