Discover the Underwater World of Maui

Posted: August 15th, 2011 | Comments Off

maui snorkeling

Maui’s tropical beauty is most definitely amazing to see… hiking through the rainforests, discovering beach after beach of gorgeous soft sand and blue waters… But, remember…. what you see under the water is just as beautiful as what you see on dry land. It’s the blissful summertime, when Maui waters are at their warmest. Perfect time to go snorkeling! Let’s head out for an early morning kayak tour and snorkeling along some of Maui’s most beautiful coastlines.

Kayaking is a ton of fun, and kayaking out to the perfect snorkeling spots with crystal clear waters is even more fun. You get to take a rest from paddling and relax in the water while experiencing the abundant underwater life Maui has to offer. There’s nothing like seeing the underwater world up close, or even coming face to face with a sea turtle! You will discover an amazing amount of tropical fish species, manta rays and maybe even an octopus. Bottle-nose dolphins may even swim by.

Our kayaking and snorkeling tours come complete with on-shore instructions before we even head out to the water, so yes… perfect for the entire family. Our kayaks are equipped with the latest safety gear to make your experience not only fun, but safe as well.

Kayaking and snorkeling is always best in the early morning. Why? Because the tradewinds are usually very mild in the morning and do not pick up speed until later in the day. This makes for some great snorkeling and kayaking conditions where the visibility is at its greatest. Maui is known as one of the best snorkeling destinations in the world. Come… let us show you the incredible underwater world of Maui.

manta ray maui


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Baby Whale Signifies Start of Hawaii’s “Fifth” Season

Posted: December 12th, 2010 | Comments Off

Hawaii’s “fifth” season of the year – Whale Watch Season – has officially begun with the recent sighting of this 15-foot baby humpback whale off Waikiki Beach. Seen and photographed by the crew of Atlantis Submarines, the baby whale is one of thousands of humpback whales that will spend the winter months in the warmth of the Hawaiian Islands, with the adult whales having migrated thousands of miles from the chilly North Pacific to breed and nurse their young. This baby whale spent several minutes curiously examining Atlantis’s submarine before swimming away to find its mother.



Press Photo’s Courtesy: Atlantis Submarines


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Kauai’s Monk Seal Watch Program

Posted: October 25th, 2010 | Comments Off

Hawaiian Monk Seals are among the most endangered creatures on earth. They are one of only two mammals endemic to Hawaii, the second being a species of bat. Often referred to as “living fossils”, they have remained relatively unchanged for over 15 million years.

The Hawaiian archipelago, stretching from the big island of Hawai’i northwestward past Midway Island, is the primary terrestrial habitat of the Hawaiian Monk Seal (HMS). Nearly 90% of them live around the tiny, uninhabited islands and atolls in the upper reaches of the chain. For approximately 35-40 seals, the waters and beaches of Kauai are home. Some of these seals regularly swim between islands and others are only seen on Kauai.

On Kauai a group of residents joined together to create the Kauai Monk Seal Watch Program. There motto is E ho’olaulima makou I malama ‘ilio o ke kai “We must cooperate to take care of our monk seals.”

Each time a monk seal is resting on the shore it is roped off with signs included and a member of the program arrives to make sure the monk seal is not disturbed and to answer any questions spectators may have. Kauai Monk Seal Watch Program also helps if anyone sees or hears of a seal caught in debris (i.e. discarded netting, rope, plastic trash), they will contact governmental authorities and get to the area as soon as possible to see what can be done. They also identify a seal by tags, markings, or scars, and pass that information on to their coordinator. A combination of beach counts, air sightings, and specifically identified seals allows experts to estimate population.

Kauai Monk Seal Watch Program (KMSWP) has developed numerous outreach projects, most of which are ongoing. All of them are designed to involve our resident or visitor community, or both, in protecting endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals (HMS).

