Sunday, May 16, 2010


As usual in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, things don't work out quite as planned. The ship "Oscar Elton Sette" didn't show up today, because they had some issues and won't be able to make it for another few days. Another NOAA ship paid a visit to French Frigate Shoals though. The Hi'ialakai stopped by for a couple of days on their way up the chain. They were doing some reef surveys, archeological surveys, and collecting the receivers from the shark tagging project that was done here last year.
We finally found some seal pups this week. We had 2 on Trig island, 1 on East Island, and 1 on Little Gin Island. We only saw them from the boat with binoculars, so I don't have pictures. The turtles have also started nesting. I've only found a few nests so far, but there are a lot of turtles around, so I'm sure we'll be getting a lot more in the next couple of weeks.
The Hi'ialakai stays pretty far out to sea so they don't hit any of our reef. The "Oscar Elton Sette" looks the same, but I might have some closer pics of that next week.

This is one of the safeboats from the Hi'ialakai. They were checking to see what was growing on our seawall. It usually takes me a year or two to get the data that they collect on these trips. I normally get that when the publications come out, so don't ask me what they found yet.

This is a young bluespine unicornfish. It will grow a long "horn" in front of it's eyes as it gets older. The blue spines are just barely visible near its tail (on the caudal peduncle for those that know what that is). Those are the fish's defense. I have a couple of pictures of the adults, which get about 2 ft long, but they aren't as close so they aren't that nice to look at.

This is a Hawaiian whitespotted toby. These little fish are pretty much everywhere around here. I've been putting more fish pictures up lately because the water is finally calming down for the summer and we've been going snorkeling more often.

Again, another Tern island sunset.

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