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To unusual species of crab, life’s just a series of spheres

By Susan Scott
On some Australian beaches magic occurs twice a day. During ebb tides the water leaves behind a smooth sandy surface that slowly transforms. A few hours later that formerly flat plane contains millions of sand balls, so dense their sides touch.

Lousy weather paves way for some unexpected fun

By Susan Scott
Pancake Creek, Queensland, Australia » One good thing about crummy sailing weather is that it channels me to areas I might not otherwise visit. I had heard about this anchorage, but it's up a creek and that didn't match my vision of sailing the Great Barrier Reef.

Atoll's abundant wildlife, towering trees worth a visit

By Susan Scott
Lady Musgrave Atoll, Great Barrier Reef, Australia >> Last week Craig and I sailed to this atoll, 50 miles offshore from Bundaberg.

Australian darters hunt by stalking and stabbing

By Susan Scott
Burnett River, Australia » It's all well and good to have a sailboat in Australia and talk about sailing the Great Barrier Reef. It's another thing to actually do it.

Saving Great Barrier Reef has been an uphill battle

By Susan Scott
Bundaberg, Australia » My co-captain, Craig, and I flew Down Under last weekend to collect our 37-foot ketch, Honu, which we stored here in October. We have a month to explore some of the 900 islands and 3,000 coral banks that make up the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Man and fish die in fight between apex predators

By Susan Scott
A swordfish recently killed angler and charter boat captain Randy Llanes in the Big Island's Hono­ko­hau Harbor. After the fish entered the anchorage — an unusual occurrence because swordfish live far offshore, Randy jumped into the water and speared it. The fish got tangled in an anchor line and in its death throes stabbed Randy in the chest.

If fish's spikes don't get you, its razor-sharp teeth might

By Susan Scott
A photo arrived in my inbox recently with a note from Kane­ohe reader Richard, whose friend Kimberley found an object on Wai­anae's Maili Beach that baffled them both. Richard wondered whether I knew what it was.

Size of tusks determines walruses’ pecking order

By Susan Scott
Last week, I received an unsigned email from someone who’s been watching walruses via a live stream (808ne.ws/1BAGACw) from Alaska’s Round Island.

Mantis shrimp look fragile but pack a powerful punch

By Susan Scott
Some years ago, I sailed to Australia's Lizard Island, where researchers kindly allowed me to wander around their laboratory on my own. One day I found, kind of sitting up in a white cup, a 4-inch-long creature in a clown suit.

Ribbon worm's star turn shows its dynamic range

By Susan Scott
A friend sent the link youtu.be/iF_-BhWcX3g with a note: "This worm is trending on YouTube. Have you seen it?"

Messages arrive on the tide to please a seagoing scribe

By Susan Scott
Thank you, thoughtful readers, for sharing marine reports that brighten my day. In this era of so much bad news about the world's oceans, it's a relief to read items about them that make me smile.

Rock-boring sea urchins excavate homes in reefs

By Susan Scott
Rock-boring sea urchins have riddled the reef in so many parts of my favorite snorkeling area, it's a wonder there are any rocks left at all.

Scorpionfish can be tough to spot, even inches away

By Susan Scott
The trouble with taking pictures of scorpionfish, called nohu in Hawaiian, is that I often delete the photos thinking I missed whatever fish I was trying to shoot. Then later I wonder what happened to my scorpionfish pictures and find them in the recycle bin.

Scientific name for fish doesn't quite do it justice

By Susan Scott
While snorkeling last week, I noticed that some Hawaiian dascyllus were mostly gray, some were nearly all white, and further on, they were black with a white spot on each side.

Our Pacific golden plovers prepare for Alaska flight

By Susan Scott
Hawaii's annual spring pageant is upon us, the superstars dazzling in their April outfits as they prance through backyards, across golf courses, among gravestones and between parked cars. The celebrities are Pacific golden plovers, our much-loved migratory shorebirds known in Hawaii as kolea.

Large salps on West Coast get their name from a Titan

By Susan Scott
While visiting Washington state recently, my friends took me hiking on Dungeness Spit, a National Wildlife Refuge poking 5.5 miles into the Pacific Ocean's Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Fresh water rife with life but lacks seas' buoyancy

By Susan Scott
One of the biggest pains about the ocean is salt. It corrodes the wheels on my sliding doors, rusts my boat's so-called stainless steel and makes my hair stiff and skin itch.

