6 June 2013 – Final Transit Day

Todays catch

A good catch this morning

Our cruise is winding down – tonight we will be in the lee of Oahu, and a final day of dive operations off Kaena point is our last adventure.  I have never been diving off shore at Kaena – typically a turbulent area where currents meet and can be unpredictable.  Diving from a support ship with surface boats and support crews is a real treat in this potentially lively site.  Spear fisherman on Oahu consider Kaena to be one of the best spots to see large pelagic fishes, and just recently a very large (150lb) Ulua (Giant Trevally) was caught by a shore fisherman.  Sharks are also more commonly seen out around Kaena than other locations around Oahu.

John Burns pyrotechnics

Pyrotechnics disposal fun – with John Burns

We spent the transit days with lots of computer time and reading, interrupted by a series of interesting lectures provided by three of the scientists, highlighting their work and the role of the Hi’ialakai in supporting their research.   On a less high brow note, last night we took part in a pyrotechnics show, as the crew used up all the expiring and expired flares, smoke signals and other emergency pyrotechnics.  The wind was strong, and with many duds, everyone kept on their toes.  Lots of smiles and laughter, and a few worried brows as errant flares skirted the ship.

Sunrise and weather buoy

Sunrise at the weather buoy – 150 miles south of Honolulu

Weather buoy

Weather buoy and birds – the solar panels have their work cut out for them

John Burns - fisherman

John Burns – fisherman

    

This morning, we made a slight detour to make several passes at a weather buoy stationed 150 miles south of Oahu.  Covered in birds and guano, the buoy provides important early warning to the Hawaiian Islands for large surf and winds, as well as possible tsunamis.  It is also an excellent Fish Aggregation Device (FAD) as it’s anchor creates a column of habitat Big Eye tunaBig Eye tuna eyeing gaff

for all types of organisms, at the top of which rule tuna and other predatory fishes.  The fishermen were rewarded with a couple big eye tuna and mahimahi. 

Mahi mahi fightMahi mahi fight1

Looking forward to the Kaena Point adventure tomorrow, and then being home!

Sunset

Final open ocean sunset

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in NOAA Cruise 2013. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s