In April 2001, KMSWP volunteers began visiting public school classrooms islandwide to present an hour-long program about Hawaiian Monk Seals. At the completion of the tenth (2010) school season, they have provided over 10,000 students with the KMSWP educational program. The success of the annual education effort has exceeded everyone’s expectations.

While hanging out with a member while they are protecting the sleeping seals from possible injury, one will soon learn how much the members love these seals. Each seal has a name and they know which seal is related to whom in many cases. It’s a unique and memorable experience to be a part of something so wonderful and to learn so much about an endangered species while on a simple outing to the beach.


A volunteer works to free a monk seal entangled in marine debris

KMSWP is an entirely volunteer organization sponsored by generous donors. One hundred percent of this money directly funds their projects. If you would like to support KMSWP you may visit them at their site: http://www.kauaimonkseal.com/Support.html for full details.

Photo Credit: KMSWP


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Hawaiian Telcom Think Yellow Go Green

Posted: February 7th, 2010 | Comments Off

Its that time of year again to think about what to do with last years telephone directories and how to do it the GREEN way! With just a week left in the Think Yellow Go Green program, we wanted to remind you that those outdated telephone directories can still be recycled up until Feb. 14, 2010. Drop off locations and times are detailed below.

If you lined up last year’s total recycled directories, end to end, it would stretch the total distance from Honolulu to Maui! Hawaiian Telcom Yellow Pages wants to exceed last year’s total of 90 tons to ensure all outdated directories are recycled into usable goods.

The neat thing about this project is that Hawaiian Telcom Yellow Pages has partnered with wonderful people to make the result a lasting impression on Oahu. All recycled directories will be processed at Island Shell, a local recycling plant, and converted into environmentally safe products including materials for vehicle oil change kits, mulch and wall insulation products which will then be sold and used locally. Think Yellow Go Green will ensure its mission is supported on each island from start to finish.

This program only runs through Feb. 14, so be sure and spread the word about the Think Yellow Go Green recycling program to your friends, family and coworkers.

Oahu Think Yellow, Go Green Recycling Program Schedule:

Final Weekend:
Friday, Feb. 12 – Sunday, Feb. 14

Time:
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Drop off locations:
Ward Centers
Windward Mall
Waikele Premium Outlets
Kahala Mall

More information: www.thinkyellowgogreen.com


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Keeping North Shore Beaches Clean

Posted: August 14th, 2009 | Comments Off

If you’ve ever been to Oahu’s North Shore, then you know just how beautiful and amazing it can be. The great efforts of hundreds of volunteers go into keeping this land beautiful for all to enjoy.

Today I (@VBrown) had the opportunity to volunteer some time in support of the continued Keep America Beautiful “Great American Coastal Clean Up” campaign, which is coordinated by Adopt a Beach Hawaii, Sea Turtles International, and Save a Life. We conducted the cleanup in a joint effort representing the U.S. Navy in the tradition of giving back to the community in which we live and serve. It was a great day out and one worth while at that. During our cleanup today, the majority of the trash we found was cigarette butts, bottle caps, glass, and trash from fast food restaurants. This is a matter that we as global citizens can help to reduce through education, awareness, and actively identifying trash during our visits to these wonderful places. One person alone can’t do it all, but together we can make a difference in keeping our beaches clean.

Below is a small sample of trash items and the amount that 218 volunteers collected from 5 beaches over 7 events on Oahu’s North Shore during the 3rd Annual Keep America Beautiful “Great American Coastal Clean Up” which took place from March 1 to May 31, 2009 (THREE MONTHS).

  • 15,476 Pounds of litter disposed of.
  • 53,221 Cigarettes & Butts “painfully” picked up!
  • 9,339 Items picked up relating to recreational beach activities and visitors.
  • 1,408 Bottle caps and lids.
  • 1,440 Pieces of broken glass.
  • 507 Ocean activities items.
  • 113 Fishing lines.
  • 51 Fishing lures.
  • 76 Fishing nets.
  • 96 Pounds of lead weights found under water.

