Apr 112014
 

Hawaiian drone videographer Eric Sterman has captured incredible aerial footage of humpback whales enjoying the waters of the north shore of Oahu.  Watch closely, and towards the middle of the video you will spot a pod of whales surfing the waves at the famed Pipeline surf spot.

To see more of Eric’s amazing work-

http://instagram.com/ericsterman/

http://www.ericsterman.com

Aug 222013
 

The answer is a resounding yet.  But don’t worry, it won’t ruin your tropical honeymoon/dive trip/beach vacation.

Unbeknownst to many tourists, it’s not uncommon to find snow on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea – the tallest mountain in the world when measured from the sea floor (33,100 ft/10,100 m).  The average low temperature in this alpine tundra environment hovers around 30 F/-1.3 C.

According to local lore, you may even find a snowman on the beach (but that’s something I have yet to witness, so if you have photographic evidence I’d love to see it).

For those remaining skeptics, here is hard proof – courtesy of our friend Robert Richardson.

Mauna Kea Panorama RR

Mauna Kea Observatory

Mauna Kea Observatory – one of thirteen such facilities on the summit

View from Mauna Kea's Summit

Speaking of that photographic evidence, if you have photos of snowmen on the beach I’d love to feature them here. You can send them to me at reeftraveleronline@gmail.com.

Jul 162013
 

In March I made my first ever trip to Hawaii’s big island.  We snorkeled and dove with wild dolphins, manta rays and honu (sea turtle).  We sipped strong Kona coffee while curiously watching whales breach and spout from our hotel balcony on the Kohala Coast.  And we made the most of this untamed Polynesian island where the famed seafarer Captain Cook met his demise in 1779.

Here are some scenes from this mystical place.

Paddleboarders

From the Manta Ray Night Dive

From the Manta Ray Night Dive

Raccoon Butterflyfish - by Mr. Reeftraveler

Raccoon Butterflyfish – by Mr. Reeftraveler

Kohala Coast Sunset

Kohala Coast Sunset

Humpback Whale Fins

Humpback Whale Fins

Hawaii Canoe

Moray Eel

Moray Eel

Mauna Kea's Snow Capped Summit

Mauna Kea’s Snow Capped Summit

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Hawaii's State Fish - Humuhumunukunukuapua'a

Hawaii’s State Fish – Humuhumunukunukuapua’a

From the Helicopter - by Mr. Reeftraveler

From the Helicopter – by Mr. Reeftraveler

Honu Sign

Bristle Worm

Bristle Worm (Underwater)

Honokohau Harbour

Honokohau Harbour

Kona Sunset

Hibiscus

Hibiscus

Mauna Lani Bay Golf Course

Mauna Lani Bay Golf Course

Mauna Lani Bay

Mauna Lani Bay

Honu

Honu

Moorish Idol - by Mr. Reeftraveler

Moorish Idol – by Mr. Reeftraveler

May 222013
 

Did you know that every grain of sand is unique, and that it comes in a vast array of colors, shapes, textures and origins?

The elements found in sand contribute to its color.  White sand, like that found in the Maldives, is typically composed of limestone from crushed coral and shells.

White Sands of the Maldives

White Sands of the Maldives

Darker sands, like that found on many islands of volcanic origin, typically contain obsidian or basalt deposited by flowing lava.

Golden Sands of Horseshoe Bay, Matangi Island, Fiji

Golden Sands of Horseshoe Bay, Matangi Island, Fiji

Dark Volcanic Sand on the Island of Hawaii

Dark Volcanic Sand on the Island of Hawaii

Through his fascinating microscopic photography (110 – 250 times magnification), Dr. Gary Greenberg of Hawaii gives us a glimpse into the complex world of sand.

May 132013
 

Each year from December through May, humpback whales migrate to Hawaii’s Kohala Coast to breed and give birth.  It is estimated that as many as 12,000 humpbacks, weighing up to 45 tons, can be found in Hawaii’s waters each year.  During this time, you can not only see them from shore, but you can also hear their songs if you free dive or snorkel (with your entire head submerged).

In March I went on a whale watch boat for the first time.  The wind was fierce (gusting up to 30 knots) and the waves were high, but we had an amazing day as nature put on a show for us.

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Kona Whales2

Kona Whale Tail

There were whales to port and to starboard and forward and aft.  We saw giant males propel their massive bodies out of the water, and small calves swimming timidly with their mothers.

Kona Whales

Kona Whales3

For those interested in humpback whale watching, other stellar locations around the world can be found in Rurutu, French Polynesia and Vava’u, Tonga (which is high on my ever-growing list of places to visit).