Vultures' immune systems let them scarf down carrion

By Susan Scott
During my recent visit to the Portland Audubon House in Oregon, I fell in love with a turkey vulture named Ruby.

Town harbors mixed views over its sea lion population

By Susan Scott
During my current road trip from Seattle to San Francisco, I stopped in this picturesque town at the mouth of the Columbia River to watch the cargo ships, trawlers and recreational boats I had glimpsed while crossing the river's 4-mile bridge.

Here is one cephalopod that will be tough to forget

By Susan Scott
While spending a few days in this town on the Olympic Peninsula, my friends took me to the Feiro Marine Center, where I fell in love with a giant Pacific octopus named Obeka.

Readers' stories illustrate concern for marine animals

By Susan Scott
My recent turtle and albatross columns, plus a fish bloom, prompted readers to email me some of their own encounters with marine animals.

Tiny, hearty crustaceans thrive in muddy road ruts

By Susan Scott
Last week, in a muddy car rut puddle on the road to Kaena Point, I found one of the most amazing animals on the planet.

Laysan albatross population proliferates at Kaena Point

By Susan Scott
I was recently asked whether Laysan albatrosses were really nesting at Kaena Point. They sure are. The albatrosses there are one of Hawaii's best conservation success stories.

When a turtle needs aid, call help via shell-phone

By Susan Scott
Everyone who cares about Hawaii's sea turtles will want to enter these numbers in their cellphones: Turtle Rescue: 725-5730 and 288-5685. I wish I had earlier.

Albatross egg discrepancy explained by 2-female pairs

By Susan Scott
I couldn't join the albatross-counting team on Midway this year, but my heart is there with the 14 volunteers and the million or so of my sweet feathered friends.

Coconut crab in the road no monster, merely thirsty

By Susan Scott
Coconut crabs got a lot of attention recently when residents found one walking down Salt Lake Boulevard. A thoughtful person coaxed the non-native animal into a box and notified authorities. When news of this got out, the crab became a celebrity.

Emails reveal shared love of sea creatures worldwide

By Susan Scott
You'll never hear me complaining about email. It used to be that writing this column was a lonely job. Now each day I get to drink my morning coffee with people who share my love of the ocean and its remarkable inhabitants.

Turtle-cleaning station raises islander's spirits

By Susan Scott
The surf is up. The water is murky. It's windy, rainy and cold. I'm not complaining — Hawaii winters have their own splendor. But blustery conditions have been keeping me out of the ocean.

Equine fate in question when encountering eels

By Susan Scott
Can an electric eel kill a horse? The question came to me last week after a Vanderbilt University researcher published details about how South American river eels catch fish. The nearly sightless eel sends out two electric pulses that cause a hiding, motionless fish to twitch.

Blossomlike zoanthids join to form colorful mats

By Susan Scott
I don't write the headlines to my columns, but when I email one to the newspaper, I title it with a common name so the editors know what the piece is about. This week my subject gave me pause because it's known only by its scientific order, Zoanthid, a name that doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

Acid-making tissue helps giant clams thrive on reefs

By Susan Scott
Why don't giant clams growing deep inside living coral heads get squished by growing coral?

Collector urchins munch up fast-growing invasive algae

By Susan Scott
Who knew that a poky marine animal the size of a snow globe could do such a stellar job of fighting aliens? The plodding heroes are collector urchins, a native species the state has been raising by the thousands and releasing in Kane­ohe Bay.

Waters off Palau are home to treasure trove of sea life

By Susan Scott
On the last day of my week in Palau, I asked five snorkeling companions to name their favorite part of the trip. The fact that we were evenly divided in our choices is testament to the wide variety of stunning marine life in this island nation of Micronesia. We were two for Ulong Channel, two for Jellyfish Lake and two for mandarinfish.

So many fantastic colors decorate snorkeler's view

By Susan Scott
Soon after I started studying marine biology at the University of Hawaii, I arranged to take scuba lessons and set off to Wai­kiki to buy my gear.

Dolphins frequent shoreline to snack and let us interact

By Susan Scott
Last week I visited one of the friendliest, most lovable families in Australia: the dolphins of Tin Can Bay. Even if a group of Indo-Pacific dolphins hadn't come to the shoreline each day to play with people and eat free fish, a visitor just has to stop at a place named Tin Can Bay.

