Sunday, September 20, 2009

Last blog for a while

As always, it was another busy week. On Wednesday, we had some visitors stop in from the office in Honolulu and the from the Regional Office. They hopped on the Kahana at Midway so they could see how things are going on Laysan, French Frigate Shoals, and Nihoa. After a tour of Tern Island, Ty and I got lunch on the Kahana, then took the group to East Island and snorkeling at LaPerouse Pinnacle. It's always good to give people a look underwater, since the atoll has only about 67 acres of land and 232,000 acres of coral reef. Sarah (volunteer) left on the Kahana too so now we have 4 volunteers to take care of business until Dec.

We had a plane on Friday. Another 10 minutes and we wouldn't have. It started pouring rain just after it landed. I'm sure they would have had to turn around like last week since the visibility would have been too bad. We don't have a full service airport here so pilots have to fly on visual flight rules. It's tough to land if you can't see the island. The runway got covered in water, but thanks to our high tech water removal equipment (the volunteers and a bunch of brooms), most of the water was swept off of the main takeoff path.

If all goes well, I'll be out on the plane tomorrow (Monday). On my time off, I'll be doing some first aid training in Bend, OR, working in the office in Honolulu, and hanging out in Cleveland, and whatever else looks good while I'm gone. I may or may not make any vacation posts, we'll see if there's anything interesting in the rest of the world. If not, then I'll probably post when I get back here in Dec. See ya!

This is Round Island. It comes and goes. I hope it stays around long enough for this pup to wean. You can see Tern Island on the horizon. I wish I could bring my nice camera in the boat, but I'm not taking the chance on it getting wet. This is about as good of a zoom as I can get with my little waterproof Olympus.

These are "Nenue". That's the Hawaiian name for various species of chubs, which all look very similar, so we'll stick with nenue. They are very common around here and every now and then we'll see a yellow one in a school of gray ones.

Here is a bluefin trevally swimming below me. They usually follow seals around to see if they scare up any food. They also follow people around, until they see that we aren't doing anything interesting. They are fairly big and get up to 25 pounds. The giant trevally, which also follow seals and people, get a lot bigger, about 5 ft and 150 lbs. My pictures weren't as good of those guys this time.

This is a blue-grey noddy on LaPerouse Pinnacle. It's a bit fuzzy since I had to zoom in a lot on the computer, otherwise it would have just looked like another guano spot.

This is what our warehouse looks like with no walls. It's probably a little more interesting for people who've been out here before. It should be all fixed up by the time I get back.

This is the runway today. It looks a little better than it did a couple of months ago.


Anonymous said...

Peter, have a great "working vacation!" I'll be looking forward to your return.


E said...

wow.. 2 months of no Pete postings. Not sure I will be able to survive without my glimpses into the pacific paradise.

"Vacation" well in the cold, dreary, snowy, and rainy places.