So anyways, the whole area we were in used to be all reef.
If fact Mokauea Island used to accessible by walking during low tide.
Some folks decided that they needed some runways for seaplanes so the whole area was dredged, ancient fish ponds were filled in and the dredged up stuff was used to create more usable land.
Like that Reef Runway.
It's a long but sad story.
So anyways, the kids were out walking around on the exposed reef looking for signs of life.
The idea was to find stuff and use a GPS to mark the locations:
The kids were sort of tripping out since I think some of them have never left dry land which is sort of strange considering this is an island.
If you know what I mean.
Anyways, I went off a ways to see what I could find.
The reef extends out for oh maybe a quarter to a third of mile before you hit another dredged channel or before it gets deep.
More living stuff can be found the farther you get out:
Signs of some new coral growing.
All this stuff by the way is under water, less than a foot.
The new coral growing is a good sign, as the coral grows, fish and other lifeforms follow.
Some kind of palm seaweed:
To tell you the truth, I forget what exactly it is, but if you disturb it, it shrinks back into the coral.
Here's another one, distorted by the chop on the water:
A sea urchin, purple kine:
Small fishy wishy:
Big planey waney:
So the kids are out walking around looking for stuff and I'm walking out trying to get a nice shot of them well, looking for stuff.
I mean I'm trying to get an image that shows just how far the reef extends but it's hard to show scale:
If you squint yer eyeballs, you can see the two groups, one closer to land than the other.
Getting further out:
So now I'm sort of lost.
Well okay, you can't really get lost, but now I'm really far away just sort of doing my own thing.
Walking the reef like this reminds me of going out at night with my Dad, walking the reef at low tide looking for things to spear, a local activity known as torching.
I suppose the name comes from the fact that old Hawaiians did exactly the same thing using a torch while my father and I used a Coleman lantern.
We'd walk the reef at night looking for sleeping fish or octopus cruising around that were easy tasty game.
Yeah, I guess I was sort of lost.
Okay, the tide is starting to come back in:
Actually, we're on the deeper side of the reef.
The mangroves sort of sprout up everywhere.
You can see the high water mark where the foliage starts:
Part III coming up.