Tiny velella sail by before stormy seas

By Susan Scott
After a weeklong passage from New Caledonia, Honu is safely in a marina on Queensland's south coast. Even so, my body thinks we're still at sea because I have "mal de terre," the French phrase for land sickness. This happens when the seas have been particularly rough.

Curious minke whale makes a rare offshore appearance

By Susan Scott
Pacific Ocean, 22 degrees South, 163 degrees East » After sailing thousands of miles through the tropical Pacific, I'm no longer surprised by how few whales and dolphins appear offshore.

Rescued dugongs thrive with help from aquarium

By Susan Scott
Signal Island, New Caledonia » As Craig and I sit on Honu in this marine preserve teeming with fish, snails and sea snakes, I only have eyes for dugongs.

The graceful green turtle inspires name for sailboat

By Susan Scott
I'm on the road again, my road being the Pacific Ocean and my vehicle being my old friend Honu. Craig and I bought the 37-foot French ketch in 1984 on the East Coast with the plan to sail it home to Hawaii. The first thing we did to prepare for the voyage was give the boat a Hawaiian name.

Fantail filefish populations ebb and flow over the years

By Susan Scott
When Craig and I moved to Hawaii in 1983, we saw so many fantail filefish, we thought the species, found only in Hawaii, might be the state fish. The 7-inch-long fantails were easy to see and not just because of their striking colors.

Oahu's upside-down jellyfish came in ships' ballast water

By Susan Scott
A reader recently came across what she described as pulsating gelatinous creatures on the Kaiwi shoreline.

7-11 crab gets its name from its array of spots

By Susan Scott
I recently received an email with the subject "Crab on V-land beach." (V-land, or Velzyland, is a North Shore surf spot.) Reader Bill Quinlan wrote, "I have attached two photos of a dead crab we found this afternoon.

Ocean's power transforms glass from litter into glitter

By Susan Scott
Last spring in Tahiti, while preparing my sailboat for a South Pacific cruise, I took a break to go snorkeling with a little girl I met in the marina. The 9-year-old and I had a fine swim, and afterward we walked the beach, looking at the variety of objects the ocean had washed up.

Fish reproduction an intriguing process

By Susan Scott
In 1958 my mother went into labor during a Labor Day picnic. The pandemonium that ensued, ending with the delivery of a healthy baby boy, made such an impression on my 10-year-old mind that since then I’ve linked Labor Day with the labor of giving birth.

Bright colors and designs give fish a flashy disguise

By Susan Scott
In 1981 I rented mask, snorkel and fins and, for the first time, gazed upon a coral reef. My impression: Such color! The swirling yellow, green, pink and blue fish looked like an underwater confetti toss.

Koleas return after a busy season of laying huge eggs

By Susan Scott
A couple weeks ago, I had one of those days when my brain felt like an iPod shuffle stuck on fast forward. Deadlines, chores, errands, family and a hundred other things raced through my head until I finally gave up trying to work. Turning off the computer, I went for a walk in a nearby park.

Airborne to avoid predators, flyingfish get eaten by birds

By Susan Scott
Two weeks ago Craig and I, with about 40 others, attended our friends' wedding. We got ready for the ceremony and reception by dressing in shorts and slippers, donning hats and applying sunscreen. The event took place on a boat.

Hawaiian sergeant males perform duties with zeal

By Susan Scott
During a recent snorkeling excursion at Electric (Kahe) Point, my friend and I stopped to watch a fish fight. Even though we floated in clear water 20 feet above the artificial reef (the outflow pipe), the sparring was so fast and furious, it was hard to make out what was happening.

Surfer injured getting stuck by the beak of a needlefish

By Susan Scott
Big Island resident Michelle Chow emailed last week about an injury she suffered while surfing.

Boring worms living in shells are fascinating creatures

By Susan Scott
When marine biologists talk about boring worms, they don't mean uninteresting fish bait. They're referring to worms that bore into hard surfaces.

Toxic specks of seaweed can give you a nasty rash

By Susan Scott
Would you write about the nearly invisible brown specks in the ocean that sting?" emailed a reader last week. "They travel in swarms. We encountered them at Pipeline recently. The stings result in itchy, red, round spots the next day. What are they, and are the stings treated with vinegar like jellyfish stings?"

Summer warmth, long days spawn an abundance of fry

By Susan Scott
Two friends, former Hawaii residents, visited from Oakland last week, and we hit all of Oahu's hot spots. Hot spots for fish watching, that is. Wild night life for us was watching TV until 10.

