Monday, March 31, 2008

An Afternoon with Irma

Well... what an interesting day.... Yes Irma popped up at Waikiki this morning. I made my way down there around noon, and was able to give Don a much needed lunch break. For me it was WONDERFUL to be in the company of another seal. Being with Irma helped comfort the loss of Chester, I felt it was really important to spend some time with her....

The beach was filled with the usual curious on lookers.... but what was especially interesting was listening to the conversations and how many times Chester name came up. I was able to listen but also answered some questions about Chester's time on Kailua beach and his passing.... I was amazed as to how many people followed his story.... (that's my boy)....

Okay back to Miss Irma... well Missy decided to hang out on the beach well after sunset... I was busy watching her and answering questions I completely missed the sunset. When she finally decided to get into the water she spend a good 5 minutes rolling around at the shores edge... lifting her fins out of the water (lots of oooh ahhhhs from the crowd) THEN Miss Irma turns back towards the shore at which point I was in shock that she might pop back out.... but within a moment she went under and was gone.... That Irma is really something!

So my afternoon with Irma was filled with smiles and joy.... and all time thinking about my boy.
Thank you Miss Irma and I look forward to many more days at the beach with you!

DB Post Monday March 31st

Irma@ Waikiki,, 3-31-08

Irma popped up in Waikiki today, at Queen's Beach. She apparently hauled out around 0700, and C&C got her taped off. We got a cordon up around her around 0800. Don & Gerry were talking with the masses when I departed at 1030. Tracy called at 1929 to advise that Irma had departed. Tomorrow ???????

The Rabbit Island cast for the day was M&M, Mojo & Temp 403. Aloha, DB

Sunday, March 30, 2008

DB Post March 30th Sunday

Temp403@Spitting Cave, Temp406@ Maili,, 3-30-08

The Rabbit Island gang was Mojo, Sadie, and after a few weeks absence, a big ,fat M&M was back. She is looking round and firm.

Temp 403 was doing 8 minute dives at Spitting Cave, for the 2nd consecutive day.

Barbara Billand reported Temp 406, 99% molted , at Maili today. Aloha, DB

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I didn't know....

Who knew my life would change on New Years Day 2008….?

Who knew that one Hawaiian monk seal would have such an impact on a community…?

Who knew this seal would become somewhat of a celebrity….?

Who knew I would lobby at the State house to name the Hawaiian Monk Seal the State Mammal and designate the 3rd day in April as Hawaiian Monk Seal Day....?

Who knew that 2 months after meeting him I would be mourning his death…?

Who knew this seal would bring me joy and heart ache…?

Who knew his death would prompt a news conference...?

Who knew?

For all the phone calls, all the emails, all the hugs and support ... I thank you!
- Donna

DB Post Saturday March 29th

Irma@Ewa Beach (Hau Bush), Rocky & U/U 2@Diamond Head, ,, 3-29-08

Sadie had Rabbit Island all to herself today. Mary Jay reported Irma at Oneula Beach Park, commonly referred to as "Hau Bush". She was still there as of 1630 this afternoon.

Temp 403 was at Spitting Cave today.

I went to Diamond on the report of 2 animals at Beach Rd. When I arrived I found Rocky on the beach, and a small, red tagged animal just off shore in the shallows, obviously associated with Rocky. At 1543 the animal moved out to near the surf line and I did not see it again. By behavior alone I'd have to say it was probably a medium sized male, but I could got see anything to give me a ID hint, due to backlighting. Barbara Billand reported that Temp 406 was still in Makaha, and his molt is nearly complete. Aloha, DB

Friday, March 28, 2008

DB Post Friday March 28th

RIP@ Spitting Cave & a Rabbit Island Mob, 3-28-08

RIP was at Spitting Cave this morning, doing 8 minute dives. Later in the day Betty from Hanauma Bay reported an animal swimming in the Bay outside the reef for a while. I have a mean feeling it was RIP on his way back to Rabbit Island, but of course, mean feelings don't count in science.

