Tuesday our boss, Jamie, who is employed by NOAA, had to stop working, so we volunteers are now in charge of the seal activities (thoughts of letting the inmates run the asylum???). It seems that Donna might be required to answer the hotline although Mimi, the vet for the program, will still be available (she is a state employee). We just hope that there won’t be any emergencies. For sure there will be no communications to the scientists in charge of the monk seal recovery program during the shutdown. Very annoying!
There has been a big low pressure area in the North Pacific that is affecting our weather, we have had daily flash flood warnings and some pretty heavy rain at times. Our street was a river on Monday. The temps have been lovely though, can’t complain at all.
We had a new (to us) seal at Poipu, N4, a male from Oahu named Kermit (he has a human name unlike most of the seals). It’s fun to see different seals, he must be exhausted after that swim. Monday he was out on the rocks and Tuesday morning hauled up on the beach. Charlie and I did our usual 2 hour segment, talking to people and roping him off.
The week has been very rainy, about 60% every day….this means heavy rain for about 15 min. then sunshine, repeated all day. This week too, a well known local musician died, and because of his popularity, a large funeral was held. We didn’t go because we didn’t know him, however many of our friends went. The Hawaiian blessing, we understand, was very touching, including a “paddle out” with surf boards to spread the ashes. After several downpours the sun came out, a good omen, then it poured again. Several of our friends were tapped to make the leis that are floated by family members to accompany the soul to the ocean. Of interest is that the leis must be all natural including the string it must not be connected but open so that no marine life is entangled and that it disintegrates. We didn’t get to see it but it sounded like a perfect way to end up.
The same day, the Lawai International Center had a dedication of the Hall of Compassion and the annual pilgrimage celebration. This place was developed for all the Asians that came here for the sugar plantation jobs. The event included the Taiko drummers, hulas and a Buddhist/Hawaiian blessing as well as bonsai exhibits and a silent auction. With all the rain, everyone came out with muddy red feet and sandals.