A team of scientists are on Kauai scouting for Hawaiian monk seals. Some folks from the National Geographic Society are tagging along, toting Crittercams. They’re hoping to place some cameras on a few monk seals, so we can learn more about where the marine mammal goes and what it does when it’s not snoozing on the beach—that is, when it’s in the ocean, its home for two-thirds of its life.
While my friends have all the fun on the beaches of Kauai, I am sitting in a convention center in Honolulu listening to talks and panels and presenters and keynote addresses. See. My life isn’t always surfing and kayaking and photographing pretty places. Not quite;-)
But the talks and panels and presentations and keynote addresses I am listening to are about the things that make Hawaii more than just a warm place with palm trees. At the Hawaii Conservation Conference
, I am learning about the `ope`ape`a, the only native terrestrial mammal in Hawaii—a bat. I’m learning about the Oahu `elepaio, a small monarch flycatcher that is endemic to Oahu and protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act. And as my friends on the beach outfit a monk seal with a camera, I am learning that, contrary to lots of heresy, monk seals only eat approximately 15 pounds of food—fish, eel, lobster, octopus—per day.
I last attended the Hawaii Conservation Conference five years ago. It seems to me that the conversation in conservation has evolved. Then, there was talk about sustainability. But now I see the discussion extending to include agriculture. And I see its net widening to include tourism. In three days, I’ve jotted down ideas for future stories and articles and blog posts that could run me through my next 500 blog posts. And you know what that means, right? More traipsing through native forests, more shadowing scientists, more explorations and talk story to bring you closer to Hawaii.
And let’s not kid ourselves here. While I’ve been locked in conference rooms for the past three days, I’ve managed to escape long enough for a couple adventures. Steps away from Outrigger Reef on the Beach, I discovered a new snorkeling spot—well, at least, new to me. It’s a C-shaped reef a hundred feet off-shore from Ft. DeRussy Park. And I went canoe surfing with Faith Surf School in the turquoise blue waters fronting Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach--more to come on that adventure.
In the slide show above, I’ve culled my favorite images from June. They’re all 34 devoted to my recent Napali kayaking adventure
. It’s hard for me to look at them. Because I just want to go back.
* To celebrate five years and 500 blog posts, I've put together a FREE photo e-book that you can download
. It includes information like where I set up to take the shot and my camera settings, so that you can recreate these images, if you'd like. I hope you enjoy.
* If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider subscribing to my blog
. That way, whenever I write a new post, an email will magically pop into your inbox, letting you know.