Love Your Ocean – Treasure the Whales (and all the marine life)

judyIt is possible to standup paddle all the way from Maui to the Molokini “seems like a crater but isn’t” area off the coast, but the weather and your paddling buddy need to be spot on. So we were fortunate to get aboard the Pacific Whale Foundation’s boat, Voyager, for a snorkel trip with entertaining and so capable, Capt Doug Hunt. The day dawned sunny with barely a breeze. Whales were breaching and rolling, nursing their young and putting on a show all the way out. (Learn more here)

boatThe snorkeling was great in spite of hundreds of people in the water. Once eyes were aimed at the reef and the antics of the wide variety of tropicals it seemed like we had the area to ourselves. On board, we were served fresh fruit, breads, juices and coffee by highly experienced crew, all with degrees in some form of marine biology and environmental studies. They were personable and shared information in the most engaging manner. download

ornate-butterflyHuge mahalos to Emily, Karin, Mel, Liv, Jamie and Mariah!!! After our second dive at Turtle Arches (wow, even cooler diversity of tropical fish) we had the best cookout! Veg burgers, ballpark steaks (beef hotdogs) and grilled chicken – with sides … and there were cookies! Can’t get all that on a SUP!

The best part of the experience was the knowledge that more than 80% of our ticket price goes directly to the Pacific Whale Foundation, everything we purchased in the store and our membership dollars all support dedicated people serving the source of “every second breath we take” – the Ocean.

If you love watching the whales of Maui at play – or wish you had…. go ahead and learn more about the Pacific Whale Foundation>


Kindergarten: A Standup Beginning

Zane Schweitzer released his first book (yes, more to come in 2018) in November of 2017. In spite of a competition and travel schedule that fills most of 10 months of the year, he is actively adding one more “podium” to his quiver – that of being a speaker sharing the same energy and spirit that flies off the pages of his book, Beneath the Surface. (Available on Amazon )

IMG_0941 (2)kkiiiWhile on Maui this week I had the great pleasure to hear Zane and Kimberly Yap, Miss Hawaii Filipina 2017) speak at King Kamehameha III Elementary in Lahaina. From the first moments there the experience was full of great memories, the warmth of the Lahaina community and inspiration for all. While Zane was visiting the class that his own former kindergarten teacher has this year.

She was thrilled to share this story of Zane at age 5, “There was a student who cried each day at school, saying he didn’t want to be there. Finally, one day Zane told him that he was going to be here in school every day anyway, he might as well be happy about it. Another time that same boy forgot his sandwich for a school trip. We had made some extras, but when he got it he proclaimed that he didn’t want peanut butter and jelly. Again, Zane gave him this advice, ‘You for got your sandwich and now you have a sandwich. Be grateful that you have a sandwich.’ That’s the kind of boy Zane was, from the beginning. We are so proud that he has come back now to share inspiration with the students.”

As the entire school gathered on the playground, with their own chairs and so much respect and orderly behavior, Zane and Kim began to speak. For nearly an hour, students from kindergarten to grade 5 listened with rapt attention. The stories and questions around the themes of discovering personal heroes, valuing personal dreams, abilities and passion and reflecting with gratitude daily seemed to touch each student with a personal impression. kkiiiiiii

Kim was elegant, beautiful, articulate – and funny. She connected with the audience through her zesty, yet humble, approach to important life lessons. Zane shared some adventures encountered through surfing and other waterman experiences, but his main theme included the importance of every person doing their part to develop a personal “Blue Life.”

The health of the Ocean, our playground and the source of every second breath, is the responsibility of each of us. Respect for the Ocean, the land and each other was shared in a manner that invited each student to see themselves in the story. The impact Zane and Kim had on the students was evident when their time to speak was over. A huge ovation was followed by the students returning to class. But they did not stay in class.

Many students had brought their copy of Beneath the Surface  and wanted Zane to sign it. Others came with paper, notebooks, shoes and even their shirts to be signed by Zane and Kim. Their message had resonated in the hearts of these children.

I know that Zane will be visiting many schools and speaking to groups of young people around the world. He and Kim just recently returned from a humanitarian trip to the Philippines. Hosted by local Rotary Clubs, Zane and Kim became immersed in local culture while sharing their energy and spirit.

Our Ocean will be the healthier for the inspiration Zane will share as he spreads the message of ways we can all live a “Deep Blue Life.” (Check out the VIDEO by Starboard and Sustainable Surf here). At schools and events around the world, individual children will be the wiser for the advice woven into a powerful invitation to discover a personal mission and path, to look for mentors to inspire, and to find the ways that each child can inspire others – all while practicing gratitude daily.

It might sound like a tall order. I believe that today’s young people are seeking exactly the challenges and reinforcement that Zane has to offer.

If you would like to book Zane for a speaking engagement, use the CONTACT form on his website.

For more, see the Sustainable Surf Page