Snorkeling & Water Adventures

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Snorkeling & Water Adventures

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Total Number of Articles - 51
  • A Weekend on Napali: Part One

    nualolo valley wide shot of reefThe sky was dark when we met at Kīkīaola Harbor on Kaua‘i’s west side, a pile of yellow, blue, green and red dry bags gathering on the dock as each member of our work party arrived at the rude hour of 5:00 a.m. We said our groggy hellos, sharing breath in the traditional Hawaiian greeting known as honi and with the more common pecks on the cheek. A sky full of diamonds sparkled overhead. Read More
  • Contemplating Kukui Trees and What to Pack

    Napali Coast, Kauai, HawaiiSo, I am sitting here contemplating kukui trees. Mine are weeping. The kukui tree is the official state tree of Hawaii. It was sort of the like the Swiss Army Knife of trees back in old Hawaii. Hawaiians used its leaves, branches, trunks and seeds to make fires, canoes, medicines, fish bait, fish floats, dye, an adhesive, tattoos, cloth and oil for lamps. Today, the kukui is most well-known for its seeds that are strung into lei. You might know it as the candlenut tree. Its scientific name is Aleurites moluccana. What I like about the tree is it embodies my personal philosophy when it comes to landscaping my yard—native and care-free. Read More
  • Summer Whalewatching in Hawaii: Part Four

    cascadia research boatFalse killer whales. They look nothing like the black-and-white killer whales so well known in the Pacific Northwest and occasionally spotted in Hawaii. False killer whales are dark grey and grow to approximately 12 to 18 feet. Their skull and teeth, however, are similar to Orcinus orca and gave rise to the scientific name Pseudorca crasidens. Read More
  • Summer Whalewatching: Part Three

    Underwater photo of Hawaiian spinner dolphin by Bo Pardau"One animal. Twelve o'clock. Fifty meters," Renee called out. She had briefed me earlier on my duties and stressed the three things that Robin--captaining our Wild Whale research vessel--was adamant about. He wanted to hear 1) animal species or, at the very least, its behavior, such as splash, blow, breach; 2) location on the clock, using the boat's bow as 12:00 and the stern as 6:00; and 3) distance from the boat in meters. Read More
  • Summer Whalewatching in Hawaii: Part Two

    Underwater photograph of two Hawaiian spinner dolphins by Bo PardauAfter a fuel pump or something went out that led to the cancellation of the inaugural day of research, I was invited back on Saturday. It was to be the 600th day on the water over 12 years in Hawaii for Cascadia Research. In the intervening 10 days, the team had spotted, gathered tissue samples and photo-identified numerous individuals from several groups of rough-toothed dolphins. They’d also encountered their largest group of bottlenose dolphins in Hawaii—200 individuals. The highlight of the trip thus far, though, had to be spending about an hour mingling with four killer whales. Read More
  • Summer Whalewatching in Hawaii

    On my volunteer days at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge during the summer, I am often asked, “When do the whales come back?” What people really mean is, “When are the humpback whales in Hawaiian waters?” And the answer to that question is November through April. But there are more than just humpback whales in Hawaii.

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  • Maui Man Paddles SUP Board from Big Island to Kauai

    On Tuesday, June 21, just before 9:00 p.m., Bart de Zwart stepped off land at Keokea Bay on Big Island. Five days later, just before sunset on Sunday evening, he took his first steps on ground again at Kalapaki Beach on Kauai. He took 215,000 paddlestrokes to navigate his 14-foot stand-up board on what he called the “ultimate crossing,” a 300-mile journey.

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  • Hanging out with Sharks

    turtle swimming through blue ocean tunnels kauai“If you come across a shark, don’t look it eye to eye and maybe it will hang around a while,” said Wayne, our dive master before we descended head first into a slot cavern at Kauai’s best summer shore dive—Tunnels. On a recent outing, Wayne had encountered a shark here—in this very same dive spot—and human and shark hung out for a while. Read More
  • 2010 Year in Pictures

    In 2010, I traveled around the main Hawaiian Islands, exploring Oahu, Maui, Big Island and, of course, the island on which I live--Kauai.  I always pack one of my various cameras when I travel, either my handy iPhone, portable Canon G9 or my SLR, a Canon 20D with a variety of lenses, including a fun and funky Lensbaby, walk-around 17-85mm, and a super-telephoto Tokina 75-400mm.  I take way more pictures than I ever post on this blog.  Here, in a review of 2010 in pictures, are many of those images that, for one reason or another, were never published.  Enjoy.
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  • In Loving Memory of Andy Irons

    The signs started going up November 3rd, the day after Kauai-born, world-champion surfer Andy Irons was reported dead. Just 32, Andy had recently won the Billabong Pro Tahiti, and was awaiting the birth of his first child—a son, already named Axel.  The news reverberated throughout the island of Kauai in shock waves—from the local coffee shop, gas station and post office to text messages, emails and phone calls. And, of course, at the beach—Pinetrees, in particular, where a group of surfers gathered, slack-jawed and shuffling their feet. Read More
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