Friday, July 28, 2006

We're off to sea the Wizard...

After much anticipation, we are finally off. We left the dock at Snug Harbor, Honolulu at 0830 this morning and steamed around the eastern end of the island of Oahu towards Makapu'u Point and the town of Waimanalo, where we used to live.

We arrived at our first study site just after lunch. The cliffs of Makapu'u Point are even more impressive from the ocean than from land. The little white lighthouse standing in sharp contrast to the jet black basalt cliffs rising above the sapphire ocean. Offshore, rabbit island juts to the sky like a Hawaiian Gibraltar, a monk seal hauled out on the beach.

We completed 3 towed-diver surveys today. Not bad for a half day of work. The first two tows were pretty nice by Oahu standards. Two spotted eagle rays, one small manta, and a few decent size cornetfish. The third tow, back to the Oahu standard I am afraid. Algal covered hard bottom with few large fish. The Hawaiian state fish, Humuhumunukunukupaua'a was almost the only resident, ducking into small pukas (holes) in the bottom as we few overhead.

Tonight we head to the north shore of the island of Kaua'i to survey near Hanalei Bay where we hope to find nice coral and abundant fish. Only tomorrow will tell...


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