Hawaii Week 2

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My USDA Forest service key chain: whistle and compass

Snorkelling and a failed attempt at underwater photography!

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My second week was not as eventful as the first, I spent quite a bit of time fixing things up in my apartment, and working on my research.

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my guava snack, a shell and a sea urchin carcass

I did however, have time for some snorkelling, and took one of my landlord’s kids along with me. While my aim this time was to use my GoPro to take some vibrant underwater pictures, when I looked at the photos on the computer all I could see was fuzziness. It’s time for me to read about how one uses this camera underwater…! Nevertheless, I did find some treasures underwater: a beautiful shell and a sea urchin carcass (that I happen to collect from around the world).

I’ve also signed up to a yoga studio and I enjoy a free Zumba class on Tuesdays with Adam (my landlord) and his daughter. In the present Yoga craze, people pay a premium for hot yoga, or ‘bikram yoga’. I can tell you there is no need for that in Hawaii!

In fact, this week I understood why it is so excruciatingly hot at the moment. It turns out it is a very strong El Nino year:

The sudden warming of the equatorial waters in the eastern Pacific has a wide-reaching effect on global weather patterns. Usually, the subtropical jet stream moves northward, giving the southern half of the US (from California to the southeast) the potential to have a wetter-than-normal winter.

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GoPro photo taken while snorkling with Mariana

Hawaii, however, is negatively affected by this change in weather patterns. Stronger El Niño events cause droughts and wildfires in this part of the world, especially in Oceania. When El Nino comes around, Hawaii’s temperatures are very hot, with numerous hurricane threats.

We have two hurricanes approaching the island now, and innumerable governmental warnings on the radio. Unfortunately, I couldn’t visit my friends Jeff and Lynn down in Puna (south of Hilo) over the week-end because they had to barricade the front of their house with wood planks in preparation.

Weekend fun

On Friday evening my secondary advisor Becky invited me to a potluck with the graduate students in Tropical Biology and Conservation from University of Hawaii.

On Saturday I also got a chance to go surfing for the first time here!

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Ruby Suby, my surfboard and me!