Several summers ago I recall seeing a dead goat on the reef at Hanakoa Valley. The poor goat had lost its footing and fallen to its death, landing on the exposed reef ledge, only 2-3 feet above sea level. After about four days baking in the hot, summer sun the smell had become strong enough to literally make you start to dry heave. I remember passing the corpse on the fifth day thinking what a stink this guy is, this couldn’t be good for business and how long will it be before the smell would dissipate? Summer afternoon tides rise high and like magic as we passed back down the coast the tide had taken the carcass away, to my delight. But was it really gone? Was it? Then I saw what appeared from a distance to be an upside down table floating on the surface of the water, with the bobbing legs sticking straight up in the air. the table was moving erratically as if it were alive, but the legs were stiff as can be. As I got closer I quickly figured it out. It was the goat, and its dead carcass was being savagely mauled by no less than six hungry white tip reef sharks. It reminded me of seeing my young daughters devour an ice cream sundae with chocolate syrup dripping down their mouths. Before the carcass floated out to sea, these sharks must have been waiting in anticipation for days as the goat’s blood scent tickled their senses from above, and streamed out into the ocean with the tide, whose gentle lower tide lapping against the carcass like basting a turkey on Thanksgiving. No doubt the sharks sensed this meal for days before it was presented to them in this high tide feast in July,
Several summers ago I recall seeing a dead goat on the reef atHanakoa Valley. The poor goat had lost its footing and fallen to its death, landing on the exposed reef ledge, only 2-3 feet above sea level.
We are pleased to announce the launch of NaPaliWhale.org! NapaliWhale.org is a non-profit organization dedicated to conserving and protecting our beautiful, yet fragile Hawaiian coastlines through preservation, conservation and education. The vision of NaPaliWhale.org can be summed up here: Protecting Hawaii’s whales and other marine species is a worthy, actually necessary, goal. But it requires environmental education. People, and especially children, need to understand that individual acts like recycling and preventing pollution benefits all and everything – the surrounding seas, beaches, whales and fishes, and especially they themselves on our oceanic island. It’s our generation’s responsibility to the next to make this happen. Because we want our children, and their children to come, to at least have the opportunity for ocean experiences as good if not better than what we presently enjoy, but seem to be taking for granted. So as of now, this future is not at all guaranteed. But Kauai could become a leader in marine environmental education focused on children. Picture a virtual field trip studying marine biology, from whales to opihis to sand, available over the internet to every class room, and even around the world.