In keeping with KAB guidelines, numbers were calculated using a system where a recorder writes down the trash item discovered when it is being picked up. Records are maintained for scientific data and participating volunteer rosters and all records are archived for future study. Years of records are on file to date.


Beach Project

Chun’s Reef, North Shore Beach Clean Ups are the last Saturday of every month @ Noon!

For more information on clean up efforts on the North Shore of Oahu, please visit http://www.adoptabeachhawaii.org or call 808-637-2211


One of The Beautiful Beaches We Work Hard To Keep Clean


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Honolulu And Kauai Join Earth Hour 2009

Posted: March 26th, 2009 | Comments Off

Earth Hour 2009 is this Saturday 8:30 – 9:30 PM local time. Where will you be? What will you be doing? Join the one billion people who have pledged to participate in the 3rd annual Earth Hour.

Around the planet, businesses, communities and individuals are coming together to shut off lights for one hour this Saturday night. What started as a local Sydney, Australia event in 2007 grew to global participation in 2008 with 371 cities and 37 countries switching off their lights for one hour.

For Earth Hour 2009, one billion people in 2500 cities and towns across 82 countries have pledged to play a part.

The event initiated by World Wildlife Fund is designed to generate discussions and provoke action among large and small businesses, governments, communities and individuals to make an effort to make changes and reduce their carbon footprint.

The event kicks off in Sydney with boats in Sydney Harbor sounding their horns. The lights in the Harbor and Sydney Opera House will go dark for one hour. Landmarks around the world will follow suit including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Empire State Building in New York, Pyramids in Egypt and Sears Tower in Chicago.

In Hawaii, Honolulu and Kauai counties have joined the initiative. 5,500 Pearl Harbor area residential units at Schofield Barracks and 2,000 at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu will partake. On both bases families can watch movies using projectors powered by photovoltaic cells. The Starwood family of hotels and resorts will turn off all non essential lighting.

Other cities include Shanghai, Helsinki, Chicago, London, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Guatemala City, Auckland, Venice, Abu Dhabi, Vancouver, Gothenburg, Amman, Cape Town, Beijing, Rome, Moscow, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Dubai, Singapore, Athens, Buenos Aires, Toronto, Sydney, Mexico City, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Manila, Las Vegas and Brussels.

Many events are planned including a drum circle in Athens where the Acropolis and Parthenon will go dark. In Lisbon candle lit outdoor dining is planned. In Melbourne, a concert will include people-powered instruments. People will gather outdoors in cities around Earth to watch city skylines transform.

Where will you be on March 28, at 8:30 pm – 9:30 PM local time? What will you be doing?

For ideas on how you can participate or information visit http://www.earthhour.org. Follow @earthhour on Twitter, #earthhour.


Vote Earth for Earth Hour 2009

Here are 10 different ways to spend Earth Hour and reduce your carbon footprint:

1. Attend a local Earth Hour event or organise your own by throwing an Earth Hour street party with your neighbours
2. Gather family & friends for a night picnic in your local park and look at the stars
3. Enjoy a family dinner by candlelight
4. Organise a treasure hunt in the dark
5. Take the dog for a night walk
6. Have a candle-lit bath
7. Sit in the dark and share stories
8. Organise a family night playing board games
9. Share a romantic night in with your loved one
10. Upload your “on the night” photos and videos to flickr and YouTube respectively, and then add them to the Earth Hour flickr group and the global YouTube Group.

About this guest blogger:
April M. Williams is a frequent visitor to Hawaii and a great friend of 808Talk.

