Snorkeling & Water Adventures

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Snorkeling & Water Adventures

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Total Number of Articles - 51
  • What? There's Another Whale Besides the Humpback?

    false killer whale head lungeAt the marina, six biologists popped out of their van, hauling a dozen waterproof Pelican cases of all sizes and colors. They stashed their gear on a 27-foot Boston Whaler with military precision. Within a few minutes, we pushed off and motored out of the harbor. I took my spot on the fly bridge, the extended prow of the boat--think hood ornament of a car. My job as a volunteer on board would be to look for blows, breaches, lunges, dorsal fins, logging or any other whale behavior at the surface of the ocean. Read More
  • Hawaii's Whaling History

    mark twain's letters from hawaii bookIn 1866, Samuel Clemens visited Hawaii—or the Sandwich Islands, as he still liked to call the archipelago. He was a young man, new to the pseudonym Mark Twain, notable for wearing a brown, linen duster in his travels “ransacking” the islands. His hair was red then, always whipped into a frenzy by the trade winds, but he already sported that wooly mustache of his. Two of Twain’s 25 letters originally published by the Sacramento Union and included in the anthology Mark Twain’s Letters from Hawaii, edited by A. Grove Day, tackle whaling. Before the big business of sugar took over, whaling provided a good economy to the Hawaiian Islands.

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  • Whale Watching Tips

    Hawaiian humpback whale breaching off MauiHumpback whales spend plenty of their time in Hawaii near-shore. That makes it easy to spot them. Here are a few tips on what to pack and what to look for and where to go to witness these behemoths in action.

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  • There's Plastic In My Fish Sandwich!

    Plastic bottles that once contained water, bleach, motor oil and other liquids. Plastic lobster and crab traps. Mounds of nylon fishing nets. I am not surprised when I find this kind of trash on the beach. What I don’t understand, though, are the televisions, car wheels and the toilet seat lids that I have discovered on more than one beach walk.

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  • Friendly Snorkeling Tips

    Coral reefs are among the world’s most spectacular habitats and snorkeling is an excellent way to explore them. Follow these simple guidelines to help protect the coral reefs you visit.

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  • Pixel Postcard: My What Big Waves

    curling ocean waveThis week in Hawaii, we are expecting monster surf the likes of which we haven’t seen for over a decade. Everyone’s throwing around the number 50. As in fifty-foot high waves. And people, no doubt, will be riding them. But not competitors in "The Eddie.”

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  • Show Up. Work hard. Repeat.

    breaching whale off lahaina, mauiIn the photo, a humpback whale is rocketing its estimated 40-ton body out of the water. The fast shutter speed of the camera catches what must be thousands of water droplets spiraling around the whale’s enormous body—off its sun-glinting, scallop-edged pectoral fins and haloing its head. The action in this image was caught after the whale’s propulsion reached its apex, and the whale’s heavy body is falling back into the ocean with what you can only imagine will be a mighty splash. Read More
  • How to Become a Fish: Surveying with REEF

    cornet fish hovering over honu turtleUnder blue skies and calm seas, a couple days after the New Year, I stood knee deep in water at Hanaka`ape Bay, also known as Koloa Landing, on Kauai's South Shore. This was once the third largest harbor in all of Hawaii, first for whaling purposes and, later, no doubt, due to the abundant sugar cane that once covered the plains for miles around. Hawaii's very first sugar plantation, known then as the Old Sugar Mill of Koloa, was established in 1835 a stone's throw as the crow flies from this spot. These days, the comings and goings here come in the form of water sports enthusiasts--snorkelers, scuba divers, and paddlers. Read More
  • Hokulea: Raising Islands and Stories out of the Sea

    Hokulea in Hanalei, Kauai, Hawaii. Photo by Kim Steutermann RogersThere are some writing assignments that are just too big to tackle. It’s little like that giant Hula Pie served at Duke’s Canoe Club. Where do you plunge the first spoonful? Do I go for the whipped cream? The macadamia nut ice cream? What about chocolate cookie crust? And one person cannot be expected to complete the whole thing before it melts, no matter how ravenous. At least, I can’t, and I’ve tried. That’s how I feel when I think about writing about Hokulea.

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  • The Magnetism of Napali Coast

    nualolo valley wide shot of reefOn this trip, I was headed to Nualolo Kai, the mid-way point, a valley marked by a giant X in the cliff face backing it—and bordered on one end by Alapii Point. The plan was for Anthony to drop me off and continue on his way with the other eight or 10 passengers to the lush side. They would dip in and out of a half-dozen sea caves, cruise through a waterfall or two, hear Anthony share the history and legends of the place and utter the words—beautiful, gorgeous, spectacular. Read More
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