Friday, August 24, 2012

Who's Who: World Under Water

August 21, 2012

The sun smiled down upon us with rare favor, the usually turbid water relaxed at low tide- with amazingly high visibility, and the birds (read: ducks and chickens) sang (quacked and clucked) to us all day (ALL day).  Several ʻUlili, or Wandering Tattlers (Tringa incana), trilled as we passed by.  

Judy informs us today will not be business as usual. We might as well call it a holiday.

Our Mission: 
Collect and identify pond life at specific sites. 

Seine net, hand net.

 After several dry runs with the seine net, into the waiting water we go. 

Judy gives final instructions as we attempt our first in-water seine attempt.

Our first few attempts were successful in dragging up algae, but not much else. 

Let's see... seaweed, check.

Emptying the seine net into our collection bucket.

Seaweed Stew, anyone?

Behind us, clouds loom ominously.

Ikaika leads the way to our next site. Along the way he alerts us to about 5 eels- good thing we're following him!

Young Undulated Moray, Gymnothorax undulatus.

Ky is clearly unafraid of a silly little eel.

At our next site, we have a bit more luck in catching something not attached to the pond floor.

Ikaika and Andrew, our top fishermen.

The catch: Nehu, or anchovy, Stolephorous purpureus.

Ty and Kaua enjoy the natural "infinity pool" action the mākāhā offers.

When it rains, it pours; from here on out, we're getting buckets full of interesting life.

A type of cardinal fish.


Ikaika and the best catch of the day.

Lissa brought pie!  In the spirit of identification, it was pineapple and banana, with a homemade crust.  Now it's a party :)

Young Blue Pincher crab (Thalamita crenata) on Samoan crab (Scylla serrata).

Did you notice there are no pictures of the actual identification process? 
I became too distracted with the pie, and the feeding of identified fish to the chickens and ducks...

Another day of enlightenment and play in Hawaii Nei.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Ah, yet another exciting and fulfilling week has passed for the strapping young go-getters of the Laulima A 'Ike Pono internship program. Upon arriving at the fishpond on Tuesday, us interns were fortunate enough to be graced by the presence of the eminent Sherril, and Kirsten was there too. After the regular pep-talk and preparation of equipment, we descended into the brisk waters like the US troops on D-Day. There was not a single inch of site 39, 78,102, and 121 left unscathed by our superior intern sampling abilities.

           Ty unleashes a fierce Shaka, plunging Ikaika into a state of utter disbelief and anger. Luckily, he manages to return to his senses just in time to retrieve his precious water samples.

As head master navigator general, Ikaika diligently and deftly guided us through obstacle after obstacle, resting only to help recover one of the numerous yardsticks that have fallen prey the Hei'eia Fishpond's abysmal depths.

As per usual, our saturday session at the Coconut Island required hours of intense research and testing  of samples. Ty, Brian, Ikaika, and myself were the first to experience the lab, while the others ventured into the uncharted waters surrounding the isle to collect water to be used for dissolved oxygen testing. 

One of the tasks given to us by Captain Sherril was to label 150 canisters for nutrient samples. It was jolly good fun. The underlined nines and sixes will help Sherril tell them apart!

Sherril gives her pupil a didactic speech on the subtleties of Excel. A confused Brian listens attentively, glad to be away from the stress of his shrimp farm.

This saturday was going to be unlike any other saturday before it. With Sherril's permission and Kirsten's watchful eye, the interns were set free into the ocean for an afternoon of aquatic fun. "This must be how dolphins feel after being released from captivity," I thought to myself.

I managed to photograph some of the ocean life. It is widely assumed that Ky took this, but I assure you that is not the case.  Notice the coral sprouting and enveloping the floral-looking creature.

Here Lissa is seen emerging from the water, pondering the vast expanse of the bay.

As usual, Kirsten is hard at work.

