Sunday, March 25, 2012

More supplies

The Kahana came back this week.  This time they are also making stops at Tern, Laysan, and Kure to switch out crews.  We've still got the Kure crew here helping us out so we've been able to plant a lot more bunchgrass than usual.  We've got another good visitor group here this week, and the weather is finally getting less windy.  They'll finally be able to hold their cameras steady for pictures.

We also got out snorkeling this week for the first time in a long time.  It was great, as always.  I didn't take a lot of pictures this week, on land at least, so I've got mostly underwater ones this time.

The Kahana brought more food supplies and fuel.  They'll be going up to Kure Atoll in a couple of days before they head back to Honolulu via Laysan Island and Tern Island.

 Here's a hybrid albatross that I haven't seen before.

 Here's a Hawaiian turkeyfish that was upside down on the roof of a little cave.  This is the first time I've ever seen one of these. 

This is a belted wrasse and a saddle wrasse.

 A female surge wrasse swims above the coral.

 The coral in the area that we went to on Sunday is the nicest that I know of in the atoll.

The shortnosed wrasses are colorful little fish.

Here's a Hawaiian spiny lobster next to a slate pencil urchin.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Extra Help

We've got a lot going on as usual around here.  We've had a couple of sick Laysan ducks, so we're keeping busy looking for any other sick or dead ones to keep the botulism from spreading.  We've got extra help this week with the crew that's going to Kure Atoll for the summer.  Next week, they'll be swapping out with the crew that's been there over the winter.  The Kahana will take them over after they drop some fuel and supplies off here.  The visitor group that is here right now is having a good time, even with cloudy and windy weather.  One of the visitors was stationed here in the early 70's and we're hearing a lot of good stories from him.  Another couple of ladies have been here 10 times over the years so we're hearing a lot of interesting things from them, too.  It's nice that we get visitors here for a full week so we can actually get a chance to get to know them.

The ballfield seep was getting really overgrown with algae, so our volunteers, RJ, Jennifer, Peter, and Laura Marie hopped in and are about half done cleaning in the picture.

Our greenhouse is looking good.  We've got quite a few species of native plants being propagated for outplanting.

This plant is a native Ilima (Sida Fallax) that we've got growing in the greenhouse.  It's from a cutting of our 1 native plant that is left on the island.  We're trying to get a few more plants growing before the original one dies.

 We do our duck surveys at sunrise every week.  It's getting earlier all the time, and is extra nice when the weather is good.

 You can see how the native naupaka catches the sand and forms dunes.  When the tsunami came last year, the areas with the most naupaka were affected the least.

The Kure crew is helping me check for dead ducks on Eastern Island today.  Thanks Liat, Matt, Eryn, and Julia.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Still Windy

It's still pretty windy here.  It's rough going over to Eastern Island, but snorkeling has been out of the question.  The birds don't mind too much, but we haven't been able to get any weed work done over there.  The Kahana stayed a few extra days because it was too windy to load the shipping containers back on, but they finally got out of here.

It's the one year anniversary of the tsunami from Japan.  If you haven't seen the photos of that, you can go back and look at my blog from March of last year to see those (click on 2011 under the blog archive, then click March).  We've been getting a lot of questions here about the marine debris from the tsunami last year.  So far we haven't had anything wash up that was out of the ordinary, but modelling shows that we may be getting some debris in the next month or so.  Here's a link to an article that had some quotes from me.
That story got picked up by and, so you may have seen it elsewhere.

We had a little get together at Capt. Brooks Tavern last night.  Darlene wanted to try out the new karaoke machine.  This photo is from today, but I took the rest a while back.  My Canon 7D was off for repairs for a couple of weeks and should be back tomorrow night.

With the strong winds lately, the albatrosses have been flying around more than usual.

Here's a Laysan albatross chick nesting in the morning glory.

Here are 2 green sea turtles in the corner of the harbor looking for food.

This is the old galley, where everyone ate before the Clipper House started being used.  On the right, you can see a hole in the roof where one of the ironwood trees was blown over onto the building.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Things are still going along as usual out here, other than we're getting some winter weather.  It's been really windy all week and will be for a while longer.  Our supply ship, the Kahana, is here right now.  They were already supposed to be gone, but it's too windy to load the containers back on.
The albatross chicks are getting bigger and the red-tailed tropicbirds are starting to lay eggs.  We've got a construction crew out here to continue renovating some of the old duplexes (like the one I live in), since we are short of housing when we have visitors, construction people, volunteers, and researchers. 
As I said last week, my Canon 7D conked out on me, so I shipped that off for repairs.  It'll probably be gone for a few weeks and I've only got my little point and shoot, so I may not put up quite as many pics as usual. 

The Kahana is at the tug pier.  The ship brings fuel for us so we keep the orange oil boom in the water to make sure any spills don't get away.

 We had 2 nice days early in the week and I got over to Spit Island to do some work.  This is the view of Eastern Island from Spit Island.

 This big rope got washed up onto this tree on Spit Island during the tsunami last year.  It's too heavy to carry across the island to the boat, but I think that it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

We also got a bit of rain.  This chick got a bit waterlogged, but dried out when the sun came out.