We had a big adventure today with our buoy, Holumoanalani.
We planned a service call this morning, but woke up to sirens and phone calls about the approaching tsunami. We watched the tsunami hit Hawai'i on television, and when I took a break to check email I saw a message from a woman named Jackie in Kihei who said the buoy was drifting north. Paulo Mendes and I rushed over there hoping to retrieve her before she was damaged or lost. The emergency had just been lifted, but there was no one and no boats in the water in South Maui. The beaches and parks were closed. Strong currents and unusual shifts in sea levels were still occurring. Shelly Stephens joined us, along with Paulo's friend, Nikos Los Banos, with his amazing Dog, Mana. Mana is well known on Maui for his love of surfing with Nikos.
On a kayak and two stand-up paddle boards, we followed Shelly to the buoy. We then towed the buoy back to a spot near her usual mooring. A tricky situation turned humorous when Mana, a strong swimmer, was given a rope to help tow the buoy.
We were able to create a temporary mooring until we can go back with GPS to restore the original mooring early this week.
I could not bear the thought of losing the buoy after so many volunteers, including myself, have put in so much time and money to bringing the live whalesongs to you and the world. Big thanks to all!!!