Thursday, January 16

Oahu, day 5

Today a day of sleeping later than usual, catching up on correspondence and some non-writing work, and getting GoPro replacement parts—very helpful and easy customer service, happy to replace bad battery and broken handle.

Lots of writing in the afternoon felt good; but a particular passage needed multiple re-writings until getting closer to ‘right.’  Time will tell.  Seem to be maintaining about 1’/week of finished music these days; it’s ok, and a huge change over any normal semester, but I’d like to do much better.

The night brought a really eye-opening activity, as we joined a marine biologist (Don) for a few hours at Shark’s Cove, an area with a tidal pool teeming with life.  Armed with our masks, snorkels, lights, and Don’s sharp eye (and great camera skills), we waded in to focus on the small animals hiding in and under rocks and crevices, and the fish and others often hiding in plain sight. 

We got to know Don a bit—raised in Idaho, a hunter, free-diver, spear fisher, he came to UH to study marine biology, travelled far and wide on research trips.  He and his (nurse) wife bought a home on the north shore, converted part into an extra apt for AirBnb; he’s home with 1-yr old; they grow and/or hunt/fish all that they eat.  And now he’s studying to be a commercial pilot.  A real Renaissance man, and fascinating to engaging. Certainly Don’s passion about marine life—looking for it, the thrill of finding a few things he’d never seen in this particular area, and even bigger thrill of finding a few things he couldn’t identify—was truly contagious.  Pattie and I quick learned to focus on slight color changes on the rocks, algae, sand, and truly enjoyed this 2-hr trip into the small areas illuminated by our underwater lights.  Don sent along pictures of our finds afterwards—and they’re remarkable. (awaiting identification of each of these to provide captions…)

Our first find of the day was a bristle worm, which Don said he’d not seen in this cove before.

Bristle worm from afar…
and getting closer…
and closer.

A starfish hiding out, regrowing an arm
A convict fish–just a baby, about an inch long.
A boxfish posing for a few shots

And some iridescent algae–

w/o blacklight
and with blacklight
up close without blacklight, and (below) with
waiting i.d.
waiting i.d.
waiting i.d.
waiting i.d.
waiting i.d.
and finally this tiny little guy, only about 1.5″ (waiting id)

so much to see, focusing on the micro-scale.