Week of August 18-25, 2007

August 25th, 2007  


This summer’s summaries are dedicated to Jose, without whom they would not have been possible. Mahalo nui loa, Jose.

Last time from Maui

This is our eighth summary for 2007, and the last one we’ll be doing from Maui. Next Friday, August 31, we’ll be boarding a plane headed for home. The last week is always a depressing time for us, but this year there are two factors that give us some relief: one, Peter is officially semi-retired now, meaning that he’ll be home most of the time; and two, in 2008 for the first time ever, we’ll be coming to Maui during the winter–January to be precise. The trip home will be a little easier when we keep that in mind.

Turtle in distress

There’s an ingenious method of fishing here in Hawaii that allows you to catch deep sea game fish without ever leaving the shore. First you use a couple of meters of monofilament to connect your baited hook to a float, which you can improvise from a plastic jug for example. Next you attach that rig to your rod and line. Now comes the really clever part: you use a kite to fly the float and hook out over deep water, much farther than you could possibly cast. This gives you a great chance to catch big fish–but sometimes it can also have unintended consequences, as this week’s video shows.

We’ve had a terrific summer on Maui this year, but it’s safe to say that cutting the honu free from that float was absolutely the highlight.


Speaking of turtles in distress, here’s another sad example of human-honu interaction:

Disturbing reminder of the danger of prop strike

This is what can happen when propellor meets turtle shell.

Click image to enlarge

Bad as it looks, this honu didn’t seem to be much bothered. We’re sure that immediately after the impact, circumstances were much different, but the fact that the turtle was swimming aorund and behaving quite normally is testimony to the amazing recuperative powers of sea turtles.

Incidentally, we’d like to point out that although both the cases we’ve written about resulted from human activities, neither of them were intentional or even avoidable. As long as people and turtles share the ocean, things like this are inevitable. That in no way diminishes the sympathy we feel for these poor turtles.

The saga of Jose’s Camera

Earlier this summer we wrote about Jose’s Camera, and those of you watching our videos have probably noticed that it gets its own credit in all of them. That’s because Jose’s Camera is special to us. For some reason, however, Jose’s Camera has given us more heart-stopping moments in the last two weeks than both of our older digital cameras have over the previous four summers combined.

Not once, but twice it has slipped loose and floated to the surface. Fortunately on both occasions, we never lost sight of it and were able to retrieve it without further incident.

The little rascal wants to be free

Ursula chases after Jose’s Camera, who had made a sneaky break for the surface.

Click image to enlarge

This week, however, we got quite a scare when we opened the housing after our Sunday dive. First one, then two, then many drops of water! Somehow we’d had a leak.

Jose’s Camera itself wasn’t wet, but there were droplets on it. Worse, when we opened the compartment for the battery and memory card, there were a couple of drops inside. Maybe we hadn’t flooded Jose’s Camera, but all it takes is one drop of sea water in the wrong place, and your camera’s finished. That stuff can corrode some materials in an instant.

We carefully dried Jose’s Camera the best we could, and put it on top of the hot water heater to dry out overnight. Meanwhile, we brought the housing to Randy Miller (of Randy Miller Images) who has been fixing our cameras and housings for years. Randy couldn’t find any problems with it, and suggested we test it on our next dive–without Jose’s Camera in it, of course.

The next time we went diving, a bag of quarters stood in for Jose’s Camera. We spent a lot of time holding down various buttons, just in case it was an intermittent leak at one of the controls. When we got back, we nervously looked inside for any trace of water–none! Even better, some test shots with Jose’s Camera proved that it had made a narrow escape. We were good to go again.

Now, all of our cameras are insured against flooding, so it wasn’t the money we were worried about. We also have a third camera and housing here, so it wasn’t even the inconvenience that bothered us. No, our concern was that this was Jose’s Camera. Sure, we could get it replaced, but then it wouldn’t be Jose’s Camera. There’s only one, and we love it.

605C at Hoaka

We made another snorkelling visit to Hoaka this week, hoping to get another sighting of Ho’omalu. She wasn’t there, but another old friend was: 605C. We hadn’t seen her all summer, so it was good to find out that she’s doing well.

We catch a glimpse of 605C

605C at Hoaka.

Click image to enlarge

Pic of the Pics

Some of you know the delight Ursula feels when she spots a particularly large specimen of turtle, umm, you know…

Why, that’s a lump of….

A reminder of certain aspects of Mississauga.

Click image to enlarge

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