Sherrie Miller-Evans Photography
Sherrie Miller-Evans Photography
Sherrie Miller-Evans is a devoted grandmother living in a busy household of nine. She and her husband, J.R., live a not so quiet life in the not so quiet city of Las Vegas, Nevada and they love it. However, Sherrie escapes every year possible for two to three months to visit her friends (both above the water and below) in Maui, Hawaii. The other nine months of the year are her W.W. (without whales) months and they are tougher than those in Maui. Sherrie’s 3 year old grandson, Eric, was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 2 and the battle to defeat this dreaded disease will continue on for another 1½ – 2 years and possibly much longer. Little carrot top Eric, who admits happily that he is grandma’s pip-squeak, is at the center of Sherrie’s life in Las Vegas and has added even more depth to the urgency she feels about our troubled planet.
“My time in Maui is my sanity time, when the world makes sense and tranquility prevails. I can’t put into words the peace and serenity the whales bring to my life. At times when there is madness all about me I find pure contentment among the humpbacks.
“My time at home is all about my family and my grandson’s brave fight. No little man of 2 and 3 should have to endure what he goes through willingly. He melts my heart and brings me to tears as his little body is poked and fluids drawn, bone marrow extracted. He does not cry. The nights he can’t keep his dinner down, he says nothing and goes on. He is amazing. God willing, after he beats his own personal enemy within, will he have a place of quality on earth to live? Will he be able to sail a blue ocean and watch the whales he loves so much? Will they be there for him when he wants to introduce them to his children? Will there be enough water and will it be drinkable? Will the air be breathable? Will the food be healthy and will the sun be kind? So many questions yet to be answered.
“In 1998 a simple decision to take a cruise to Alaska would ultimately change my life. Shortly after our ship left its Canadian harbor, a resourceful and energetic researcher and naturalist by the name of Brent Nixon began his first of a good number of nature lectures. The first was delivered to a standing room only group of passengers in such an enthusiastic and convincing manner all present couldn’t wait for our first sight of wildlife.
“In the next few days, Brent would be back on stage to talk about much of Alaska’s wildlife but when he spoke about humpback whales, I was all ears and couldn’t get enough. The next morning I was up at 4:30 AM and on the deck in freezing temperatures because Brent told us that would be the best place and time to see humpbacks. And we did, though all too briefly as the ship sailed on.
“I was hooked and couldn’t wait to see and learn more. And now, years later, I still can’t wait to see and learn more. This keen interest of years ago has turned into a passion that drives my world and has taken me around it in search of humpbacks and the experts whose brains I have loved to pick.
“My experiences have been many and most surreal. I often wonder why this bounty has come my way. I’ve had the privilege of learning with some of the most humpback savvy researchers on the planet. I’ve fallen asleep listening to the songs of humpbacks radiating from the hull of a yacht while counting the brightest stars in a dark Australian sky. I’ve swam with the humpbacks in the Silver Banks north of the Dominican Republic and watched in amazement as groups of humpbacks were bubblenet feeding in Stellwagon Banks off the coast of Massachusetts. I’ve spent many blissful hours with humpbacks off the coasts of California, Washington, Alaska and Mexico and have devoted several thousand hours to the observation, study and photography of these magnificent animals. I refuse to visit any country that is currently whaling, so Japan, Iceland and Norway are out for me. There are very few places on the planet where humpbacks congregate that I have yet to visit or have a desire to do so. I am totally convinced I’ve found the best place on earth to watch and experience humpback whales and it’s right here in Maui, Hawaii. It doesn’t get any better which is why I’ve stopped my world wide search for the humpback utopia. Eureka! I have found it! That’s why I return every year.
“I’ve strived to gain the knowledge necessary to join a concerned humanity that must now make changes that make a difference. A difference to the humpbacks, a difference to our planet and preserving our oceans, a difference to the next generation by teaching today’s children. A difference….. the difference you and I can and must make so our children and grandchildren may still have a planet to enjoy and thrive upon. I chase whales to fulfill a present passion that has enriched my life greatly and to feed and develop tomorrow’s passionate needs.
“It’s simple and normal human behavior. People can’t and don’t care greatly about what they don’t know or understand. But when we see for ourselves and learn about an animal as mysterious and enchanting as the humpback whale, it would be hard not to care about their existence and preservation of their environment. If you observe them for an extended period of time, you will come to realize their absolute power. They’re massive body and strength will impress you, yet they are mans gentle giant. Researchers and photographers who have met them eye to eye can tell you about encounters that will astound you. I’ve seen video of an encounter between a juvenile humpback and a group of young Australian children you’d absolutely have to see to believe. They have so much to teach us yet man is their only true enemy. They were once on the brink of extinction from whaling. Their numbers are increasing but slowly.
“This is my hope and the reason I’m a participant in this medium. I hope you might see and read interesting material about the charismatic humpback whales. I hope you find your way back to visit this site and the humpbacks tomorrow and the day after. I hope you might learn about this most intriguing animal and come to care for its habitat and safety. It all starts with just caring.
“As far as my mentor, Mr. Brent Nixon is concerned, I hope one day he might read this and know of the magic he introduced into my life. While it’s important that each of us strive to repair the damage done to this most magnificent planet, in my mind and heart, Brent achieved that goal years ago and continues that effort today.
“I thank you for reading my story and for your visit to this site today. I hope you find it to be of interest and value.
“Last but certainly not least, I want to extend a huge thank you to Chris Norberg, the talented webmaster who has worked countless, dedicated hours to make what you see here today and every day happen. Great job Chris! My thanks to Chris Williams who thought of me when this was just an idea. My love to my most special friend, Janet Williams, for making Maui all it is to me and so much more than words could ever say. And to my dear mother, the angel that has paved the path of my every step and opened up a world of beauty to me that she never had the opportunity to see.”
Sherrie is responsible for most of the written descriptions and whale facts on the photos page. Her valuable insight comes from years of observation and research aboard Maui whale watching tours here in Maui, Hawaii. Having spent countless hours watching these graceful visitors, Sherrie has managed to capture many unique and beautiful photographs, displaying various whale behaviors.
With an upgrade in camera equipment for this next whale watch season, you’re sure to see even more impressive whale photographs from Sherrie.
Enjoy the room and elevation afforded by a double decker catamaran, given unprecedented views. Expert marine naturalists will guide you through your whale watch and answer all your humpback questions.