About a week ago, Mike Spaulding, a 61-year-old realtor who lives here on Maui, met a cookie cutter shark up close and personal. Spaulding, you see, is a long-distance, deep-water swim enthusiast who was attempting to swim from the Big Island of Hawaii to Maui across the 30-mile-wide Alenuihaha Channel.
After four hours in the water -- it was close to 8:00 p.m. and night had fallen -- Spaulding was about a third of the way across the channel when he felt a sharp pain in his chest. A few seconds later – zap! – same thing on the calf of his left leg.
Since it’s not a good idea to be bleeding out in the middle of the ocean at any time, let alone at night, he climbed into the kayak that was accompanying him and they radioed a support boat cruising nearby. Once aboard, he was patched up … with a towel and duct tape! … and they headed for Maui.
After examining Mike's wounds, experts are are certain that a cookie cutter shark was indeed responsible.
But what a guy! Sixty-one years old, in great shape ... and completely crazy!
Hospital photo from The Maui News