I am back in Hawaii with our marine biology school trip. We are doing lots of the same activities we did last year, but there’s always new things to learn about and see.
The first couple of days were confined to dry land learning about the ecology of the island. The idea is the everything that happens on the land will impact the ocean environments and animals.
Activities included a hike up Lahina Pali trail to see the dry side of the island, a trip to the Maui Ocean Science Center, and exploring the newest lava flow on the island at La Perouse Bay (only 200 years old).
We followed that up with a couple of service projects. The first was a beach cleanup at the Wiahe’e Coastal Dunes Reserve. Maui Cultural Lands have been restoring this site for the last 15 years. Now it’s a beautiful wetlands site with all native plants. Our second service project was pulling invasive species in Honokowai Valley like we did last year. This year we got fresh papaya and sugar cane as a reward for our hard work.
We went snorkeling at Slaughterhouse bay as our first foray into the water. It was much more exciting than lass year because there were tons of turtles, color changing trumpetfish, and lots of butterfly fish.
We had a busy day on Monday with tidepooling in the morning and a trip to Haleakala in the afternoon and evening. We found a bunch of cool stuff in the tidepools this year, including a bunch of sap sucking slugs. They eat algae but instead of digesting the chloroplasts, they hang onto them and use the sugars they make for food. Super cool!!
Haleakala is always magical and a trip to the Leleiwi lookout was a great treat with a different perspective of the valley floor. We were worried that we might not get a good sunset because the clouds came in during the afternoon, but the summit cleared up and we got a beautiful show.
Again, I feel so lucky to be a part of this trip. At this point we are halfway through and most of our activities are snorkel trips. It’s going to be awesome!!