What an eventful day!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Battles and Birthdays

 Crab Attack

Tuesday afternoon was not a typical work day at He’eia Fishpond for me. What had started out as a beautiful day ended in a bloody battle of woman vs. crab. Woman 0 and Crab 1.  I ended up with four painful cuts, two on both legs. Don’t let the smile in the photo fool you, it was painful! But don’t worry I am out to seek my revenge on that Samoan crab...crab stew anyone? And don’t worry folks I am at no way giving up on this internship one way or another I’ll be back in the water!

Myself (Lissa) resting after being  pinched.

Earlier  that day everything was going the way it was suppose to. We had split into two groups , gathered our equipment and made our way down to the  pond. We took samples of both the biomass, and the sediment.

Kaua checking the equipment.

Brian gathering seaweed for biomass sample.

Brian and me getting sediment samples.

While we waited for the water samples, the boys tested their skills with chicken snatching. Israel proved to be the chicken whisperer.

Israel the chicken man.


Saturday was a great workday and Brenda’s Birthday. Happy Birthday Brenda. Some of her friends dressed up in costumes that represented their ethnicity. Way cool! Some of the men even dressed in manly malos! The day was started off with a pule (prayer) and introductions. Then we went on a quick tour of the pond.

Brenda the B-Day girl!

Party guest!

The work was not so hard with so many hands working together. We had to move the coral from one end of the pond wall to the other. There were three groups; one group piled the coral rocks into buckets, another hauled the coral away across the break on barges, and the last filled the coral into the middwalkway on the wall.

After all the work was done we return to the hale to enjoy good food and of course celebrate Brenda’s Birthday.

Yummy BBQ Chicken!
Front row Brian, Andrew, Ty, and Ky
(Back row) Kaua and Lissa


Monday, August 6, 2012


From Tuesday July 31 2012
By Brian Carroll

Tuesday was a good day for me and the rest of the LAIP interns. First of all, those of us who are still in school got our first taste of being excused early to go to work!  On top of that we were relieved of our usual duties of gathering samples and recording data to learn how to fish from Hi'ilei. We were lucky to be taken fishing before having put in time restoring the fishpond by rebuilding the wall and cutting mangrove, but i have a feeling we will pay our dues soon enough.  She taught us to fish using bamboo poles and how to tie the necessary knots used to secure the line to the pole and the hook to the line.
Hi'ilei demonstrating how to tie a fishing line
After we selected our poles and practiced our knots with string, we tied our lines and hooks to the bamboo poles. We were ready to catch some fish!  Using scoop nets, we caught a bunch of baby shrimp and put them in a bucket to use as bait.  We cast our lines at an opening of the pond where water (and smaller fish) comes in and out with the tide.

Apparently I was out of luck because every time a fish went for my bait it got it without getting caught!! Sometimes you just cant catch any fish.  My fellow interns however were a different story catching as much fish as they pleased while i secretly tried to copy their techniques with no success.  Ty (who claims to have never caught a fish before that day) surprised everyone by catching anything she wanted with the flick of her wrist!
Ty (the fish whisperer) showing off her fresh catch
 After having my hook bitten off by a fish, I retired from fishing for the day and became the photographer.  Many fish were caught that day by the crew and I was there to record it all. Here are a few of the unlucky fish that fell victim to our new skills.
Lissa with her first (but not last) catch of the day
Ty caught this Kumu fish off of the break in the wall
Israel removing the hook from his catch
Having caught and released fish after fish, the group moved down to the break of the wall to pursue new prey.  Kaua, Israel, and Hi'ilei ventured off along the makeshift part of the wall which connects the bigger rock wall and were rewarded with as many fish as they could catch! The mountain range looked beautiful in the evening light as the day came to a close.
Kaua in his magic spot
Since we didn't have many functional poles left and having caught enough fish to feed a small family, we packed up and headed back to clean our gear and leave everything the way we found it.  Overall the day was a nice change from our usual duties (even though we have really just started) and we got to relax and learn some new things about the pond and fishing from Hi'ilei.  

Even though most of the fish were thrown back, some were not so lucky.