Looking forward by looking back

September 23rd, 2007  

It’s huge, Jerry, HUGE!

I’ve started a project to prepare video to post at YouTube, but I quickly realized that reviewing and cataloging everything we’ve accumulated since 1989 is a staggering challenge. I’m not sure I can stick with it. Perhaps as I tackle it, a simpler and faster workflow will evolve.

Of course, another obstacle to progress (as my manager used to put it) is me. We have several compilation tapes of the important and/or best clips, complete with commentary by Ursula. So what did I do? Misplace the second tape in the set. No big deal, we know it’s here. Somewhere. Phooey.


Reviewing all this early video makes me think about how much things have changed. Tape 1 devotes far more time to algae than turtles. Back then, it was a Big Issue for us. We thought there was too much of it and that it was killing the reefs. It was disgusting to dive in, but we did it anyway. We wanted it gone, and we did what we could to accomplish that.

Nearly twenty years later, our wish has come true–sort of. The seaweeds around Honokowai have dwindled each year since 2001. The problem is that not only have the nuisance seaweeds disappeared, so have the desirable algae. In particular, Pterocladiella, the favoured food of the honu, has gotten hard to find. The little that’s left is closely cropped.

The reefs are still under pressure, but from turtles not algae. The honu crush coral by lying on it and rubbing against it. There’s relief in sight, however. If seaweed growth doesn’t increase then there won’t be any food left for the honu. The local population will drop as the turtles move on to find better foraging.

We know that honu are highly faithful to their spots on the reef for a long time. We don’t know how strong that bond is. We also don’t know how far a turtle will swim for dinner. At what point would that distance exceed the attachment the honu has for a special place? Impossible to know, yet we suspect that some Honokowai turtles have passed it.

Other changes this week

I finally got around to adding a custom Google search to Trax. For the moment, it’s only available from the front page, but I’ll be putting it on various other pages as well.

Last, the change you’ve all been waiting for: the latest Toon: See? Turtle! The Corporation of the City of Mississauga makes an astonishing discovery, and hastens to deal with the implications.

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