Mokumanamana (Necker Island)

O ke au i kahuli wela ka honua
O ke au i kahuli lole ka lani
O ke au i Kuka‘iaka ka la
E ho‘omalamalama i ka malama
O ke au o Makali‘i ka po
O ka walewale ho‘okumu honua ‘ia
O ke kumu o ka lipo, i lipo ai
O ke kumu o ka Po, i po ai
O ka lipolipo, o ka lipolipo
O ka lipo o ka la, o ka lipo o ka po
Po wale ho-‘i
Hanau ka po

At the time when the earth became hot
At the time when the heavens turned about
At the time when the sun was darkened
To cause the moon to shine
The time of the rise of the Pleiades
The slime, this was the source of the earth
The source of the darkness that made darkness
The source of the Po that made night
The intense darkness, the deep darkness
Darkness of the sun, darkness of the night
Nothing but night
The night gave birth
– From the beginning of the Kumulipo: A Hawaiian Creation Chant

I begin this post with the beginning of the Kumulipo because Mokumanamana (commonly known as Necker Island) is the crossroad between the living world, Ao (literally means world of light), and the spiritual world, Po (world of darkness). When native Hawaiians pass away their ancestors (Kupuna) come to meet them at the most western point of their island, for `Oahu it is Kaena Point, and their Kupuna lead them on a journey to Po, the spiritual world. The journey to Po follows the Tropic of Cancer and Mokumanamana sits directly on it. Thus, Mokumanamana is a very significant and spiritually important island for native Hawaiians because it is the exact point where the living world and the spiritual world meet.

Mokumanamana is the only other place that we are visiting with emergent land.

Today was a great day out on the water. We successfully completed our first profile of a hole on a reef. Yesterday I talked about using dye to calculate a water exchange rate for a hole or crevice in the reef.  Another way to analyze water exchange is by using an Acoustic Doppler velocimeter (ADV).  An ADV measures 3D water velocity or turbulent flow at a particular point.   Oscar engineered  a system that could bring an ADV 30 feet underwater, collect live data, and carefully move that ADV into a little hole in the reef. This set-up also consisted of a high-tech weighting system of socks and BBs (this is what happens when you have ecologists helping with the instrument set-up 🙂 ).

By moving the ADV very slowly into the hole he could obtain a profile of how the velocity of the water changes from the ambient over-laying water to the interstitial spaces in the reef. Understanding water exchange on a reef is important for several reasons. Water velocity controls food availability for sessile organisms, such as corals and tunicates. Water velocity also affects diffusion rates. Everything about today’s dives went really well and I am really excited to see what the data show!


4 responses to “Mokumanamana (Necker Island)

  1. Love your blog and your pictures are amazing!!! Keep having fun!!! Stay safe! Love you! Aunt S

  2. Love the poem. However, I, too, can write a poem about science:

    There are fish in the sea,
    Frogs in the lake,
    Cheetahs run wild,
    And make the ground shake.
    The water is blue,
    Unless it is green,
    The Hudson is brown,
    What does that mean?
    You live on a boat,
    And study the sea,
    You snorkel around,
    And use ADV (see I read your blog!).
    Coral does stuff,
    And that’s important to you,
    So to show you I care,
    I read your blog the whole way through!!

    …even though it had big science words in it.

    Love you! Looks like you are having a great time. Keep posting pictures!


  3. I loved both the poems. It looks like you are having a ball.


  4. arlene Silbiger

    I’m so proud of my amazing granddaughter,the adventuresome marine biologist.
    I was away last week but I’m home now and reading your ,blog.
    I love to see the photos you post. You look happy with your success.
    Stay safe and have fun
    I wish you continued success with your work.
    Love you,
    Grandma Arlene

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