Aloha mai kākou, its Kevyn and Baylee here to update you on our latest adventures on Moku o Loʻe. Our morning began with a quick briefing on today’s events and we wasted no time getting out onto the water to collect data. The water was chilly but the sun was out and kept us warm while we searched for Fungia scutaria. Today, the purple team was finally successful at collecting data utilizing the adaptive cluster sampling method on reef 42. The purple team observed an abundance of F. scutaria across all of their sample sites and found a new color morph with blue tentacles. They were also visited by their white-tipped reef shark friend again at the end of their data collection.

A new morph with blue tentacles observed by the purple team today (Top)

The Red Mantas conducted two 1-hour timed swims on reefs 39 and 42 today. They saw a wide variety of sea creatures during their data collection, six turtles, one squid, and a barracuda. The timed-swims took all of the energy out of the Red Mantas and when it was time to head back to Coconut Island, they were exhausted.

Green-tentacle Fungia scutaria

Green-tentacle Fungia scutaria

The blue team was busy all day while they raced around Kāneʻohe Bay to collect water quality data using the Yellow Springs Instrument (YSI). While they were nearing the Marine Corps Base, they overheard on the VHF radio that a boat had caught fire offshore of Makapuʻu. After completing their data collection, they stopped at Heʻeia Pier to refuel and they made a new friend. The blue team met the resident parrot at Heʻeia General Store named Pakalolo and listened to him squawk at all of the customers.

Team Verde conducted benthic surveys around F. scutaria aggregations on reef 44 and also saw a variety of sea creatures. They were fortunate enough to experience a sea cucumber expel its insides all over their hands. A few members of the team were unaware of what was happening and they are still traumatized by the experience. They also saw a small squid cruising along the reef. After we returned back to Moku o Loʻe, Michael Walstrom gave a lecture about his work with the invasive algae, Gracilaria salicornia, and the creatures that live in the algal mats. At the end of the day, we all devoured Bri’s burrito bowls and started on our group papers. We cannot wait for the adventures that await us tomorrow!

To watch a video of the White-Tip Reef Shark, click here!


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