It’s a brand new year

2015 is starting out cool, but at least it’s sunny. The whales are starting to appear more frequently, they seem to be late this year, we are now seeing spouts almost every time we look out to sea. The week started on an interesting note when, on Monday W06 hauled out at Poipu and I went down to set a SPZ for her. It seemed like everyone was off island so I stayed until 1:30 (Charlie came down at about 10) and Lynn relieved us at 1:30. While I was setting the zone, I dropped my phone in the ocean and it stopped. At that point Charlie was the contact and soon after we left, Lynn called to say that there was something wrong with the seal, she could see blood and something shiny at her rear end. Since I was on my way to the green dump and to the Westside pharmacy to get drugs for Comet, I told her to call Jamie , the team leader. A short time later I arrived at home to see Charlie starting to go down to the beach. I immediately doned my seal shirt and went with him. It seems that W06 had just had a miscarriage. We had to increase the zone and monitor the seal until he could get there. We had to be ready also to retrieve the fetus in case it started to get washed away. Jamie finally arrived and, after getting clearance from Oahu, he snuck into the zone without disturbing W06, retrieved the fetus and the sac and put them on ice. The little critter was about 6 inches long, red in color, and perfectly formed. We were quite sad that she had lost her first pup but we were told that this was the first trimester and it was not unusual for a mom to lose her first pregnancy….it was probably defective thus it didn’t necessarily mean that she couldn’t carry one to full term.
W06 left before dark and appeared just fine. This seal response volunteering is never boring. We both spent a long time on the beach that day, Charlie for 7 hours and I for 9.

We continue to walk most mornings with Shannon, around the Poipu area. In addition to seeing whales and turtles almost every day, we also occasionally see spinner Dolphins. On Wednesday morning we saw a pod of them feeding off of Poipu. They tend to circle the fish they’re after, then swim the school to east. It’s fun though when they’re moving, and they’ll come out of the water and spin in the air. It’s very brief, but neat to see.

Our seal volunteer friend Donna returned from CA this week. She’ll help take some of the seal watching hours off of our hands. Donna and I went to a pot luck presentation on Patagonia at the National Tropical Botanical Garden.

We have a lot of bananas this winter – we harvested another tree full this week. Our winter visitors will not want for bananas!

We had a couple of nice green flashes this week, it’s been clear but supposedly the Big Island is supposed to be sending us vog (volcanic fog and haze) this week. Shannon took a photo proving that there is such a thing as a green flash.

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Saturday night Shannon and I went up to a ball field west of here to do some star gazing. A local astronomy group meets once a month on the Saturday closest to a new moon to observe. Several telescopes are set up and about 40-50 people set up their chairs and blankets and the group provides a star map and information as to what we see at a specific time. The number of celestial bodies that are visible is amazing, no doubt because of the lack of ambient light around. We were provide red cellophane to cover flashlights to help. I used my handy dandy star gazing phone app to help me identify different constellations, but the numbers were overwhelming. During the fairly short time we were there, I got to see the comet Lovejoy , two satellites, Venus, Mercury and Mars, Serius and the easy constellations. It was all pretty fascinating, even overwhelming. Shannon also took a time exposure of the sky looking toward the North Star

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