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2012: TREX on the Active Hawaiian Volcano, Kilauea

Today Was a Good Day

Blogger: Michelle Morales

It was a lazy morning.

After we ate breakfast, we split up into two groups to perform different tasks. One group, the data analysis team, had the job of collecting and analyzing all the data taken the last couple of days from the SO2 monitors. The other group, the bog team, brainstormed ways of improving the bog sampling, in the off-chance that we were able to return to the bog.

By lunchtime, the data analysis team had compiled different notebooks of data, organizing the information in a way that was most efficient for interpretation. The bog team had recalibrated the dissolved oxygen monitors, and had come up with — and then answered — potential questions that arose during the sampling process.

After lunch, Professor Janelle Thompson gave us a brief lecture on the functions of coral and the symbiotic relationships they have with different creatures in the ocean. She then told us to get ready because we were going snorkeling!

We all got ready quickly, piled into the cars and headed to the Kona beach. Once we arrived and rented our snorkel masks and fins, we dropped our bags and ran into the ocean.

Kona beach
Kona beach where we went snorkeling. Photo / Pricislla Soto

We spent the next two hours exploring life underwater.

Collectively, the 18 snorkelers saw multiple species of coral, a sea turtle and numerous fish, including bright yellow fish, rainbow fish and the Hawaiian state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua’a. (Try saying that three times fast.)

Of the species of fish I saw underwater, my favorites were a small brown fish covered in bright white spots, and a thin, blue fish with a long nose and green spots.

Once we reluctantly left the water, returned our snorkels and fins, and piled back into our cars, we parted ways and slowly headed back to our campsite on the beach. On the way back, some of us stopped at a farmers market to pick up native fruits and small trinkets and souvenirs.

Our car, the Chill Riders, went on the hunt for some shave ice (Hawaiian flavored ice