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