Malama Monk Seal Voyage #12: Kilo’s Adventures Continue

I stood in the coffee aisle at Costco a few weeks ago with tears in my eyes. It wasn’t the price of coffee that made me cry. It was an email. Ordinarily, I don’t read emails when I’m shopping, but I was on deadline for a story and waiting to hear from a source. That…

Throwback Thursday: Neva Shut Up

In the social media world, today is known as #TT or #ThrowbackThursday. Instead of posting a photograph to Facebook or Instagram, though, I’m sharing a note—a #ThrowbackNote.

Malama Monk Seal Voyage #11: Special Delivery

The rocking and rolling woke me. We’d had a few rough nights throughout the voyage, but this was the worst. I found myself scrabbling for the bed sheets. But when I opened my eyes, I wasn’t in my bunk aboard the Oscar Elton Sette. I was in my bed at home on Kaua‘i, my husband…

Malama Monk Seal Voyage #10: Kure

Her name was “New Girl” for a while. My two-hour seal watch started just after midnight. The sky was clear, half of it dedicated to a waxing moon that drowned out stars, the other half riddled with sparkly constellations that sent stars streaking across the sky. We were hopeful New Girl would be the balm…

Malama Monk Seal Voyage #9: Midway Atoll

The bikes represent much of what I love about Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, the most well known atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Island chain, thanks to a battle fought in these waters during World War II. The biggest of the islands, Sand, is so small all you need is an old beach cruiser to…

Malama Monk Seal Voyage #6: Meet Ama`ama.

The commanding officer, chief bosun and I were aft on Oscar Elton Sette in the early evening when Dr. Michelle, our onboard veterinarian, threw both arms in the air and started an exuberant dance. If it had been an NFL Sunday, I would have thought her team had scored a touchdown. Next to Hawaiian monk…

Malama Monk Seal Voyage #5: Laysan

I was walking on the leeward side of Laysan Island, over 900 miles northwest of Honolulu, when Megan, one of the remote field campers with the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program approached me. The full complement of seabirds flew overhead or roosted in nearby bushes, including two new species for me during our trip: Bristle-thighed curlew…