Learn more about April by visiting her at the websites below.
LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/aprilmwilliams
Twitter http://twitter.com/AprilMWilliams
Blog http://cyberlifetutors.com/blog.html


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The Thrill Of The Hunt – Geocaching In Hawaii

Posted: January 24th, 2009 | Comments Off

I discovered I could incorporate several activities I enjoy within a single hobby. I like spending time with my family and friends, solving puzzles, seeking out new adventures, exercising and being environmentally “green.” Geocaching is treasure hunting with a GPS receiver. You can search for geocaches online by zip code and download the coordinates into your hand held GPS unit. You seek out hidden geocaches based on longitude and latitude.

Sometimes the jackpot is as small as a prescription pill container with a piece of paper rolled up inside so you can log your visit. Some containers are so tiny; you need to bring your own pencil. Other containers are as large as a Tupperware food saver or an army surplus ammunition box filled with trinkets. Our geocaching equipment includes a bag of tchotchkes (swag) that we swap based on the theme of the geocache.

For me though, the fun is not in finding the treasure, but the thrill of the hunt. We geocache while in Hawaii as an activity to challenge our brain and seek out new adventures.

This is a hobby that both family and friends can participate in. My husband and I often take others with us to introduce them to the hobby. We took keiki with us to the Honolulu Zoo to find their first cache. When we returned to the island, their first question for us is “Are you going to go geocaching?” Other times we need subject matter expertise. One of the geocaches in the north shore required solving a puzzle to figure out the coordinates. Ten car logos were pictured from different auto manufactures around the world. After identifying the car model and country of origin, the digits of the location could be determined. I recruited a couple of world traveling gear heads to help figure out that one out.

While geocaching we learn about local history. A geocache is hidden on the estate of the last reigning Hawaiian monarch, Queen Lydia Liliuokalani. The site overlooks the drainage canal built to convert water logged taro fields into dry land becoming Waikiki.

A multi-stage geocache requires several stops. At each site you visit, you find clues to identify the next location. We learned about local leaders during a 5 stage history tour to five statues along Waikiki. Each statue had a plaque which told a story. There is Father Damien, who came from Belgium, to Hawaii in 1864. He devoted the rest of his life to the leper settlement on the island of Molokai before succumbing to the disease himself. He has been nominated for sainthood. During the 1893 overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy led by U.S. business men, Princess Kaiulani spearheaded a campaign to restore the throne. Beloved native son, Duke Kahanamoku, born of Hawaiian royalty, was a swimming sensation earning 5 Olympic medals. “The Duke,” starred in Hollywood movies and is known as “The father of modern surfing.”

You can get a good workout in a day hiking up Diamond Head, the extinct volcano which stands at the east end of Waikiki. If you have comfy shoes, cache your way around the volcano on foot enjoying a heart healthy work out and spectacular views of the Pacific, Waikiki and downtown Honolulu.

Get away from the crowds and cache in Kailua. There are finds along both the busy and the quiet parts of the beach. Don’t forget your sunscreen and snorkel gear. You’ll be hungry after a day of swimming and caching. Check out the yummy handmade cookie store in town for a snack.

When you are on Oahu, you don’t have to go far to find these treasures. There are hundreds of local finds. From the crowded pedestrian malls of Chinatown to the top of Diamond Head to the shores of Kailua, there is a cache for every interest and ability.

While we are getting our exercise, learning about the area and catching up with friends and family, we also pick up trash. We carry in a couple of empty garbage bags to snatch up any litter we spy while we are out. This is referred to as “cache in, trash out.”

You can learn more about the hobby at geocaching.com. I enjoy the opportunity to combine time with my family, brain exercise, and physical activity all in one hobby. If you like history, culture and the great outdoors, you should give geocaching a try.

A quick look at some geocaching in and around Honolulu: http://tr.im/higeocaching

About this guest blogger:
April M. Williams is a frequent visitor to Hawaii and a great friend of 808Talk.

