Ted Trimmer, Maui by Air, top
"Invention is the mother of necessity." - Thorstein Veblen
"One's real life is often the life that one does not lead."
- Oscar Wilde
"The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are."
- John Burroughs
- John Burroughs
Lahaina Maui, one-time capitol of Hawaii, is also infamous as the battlefield of the "Whaler-Missionary War" back in the 19th Century. Missionaries were none too pleased when rough & ready sailor-men ("wooden ships, iron men") followed valuable oil - whale oil, that is - to the rich winter calving grounds of the humpback whales off Maui. These guys were no choir boys, and their hard-drinking, two-fisted, profane activities while ashore clashed seriously with the hymn singing, religious instruction, and "useful" labor that the men & women with the monopoly on God were trying to impose, er, offer the benighted Hawaiians. That "war" must have been some brawl! Imagine obscene pirates trading "licks" with fire & brimstone preachers wielding axes, and egged on by their indignant, hatchet-faced wives!
Today we lack the rectitude of the missionaries, and the pure spit-into-the-wind brio of the whaling men, but the whales still winter in Hawaiian waters and they still favor leeward Maui. Today they are protected and admired. Yet small boats of gutsy people still occasionally chase the whales, as one craft did yesterday. These pursuers were not whale-hunters but whale-HELPERS. In response to reports by recreational boaters of a whale entangled with discarded fishing line & nets (some an inch thick!) the team went in search of a giant mammal in distress. The gaffs, hooks, and blades they carried were all designed for the purpose of freeing the intelligent mammal to pursue it's hemispheric ramblings unencumbered. The ensuing water ballet would have baffled the whalers of old, as the scientists and marine specialists worked quickly but carefully to remove the debris straight-jacket. Finally the creature tired of the sport and swam for deep water. Scientists say that enough line has been removed to guarantee the oceanic visitor a good chance of healthy survival. . . To save Earth will require profound changes in our attitudes and activities; But for one afternoon, an important victory had been won. One of many . . . .one at a time . . . Experts estimate that 1700 humpback whales are currently wintering off Maui.
A L O H A ! Cloudia