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Ocean Watch

COURTESY MANTA RAY BAY RESORT
                                Manta rays are gentle giants that are plankton feeders, swimming forward with mouths open to sift the water for food. Paddlelike flaps on each side of the mouth direct plankton down the hatch.

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

COURTESY MANTA RAY BAY RESORT
                                Manta rays are gentle giants that are plankton feeders, swimming forward with mouths open to sift the water for food. Paddlelike flaps on each side of the mouth direct plankton down the hatch.

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
COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                Feather stars are related to starfish. Standing a foot tall, they resemble a bouquet of flexible twigs.

Colorful reef habitats offer shelter from a storm

COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                Feather stars are related to starfish. Standing a foot tall, they resemble a bouquet of flexible twigs.

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
COURTESY LUXTONNERRE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
                                The nation of Palau contains 250 islands. The government designated 193,000 square miles of its territorial waters as a marine preserve in 2015.

Palau thinks big with laws that protect its ocean life

COURTESY LUXTONNERRE / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
                                The nation of Palau contains 250 islands. The government designated 193,000 square miles of its territorial waters as a marine preserve in 2015.

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
COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                Hawaii is home to two breeds of sandburrowers. This specimen was found hanging out in the waters off Makapuu.

Sharp-eyed fish lurks in the sand stalking prey

COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                Hawaii is home to two breeds of sandburrowers. This specimen was found hanging out in the waters off Makapuu.

Updated on  February 4, 2017 at 12:39 am
Last weekend I made a dozen new friends. One is Ross Lang-ston, an assistant professor of zoology at Windward Community College. The others are his popeyed fish called sandburrowers. Read More
COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                Moon snails lurk beneath the surface of shallow to deep water, burrowing down as much as 7 inches in the sand.

Moon snails use stealth in the sand to stalk prey

COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                Moon snails lurk beneath the surface of shallow to deep water, burrowing down as much as 7 inches in the sand.

Updated on  January 28, 2017 at 9:56 am
I love moon snail shells. They’re marble smooth, patterned in rays of soft colors, and their whirls are classic. But just because the creatures’ homes look inviting doesn’t mean the animals that built them are. Moon snails are a nightmare on clam street. Read More
COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                Columnist Susan Scott’s Christmas tree was made of painted hagfish traps, which frequently wash ashore in Hawaii.

Ugly bottom dweller has its charms, slime and all

COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                Columnist Susan Scott’s Christmas tree was made of painted hagfish traps, which frequently wash ashore in Hawaii.

Updated on  January 20, 2017 at 11:49 pm
Hagfish get no respect. And they should. The eel-shaped, bottom-dwelling creatures, averaging 20 inches long, provide humans with food, clothing, wallets, a crackerjack recycling system and snot. Not many fish are so giving. Read More
COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                Tiny mole crabs live in Hawaii, just below the sand and often along the water’s edge. A deceased female’s belly shows a mass of orange eggs clinging to it.

Attempt to aid crab heals faith in humanity

COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                Tiny mole crabs live in Hawaii, just below the sand and often along the water’s edge. A deceased female’s belly shows a mass of orange eggs clinging to it.

Updated on  January 14, 2017 at 12:43 am
One morning last week the news of hate crimes, science denial and war atrocities left me feeling hopeless about the human race. Wanting to block out the whole wretched world, I plugged my ears with headphones, pulled a hat down to my eyes and walked to the beach. Read More
 
COURTESY PHOTO
                                Researcher Robin Baird’s book “The Lives of Hawaii’s Dolphins and Whales” was published in November.

Splendid pictures, research propel book

COURTESY PHOTO
                                Researcher Robin Baird’s book “The Lives of Hawaii’s Dolphins and Whales” was published in November.

Updated on  January 9, 2017 at 10:06 am
Over the years, when I had a question about Hawaii’s whales or dolphins, I would email Robin Baird, a researcher at Cascadia Research Collective. Read More
COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                White terns have a ring of black feathers around their eyes, giving them a wide-eyed appearance. About 2,000 of them live in the Honolulu area.

Peace, hope graced city on wings of white, gold

COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                White terns have a ring of black feathers around their eyes, giving them a wide-eyed appearance. About 2,000 of them live in the Honolulu area.

