Today was a good day. I was able to sleep in until 11:45 or so, which is good because I was absolutely exhausted from staying up and editing the day 17 blog (I'm still working on some of the videos, but trust me, they are worth it). Today, we went and talked with an extremely nice woman named Zan who worked at the Kona Coast Resort we are staying at, and she helped us set up some things for us to do on the island. Tomorrow, we are leaving at 2:30 to head up to Mauna Kea via an open-air tour bus. I'm super stoked... they have an astronomical observatory there, and we should be able to get some incredible views through the massive telescope they have. On Friday, we are doing a half-day of deep-sea fishing. I'm hoping to catch myself a world record yellowfin tuna. As the picture below shows, I'll need to get extremely lucky.
|John Petruescu's record 445 pound yellowfin tuna. Caught off Hurricane Bank, Mexico. Retrieved from thewatermansjournal.com, which retrieved it from pelagicgear.com. Original photos and story by Colin Sarfeh from pelagicgear.com|
Thursday and Saturday are our free days, and we are currently planning to do a lot of volcano stuff on those days. We heard there are some awesome green sand beaches on the southern part of the island and some great waterfalls near Hilo, so we'll czech those out. We've also gotten wind of an awesome zipline that looks incredible and some nice snorkeling. Finally, I've heard there are some cliffs you can jump off. I'd love to do that, my mom doesn't want me going anywhere near the cliffs. Good thing I'm Charming Charlie; I should be able to sweet-talk her into not only letting me go but also jumping in with me.
Today, we went bodysurfing, boogieboarding, and snorkeling at beaches close to our hotel. The waves weren't massive, but they were good enough for our purposes. I'm really good at boogieboarding, so I was able to land myself high and dry on the sand a couple times. One time, I did it right in front of a little kid, and he said "Holy smoke!" I think I made his day.
I even taught my mom how to boogieboard. After a while, she rode a wave all the way in. Some Hawaiian guys my age who were also in the water smiled at me, and apparently a bunch of people cheered for my mom as she rode ashore. I'm very, very proud of her for boogieboarding all the way in. She's also a beautiful person... those of you who know her can vouch for me. I love my mom.
She's certainly turned this...
|Picture by André Karwath, retrieved from Wikimedia Commons|
... into this...
|Picture by newleaf01, retrieved from Wikimedia Commons|
We are both wistful of Pohnpei, but we are making the best of what we have here, and there's a lot of awesome stuff going on in Hawaii.
However, when it comes to snorkeling, Hawaii could not compare to Pohnpei. The beach we went to had lots of dead coral, bad visibility, and was extremely shallow... no deeper than five feet 200 yards out. We did see some sea turtles back at the shore feeding on some algae though, and that was extremely cool. They must have been in about a foot of water, and their heads often poked above the surface.
Tomorrow morning, we hope to do some more bodysurfing/boogieboarding and maybe some more snorkeling before heading up to Mauna Kea. I'd like to take surfing lessons at some point as well, so I'll work on getting that set up. I haven't looked at Southpoint yet, but my friends have highly recommended it, so I'll take a look at it tomorrow.
As far as Micronesia goes, I heard that people started doing some coral surveys today and have been working on their seagrass reports. Tomorrow, one girl said that they are going to Ant Atoll, which is a place I desperately wanted to go to. I hope she takes some good pictures. The professor told me that people were thinking of me when they looked at carbon dioxide traces from Mauna Loa, and I told him to tell the students to keep in contact and send me summaries and pictures of the days so that I can keep my blog readers posted on what is happening back in Pohnpei.
Both pictures below are pictures of Ant Atoll, and both were taken by J. O'Hare.
|From Allois Malfitani's "Pohnpei Surf Club" website. Allois runs the PCR Hotel, which we stayed at|
|Also from the "Pohnpei Surf Club" website|
For now, off to sleep! If any on ya'lls have any advice on places to see and things to do, let me know!
Mahalo and Aloha,
Ended 12:46 A.M. 7/10/13