Maimed cornetfish defies odds with lengthy survival

By Susan Scott
While snorkeling last week, I came across a 3-foot-long bluespotted cornetfish bitten nearly in half. Amazingly, the severely injured fish was swimming along just fine. Six days later I went snorkeling in the same area and couldn't believe my eyes.

Cone snails are beautiful, but also potentially lethal

By Susan Scott
Last week at UH-Manoa I met 45 cone snails, each living in its own saltwater condo. The healthy mollusks are safe from predators (rays and some crabs), receive catered meals with vitamin supplements, enjoy a regular cleaning service and occasionally get visits from a member of the opposite sex.

Book about sea creatures offers profiles of the bizarre

By Susan Scott
"Bone-eating snot flower." That's the enchanting name that inspired me to dive deep into a new book, "The Extreme Life of the Sea," by father-and-son team Stephen and Anthony Palumbi (Princeton University Press). The book arrived while I was sailing the South Pacific.

Navigating through customs can be frustrating, comical

By Susan Scott
What happened with the customs officer in Tonga?" a reader emailed, referring to a comment I made in last week's column about a misunderstanding Craig and I had after arriving in that country by sailboat.

All over but the recounting, trip had plenty of highlights

By Susan Scott
Craig and I have been traveling together for 34 years now, and at the end of each journey, he asks me the same question: What was your favorite part of the trip?

Friendly, sedate sea snakes can be lethal but rarely are

By Susan Scott
Maitre Island, New Caledonia » One of my goals in sailing to New Caledonia was to see and admire the many sea snakes that grace this area's reefs. One in particular answered the call. Honu wasn't tied to a mooring off this marine preserve an hour before I had one of my best sea snake experiences ever.

New Caledonia provides comfort after the storm

By Susan Scott
After writing last week about our cushy cruise from Fiji to New Caledonia on our 37-foot ketch, Honu, the Pacific Ocean rose up to remind us who's boss.

Calm seas and light wind make for a pleasure cruise

By Susan Scott
In 2006 my friend Scott helped me sail Honu from island to island across the South Pacific. "When I signed on for that trip," Scott says, "I imagined baking bread and reading novels under sunny skies in a gently swaying boat."

Reefs, rocks and wrecks punctuate sail into Suva

By Susan Scott
Officially Fiji consists of 322 islands, but if your definition of island includes underwater atolls, coral banks and partially submerged islets, the number rises to 844.

Fascinating anemones, fish are worth a bit of discomfort

By Susan Scott
I know I'm in a good place when I have fin sores on my feet, and the mask grooves in my forehead are nearly permanent features of my face. Even in my sleep I know I'm in a fine place. The anchorages here have been so still that I awake thinking I'm home.

The sea snakes of Niue are harmless swimmers

By Susan Scott
One of the most satisfying moments in a sailor's life is tying the boat to a safe mooring in a calm harbor after a long period at sea. Even a day after arriving here at Niue (pronounced NEW-ay), Craig and I are still high-fiving.

Hollywood take on voyaging smoother than in real life

By Susan Scott
We're sailing from Tahiti to Niue, a tiny island country of about 2,000 people. Craig and I have been at sea on our 37-foot sailboat for more than a week now, sailing in brisk 20 to 25 mph southeast tradewinds.

Captivating stony corals get a reluctant au revoir

By Susan Scott
Honu is once again moving west through the Society Islands. Although I'm happy to be sailing again, it was hard to say goodbye to Tahiti, with its jagged green mountains, friendly people and perfect french fries.

Boat provides a challenge too daunting to sail solo

By Susan Scott
Last weekend I flew to Papeete because I left my sailboat Honu here in October to sit out the southern hurricane season. That being over now, it's time to pack the boat with brie and baguettes, cast off the mooring lines and sail on.

Parrotfish may be a suspect in the case of the weird blob

By Susan Scott
Parrotfish are grazers, scraping algae off rocks and dead coral, and sometimes eating live coral. Big parrotfish (Hawaii's largest, the spectacled, grows to 26 inches long and weighs nearly 15 pounds) have powerful jaws and strong dental plates that remove bits of coral skeleton as they eat.

Beaches laden with sea life deposited by windy weather

By Susan Scott
I ended a book I'm working on with suggestions about what concerned citizens can do to help the oceans. One of my ideas is to walk the beaches and, while doing so, pick up trash.

