The water washed across my feet, pushing them deeper into the sand. I was wearing Nike swim trunks, a white Kobe t-shirt, and a straw hat that I had bought in Cuba after misplacing my baseball cap. My Ray-Ban sunglasses were a bit salty, but I could still marvel at the blue ocean through them.
Other than the camera in my pocket, those were my worldly possessions at the moment. Well, to be honest, practically every moment.
I tugged at my summer goatee while looking out over the water. "I think I'll go for a swim early tomorrow. Maybe Airport Rock." I knew a storm was in the forecast, and I wanted to get a few more fish portraits before the churned up ocean clouded the reef.
As I thought about this endeavor, clouds gathered around Lana'i. Even though I have photographed that island a hundred times over the last decade, I pulled out my camera and captured it again. Monet would have appreciated the sentiment.
Over the past week, I have snapped nearly 500 images, some underwater, most topside while doing little else other than watching the clouds, or the tourists, pass by. About a hundred of those pictures I've gathered into an album for sharing. They are my pouch of gold.
There are street shots from Lahaina, sea turtles from Black Rock, kids on a boat, and a morning walk with my wife back from breakfast at the Castaway Cafe. I also memorialized rainbows, egrets, trumpet fish, sunsets, and sand... lots of sand.
Not for one moment on Maui did I give a damn about my equipment. I had one indestructible camera in my pocket and that was it. That was all I needed. And the pictures that little device produced are precious.
And if I go back a hundred times, I wouldn't do it any other way. Why would I?