Day 12: Thieves, Stings and Rescues, All Good Fun

After out regular morning meeting, we set out to He’eia pier to refuel the UH Marine Biology boat. We then set out to Reef 47 in the North Bay for a standard day of surveying. However, we were surprised (and outraged) to find our first HOBO logger stolen! The thieves even had the nerve to leave the bolt right on the brick at the scene of the crime.


The audacity…

As we moved toward our second survey point, I detected what I thought was a bright blue synthetic string floating near the surface. As I reached for it in an attempt to help clear the ocean of trash, I noticed a clear, quarter-sized float attached to the string. It was already too late. I learned what a Portugese Man-O-War feels like, which I would describe as a tattoo needle filled with bee stings. The pain subsided with continuous swimming, and we continued our inspection of the reef.


Little jelly, big sting

As we pulled away and headed back to Coconut Island, we noticed that the other group was not behind us. Just as I parked, we received a call saying that the motor of their boat wouldn’t start, and we sped back to rescue them. After some creative knot tying, Liz figured out a way to make a bridle to connect their bow line and tow them back. I must say that it was the most lighthearted rescue I’ve ever been a part of, as we sang “Build Me Up Buttercup” and “Sweet Caroline.” With an escort from Moses the security guard, we pulled into Coconut Island, only to find out that the kill switch had been flipped on the other boat, keeping it from starting.


A beautiful rescue

For dinner, we caught the 5 o’clock ferry over to mainland Oahu and found Tasty Korean Barbecue, where kalbi and barbecue beef stood out and the owners were really pleasant. We made our way back to the island on the 8:30 ferry and milled about, talking and listening to ukelele until we retired for a well-earned rest.

reef 47

Reef 47 in the sunlight


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