The only other animals in my world today, were RB08, Mojo and Buster, all at Rabbit Island. Aloha, DB

Thursday, March 27, 2008

DB Post Thursday March 27th

Ewa Girl@ Campbell Industrial Park, Temp 406@Makaha,, 3-27-08

All of the local stations did a Chester piece. I did a Channel #2 bit . I've DVR'd everybody, but haven't seen any of it yet. I'm stoked that Chester has generated this kind of interest.

The Billands checked in this morning reporting Temp 406 still on the Westside near Makaha, and later called to report that they'd see Ewa Girl at Campbell Industrial Park.

The Rabbit Island crew was RB08, Sadie, RIP, Mojo, & Buster. The Ch#2 crew were blown away to peer into the scope and see 5 Monk Seals on Rabbit Island. Aloha, DB

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

DB Post Wednesday March 26th


It has been a horrible day. I'm sorry to have to tell all of you that Chester died at Rabbit Island today. As you know , he remained scrauny looking after his molt, and showed no signs of improving with each sighting. It became more and more obvious that he was unresponsive to other animals near him,and inundation by the rising tide. He basically never moved all day. At 1607 I knew I had to make the call, and notified NMFS personnel, who arrived at Rabbit Island at 1824 to recover Chester's body. Recovery operations were completed around 1900.

Needless to say, I am devastated, and I know many of you will mourn his loss as well. It pains me to the bone to have to give you this news.

Chester and I met at Poipu, Kauai in 2001. Each and every day was an adventure. Aloha, DB

(out of respect for this animal the photo of him is as most of us remember him and not of his final day- donna)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

DB Post Tuesday March 25th

Rocky@ Spitting Cave, Kermit&Irma@White Plains, Ewa Girl@ Campbell Industrial Park,, 3-25-08

The Rabbit Island crew consisted of Chester and Sadie, and I found Rocky doing 16 minute dives at Spitting Cave.

The Billands, and Brenda Sparks provided all the real interest today. Barbara Billand called to report Ewa Girl at the palm tree grove 1/2 mile east of Barber's Point Beach Park at Campbell Industrial Park. They continued on to check on Temp 406 but he was nowhere to be found.

Brenda Sparks found Kermit and Irma at White Plains this morning at 0800 through approximately 1130. The Billands checked around noonish, and found only Kermit. Aloha, DB

Monday, March 24, 2008

Meet the Billands!

Aloha !
I had a wonderful opportunity this morning to meet the Billands at the State House. This husband and wife team are passionate about looking after the Hawaiian Monk Seals, especially on the western side of Oahu. You may have noticed in several of DB's post he mentions this wonderful couple who often respond to the sightings. Well today I got to meet them and they graciously allowed me to post their picture!

And as a side note, Barbara's testimony at the hearing this morning was poignant and entertaining, I think she really got the representatives attention. Mahalo to the both of you!

Update on todays hearing on State Bills

Aloha All:

Quick update... from Patricia!

Hi everyone,I just called John, Chief of Staff at the Capitol and he said the Monk Seal Mammal bill passed with of which is that the Monk Seal Day be included with the State Mammal bill...the other amendments have not been posted yet.The conference will be the last two weeks of April.

until we meet again!

DB Post Monday March 24th

RIP & Buster@ Spitting Cave,, 3-24-08

Observation time was limited by moving day, but I did find a few of the gang. RIP and Buster were doing 6 and 8 minute dives at Spitting Cave, and the Rabbit Island cast was RB08, Sadie, Chester, and Temp 403. There was no word from other quadrants.
Aloha, DB

Sunday, March 23, 2008

DB Post Sunday March 26th

Temp406@Campbell Industrial Park, Kermit & Irma@ White Plains, Buster@ Spitting Cave,, 3-23-08

The Rabbit Island cast was the girls, RB08 & Sadie, plus Chester, RIP and Temp 403. I found Buster doing 8 minute dives at Spitting Cave.

The Billands called at 0842 to report that Temp 406 continues to rot at Campbell Industrial Park. I'd guesstimate something like 40% + molted. The boy is a train wreck.

