Even though we didn't get much snorkeling time this last trip to Maui because of the high surf it did bring out the surfers in droves.
As luck would have it, Aaron and I were driving around the north end of Maui looking for photographic opportunities and stopped where some surfers were to take some photos.
We met a professional videographer that was filming the surfers and he gave us the run down of who was in the water.
One of those surfers was Bethany Hamilton-Dirks, a world class and world famous surfer who lost her left arm in a shark attack about 12 years ago.
I have to say she is truly an inspiration for pushing through hardships and getting on with your life.
When the news broke out of the shark attack, a family of fishermen led by Ralph Young presented to investigators photos of a 14-foot-long tiger shark they had caught and killed about one mile from the attack site. It had surfboard debris in its mouth. When measurements of its mouth were compared with those of Hamilton's broken board, it matched. In late 2004, the police officially confirmed that it was the one that attacked her.
Despite the trauma of the incident, Hamilton was determined to return to surfing. Three weeks after the incident, she returned to her board.
Initially, she adopted a custom-made board that was longer and slightly thicker than standard and had a handle for her right arm, making it easier to paddle, and she learned to kick more to make up for the loss of her left arm. After teaching herself to surf with one arm, on January 10, 2004, she entered a major competition. She now uses standard competitive performance short-boards. The broken surfboard that Hamilton was riding during the attack is on display at the California Surf Museum.