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Columnist Sharon Nesbit spends some time each winter on Maui. Here's her latest as she 'suffers' through another long Hawaiian winter.

Sharon NesbitYou know that you have time to waste here when you spend a half-hour wondering if rainbows have a scent.

Here in Maui I get up before almost everybody. Make a cup of coffee and go to the sea wall to start the morning.

The clouds tend to go around the end of Maui, drift across the Pailolo Channel and bunch up on the top of Molokai. With a sunrise following, it makes a lovely morning show.

Some days, if you are lucky, the clouds ramming Molokai squeeze a small rainbow into the sea. That was when I smelled it. An effervescent fresh scent. Not ocean. Not fish. Something else. Rainbow?

I finish my coffee, enjoying the notion that I may be one of the first to smell a freshly launched rainbow.

Headed to the other side of the island the other day in a messy squall, I saw all oncoming traffic pulled to the side of the road, drivers gaping at something behind me. Fearing that I was being chased by demons I looked in the rearview mirror to see a hunk of a giant rainbow, jumping from Maui to Lanai.

It was my first rainbow jam.

Whale jams, we know. Cars stop unexpectedly this time of year to see the whales that come in from Alaska to frolic in warm water, birthing and mating. They can't stay long because, unlike us, they don't eat here.

In order to make the trip they must first go north to stock up on fresh krill, which are a kind of shrimp. I have known all this for a long time but until this week I did not know that as a result of eating krill, whale poop is pink.

I have not seen this myself. I spend no time in the wake of whales, but I am willing to take the word of the scientists who know this.

The Maui News these days is full of letters from scientists and other experts, disputing some crack pot who claims that melting ice can't cause rising oceans, because ice in a glass of water doesn't overflow the glass, thus no rising oceans, no global warning.

Science is a tricky thing to get your head around if you are a crackpot. You've got to wonder after a half dozen letters showed up disproving his theory, is he still wandering Maui with a glass of ice water? Or perhaps it's gin. That would explain a lot.

This week our bird guy here spotted a rare shore bird, the Wandering Tattler. He proved it on a fancy bird identification program on his phone.

Most days, the paddle board guy goes by my lanai while I am on my computer. He comes to deliver and collect rented boards. I tried a paddle board once and realized that I am unbalanced (in that regard) and it is not my sport.

But the paddle board guy never gives up. "I'll leave the board here if you want to try it," he grins, knowing that I can't even pick it up.

I decline and open up my computer to ponder the question of rainbow smells.

"I'm working," I explain.

"Nice office you got there," he says.

The office of The Wandering Tattler.


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