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View From Here - Hawaii Travel Blog - Snorkeling & Water Adventures

Total Number of Entries - 77
  • Consider the Sailboat

    Destination: Oahu

    diamond-head-buoy-runConsider the sailboat plying the waters off Waikiki. With its billowy sails unfurling in the wind, a bow pointed toward the wide-open oceanic spaces of points unknown, the sailboat evokes a certain set of feelings and passions and desires. There are few images as iconic.

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  • In Search of (Toothed) Whales off Kona

    Destination: Hawaii Island

    Underwater photo of Hawaiian spinner dolphin by Bo PardauA team of researchers is plying the waters off Kona on Hawaii (Big) Island right now. Led by Robin Baird of Cascadia Research Collective, they are in search of whales. No, not humpbacks. But odontocetes—toothed whales. The research project’s objectives are plenty.

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  • Hawaii Island's Best Beach for Snorkeling

    Destination: Hawaii Island

    snorkelers at kahaluu bay on big islandWhen I arrived at Hawaii Island’s number one snorkeling beach last week, the tide was low, revealing bright green seaweed growing on rocks. Exactly 77 beach-goers were out--reclining on beach towels, wading in the water, swimming and snorkeling. A dozen more sat at the picnic tables under the pavilion. Sean, a one-time public defender from California, manned the lifeguard tower, and two retired school teachers, Ken and Regan, set up shop for ReefTeach.

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  • A Weekend on Napali: Part Five

    Destination: Kauai

    alapii point from nualolo kaiI walked to the nearby picnic area and introduced myself to a man with an easy smile and a beautiful weathered face as radiant and warm as any of the sunsets we had witnessed over the past four nights along Nāpali Coast. “Sit. Sit,” he said to me and patted the bench next to him. He had spent the night here, in the open air, making the table his bed. I sat, and he buttered a Saloon Pilot cracker, careful to spread the butter evenly. He offered the buttered cracker to me, “Like?” A portable radio played Hawaiian music. Steam rose from his instant coffee in the plastic cap of an old thermos.

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  • 10 Years Ago

    Destination: Kauai

    It was Tuesday. I paddled on Tuesdays. In Hawaii, half a world away, I wondered if all my paddling friends had heard the news. Some live here expressly to get away from the bombardment of fear and negativity on which mass media seem to thrive. Others had already called and invited me to prayer vigils that very evening. My choice, it seemed, on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, was spiritual or physical.

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  • A Weekend on Napali: Part Two

    Destination: Kauai

    nualolo kai cliff wall with xYesterday, I wrote about my arrival at Nu‘alolo Kai along Kaua‘i’s Nāpali Coast State Park. Today, I share some of the earliest written accounts of Nāpali and Nu‘alolo--all by non-Hawaiians. Hiram Bingham and his entourage first arrived in Hawaii in 1820, on behalf of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. In 1821, he voyaged along Nāpali Coast in a double-hulled canoe. Here is a snippet of his arrival at Nu‘alolo Kai.

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  • A Weekend on Napali: Part One

    Destination: Kauai

    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.

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  • Contemplating Kukui Trees and What to Pack

    Destination: Kauai

    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.

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  • Big Bertha the Manta Ray Gives Birth

    Destination: Hawaii Island

    big bertha the manta rayBoy, that girl was hardly showing when I saw her last February. I couldn't even tell she was pregnant, and by then, she was a good 8 months along. The mother of all manta rays, Big Bertha, gave birth this summer to possibly two baby manta rays.

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  • Summer Whalewatching in Hawaii: Part Four

    Destination: Kauai

    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.

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