Tuesday, March 31, 2009

DB Post Tuesday 3/31/2009

Kerby was once again at Rabbit Island today. I found him on my first look at 0655. He would later be joined by RIP, and then still later by Kolohe, fronting the 3BS at the right end of the beach. Since it was yet another cool, overcast day, there was little or no action.

R301 was down at the left end of the island, and would be joined, mid afternoon by Sadie. There was some brief nuzzling but both soon settled down to snooze mode.

Colleen Heyer called to report Irma below the 2nd Lookout at Diamond Head at 0948.

Team Billand and Tracy were out in the SW quadrant today. They reported Kermit at Nimitiz Beach at 1130, and 2AW at Kalaeloa Campground at 1200. Tracy did a bilateral "N12" bleach on 2AW. Aloha, DB

Kolohe, RIP, & Kerby
2AW = N12

Monday, March 30, 2009

DB Post Monday 3/30/2009

RIP, Buster, and Kolohe, plus a player to be named later were at Rabbit Island on my first look at 0700.

I found R301 doing 9 minute dives at Spitting Cave.

Colleen Heyer called at 0823 to report Irma below the 2nd Lookout , at Diamond Head.

I got a call at 1253 reporting that Rosie (RO30) was once again somewhere in the innard of the Pearl Harbor Ship Yard.

Team Billand reported 2AW at Kalaeloa Campgrounds at 1540.

Each of those deserves more info, but today is about one critter , and one critter only.

On my first quick look at Rabbit Island at 0700, I saw a tight grouping of three animals, 40 ft left of IBS. There were 2 large and 1 small animal. Since I knew R301 was at Spitting Cave, I guessed that these were probably RIP, Buster, and RB08. Wrong !!!!!!!!!! When I got back to Makai Pier at 0940 , with much improved lighting, I was absolutely floored by the fact that it was not RB08 at all. By 1010 I had confirmed that the little critter was , in fact, Kerby (RW08). I called Tracy at 1011, and the mob began to amass.

The Kerby drama began on 3-26-09, when I found a shot on the FLICKR site, taken on Friday 3-25-09. I recognized the fish hooked animal in the shot as a probable Kerby. My wife went out to Ka'ena Point on Saturday 3-27-09, and confirmed that it was in fact Kerby. He departed KP before the NOAA crew could arrive. The next day , 3-28-09, Team Billand found him in the company of another animal , R018 at Maili Point, but the terrain did not allow intervention.

Prospects for finding the little guy looked pretty "iffy" with no reports on the 29th, Finding this little guy looked like the oft talked about needle in a haystack thing.

I was absolutely dumbstuck when I realized that my little critter at Rabbit Island had an obvious fish hook and leader hanging from the left side of his mouth, and a male belly. The chances of Kerby returning to Rabbit Island, the place of his birth, for the first time since his departure on or about 8-27-08, as a 5 month old kid seemed pretty remote, Nevertheless, there was my 11 month old son right there before my eyes.

The NOAA crew of Dr. Bob, Tracy,Brenda,Shawn, Chad and Jesse departed Makai Pier at 1240 and removed the fish hook at 1313. There are good days, and bad days, but this one one of those really, REALLY GOOD days !!!!! Thank You ...............Very Much !!!!!! To all who participated... Ya' Done Good !!!!!! Aloha, DB
NOAA team all aboard.
NOAA team ready
The removal of the fish hook Dr. Bob
Just want to add I have had the great pleasure to be around Dr. Bob when he's doing his magic. We are very fortunate to have him caring for these animals... He is a great doctor and a great teacher. THANKS DR. BOB.!

KP2 Update as of Sunday

Aloha good people!

