Thursday, April 5, 2012

Interisland Field Trip!

Sort of.
I mean we did go off island.
Kinda sorta.
First of all let me say that I'm really pooped!
See, we didn't take a plane or a boat.
Well, we did take a boat.
Our destination today: Mokauea Island

Okay, hit the link please cause I'm way too tired to explain everything.
Anyways, it's like a hop, skip, jump and a paddle over there:

Thirty one kids and us old folks went over in outrigger canoes!
I got some video, but I have to sort through it.
Anyways, it was quite an experience for some of the kids for I don't think too many of them have been over the water before.
Lemme just say, next time I'm borrowing a boat.
The paddle over was oh, a couple of hundred yards or so, maybe a quarter mile.
It was low tide, actually a minus tide, below zero.
More on this later.
Folks actually live on the island although there is no electricity.
They do have water though I'm not sure it's completely fresh:

When the tide is in, the house actually sits on top of the water.
So the kids were there to do some science, but first we planted some indigenous well, plants:

The island is not much more than a couple of feet above sea level, so not a lot of stuff grows there.
Mostly it's mangrove, which is invasive.
We also took a look at the fish pond:

The pond was enlarged from its original size and cleaned up.
It's not fully functional as there's tons of silt in there.
The auwai, which is a ditch that lets the water in, and the makaha or gate:

As you can see by the ocean side of the auwai, the tide is really low. So low that the reef is above the water.
Which is where we were headed next.
The reef above the water I mean.

For the most part, the water was ankle deep which allowed the kids to see some reef creatures.
Sort of.
If you read the link, you know that the channels around the island were dredged so all the silt pretty much killed the coral and the reef creatures.
It's starting to come back though.
Some high in the sky visitors:

A pair of Air National Guard F15s followed by a pair of F22 Raptors.
Exciting stuff.
For me anyways.
A fixture known as the Reef Runway sits nearby.
Part deux coming up.


John Romeo Alpha said...

F22 action! Yeah baby!

limom said...

Two pair flew over after the F15s.
Since the runway is like right there, they would take off straight at us, then bank right, towards the open ocean.
Hence the underside shots.
The local Guard here was one of the first to get them.
The F22s I mean.
Which makes me wonder what the F15s were doing seeing as how I thought they were "retired."

John Romeo Alpha said...

That F15 has those extended range tanks under wing, he's probably just flying around for a few years till he runs out of gas. Or, it's one of those new pilotless drone F15s being tested.

limom said...

Yeah I noticed them when I went back to look at the pics.
You can also see some hard points under the F22; I thought everything was inboard.
You know, for that stealthyness thing they do.
I think I read the F15s were to be rotated back to the Continent, but I suppose they are showing the scenery.
Or something.