Clouds on Fire, Abstract Photo

Resuming the series of abstracts (before it was so rudely interrupted with bird pics): today's abstract photo is an image of clouds on fire, taken from the lanai of Skip's seaside surf pad in Napili, looking out over Lanai and Molokai. Wow, did we ever have some epic sunsets in…
June 14, 2009
HawaiiHumpback WhaleWildlife

Boat Strikes Humpback Whale

Some years ago, when I was assisting Dr. Dan Salden and Hawaii Whale Research Foundation during whale seaon in Hawaii, we came across a humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) not far from Lahaina that showed considerable scarring, almost certainly from a boat strike. The most likely explanation for the series of…
March 8, 2009

Photo of Haleakala Silversword

High atop Haleakala volcano on the island of Maui lives the Haleakala Silversword (Argyroxiphium sandwicense macrocephalum). This remarkable plant lives only in the crater and on the slopes of Haleakala, above 6800' (2100m). The silversword grows from seed and lives from 15 to 50 years. At the end of its…
June 21, 2007
HawaiiPhoto of the Day

Molokai Reflections

For those winters I worked with Dan Salden and his whale research team in Maui, I stayed with my friend Skip at his surf pad, a quiet condo just yards from the water on Honokeana Cove, in Napili, not far from Kapalua. Most mornings before we drove into town to…
May 17, 2007
HawaiiPhoto of the Day

Photo of the West Maui Mountains

We spent a good part of seven winters working with Dan Salden, studying humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) in the basin and channels between Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe islands, occasionally visiting the weather side of Lanai or the rugged, waterfall-laden backside of Molokai. Each morning we would set out from…
May 15, 2007

Atop Haleakala

We used to spend 6-8 weeks in Maui each winter as part of a humpback whale research team. One of the fringe benefits of that work was a chance to make a trip to the summit of Haleakala volcano each year, the mass of which comprises most of the island…
January 3, 2006

Revenge of the Mahi Mahi :: Part II

Continued from Part I You see, mahi, as open water fish are prone to do, seek cover underneath and beside any floating object that they can find. This mahi is no exception. He has seen manfish before, swimming gracefully below the surface and sporting deadly appendages that send out flashing…
June 14, 2005

Revenge of the Mahi Mahi :: Part I

REVENGE OF THE MAHI, or, The Hapless Research Videographer Perhaps their reputation is unjustified. I know of no documented case where a human has been attacked by one. Nevertheless, false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) are intimidating creatures. Have a false killer swim up to you and smile, displaying its many…
June 13, 2005
HawaiiHumpback Whale

Photos of Humpback Whale Pectoral Fin Displays

Humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, are known for displaying a wide range of surface behaviors (i.e., behaviors seen from above water), such as breaching, head lunging, tail lobbing and spyhopping. Among these behaviors, pectoral fin displays are some of the most interesting. Humpback whales have the longest pectoral fins of all…
February 11, 2005