Weekly Summary--Week 5 (06/08/05)

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

Not a single dive all week

Yes. That's right, not a single dive. Well, that's not entirely correct. We did summon the courage to sneak past incoming waves (waited between sets) to snorkel out to Reef 1 where we make our descent.

Ursula knew there were problems because she saw so little of the bottom even in the shallows. Past the coral garden, she looked down to see a sandy silty blue-green and nothing else. When Peter signalled we were over the descent point, Ursula looked around to see no reef at all.

Peter confirmed this was the place so we figured we were over the sand between reefs. We let out the air from our BC's and down we went. Ursula still couldn't see anything! Ten feet down, she stopped her descent and signalled up.

The water was so churned, silty, and murky, she might well be descending into the open welcoming maw of a massive tiger shark without knowing. That thought was enough for her to abort the dive then and there.

Fetches a 13K JPEG

There could be a shark down there!

We haven't been tempted to dive since.

In addition, only once did we even use our kayak--a brief enjoy-the-sunset foray that lasted just a few minutes because the swells rocked us to a point where we simply couldn't relax and watch. It's impossible (at least for us) to be one with a sunset while paddling non-stop.

We did soak in the pool for up to two hours at a time just to cool our body temperatures enough to sleep better. We say "better" because of the constant BASSSSHHH BASSSSHHHH BASSHHHHHH of waves whappping the seawall here.

The Book

We ran into problems. A lot of up and down and little forward. It demanded that we sit on our butts a lot. Truth be told, last week was a lot of sitting on our butts working on the book. Butts that get sat on tend to get wider. We had to do something so--

Gold's Gym

Yes, the haunt of the Governator and the Hulkster. Well, not the one here, but still... We signed up for a month. What a wonderful experience! You can tell this is a serious place--even more serious than the YMCA back home as far as elite athletes are concerned.

Talk about muscles... and then there's the men! They remind us of walls with eyeballs!

This guy must really like the place because he never seems to leave
Fetches a 62K JPEG

If you're serious about fitness and especially strength training, GOLD'S GYM in Kaanapali is it.

5690 nest #1 excavation

Glynnis excavated 5690's first nest on the afternoon of July 31st. First Glynnis dug alone. Then Cheryl King of the Hawai'i Wildlife Fund got into the act. The rest of us were content to watch the two get all sandy and sweaty.

Cheryl joins Glynnis
Fetches a 60K JPEG

The job was difficult because no one knew for certain where the egg chamber was. In all the times we visited the nest (evenings and mornings) not once did we see any evidence of anything. Fact is, unless someone has actually seen the eggs drop, we're never convinced that there is a true nest.


Ursula eventually joined Glynnis and Cheryl and before long, we had a dig-in. Then over the hours, long happened. Sunset came and went as we dug in silence. Dark descended and we continued to dig in silence.

Fetches a 70K JPEG

The dig-in is well underway

There came a time when the shovel had to come out and Dan put it to ever-so-careful use. We were all supervised by his grandson Tanner. Tanner would've hung in there to the bitter end but his grandad decided it was past his bedtime.

Tanner (upper right) supervises from the brink
Fetches a 37K JPEG

That left five diggers digging in silence. Glynnis, Cheryl, Mike, and us. Now not only did we dig in silence and darkness but we couldn't even see into the sand! All of us had the same thought--it was no longer about finding a nest or eggs. We continued lest there be one or two hatchlings that couldn't get out.

Glynnis agreed. You reach a point where you're tired to a point of giddiness and so you focus on the rescue of One. We all focussed on The One.

More time passed.

We'd dug a huge trench and Ursula's stomach rumbled. "I'm here with four of the most stubborn people on the planet," she thought.

We'd reached a point where we cleared the taped area and were now clearing off sand we'd flung at the perimeter so we could dig there too.

I think what finally stopped us was the realization that we still had to fill the trench in again before we could leave. It would be irresponsible (knowing how active this beach was at night) to leave such a dangerous gaping hole there.

Truly, it was possible to bury two adults in it and they'd both find it roomy.

No one officially called it quits. Cheryl King got up to stretch and Ursula welcomed this as a cue to serve up the old, "You know we got to still fill all of this in, right? She did her best to emphasize the word all. This is as close to Ursula came to implying that she was achy, hungry and had lost all hope of finding The One.

It was so dark it was tough to even see the extent of the trench we'd dug, but we all wanted to record the effort for posterity. We got in the hole (four people fit in comfortably) and grinned our best grin.

Fetches a 40K JPEG

There was room for more

We all knew that 5690 would understand that we did our best to find any of her youngsters that might have been trapped underneath.

Baby-sitting Nest 2 started the next morning...

The Flag. Our flag!

Over the course of the summer, we've taken the flag of the Corporation of Mississauga and made it our own. We truly have grown to love and cherish this flag. It's not the flag of flagpoles flapping high. It's a workhorse flag--it truly is.

This week we took our flag to meet the Mayor of Maui County, Alan Arakawa. We made a request to The Office of the Mayor if Mr. Arakawa would do us the honour of signing our flag.

On Friday he did so. We asked if we could have a photo and he suggested we step out his office (9th floor with lovely view of Kahului and Haleakala) to pose by the Maui Seal.

Mayor Arakawa meets our flag
Fetches a 51K JPEG

Mahalo nui loa for the kindness Mayor Arakawa showed to these two Canadian tourists!

5690 watch

Tonight--about six hours as this is composed--we'll be on nest #2 babysitting and 5690 watch. Yes, the potential for another full night on the beach, oh joy! We really mean that. It's a joy to see 5690 again. We do hope she returns for Nest 6...


Just before our Turtle Trax deadline (Saturday) we actually got a dive in. Dare we mention again, "My, but there are a lot of turtles!"

Lots happening during that dive but let's go to the highlight. We resighted Wai? as she came to rest at Bandit's Lair. Perhaps she was in the same good mood as we were--just grateful to see something other than silty blight--but whatever her reason, she allowed Ursula all the photo opportunities she needed to document the two claws on her left front flipper (yes, Wai? has two) and a decent close-up of Wai?'s right eye.

We're more worried about the possibility of fibropapilloma in Wai? than even last time we caught sight of the beginning lumps there.

Lovely dive! And above all, it's so great to see the honu and honubill again. Best of all, it gave us the...

Coolest pic of the week

Fetches a 55K JPEG

Wai? settles down for a posing session

Week 6 Summary
Summer of '06 at Honokowai
Who's Who Underwater at Honokowai
Table of Contents

Last modified 06/08/12
Send comments or corrections to webmaster@turtles.org