Learn more about April by visiting her at the websites below.
LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/aprilmwilliams
Twitter http://twitter.com/AprilMWilliams
Blog http://cyberlifetutors.com/blog.html


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A Peek At Oahu’s Penguin Colony

Posted: January 5th, 2009 | Comments Off

I can’t process that winter has arrived in Hawaii. It’s 85 degrees and sunny most days, after all. A few extra rain clouds do little to convince my internal barometer that the “cold” months have arrived to our islands.

So this year, I’m feeling the need to celebrate all things frigid. I cranked the A/C on Christmas Day so I could wear something long-sleeved. When it’s rainy, I secretly rejoice (sorry to all the visitors for the bad karma). I eat far too much eggnog-flavored ice cream.

And I finally went to visit the penguin colony at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Granted, these are warm-weather penguins from Africa so they’re probably more comfortable in a hot tub than on an ice floe, but allow me to indulge in the fantasy.


Penguin Colony

This absolutely FREE exhibit features about a half-dozen African black-footed penguins, happily frolicking for visitors. They’re so cute, you want to reach out and pet them. Males are banded on the right wing, females on the left. They’re fed at 8 a.m., so pop by in the morning and get an extra treat.

While you’re there, you’re not limited to just ogling penguins. Stroll around the Hilton Hawaiian Village grounds and you’ll see flamingos, noisy macaws and more koi than you can shake a stick at. My personal favorite was the wood ducks that let you get so close, you could almost pet them. But that would be bad. So just stick to looking, folks, and enjoy!


Penguins at Hilton Hawaiian Village

For more information visit http://tr.im/hiltonwildlife


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Got Rubbish? Give It A Second Life

Posted: October 11th, 2008 | Comments Off

Have you ever wondered where all the trash in Hawaii ends up? Well, It isn’t a pretty sight when it comes to the overwhelming amount of rubbish the islands produce. The state is constantly trying to come up with new and innovative ways to deal with the problem, yet there is a serious issue that all the residents complain about that could really help the issue at hand.

With out proper recycling centers in most of Hawaii’s communities, many residents leave perfectly good wares and appliances in hopes that someone in need will pick them up, take them home and put them to good use. Sounds simple enough right? It is actually not as easy as one may think. The way stations employ security guards to make sure nothing gets taken. If you try to remove an item from the dump you are likely to be yelled at or even arrested.

The Big Island has created a recycle center, on the Hilo side, where residents can drop re-usable items that will be re-sold by the center’s employees for a sometimes hefty price. A used desk, falling apart, cracks and mold included will sell for $20-$50. Most people “shopping” here cannot afford these kinds of prices. The employees set prices themselves and are not willing to negotiate. Many Big Island residents are in an up-roar about this. They feel everything at the recycle center is someone’s trash and should be free to anyone who needs it.

If Hawaii really needs to take action, when it comes to cleaning up their waste, wouldn’t it seem reasonable to let people freely re-use and recycle the things that have made their way to the dump? As awareness surrounding the issue becomes more mainstream, many people are turning to craigslist, a free online classified website, to place adds offering unwanted items for free.

The bottom line is if you leave items at the dump hoping someone will “score” it, you are wrong. If you care about the environment and really want to make a difference, take a few extra minutes to offer the item to someone for FREE. It really helps and it will save you an extra trip to the dump!


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Hawaii Starts To Ban Plastic Bags

Posted: August 28th, 2008 | Comments Off

The “Aloha State” is making good steps in the right direction towards protecting our environment and saving the planet. Hawaii is one of many states finally starting to implement bans on those pesky plastic bags that are hardly biodegradable and most of the time end up blowing around the roads and highways throughout the state.

In Hawaii they also pose a great threat to the ocean wildlife when they find their way into the sea via drains and sewage pipes. Whales, dolphins, seals and turtles die due to plastic bags because they mistake them for food and ingest them.

In the last few days both Maui and the Big Island have implement bans that are set to take effect in the next few years in order to give businesses time to use up their remain plastic bags. After that point, those who do not comply will face fines.

More Info: The Dangers of Plastic Bags


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