Friday, November 24, 2017
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Hawaii is awesome!

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Hawaii! I mean WOW, where do I even start on this adventure?

Following my ’Tauranga Moana is Awesome 2’ video, I wanted to see how parts of Hawaii compared to what we have here in the Tauranga, in the sense of marine life, and the magic of Hawaii certainly did not disappoint.

Click the image above to watch the video

Autumn in NZ is a great time to get away and soak in some last days of heat before our cold Winter kicks in, and although it is coming to an end of whale season in Hawaii at that time, there are still plenty to be seen and in relatively good numbers.

The snorkelling around the Big Island is impressive as the fish life offers a stunning array of colours, warmer water and the notion that something could ’pop up’ in front of you at anytime.

On one of the days that we were in the water, a pod of playful Spinner dolphins came right up to us and showed us what it truly is to be so graceful in their natural element.

They’re just so incredibly amazing to watch, as is the strong social bond that was seen amongst all members of the pod.

During this interaction we were fortunate enough to see the ’change over’ as they all began to sleep, which was highly evident in their change of behaviour.

When a dolphin sleeps it shuts down a part of its brain, but they are still aware of what is around them and when to surface for air etc.

Their swimming pattern change, as does the interaction between other Spinner dolphins in the group. Amazing to see the difference if you know what to look for. 

On one side of the bay we were greeted with dolphins, and when we swam to the other side of the Bay we were greeted by White tip reef sharks.

Watching them glide through water and seeing them motionless in an underwater cave was a real treat, and a species of shark that I hadn’t seen before.

In total, I counted six and these reef sharks, measuring just under 2m in length, evoke excitement without an ounce of fear.

What a privilege to have these two encounters in one spot, and in one day. Then of course, there were the ever present turtles as well.

Another attraction worth looking into for the shark lovers is Pelekane Bay, also on the Big Island.

A short distance from the car park is a small bay where the dorsal fins of black tip reef sharks break the surface.

Many years ago, there was a shrine built under the surface as a symbol for these sharks, or aumakua, as the Hawaiians refer to them as.

It’s just another incredible sight to see and on this trip I was treated to seeing six sharks break the surface at the same time.

Others have reported to have seen 16 at one time. Pretty incredible, all in their natural state and all at no cost to view.

This sight took me back to being a child again, to the fascination that I grew up with as a kid, and I sat there and watched them for hours.

Finally there are the Humpback whales of Maui. This, for me, is the highlight of our adventure on these incredible islands which entertains thousands of Humpbacks every year as some come to give birth and to breed for future generations, and unlike many cetaceans around the World, the Humpback whales that visit Hawaii are bouncing back in good numbers after almost being decimated not too many years ago, from whaling.

From the balcony of our resort, it was impossible to not see them, and that was in April, when most had already started their migratory route back to places like Alaska in search of food.

At many of the beaches, it’s not uncommon to walk out into the water, and to put your head below the surface to hear the males ’singing’.

Obviously certain land structures, bays etc, will enhance the sound more than other places, but if you ever go swimming in Maui, be sure to listen out for them. Incredible!

We in New Zealand, like Hawaii, are lucky to have what we have in the sense of marine life but it could always be better.

Keep our Oceans as clean as we can by taking any rubbish that you see, out of the water. A huge impact on our oceans is over fishing, so please, be mindful and try to take only what you need.

Together, we can help the numbers of so many species bounce back, just like the magnificent Humpback whales of Hawaii. 

Be good to the Ocean.

Comments on SunLive

Thanks again

Posted on 27-06-2015 14:02 | By nerak

Nathan, keep them coming.

Posted on 27-06-2015 13:57 | By Tassie

I have just come back and it is a magical place to go 29 degrees and then back to Auckland @ 6 degrees. No contest.
Great video

Posted on 27-06-2015 13:48 | By Me again

Once again THANK you Nathan Great stuff Waiting for the next...
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