Updated on  December 30, 2016 at 10:19 pm
Most of my email this year was for the birds, specifically Pacific golden plovers (kolea) and white terns (manu-o-Ku), the native species that choose to grace our city. Read More
 
COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                Turtle biologists measure a known loggerhead female as she lays her eggs in Mon Repos park in Queensland, Australia.

Sea turtles are wonders to witness everywhere

COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                Turtle biologists measure a known loggerhead female as she lays her eggs in Mon Repos park in Queensland, Australia.

Updated on  December 23, 2016 at 10:18 pm
This year I’ve already had the best Christmas present ever: a boost in appreciation of living on Oahu. Read More
web1_17-b1--Kolea-book-cover

New book chronicles decades of kolea studies

web1_17-b1--Kolea-book-cover

Updated on  December 17, 2016 at 7:26 am
In the mid-1990s I wrote a column about the Pacific golden plover, Oahu’s favorite shorebird, known here as kolea. Read More
COURTESY WIKIPEDIA
                                Tahitian prawns, also known as giant freshwater shrimp, can be found in streams and waters off all Hawaiian Islands since their introduction to the state in 1956.

Tahitian prawns gain foothold in local waters

COURTESY WIKIPEDIA
                                Tahitian prawns, also known as giant freshwater shrimp, can be found in streams and waters off all Hawaiian Islands since their introduction to the state in 1956.

Updated on  December 9, 2016 at 10:58 pm
I had the pleasure of spending the long Thanksgiving weekend on Molokai with friends. After exploring that island’s remarkable beaches, we signed up with a local family for a guided hike up Halawa Valley to its waterfalls. Read More

Some reef encounters captured in blink of eye

One of the pleasures of being home after an adventure is sorting photos of the trip. But as I go through pictures of my recent sailing trip in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, I’m also enjoying the images my mind took when it was too dark or too distant to shoot, or when I didn’t feel like looking at something marvelous through a lens. Read More
Updated on  November 25, 2016 at 11:44 pm
COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                The baler snail lives in small communities, never traveling very far from the area in which it is born, quite often in isolated areas in Black Island, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Mesmerizing sea ‘squash’ part of reef mod squad

COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                The baler snail lives in small communities, never traveling very far from the area in which it is born, quite often in isolated areas in Black Island, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Updated on  November 19, 2016 at 11:21 am
While anchored off this small, round, wooded islet, Craig and I started snorkeling on its leeward coral side and later emerged to walk the sand beach on its windward rocky side. As time passed, the tide rose so high we had to abandon the beach walk and swim over the rock bottom. Read More
COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                Epaulette sharks, named because of the large black patches near their “shoulders,” are found in waters off Australia and New Guinea.

Expedition to spot shark encounters spotty shark

COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                Epaulette sharks, named because of the large black patches near their “shoulders,” are found in waters off Australia and New Guinea.
To mark exceptional snorkeling spots, the cruising guide for this area shows happy faces wearing mask and snorkel. Tiny Ravens Cove gets three. Read More
COURTESY ALEX WEGMANN
                                Wedgies, or wedge-tailed shearwaters, have haunting nighttime mating calls that can sound like groans or screeches.

Help wedgies by turning lights off near shorelines

COURTESY ALEX WEGMANN
                                Wedgies, or wedge-tailed shearwaters, have haunting nighttime mating calls that can sound like groans or screeches.

Updated on  November 4, 2016 at 11:15 pm
Honu is still inside the Great Barrier Reef, but because we’re on the move and near neither reef, islands nor mainland, the sailing feels a bit like Hawaii. Except we miss the wedgies. Read More
COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                A crocodile gives a hitchhiker a ride at the Australia Zoo.

Australians have learned to coexist with crocodiles

COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                A crocodile gives a hitchhiker a ride at the Australia Zoo.

Updated on  October 14, 2016 at 10:25 pm
We arrived in the Townsville marina to find a notice from the Queensland government. On the gate of Honu’s pier, a sign read, “WARNING! ACHTUNG! Recent crocodile sighting in this area. Read More
COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                A wild sulfur-crested cockatoo pays a visit to the Honu at anchor off Hook Island, Whitsunday Islands National Park.
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Heading Down Under again, this time like the bird flies

COURTESY SUSAN SCOTT
                                A wild sulfur-crested cockatoo pays a visit to the Honu at anchor off Hook Island, Whitsunday Islands National Park.
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Updated on  October 7, 2016 at 11:07 pm
As you read this, Craig and I are on our way to Australia once again to explore the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park on our sailboat, Honu. Read More

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