Tracy called from White Plains to report that both Kermit and Irma were there today. Brenda Sparks photos confirmed Kermit. Aloha, DB

My 2 Cents: I have to agree with DB, this is one scraggly looking seal.... and if I didnt' know better I would think it was Chester.... I mention this because lately Patricia, Sharon and I have been commenting how Chester still looks really thin. We were all wondering if he hasn't gained back his "fighting" weight because he's older and its taking him longer to recover.... OR if they lose the weight a lot faster than gaining.
Also based on my limited knowledge I thought most males go through their molting in the winter months... Nov/Dec/Jan? Temp 406 seems to be running a little late this year, does anyone have any thoughts on why?

Okay good people, I hope you are enjoying this site and PLEASE feel free to comment!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

DB Post Saturday March 22nd

RIP@Spitting Cave, Temp 406@ Campbell Industrial Park, Kermit@ Kalaeloa Campground & Chester, @ Rabbit Island

I found my first born son, RIP , doing 6 minute dives at Spitting Cave this morning. In the afternoon the Billands reported a molting Temp 406 at Campbell Industrial Park, and later, Kermit at Kalaeloa Campgrounds.

The Rabbit Island cast of Chester, for the 3rd consecutive day, and the girls RB08, and Sadie, along with males Temp 403, and M38. Aloha, DB

Friday, March 21, 2008

DB Post Friday March 21st

Chester,RIP,Sadie & Mojo@ Rabbit Island, 3-21-08

It was a purely Rabbit Island kinda' day. Chester remained exactly where I'd left him yesterday, at the mid Middle Cliff area of Rabbit Island. He moved down to cool off in a tide pool at one point but that was the extent of the action. RIP, Sadie and Mojo were all widely spread down the beach, so that in typical Monk Seal fashion , you had 4 widely spaced individuals, with no observed interaction. Sorry, no photos again.
Aloha, DB

Thursday, March 20, 2008

DB Post Thursday March 20th

RH44@Spitting Cave, Chester@ Makapuu, Rocky@Hanauma Bay, Irma@White Plains, Kermit@ Kalaeloa,, 3-20-08
It was a busy little day out there. The Rabbit Island cast was RIP, M38, Temp 403, and Sadie with a late arrival of a guest visitor.

I found an adult female, RH44 doing 9 minute dives at Spitting Cave, She is the same animal I had wrongly identified as Ewa Girl , at Spitting Cave, on 3-17-08. A conversation with Tracy, and follow on photos, positively ID'd RH44.

The real highlight of the day was a call from a Makapuu lifeguard reporting an animal on the beach. When I arrived I found Chester on the beach. He had been there when they arrived at 0900, and departed of his own volition at 1021. He is still scrauny and pathetic looking , just as he was when he departed Lanikai. He had last been sighted at Wailupe on 2-24-08. When I did my Rabbit Island check I found that Chester had gone there after departing Makapuu.

At 1228 , Hanauma Bay lifeguard Joy, reported an animal on the left side rock flats. When I arrived I found Rocky.

Gold Star posse member, Brenda Sparks called a couple of times today, reporting Irma at White Plains, and Kermit on Kalaeloa Beach, near the windsock, and also had the passerby report of 2AW near the jetty at Nimitz Beach, however when she checked she found nobody. Aloha, DB

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

DB Post Wednesday March 19th

Buster@ Spitting Cave, Kermit@ Kalaeloa Beach,, 3-19-08

Once again , no photos for today. I found by #3 son , Buster doing 7 minute dives at Spitting Cave, and the Rabbit Island cast was Temp 403, M38, and Sadie.

Shawn called around 1300 with the report of an animal at Kalaeloa Beach. The Billands responded and confirmed that it was Kermit on the beach near the windsock. Aloha, DB

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

DB Post Tuesday March 18th

Rocky@ Diamond Head, R5AY@Laniakea, Kermit@ White Plains& Irma at Kalaeloa Campgrounds,, 3-18-08

No photos today, but the cast was out and around. Shawn dealt with Rocky late in the day at Diamond Head (Beach Rd.), and advised that an adult female R5AY was hangin' out with her turtle buddies at Laniakea on the North Shore today, as she does quite often.

