Aloha mai e nā maka heluhelu, nā ʻohana, a me nā hoa i piha i kēia aloha iā Hōlanikū. Ua holo nō ka manawa! Ua hōʻea mākou i ka pau ʻana o ka pule ʻumikūmākahi o ko mākou noho ʻana i Hōlanikū. Ua kō nō ka hana maʻamau i ka pule i hala aku nei, a ʻakahi nō a hoʻomaka kekahi hana hou. ʻO ia hoʻi ka helu ʻana i nā mōlī, nā kaʻupu, a me nā makalena i kēia mokupuni pālahalaha. He hana nui nō ia. Eia naʻe, pīhoihoi nō mākou i ka ʻike ʻana i ka helu nui o ia mau manu.

Aloha mai gangeh. I hope everyone had a pleasant view of the beautiful mahina we had this past week. I love it when she illuminates the sky and how everything around me becomes animated and how the natural light makes flashlights unnecessary.

Anyways, I am going to keep this blog simple. We had a short week of the normal spraying and a new task that has just begun, so I will save the details for once it is finished.

 We sprayed Monday thru Wednesday in both hot and cool weather. We saw something very exciting on Tuesday while we were transecting Fledgling Hill-which is in the central plains on this island. Eryn was the first one to spot a young Short-tailed Albatross near the boundary of that treatment area. We didn’t want to scare it away, so we decided to call it a day and continue it the next day. I really hope that Short-tailed Albatross either finds the other two females on the south side of the island or nests in that area. I’m so stoked to see a third Short-tailed Albatross here!

 After spraying on Wednesday, in hopes of continuing to get rid of as much big-headed ants as we can, we put new bait in the AMDRO stations. Thursday was our day off in preparation for our new task that was to come. Andy and I went on a monk seal survey with anticipation of finding our monk seal friend which had its left eye bitten by a cookie cutter shark (I know, poor thing!). We did not see that seal during our survey though I am astonished by the quick recovery that these seals have.

 Well, guys, the time has come-we have officially traded in our spray packs for spray paint and started the albatross count on Friday.  It’s a super cool and uplifting thing to do as we come to the end of this year. For those who don’t know, we’re counting all the albatross that are on this island. So just as we would transect each RA (treatment area) while spraying, we would individually go through our selected RAʻs and count the nesting albatrosses (with an egg) among other things-such as abandoned eggs, cracked eggs, dead albatrosses, etc.-while using our clickers and non-toxic spray paint to make a small mark outside each nest we count. Imagine the time we normally take as a team to transect the treatment areas and double it, triple it, and maybe even quadruple it since we’re working individually. Yup, it’s exhausting, but I’m super stoked to find out the total number of albatrosses that have made Hōlanikū its home. It’ll be non-stop work until Christmas. So, rest is very important as we complete this huge task. This is excitiiiiiing.

By the way, while doing the albatross count, Andy spotted a tiger shark over 10+ feet that roaming around the pier where we swim. Interesting things happening this week!

Anyways, I will save the rest of the details about the albatross count once we are pau (finished) since there will be a lot to say then. But, as usual, I will leave you with an ʻōlelo noʻeau for the week. Eia ka ʻōlelo noʻeau o kēia pule: “ʻUmi ka hanu i ka houpo” (Hold back the breath in the chest) -Ka Puke ʻŌlelo Noʻeau a Pākuʻi #2877. In other words, bear with the utmost patience.

I thought it would be simple to do an albatross count – a click here a click there and DONE. Boy, was I wrong. There are so many factors that make this task difficult. Boundaries: trying to follow markers (if it is visible) and the GPS (that could be wrong). Albatross: some may or may not cooperate in showing their egg/some will not even have an egg. Naupaka/Heliotrope: makes it difficult to reach an albatross. These are just a few things that can make one frustrated. I must remember that taking a break is a good thing. I want to complete as much of my responsibilities as fast as possible, but in doing so, I have drawn myself mad without taking the time to let my mind and body rest. Without rest, I drag along the frustration from the previous treatment area to the next one. Patience and perseverance is the key for completing this task. There is nothing wrong with taking a break! ʻUmia ka hanu!

Mahalo a nui no ka heluhelu ʻana. A hui hou a i kēia pule aʻe. Shoooots