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Ocean Watch


Colorful ocean plant also reeks of dead fish

Updated on  October 6, 2017 at 10:11 pm
Blooms of sea sawdust during periods of calm seas are common inside the Great Barrier Reef. People here accept the colorful alga mats and their pungent odor as part of life on Australia’s tropical coast. Read More

Mystery fish is revealed as snapper from Tahiti

Updated on  September 29, 2017 at 9:46 pm
As if that’s not enough to confuse even seasoned fish watchers, some wrasses change body color dramatically after they’re adults, switching from female to male as the need in a wrasse harem demands. Read More

Puffy toylike fishes aren’t to be played with

Updated on  September 22, 2017 at 10:46 pm
Like its pufferfish kin, boxfish carry a toxin so strong it can kill aquarium mates. And if the little boxfish gets really upset, it can exude, from its skin, enough poison in the tank to also kill itself. Read More

Scorpionfish well hidden with leafy camouflage

Updated on  September 16, 2017 at 5:29 pm
They are really cool, and yes, leaf scorpionfish are common in Hawaii, sometimes in water only inches deep. But that doesn’t mean we commonly see them. Read More

Disturbing truth makes seafood unappealing

Updated on  September 9, 2017 at 8:00 am
Many people think that marine animals’ sole purpose in existing is to feed us. Not so. Their roles in ocean ecosystems far outweigh our need to eat them. Read More

Nightmare on kid’s feet is critters’ big moment

Updated on  September 1, 2017 at 10:01 pm
Bloody attack! Mysterious sea creatures! A taste for human flesh! Unstoppable bleeding … And so went the sensational terms describing an injury sustained by a 16-year-old Australian boy last month. Read More

Eagle ray finds a way to soar on minus snout

Updated on  August 25, 2017 at 10:12 pm
Last week reader Pat Goding sent several photos of a spotted eagle ray with its snout missing. Part of what looks like a hook protrudes from the ray’s mouth below, and another metal piece sticks up, below the eyes, like a protruding tooth. Read More

Grotesque acorn worm helps clean sand in sea

Updated on  August 18, 2017 at 9:56 pm
An acorn worm’s skin is so thin that when it’s full of sand, which is nearly always, the creature bursts open if you pick it up. Read More

Asia market far extends American eel’s journey

Updated on  August 11, 2017 at 10:16 pm
I thought I knew my eels, but a recent news item in this newspaper, about a species called the American eel, left me blank. Read More

That golden time of year has arrived on kolea wings

Updated on  August 4, 2017 at 9:42 pm
Writing in all caps with multiple exclamation marks is the text equivalent of shouting. But those punctuation points and uppercase letters have their moments, and here’s one: OUR KOLEA ARE BACK!!! Read More

Pulsating pyrosome lights up dive in Galapagos

Updated on  July 21, 2017 at 10:15 pm
Pyrosomes have been in the news this summer because masses of them are, for the first time, showing up along North America’s northwestern coast. Read More

Snorklers see red with slate pencil sea urchins

Updated on  July 7, 2017 at 10:11 pm
The outer reef in this North Shore area takes a beating from the surf every winter, and is therefore riddled with cracks and crevices. Read More

Turbulent waters draw crowd of sea cucumbers

Updated on  June 30, 2017 at 10:27 pm
Two weeks ago I picked up a flu bug that knocked me sideways. Aching muscles and violent coughing kept me down for days. Then one morning last week, I had enough. Sick or not, I had to get in the water. Read More

30 years bring many adventures for Ocean Watch columnist

Updated on  June 23, 2017 at 10:44 pm
Thirty years ago this week, I wrote my first Ocean Watch column for what was then the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. It was an exciting day that I thought would never come. Then it did and, well, it never ended. I’m still sharing, with pleasure, my marine adventures with readers. Read More

Peculiarity above water in Australia also amazes

Updated on  June 16, 2017 at 11:14 pm
I’ve been home from Australia nearly a week, and I’m still smiling over some of the comments locals there made about Hawaii. Read More

Sailing trips in great reef marine park never get old

Updated on  June 9, 2017 at 10:33 pm
For the last three years, as often as our work allows, Craig and I have been sailing our 37-foot ketch, Honu, in the stretch of water between the Queensland coast and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Read More

Spring tides are perfect for strolling among reef

When sailing among the hundreds of islands in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, there are no activities I would choose over snorkeling or diving. Except during spring tides. Then, with pleasure, I choose walking. Read More

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