I wanted to share the following information with all of you, I recieved the following message in an email from our Molokai friends. Thank you Val!
Good News!
At 10:00 this morning, Michael Grinnell, a monk seal count volunteer, positively identified KP2 swimming at the wharf in Kaunakakai. He noted that both transmitters were still attached and saw both tags but because KP2 was in the water, the numbers could not be read. He stated that KP2 surfaced and looked directly at him and Michael only remained in eye contact with him until he confirmed his identity. I immediately went to the area and remained for about 1 ½ hours using the VHF receiver and binoculars and did not see him or pick up a signal. It was extremely low tide and I checked all of the visible sand bars and beaches in about a 3 mile area.
Dave Schofield has asked that all volunteers continue to check the area whenever possible. He would very much like photos and any information that is heard or seen regarding KP2.
Have a good day!

DB Post Sunday 3/29009

The Rabbit Island cast was RIP, R301 and RB08. They all began in a bunch, but RIP went off to the far left end by himself, and R301 and RB08 remained together just left of the 1st Blue Sign. There was some interaction but pretty low key.

Colleen called from Diamond Head at 1041 to report Irma on the beach, below the middle overlook.

Team Billand reported Kermit at Nimitz Beach, at two different locations, and Ewa Girl at Palm Grove, Campbell Industrial Park.

RB08, RIP & R301 RIP
Ewa Girl

Saturday, March 28, 2009

DB Post Saturday 3/28/2009

The morning began with a lot of running around stressing on Irma's whereabouts. Colleen reported Diamond Head Irma free. I never found her in the SE quadrant. Only Irma knows what's next.

On my first Spitting Cave check I found nobody , but shortly after my departure I got a call from posse member Susan saying that 2 animals had done a "drive by", moving further into Maunalua Bay. I returned to Spitting Cave, and spent another hour there, and walked the rocks, but never found anyone. A subsequent photo from Stephanie Batzer confirmed that 2 animals had in fact been there. Witnesses said it was "a small animal and a large animal, but the big one wasn't all that large " . Based on the rest of my day I'd say Kolohe and Buster would rate high on the list of suspects, but of course, that is only personal opinion .

When I got to Makai Pier at 1100,for the day's observations I found RB08 just hauling out, and on a pan a few minutes later became aware that R301 and and U/U were on the left end rock flats. R301 would ultimately join RB08, and the U/U remained just that until the end. The animal was only partially visible so it's probably one of the regulars, I just couldn't tell which one.

The day got interesting at 1330 when the Billands called to report Kerby and R018 at Maili Point. NOAA personnel were notified but a decision not to attempt the hook removal was quickly based on the fact that the animals were on impossibly rocky terrain.

Tracy advised that Rosie (RO30) spent today somewhere in the innards of Pearl Harbor. The girl has a definite talent for finding interesting haul out sites.

Email from Joanna Tabor advised that she'd found Ka'ena, Benny and a player to be named later at Ka'ena Point. Aloha, DB
2 Unidentified Animals
RO18 & Kerby
R301 & RB08

Friday, March 27, 2009

Baby Pictures! Number 1 Pup

Aloha Good People,
Here are the awaited adorable pictures of the newest pup. Momma (rocky) usually resides on Oahu, but managed to make her way over to Kauai to give birth. Its still a little early to determine whether we have a little girl or boy... but at this point it doesn't matter.... At 36 hours old the little bugga is doing great and looking good! ~donna~
photos by Wendy Mcllroy, Kauai
Nursing Time
Too Darn Cute
Follow Me
Protective Mama

Kerby Gets Snagged

David called to confirm that Marilyn made it to Kaena and was able to ID Kerby as the seal with the hook at Kaena. But unfortunately before they could get the de-hooking team out there, Kerby headed back out into the water.

The NOAA team is on-call and ready to respond with gear in hand as soon as they get the word. If you are able to make it out to Kaena and spot Kerby please call David immediately at 721-5343.
Mahalo, Jen Maldonado

DB Post Friday 3/27/2009

The Rabbit Island cast would turn out to be Buster, RB08, Kolohe, R301 and RIP.

Irma was once again at Diamond Head for her 3rd consecutive day, starting out behind Colleen's house but then moving down to a new location below the 2nd Overlook.

