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Ocean Watch

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

Platypuses add to thrill of wildlife sightings

Updated on  May 19, 2017 at 11:41 pm
“It’s so small.” That was our group’s first impression of the platypus we saw paddling along the surface of a creek in Carnarvon National Park. Read More

Storm allows closer look at wildlife on reef isle

Updated on  May 12, 2017 at 10:16 pm
After voyaging from Pancake Creek to the Gladstone Marina, where we planned to set sail for Heron Island, a gale appeared. Not only did it pack sustained winds of more than 30 mph, the storm front promised to stick around for a week. Read More

Time nears for plovers to bid aloha to islands

Updated on  April 22, 2017 at 8:18 pm
The fish is small, but still. It seems a kolea would quickly lose a fish to bandit birds before it could break it into beak-sized bits. But maybe our Jude is a first-year, inexperienced bird. Or he’s just slow. Read More

Snapping shrimp pop to send alert and nab food

Updated on  April 14, 2017 at 10:02 pm
We oceangoers rarely see the little gunslingers because they live in burrows. But we hear them. The split-second closure of each shrimp’s single, oversize claw makes a popping sound. When the creatures pop by the thousands, as is often the case, it’s like snorkeling in a giant bowl of Rice Krispies. Read More

Tetiaroa a fine spot for Obama to pen book

Updated on  April 7, 2017 at 10:15 pm
The news that Barack Obama is writing his memoir in Tetiaroa caused excitement at our house. In 2013 we sailed the Honu 40 miles from Tahiti to Tetiaroa, when the luxury hotel hosting the former president was still under construction. Read More

A precious skeleton is found amid many birds

Updated on  March 31, 2017 at 10:20 pm
While visiting Molokai last weekend, friends and I went to Moomomi Preserve, a 912-acre coastal area shaped by tradewinds so gusty they sandpapered our legs. It was worth the prickles. Read More

Primordial soup brews near active volcanoes

Updated on  March 24, 2017 at 10:19 pm
Last week on a Hawaii island boat tour, I watched Kilauea Volcano shoot its lava off a cliff. Liquid orange rock spurted like a fire hose from a tube 3 to 6 feet wide, plunging 60-some feet to the ocean in explosions of steam, glass particles and hydrochloric acid. Read More