The White Plains lifeguards advised that Kermit was just to the left of the lifeguard stand , and that military police had told them at N3 (Irma) was down at Kalaeloa campgrounds. They had placed two signs at her location.

The Rabbit Island cast for today was the girls RB08 and Sadie, and M38 and Buster. Aloha ,DB

DB Post March 17th Monday

Ewa Girl@Spitting Cave & Rocky@ Diamond Head,, 3-17-08

I found Ewa Girl doing 11 to 13 minute dives at Spitting Cave in the morning, and responded to Diamond Head in the afternoon for my girl, Rocky's haul out to the right of the showers.

The Rabbit Island cast was Rocky's little brother M38, RB08 , Buster and Mojo. Aloha, DB

Monday, March 17, 2008

KC visits Kaneohe Marine Base

A huge Mahalo to volunteer KAREN BRYAN for taking the time to head over to the beach and take these pictures of "KC" / N14. I received a call from David Schofield about 2:30 this afternoon, that a seal popped up at North Beach on base. I was able to reach Karen.... shortly after she called and emailed these photos.

Now I am no an authority on the subject by any means, but if you compare the photo Karen took of KC back on December 27th and look at her now... Well she is either finding some really good eats or..... maybe just maybe she is pregnant. Time will tell and we will certainly keep our eyes on her.

Okay, now check out KC's belly in the next three photos.... maybe we'll have a pup sometime soon. I personally can't wait!

KC Back in December '07. Much thinner than her recent pics.

DB Post Sunday March 16th

KC@Kaupo Beach Park, Sadie@ Blowhole, Irma@ Kalaeloa Campgrounds & R018@ Ka'ena Point,, 3-1608
RM38, and young , adult male, showed up at Rabbit Island for the first time since 1-5-08. He'd last been reported at Laau Point on Molokai (2-2008). He fellow RI mates were RIP , Mojo and RB08.

A trolley driver posse member, recruited by Ethel, called to report a small animal feeding at Blowhole. When I arrived I found Sadie doing consistent 6 minute dives.

A call from Shawn at 1350 alerted me to the fact that there was an animal reported at Kaupo Beach Park (accross from the back entrance to Sea Life Park). Since I was just down the road at Makai Research Pier, I was there in a flash and found KC waiting for me. According to witnesses she'd hauled out about an hour before my arrival. The place was a wall to wall camper zoo, but I got her cordoned off , and she was still there when I departed at 1900.

DOCARE Officer Carolyn Curry called at 1540 with the report of Irma (N3) at Kalaeloa Campgrounds, very near the White Plains , west end perimeter fence.

The Sparks did a Ka'ena Pt. trek and reported R018 there. Aloha, DB

Sunday, March 16, 2008

DB Post Saturday March 15th

RIP, Mojo, M&M & Sadie@ Rabbit Island, 3-15-08
I got no calls today, and the White Plains guys reported nobody, though I suspect the usual cast was probably right around the corner.

The Rabbit Island gang proved to be RIP, his little brother Mojo, an adult femaled called M&M, all in a group, and way down the beach was my 11 month old girl, Sadie. I didn't get any photos today, but I'll attach a few stock shots of the the cast.

Just to prove that lust is thicker than blood, there was no way in the world that RIP was going to allow his little bro' Mojo, anywhere near his chick, M&M. They had a few mouth to mouth snarling, thrusting interactions, and RIP managed to keep Mojo at bay. M&M is looking really chubby, and probably couldn't care less about either one of these young punks. Aloha, DB

Saturday, March 15, 2008

DB Post Friday March 14th

Buster@ Spitting Cave, Kermit@White Plains & Irma@ Kalaeloa,, 3-14-08
The brothers, RIP, and Mojo (Irma's boys), and my 11 month old girl, Sadie (Ewa Girls daughter), were the RI cast for today. I found Sadie's older brother (soon to be 3), Buster doing 8 minute dives at Spitting Cave

I made a SW quadrant run again today, and found Kermit on the beach at White Plains, just to the right of the main lifeguard stand, and Irma on her favorite patch of reef, just off shore of the beach just beyond the campgrounds, near the windsock. Aloha, DB