Weekly Summary--Week 3 (06/07/22)

All 2006 Summer Summaries are dedicated to Kurt Keuper, Ursula's father. Hi Dad!

Week 3?!

Was there even a Week 3? We can barely tell you what we did, it just blurred by that fast. It all seemed like the same day:

The only break in those seven days was the talk Peter gave at the Pacific Whale Foundation's monthly "Making Waves" event in Maalaea.

Oh yes, twice we took out the kayak--with one outing as a sunset romantic cruise. We are, after all, on Maui! We were careful not to attract the attention and rescue efforts of the Maui Fire Department this time.

Fetches a 46K JPEG

Sunset at sea without Search & Rescue

We're pooped and it's only the end of Week 3. Hatchlings from the first nest haven't erupted yet, even though we've been checking the nest mornings and evenings since Thursday, July 13th. Tonight is the first night we can reasonably expect 5690 to return for her fifth nest!

So we'll be going to the beach checking for hatchlings to emerge from the first nest while watching for Mom to come out to lay her fifth! Wouldn't miss it for the world though.

We dived a lot this week

After reporting previously how icky and gloomy diving is and how it's tough to summon the enthusiasm to do even one dive, this week we've done three two-dive days. The water is still murky but at least there's sun now to light up the murkiness.

Often, there's even some visibility--enough visibility to now understand why sometimes things go downhill fast. One day this week, we kicked makai along Reef 2 in what began as something-resembling-clear-water-for-here. We saw a large red cloud of silt build and then work its way over the reef in front of us. Just like that.

Ursula investigated. As she kicked into the red cloud, the red became more intense and she saw two shells. Two male turtles were squabbling, and they'd chosen to do it in the area between Reefs 1 and 2, where runoff from heavy winter rains has dumped four or five inches of red silt.

They truly were kicking up a storm. The winner swam off, leaving the disgruntled loser sitting crabby (and red) in his own solitude.

Fetches a 18K JPEG

Bah! Last time he'll get me into a mudslinging contest...

Now every time we see reddish cloud appear from nowhere, we suspect a Turtle Tussle with the two turtles choosing the red silt bottom as their "staging platform."

We see the new hawksbill again

This time we trailed behind her at a discreet distance for a little while in order to watch her foraging. She slowly swam around, poking occasionally into this patch of coral or that, but never seeming to find what she really wanted.

We haven't given her a name yet. Currently there's disagreement here about whether she has a tail or not. Ursula says there's no tail at all. Peter says that's silly, of course there's a tail. Even after examining an excellent photo of the hawksbill's rear end, we can't agree on whether she has a tail.

Ursula: "No tail."

Peter: "Of course there's a tail."

Well, at least there's a head and she's cute.

Fetches a 39K JPEG

The new 'ea takes time out from sponge-hunting to pose

Good news for the Homeboyz

Hoa has now safely made it back from the French Frigate Shoals. Judging by his mating scars, he's had a successful trip--but my my my does he look tired!

An exhausted-looking Hoa and his scarred front flipper, the badge of the mating male
Fetches a 54K JPEG

Peter gives a talk at Pacific Whale Foundation

We'd like to thank the Pacific Whale Foundation for inviting us to give a presentation at their regular Making Waves event in Maalaea. This gave us a terrific opportunity to get out the message that while FP is still a nasty disease that kills honu, the overall prospects for the Hawaiian green are positive. (See Sickbay for more.)

Fetches a 35K JPEG

Peter begins his talk with the story of Clothahump

Ursula said the talk went well, all things considered and the time Peter had to prep.

Will Seitz of the Big Island's Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Hawksbill Turtle Recovery Project gave an informative presentation, summarizing their work from 1989 through 2005.

Then Cheryl King from Hawaii Wildlife Fund concluded the evening with a brief informal reminder that people are able to help hawksbill recovery right here on Maui either through hatchling watches or nesting walks.

Wai? not around

Really--and we looked everywhere.

Kayak search for Ho'omalu this week

We snorkeled off the kayak to the North this week for the sole purpose of trying to find Ho'omalu. Hoaka had about ten turtles there but none of them were the honu/EastPacificBlack turtle hybrid.

Ursula thinks Ho'omalu is doing a nesting run this season. To Ursula's colossal surprise, Peter is in agreement!

One of the Hoaka turtles comes up for air
Fetches a 26K JPEG

Yes, we keep saying this but--

My, there are a lot of turtles underwater around here this summer.

Fetches a 54K JPEG

Just a couple of the numerous honu making up the Reef 2 ohana

Kuamo'o report

We did our first dive of the summer there this week. Among other things, we had to retrieve the temperature logger we placed there last summer. We didn't expect much, given the conditions we'd already experienced at Honokowai and the swells that had been pretty constant up until that point.

The dive was underwhelming. It was actually worse than we'd anticipated. The visibility was atrocious. It actually made Reef 2 look inviting. It was downright creepy, especially when we recalled last summer's shark. (We hear that sharks really like murky water!)

When we arrived back at the beach, we both had the same immediate reaction: fewer turtles there than in previous summers. Sadly, most of the honu we did see had tumours--and of course, lousy visibility notwithstanding, that's why we dive there.

Why we go to Kuamo'o even when you can barely see the turtles
Fetches a 48K JPEG

Coolest pic of the week

Fetches a 32K JPEG

A romantic male honu courts a lady friend

Week 4 Summary
Summer of '06 at Honokowai
Who's Who Underwater at Honokowai
Table of Contents

Last modified 06/07/29
Send comments or corrections to webmaster@turtles.org