Ocean Watch Archives | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Ocean Watch

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

Shoreline gems offer a palatable mystery

Some of the pebblelike pieces are symmetrical, with a centerline. Others are halves of these, and all bear the markings of former ridges. Read More

White terns are at home in the trees of Honolulu

Updated on  March 13, 2017 at 12:17 am
Last week I walked into Waikiki with 11 other Oahu residents, zigzagging through tourists, street performers and pamphlet-givers. But we weren’t there to people-watch. We were there to see some of our city’s most charming marine animals: white terns. Read More

White terns turn heads in Waikiki

Updated on  March 11, 2017 at 11:21 am
Last week, I walked into Waikiki with 11 other Oahu residents, zig-zagging through tourists, street performers and pamphlet-givers. But we weren’t there to people-watch. We were there to see some of our city’s most charming marine animals: white terns. Read More

Yap’s gentle giants of the reef prove a bit timid, too

Updated on  February 24, 2017 at 9:14 pm
I loved Yap’s super-friendly people, entwined mangrove forests and pristine reefs. It wasn’t what I expected but that’s the beauty of travel. You get to generate your own impressions. Read More

Colorful reef habitats offer shelter from a storm

Updated on  February 17, 2017 at 10:28 pm
Mother Nature doesn’t care if visitors have only one week to enjoy paradise. An unseasonal storm front moved over Palau and stalled there. Read More

Palau thinks big with laws that protect its ocean life

Updated on  February 10, 2017 at 9:41 pm
Today, eight OS guests and I begin exploring Palau’s exploded paint stores and swimming with 1,400 paint chips. It’s almost embarrassing to call this work. Read More