Monday, December 24, 2007

Musings: Catch Fire

That gorgeous full moon had either set or slipped behind the dense clouds that shrouded Waialeale when Koko and I set out for our walk, but I basked in its light last night, first lying on the freshly mowed grass and then doing yoga. It was so gorgeous out — almost balmy.

Made an early run to the post office and saw a couple of ladies dropping off goodies for the postal clerks. Everybody was smiling. Seeing interactions like that, which are fairly common here on Kauai, give me hope for the human race.

As I write this, I’m listening to KKCR, and what is supposed to be the “Songs of Sovereignty” show. KKCR management said in an email to me that the program “will continue to be broadcast by an informed, responsible DJ,” following Ka`iulani Huff’s dismissal/suspension last week. But that obviously ain’t happening. A group of people did plan to go to the station today to press for her reinstatement, so maybe they’re all hashing it out right now. All I can say is I miss Ka`iulani.

I kept missing whales that other people spotted, but finally saw some the other day, spouting off Anahola. But they were seen well before that, most notably by folks from the different activist groups who gathered at a condo near Lihue to discuss strategies for dealing with Hawaii Superferry. Just as they convened the meeting, a whale began breaching close to shore, and kept up its show for a little while. Folks in the room had chicken skin and viewed it as a hoailona — a sign that those opposed to the Superferry are on the right track. Why? Fast boats kill more marine life than slow boats.

Yes, tis the season for whales in Hawaii, especially around Maui, and that’s what makes the Superferry’s high-speed operations so dangerous.

The Star-Bulletin today ran a piece that reports posting fulltime lookouts does reduce collisions, followed by comments from Superferry spokesman Terry O’Halloran that the boat has so far been able to change course to avoid the whales spotted by its lookouts.

But the article also notes “most of the 10,000 humpbacks expected in Hawaiian waters this winter are not here yet.”

In general, ships are striking more whales in Hawaii, the article states. “Seven whales were struck in 2006 and six in 2007, according to sanctuary records. That compares with 33 strikes involving all types of vessels in 1975-2005, with no more than three strikes in any single year.”

I’m sure some of it is due to the increase in whale watching tours and other non-essential recreational activities, and I’ve got no problem with the state and feds clamping down on all boaters if it can help save whales’ lives.

Still, there’s simply no getting around the fact that boats traveling fast are more likely to hit whales, and “Superferry officials have said they will not go slower than 29 mph unless they spot a whale,” the article reports.

To me, Superferry speed is just not an acceptable trade off for a whale. We’ve got to get our priorities straight, and move away from the blind pursuit of profits to a path with heart.

And that leads me to a really inspiring story circulated yesterday by LightLine. It’s a good reminder that we need not sacrifice our humanity in order to achieve economic gain.

I also loved the article because it made it so clear that we all have so many gifts to share with one another. We need only to be ignited to make our fires blaze bright.

Got matches?


Anonymous said...

FYI, re: HSF speed. A property manager/fisherman friend of mine gave the idea that a handheld GPS devise remotely aimed at the Superferry while it is passing, in this case the channel between Molokai and Maui can be used to independently fix its speed. Man, sure would be nice to get something like that for Christmas. Mele Kalikimaka, Brad

Anonymous said...

I'd be remiss to not share these tender renditions of holiday cheer that have brought me so much happiness.


Just cut and paste these URL's for real holiday cheer!



ALL YOU NEED IS ELVES (to the tune of "All You Need Is Love")

AQUACLAUS (to the tune of Jethro Tull's "Aqualung")



POLICE STOP MY CAR (to the tune of "Feliz Navida")





Doug said...

Mauibrad, I've never heard of a GPS that is "remotely aimed" at a target to determine how fast the target is moving. Ask your friend to expound on that, please.

Now then, someone onboard the HSF with a GPS in hand, that would work.

See also this post from my blog.

Anonymous said...

Doug, I'm not sure exactly what he meant. I was just thinking about it, and maybe that would not work, but what I understood him to mean is by holding the GPS on the ship as it moves across the near horizon that its location, distance and speed could be determined. But, in thinking about it more, that might or might not work. I think the location of the ship and the location where the GPS is held would matter as would the capability of the GPS handheld. Aloha, Brad

DJ TRAX said...

Merry Christmas and Peace Y'all.

Thanks to Joan for weaving her wonderful tapestries of words.

Thanks Brad for your great research and passion to keep information moving to those that need or want to see the Light.

Gadfly, awesome of you to share that list. Fun stuff!

Enjoy the holiday, and may we all slow down when it is best to do so. How simple it is. Love, love, love, all you need is love.

Anonymous said...

I am not a cartographer nor a navigator, but perhaps what the friend was suggesting was to use the GPS to find a bearing and see how fast the bearing changes (as you point the device at the passing ferry). With some math you could find the minimum average speed on that segment. Given a map, you could do the same without a GPS, for example by sighting off known landmarks (such as islets and landmarks).