satellite view from PMNM
E komo mai; welcome! Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is surrounded by a lei of foam in the middle of the North Pacific; it's a beautiful, special place.

Not only are there albatross on Midway, but many other interesting kinds of wildlife, both on the land and in the sea. Please enjoy exploring FOAM, an educational blog actively done while on Midway from May through August 2010. Posts are added from off-Midway, as information becomes available. If you're interested in a particular topic, please use the search box or the alphabetical list of "labels" along the left side of the blog page.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Snorkel Trip to the Edge of the Atoll

Yesterday a group of us went snorkeling to the edge of the Atoll. Look at the aerial view of Midway Atoll shown on the top of FOAM's webpage; our boat took us to the "top" of the picture, or toward the north edge of the Atoll.

Now look at the picture with this post and you'll see what I saw from the boat, before I went in snorkeling: 2 of my friends are already in the water heading for the "emergent (sticking-out-of-the-water) reef!" We're on the inner, lagoon, shallow-water-side of the reef; you can see the waaaaaaay deep open-ocean swells breaking on the reef. Outside of the Atoll, the sea floor drops away pretty quickly to about 4000 meters (12,000 feet) deep; WOW!!

It was a wonderful snorkel trip! I don't have an underwater camera, but I'll try and get some pictures from friends who do, because we saw an amazing variety of fish and beautiful coral. My 2 favorite kinds of coral seemed to be glowing with neon colors; one was lemon-lime and the other was an incredible shade of lavender-purple.

As we were swimming back to the boat at the end of the snorkel, I saw Uncle Ulua! He was swimming right at me, and looked ferocious; in fact, it took my breath away to see him. He rolled his eye at me, as we swam past each other. I wish I had taken a moment to say "hi," but as I said, I was a little scared; he is a top or apex predator, after all.


Uncle Ulua said...

Hi Barb. I'm a predator, one tough fish, but I don't eat humans...but some of us ulua have been known to nip a human....

Edward said...

Good evening, Barb. Just to let you know, I think Auntie Moana is a little huhu (upset) that you arrived on island 3 days ago and haven't been to see her yet. I know you've seen lots of Laysan Albatross, since this is the largest colony of the LAAL in the world, but you haven't stopped by to say aloha to Auntie. Do you know when you're scheduled to visit her area? And I hope you'll be coming by to see me and my Black-footed Albatross brethren soon; as you probably know, we live a little more makai (ocean-side) than our cousins, the Laysans.

Barb said...

Thanks, Edward, for the heads-up about Auntie. The good news is that I *think* my work schedule tomorrow takes me to all the study areas for both Laysan Albatross and you Black-footed Albatross. A hui hou (see you)!

Anonymous said...

that sounds like so much fun!! I hope you find an underwater camera so you can put up some under water images. Is the coral reef in good shape in Midway. I knwo so manyof them have been devastated.

Uncle Ulua said...

Our coral reef is primo! --one o' da bes' in da world! For one reason, since dere are so many of us top/apex predators, (we ulua and sharks, da kine), we help keep da ecosystem in balance.