This is where we summarize the day's activity and expedition members post their personal experiences of the day. The list is in reverse chronological order: today is on top.
- August 19th (Friday)
After an evening of transit, we arrived at Mokumanamana in the morning. Representative Case joined us while we practiced our Reef Check protocol at a small deep cove on the west side, and then several of the more exprienced divers, including Rep. Case, explored the shallow bay, which was rough today. For the remainder of the day we were in transit, with workshops and time to work on our educational plans and materials.
- August 18th (Thursday)
Another day on Tern Island! Field biologists gave presentations on sea turtles, spinner dolphins and sharks.
We took turns assisting with bird banding, and learned how to conduct a Reef Check assessment.
In the evening, Representative Ed Case briefed us on legislative issues pertaining to the creation of a
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Refuge.
- August 17th (Wednesday)
Today we visited Tern Island at French Frigate Shoals. We witnessed the spetacular departure of a twin engine plane that exchanged Representative Case for Malia Chow: the runway must first be cleared of birds. After an introductory orientation to the refuge and information on monk seals, we walked the runway to photograph tens of thousands of birds, and had a BBQ. (There are merely tens of thousands of birds because this is not the primary breeding season.) Dr. Cindy Hunter gave an informative presentation on coral reef ecosystem assessments and monitoring, in preparation for our own Reef Check transect tomorrow.
- August 16th (Tuesday)
Second day at French Frigate Shoals: We are anchored in a calm but vast lagoon with waters ranging from deep blue to various turquoises, greens and browns. We were taken to a marine archeology site (shipwreck) and given the task of recording data on the wreck and interpreting the possible type of vessel and date. The materials and size of coral growths provided clues as to the date. This wreck was discovered in May 2005. Then we went to a shallow reef area to explore the residents of various coral colonies. In the evening, we celebrated Liz's birthday and teachers shared their visions and plans.
- August 15th (Monday)
Today we compared shallow reef habitat to deeper waters around La Perouse pinnacle. Participants report: The fish here seem "at least twice as big as the ones at home." We were awed by large ulua and Honu and enormous Manta Rays. "When I jump in, within 10 seconds I know I am in a special place where nature dominates." ... "sensory overload!" After returning, teachers were busy planning reports and lessons, and tonight Malia gave a great presentation on the relationship between management and science.
- August 14th (Sunday)
Mokumanamana! Spetacular fields of algae made us aware of its importance to the ecosystem. Surrounded by an inquisive shark, two teachers held hands. Signs of human presence ... Returning in small boats, the mother ship, 10 miles away, was not visible. Many of us were struck by the vastness of this ocean wilderness and our insignificance in it, putting our trust in technology to get us back. We are in awe of the Hawaiians who came before, without this technology.
- August 13th (Saturday)
Today we visited Nihoa, where we learned about an important tool of oceanography; formally greeted the island and those who have gone before us; dropped off five "castaways," and learned about the marine environment by snorkeling.
- August 12th (Friday)
Departing Honolulu in the morning, we conducted safety drills, learned about Nihoa, seabirds, and many other things, and shared ideas while in transit towards Kaua`i. (See daily photos.)
- August 11th (Thursday)
We met for the first time as a team at Hanauma Bay, O`ahu, for welcomes, orientation, and a "test snorkel" that ensured everyone is comfortable in the water.
See also NOWRAMP 2002 Journals and NWHIRAMP 2004 Journals