Gars, unevolved for eons, can breathe and store air

By Susan Scott
I spent the last New Year's holiday with friends at their lake house near Austin, Texas. Due to prolonged drought, the water level in this man-made lake, created by damming a river in 1938, was so low that a good part of it was bone-dry.

Reef lobsters’ antennae make them easy to spot

By Susan Scott
During one of those muggy Kona weather days, I went snorkeling off Lani­kai Beach in water that was calm, clear and refreshing. I swam over the dense coral heads off the center of the beach, looking for fish and invertebrates to brighten my day.

Eyesight plays role in keeping fish in schools

By Susan Scott
One of my most memorable snorkeling experiences occurred several years ago in Tonga. The incident involved only one species, but that was the beauty of it. Thousands of identical, 6-inch-long, silver fish let me swim in their school.

Passed gas from bacteria is what we smell at seashore

By Susan Scott
To my Midwest-bred nose, the smell of the ocean hints of mystery, travel, adventure and romance. When I go to the beach, I take a deep breath and think, ah, love that salt air. But that's not salt I'm smelling.

Friendly false killer whales known to share their catch

By Susan Scott
False killer whales have a knotty name, but don't let the 19th-century label turn you off. There's so much to love about these animals that after attending whale researcher Robin Baird's lecture on them at Hanauma Bay last week, I wished I could throw my arms around the neck of a false killer whale and give it a hug.

Anchialine shrimp thrive in a troubled environment

By Susan Scott
Last week I attended a talk given by a federal biologist who, before her funding was cut, worked with Hawaii's anchialine shrimp, known as opae ula. Although these shrimp inspire nearly endless questions, I had a specific one in mind: Is it OK for a conservation-minded person to buy anchialine shrimp, sold in jars at Shi­ro­kiya and also online?

Various shorebirds join plovers in winter migration

By Susan Scott
Hawaii's Pacific golden plovers, or kolea, get a lot of attention because they graze on lawns, have adapted to the presence of people and return to the same spot year after year.

Bold paddle-boarder helps a yellow-bellied sea snake

By Susan Scott
When paddle-boarder Greg Gauget found a snakelike creature floating limp, but alive, off Maui's Baby Beach (or Puu­anoa Beach) north of Lahaina a few weeks ago, he did what few people would do: He went through exceptional efforts to save it.

Chitons used in old Hawaii in rites for firstborn babies

By Susan Scott
While I was sitting on an airplane in freezing-cold Milwaukee last week, a burst of warmth came to me in an email from Andy, a Hawaii friend visiting Cali­for­nia.

Tasty snail species leaves pearly shells as gifts of sea

By Susan Scott
Of all the things I find on the world's ocean floors and beaches, the round trapdoors of some snail species, called opercula, are high on my list of favorites.

Hawaii's starfish protected from fatal wasting disease

By Susan Scott
One of my favorite activities during visits to the Puget Sound area is starfish gazing. At the ferry docks I'm in awe of the orange, purple and red starfish sprawled on the pilings like so many ornaments, and at my husband's family cabin on Orcas Island, I'm the first to don rubber boots at low tide and splash out on a sea star trek.

Neptune notwithstanding, beached whales are baffling

By Susan Scott
In a heartbreaking scene that made national news last week, 22 pilot whales died off Florida's Everglades National Park when they got stranded in shallow water.

Exhibit reveals distinction, beauty of Niihau shell lei

By Susan Scott
In the past when someone mentioned Niihau shell lei, I wondered why the shells that washed up on Nii­hau beaches were special. Couldn't a person find similar shells on other island beaches? Which snail species grew the shells? Are people still making the intricate lei?

Very few shark species pose a danger to humans

By Susan Scott
I have friends who think that because I swam with hundreds of sharks in the Tua­mo­tus last spring, I'm exceptionally brave. But I wasn't comfortable swimming with those sharks because I'm daring: It's because I've learned to tell one species from another.

Kaena Point is hard to beat for watching nature's glory

By Susan Scott
Last week I hiked to Kaena Point, a daylong excursion (about a one-hour drive from Hono­­lulu, and a 5-mile round-trip hike). A few days later I got a text from a friend: "Hiking to Kaena Point. Wanna come?"

Sea horses need secrecy to avoid collectors' nets

By Susan Scott
Last year, after I wrote my second column about snorkeling with sea horses, I got an email with the subject "Stop writing about Hawaii's seahorses!" The writer had also found a sea horse habitat and worried that if word got around about the locations of these rare fish, collectors would take them.