Team Billand reported Kermit at White Plains, and Ewa Girl at Palm Grove, Campbell Industrial Park.

All of that was overshadowed by the continuing Ka'ena Point drama, which began late yesterday when I found shots on the FLICKR site of a small animal at Ka'ena Point , with a fish hook visible on the left side of the mouth. I notified NOAA personnel of the find.

This morning my wife, Marilyn made the Ka'ena Point trek, arriving at around 1115. She intitially found 3 animals on the front beach, and then at 1206 Kerby hauled out to the back beach, moving all the way up into the sand. Marilyn was able to confirm his W08/09 tags, and also confirmed that Kerby was the kid with the fish hook. NOAA personnel were immediately notified and began the response at 1224. Unfortunately, there is a built in response time problem, and I'm sorry to report that Kerby reentered the water at 1258, moving in a Yokohama direction. Bummer !!! Hopefully, tomorrow will provide another chance.

Ewa Girl
Benny & I37

Thursday, March 26, 2009

DB Post Thursday 3/26/2009

My day began with an early morning trip to Diamond Head. It was my intention to pick up the Irma signs from yesterday. Irma had departed, however a morning walker asked if I was there to put the signs up around "N3" who she said was about 1/2 mile east. Off I humped, and found Irma just on the other side of the reef outcrop east of Colleen's house. Fortunately, Colleen is newly returned from a Lanai vacation, and took charge of Irma for the remainder of the day. Thank you.............very much !

The next stop was Spitting Cave from 0800 until 0930. There I found RIP and Buster , foraging together. The dive times were all over the place since there was occasional interaction.

I got to Makai Pier at 0943 and found that R301 was at the left end of the island and had the place all to himself.

Tracy called at 1034 with the report of an animal at Sand Island. When I arrived at 1145, I found 2AW on the beach. Though there are occasional calls for SI, this was my first response there, and the first time in at least 20 years since I'd been there. It's an easy place not to go .

I got back to Makai Pier at 1328 and found that R301 had departed, however RIP had newly hauled out at the right end of the beach, and I found what would prove to be Kolohe up in the grasses, also at the right end.

Team Billand reported Kermit on the left side of the Nimitz Beach jetty at 0902. Aloha, DB

Late entry from 3/25/2009

Here are a couple photos that were taken by Rob and Barb Billand. Alittle late entry but worth it... look a these characters... nice shots.
Ewa Girl

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

DB Post Wednesday 3/25/2009

The first look at Rabbit Island at 0700 was a bust, but when I got back to Makai Pier at 0900 I found RB08 on the beach at 1BS at the left end. She would be joined at noon by Buster. There was some initial nuisance nuzzling and RB08 just kept moving away. Buster didn't seem to have his heart in it, so things settled down to snooze mode relatively quickly. They would remain together the rest of the day.

At 0951 R301 hauled out to the rock flats at the far left end of the beach. He would remain out there on the flats for the rest of the day.

Team Billand reported Kermit on the left side of the Nimitz Beach jetty at 0845, and Ewa Girl at Palm Grove, Campbell Industrial Park at 1000.

Tracy called around 1345 with the report of a DOCARE call about an animal at Diamond Head. Posse person Chanel Garrett came through and put up signs up around what turned out to be Irma. She had last been seen in Ewa Beach on 3-23-09. I thought at the time that it might be a sign that she was headed my way, and this DH call confirms it. At least she skipped Waikiki, for today at least.

M&M was a no show at RI today. What, if anything, this might mean is anybodys guess. It could just be a feeding day, or she may be on the way to Molokai, or back to the SW quadrant. Only M&M knows. Aloha, DB
RB08 & Buster

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

DB Post Tuesday 3/24/2009

It was yet another cool, windy day, and the Rabbit Island crew of Buster and R301 at the left end, and M&M by herself at the right end of the beach, did what Monk Seals do on cool days. The just laid there !

Team Billand reported only Kermit at Wind Sock, Kalaeloa Beach at 1155. Aloha, DB
Buster & R301