Sunday, March 9, 2014


I've got some news for you.  We've got a new deputy manager.  Bret Wolfe came out on the last flight.  He was previously the marine program coordinator for the refuge system.  He was out here last summer for a short time but is back for a permanent position now.   That brings me to the next news item.  I'll be going over to the headquarters office in Arlington, VA.  Bret and I are doing a position swap, so I'll be going there for a permanent position.  I won't be doing the exact same job as he did, but I'll be working as a biologist in the Branch of Wildlife Resources.  It will be nice to finally live with my wife again.  

You may be wondering if I'll be continuing my blog.  Last time I left Midway, I did start a new blog:  However, French Frigate Shoals is as suited to blogging as Midway is.  Although I'm sure I'll do some interesting things in the Washington D.C. area once in a while, I'm afraid most of my posts would be photos of me stuck in traffic or doing yard work.  So I obviously will be bringing this blog to a close, and don't plan on doing anything when I get back to civilization.  I'll be leaving in April and I'll post until then.  I'll let you know if anyone else will be doing a blog from here.   

I've been busy getting ready to move, so I hardly took any photos this week.  We have to do our daily seep checks for sick or dead Laysan ducks from botulism, so all my photos on this post were from my 2 hour trip to Eastern Island this morning.  I think I'll miss this place.

 On my way to Eastern Island this morning, the motor got tangled in a fishing net that was submerged and stuck on some of the coral.  It took a couple of minutes to get on my way again and I cleaned up some marine debris.  I guess that's almost analogous to a flat tire on the way to work.

As I walked from the pier to the island, I saw this green sea turtle sleeping on the beach.

A Black-footed albatross and chick were sitting near Sunset seep.

This is one of the guzzler ponds that we have on the Eastern Island revetments to ensure fresh water for the Laysan ducklings if the island gets washed over again.  I think I mentioned before that the revetments on Eastern Island were made during WWII to protect airplanes and ammunition from causing chain reactions if they caught fire or exploded.

There were 29 ducks in the Monument seep today.

I've got quite a few pictures of the beading water running off of the ducks, but I keep taking them anyway since they are always kind of cool.

I saw one of the ducks with a plastic ring stuck around its neck.  It's very wary and we haven't been able to catch it yet to remove the ring.  The ring is loose and doesn't seem to be causing any harm, but I'd rather take it off if I can.

It's a nice view from up on the revetment.  I've got quite a few photos from this revetment because there's a guzzler here too, and this one has a bit more elevation than the other one.

I took this photo from the same spot as the previous photo, but facing the other direction.

On my way back to the office, I saw a monk seal up in the field.  They are usually closer to the water.  Since I had a threatened green sea turtle photo and a couple of endangered Laysan duck photos, I figured I'd add an endangered Hawaiian monk seal.


Forest and Kim said...

Thanks for your years of service out on those idyllic isles Pete. Here's some shots of you in action.

Images of Pete on Midway

Forest & Kim

Anonymous said...

Wow! You've been on this amazing journey out there. I'm going to miss living seeing your wonderful pictures as I sit in my office. Also will miss seeing your shots of Wisdom. If you start another blog please post the link on your old one.

kiapolo said...

Congratulation on your new position! I will miss this blog!

Pete Prellwitz said...


Wow! Giving it up for the East Coast. But like you said, being with your wife is pretty important.

I hope you enjoy the change and I'm sure you'll continue giving the terrific effort and work that you have while out in the field.

And maybe one day the Pacific will call you back. (This time with your wife.)


Kris said...

I'm definitely sad to hear this news, but I guess change can be good sometimes! I'm in DC now and I would certainly like to trade traffic for nature! Reading your blog has been a part of my Monday morning routine since you were back on Tern, so I'll miss your weekly updates!

Congratulations on your new position and good luck!

Juan Wilson said...

Aloha Pete,

I've had a link to your blog on mine ( from here on Kauai.

We report from the down here at the other end and have been delighted with your posts from Midway.

Have fun back East. Although I don't envy the traffic - I still miss the food.

Juan & Linda

Barb said...

"This place" will miss you, Pete; both Tern and Midway thank you; BIG mahalo!

Randy said...

Hey Pete -- Just found your blog while doing a search for Kure Island.... which took me to your post back in 2012, regarding a visit you made there. I checked out your most recent posts as well... amazing photography! Sorry to hear you'll be leaving Midway. I actually live in the DC area... don't worry, the traffic won't be TOO horrific! Best wishes to you.

Pete Leary said...

Thanks all! I appreciate the comments, and thanks for the link to the other photos Forest & Kim.

Anonymous said...

Greetings from Canada. I enjoyed your blog and all of the Wisdom updates. Good luck in your new position. Hope someone will be able to continue with a Midway blog and Wisdom pics

Luke said...

Congratulations on the move! I have read all your Midway and Tern Island blogs and will miss this window onto this part of our world. Good luck with future endeavours and enjoy finally being able to live with your wife.

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