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expeditions/August/September 2007/Last Day
14 - Last Day in the Field.
by Carlie Wiener
here to see where the Hi'ialakai is now.
here to see current data from the ship.
Hawaiian monk seals are endangered, but many can
be found at French Frigate Shoals, Carlie Wiener.
Well here we are on our last field day, and I am fortunate
enough to go out with the Maritime Heritage team again. The
boats are all working in the north end trying to dive the
areas which they have not gotten to yet. Yesterday, the Maritime
Heritage team discovered some new wreck material; they are
hoping that they will be able to do this again next year
to further look at the wreck. Once a shipwreck is found,
it takes a long time to identify the ship, mark all the pieces,
etc. The team moved very quickly today looking at numerous
sites that were reported to have debris. They did find several
artifacts, such as a bell, a few anchors and some piping.
Each item was photographed, documented with GPS and measured.
This task was made more difficult by the curious uluas (jacks)
nipping at our tail.
Dr. Kelly Gleason uses the metal detector to pick
up on metallic debris, Carlie Wiener.
In the afternoon, the crew met up with
some of the other research groups who were doing work at
La Perouse. This is by far one of my favorite sites so far.
The reef structure is intricate with lots of coral variety,
fish and sea birds. We even had a chance encounter with two
monk seals and a turtle. As this was our last day out, all
four away boats met at the end of the day and traveled back
to the ship as a team. The coordinated effort looked spectacular
and made for a nice close to two weeks of hard work in the
field. The last of the samples collected today were processed
in the wet lab this evening. We are now journeying back for
the next few days, and should be in Oahu on Monday. I think
most of the crew is feeling a bit melancholy about leaving
such a special place. Everyone has put a lot of effort into
the work they have done, and now the research will be taken
into labs and offices to better understood. From French Frigate
Shoals a hui hou!
The away boats transit together back to the ship,
here for maps of the region