Island life

The week started with seal W06 hauling out on Poipu Beach, still molting. She goes back into the water every night, some time after dark and returning around 8am. We are short (again) of volunteers so we have been spending many hours on the beach. W06 is looking pretty gross, but seems to be progressing fairly quickly . Wednesday morning she laid right next to a dragon that somebody had molded in the sand….pretty cute.

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The top picture shows her back, only partially molted. In the bottom picture her chest and stomach are fully molted, and now clean.

All week we’ve been watching the development of tropical storm, now hurricane, Ana. Early predictions had it coming right over all the islands, but as the week progressed, the storm track started to slide south. Now it looks like we’ll get wind and rain, but not hurricane force winds. So we may be dodging another bullet. We walked along the south shore line, at Makahuena Point. The bluff here is about 30 to 40 feet above sea level, and the crashing waves were throwing spray way over the bluff. Good thing the main storm is missing us! Rip tides are normal in the ocean, but the weather service has issued warnings about ‘super rip tides’. Apparently these can carry someone hundreds of yards in just seconds. Another good reason to stay out of the water! We did get winds and rain which resulted in large waves and beach closures. We made our normal trek to the Hyatt on Sunday and watched the waves break on the shore…quite impressive!

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After the Hyatt we had to check out Poipu beach.

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The waves were really impressive, and to think that the eye of the hurricane was 100 miles from us. Several roads were closed, mostly from fallen trees. But overall (to our knowledge), there was little damage. We did hear though that Mimi, one of our seal coordinators, lost several trees on her property.

We have fallen totally in love with Allie, what a joy! Even Comet is enthralled. Such energy. She’s tuckered out, and just crashes after running around the house.

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As if the week wasn’t busy enough, Mimi, the head vet for seals and aquatic resources, called us to assist two scientists from Oahu to dig up empty turtle nests to determine DNA from the egg shells. We spent a whole morning digging holes up to 3 ft deep attempting egg shell recovery to no avail.
Here are Charlie, George, Joy and Mimi at one hole.

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Our last culinary gourmet dinner (lunch) was this week, the next unit is Asian Food, we have to scramble to get reservations, they sell out quickly. The new chefs introduce themselves after we eat and identify the dish each one has prepared.

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Some of the students are awfully young and timid, but the meal time crowd is not too tough on them. All in all an enjoyable time, good food, and energetic students.

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