Human light sources can confuse fledgling seabirds

By Susan Scott
This is the time of year to watch for wedgies, otherwise known as wedge-tailed shearwaters.

Plovers and people do well living close to each other

By Susan Scott
Is it OK to feed the kolea in your yard? A member of the standing-room-only audience asked that of golden plover researcher Dr. Oscar (Wally) Johnson during his recent talk on these shorebirds.

Vertical-hanging oarfish renews marvel of the sea

By Susan Scott
Two weeks ago, several readers emailed me news stories about a snorkeler finding a dead, 18-foot-long oarfish near Santa Catalina Island, Calif. The woman and 15 helpers dragged the enormous fish to the island's beach for others to see and researchers to study.

Kolea's seasonal journey is a beloved ritual in isles

By Susan Scott
We Hawaii residents love our kolea, the migratory shorebirds that nest in Alaska in summer and spend winters in the islands.

Wana spines offer refuge for tiny domino damselfish

By Susan Scott
In August I received this email from a reader, Gordy: "If you are looking for pipefish, spend some time looking amongst the spines of the long spined sea urchin. … They hide in there looking for all the world like a spine and of course are well protected.

Storm was full of menace but is now a grand memory

By Susan Scott
What was your favorite part of the trip?" my husband asked after we left our 37-foot ketch Honu in a Tahitian marina and flew home.

Cleaner wrasses exfoliate, pick parasites from others

By Susan Scott
Part of the fun of a long offshore sailing trip is taking a break from grooming chores such as shaving. Men aboard Honu typically grow beards, and we women get fuzzy legs. After weeks of sun, salt and wind exposure, we also get flaky skin.

When sailing life gets old, adventure renews spirits

By Susan Scott
"Sail or sell?" That was the question a young couple we met in the Tua­mo­tus said they asked each other every morning during their voyage through the South Pacific.

Picture-perfect anemone triggers happy thoughts

By Susan Scott
UTUROA, RAIATEA, French Polynesia >> In 2006 I spent two weeks here aboard my 37-foot ketch, Honu, waiting for friends to arrive for a voyage to Australia. After hours of boat work each day, I would climb over the breakwater, don my mask and fins and go snorkeling among the coral heads.

Sharp teeth, aggressive ways turn triggerfish into a terror

By Susan Scott
TAHAA, FRENCH POLYNESIA » Here in the Society Islands, I swim with black-tipped reef sharks, free-dive on giant moray eels and float inches above venomous, spine-waving sea urchins, all without worry. But when I come face to face with a titan triggerfish, I pay attention. Snorkelers and divers do not mess with these mamas.

Reef flat stymies efforts to reach Tetiaroa's shore

By Susan Scott
Society Islands, French Polynesia » My crew (husband Craig, niece Sarah and friend Brian) and I decided to sail Honu to Marlon Brando's island, Tetiaroa. Even if we couldn't get ashore, we wanted to see the atoll.

For some sea cucumbers, back ends stave off enemies

By Susan Scott
Moorea, French Polynesia » I've been playing with sea cucumbers. The way they lie around on the ocean floor, sea cucumbers resemble the vegetables they are named after, and are about as active.

Lovely, lethal lion fish likely lunched on a jittery friend

By Susan Scott
PAPEETE, TAHITI » For days I admired a pipefish from the deck of my boat, Honu, in this marina where the water is gin clear to 50 feet. The 6-inch-long yellow-banded pipefish was a nervous little thing that spent much of its time hovering behind the rungs of a ladder attached to the dock.

Walking the plank in Tahiti reveals an aquatic pageant

By Susan Scott
PAPEETE, Tahiti » After a two-month rest at home on Oahu, I'm back in Tahiti preparing my 37-foot sailboat, Honu, for a six-week voyage through the Society Islands, part of French Polynesia.

Dragonet 'discovery' proves ocean's teeming surprises

By Susan Scott
I had a grand moment recently when I discovered a new fish. Well, not discovered discovered. Other fish enthusiasts know this species, but it was new to me and that made my day.

Beyond serpentine shape, eels and snakes not related

By Susan Scott
Last week I received an email from a reader who went for an early morning swim in Kaneohe Bay. "I looked down and saw what looked like a dozen or so snakes on the floor, maybe 15 feet deep," the unsigned note said. "Was I seeing things? Sorry, no pics. I just beat it back to the house that I am house-sitting this week."

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