Friday, February 08, 2008

It's whale season in Hawaii...

Between dives on yesterday's charter we were treated to a momma whale and her calf on the surface. The youngster was breaching, quite cool as it was probably in the 10-13 feet in length range by my wild guess. Anyway, that got me to thinking I ought to repost a link I posted last year - here it is... Live audio feed from a sonobuoy system up in Puako - click on the link and you can hear the whales off Puako, which is up north of Kona in South Kohala.

The pic above is of a Crown of Thorns Starfish. You don't want to touch the spines on these guys as they're sharp enough to go through gloves and pack a nasty toxin that can be very painfull and will leave you a reminder in scar tissue for a few years. Crown of thorns stars are coral feeders so you'll occasionally see white patches on the coral that lead a trail to them. They're generally considered to be a pest, and in some parts of the world have caused severe damage to reefs when there's a bloom of them. In Hawaii, their only real predator is the triton's trumpet snail.. one good reason not to collect the trumpet snails, which are relatively few and far between.




cube said...

Cool. We get a lot of dolphin & shark sightings here in Florida, but not too many whales. I thought whales were more partial to cooler waters. Go figure.

Steve said...

Our Humpback whales are seasonal - winter and early spring. Water temps here are typically lower than Florida I think by a few degrees. We do have other species of whales that can be found here occasionally year round...Sperm Whales, False Killers, even Blue Whales and Orcas are even occasionally seen in Hawaiian waters.