Thanks to Our Mules!

Every moving day, all of this had to get into a car, out of the car, onto an airplane, off the airplane, into another car, and into a new house. It was so much easier with the extra help!
Dive buddies made times above water more fun too

We’re starting to wrap up our science operations in Hawaii!  It’s been so long since we arrived, its hard to believe. We’ve been on our own for the last two weeks on the Big Island, and are wiped out.  As a result we’ve been feeling more and more grateful to our friends that came to help us out on Oahu, Maui, and Kauai.  We lovingly call them ‘our mules,’ (Simon has called them slaves) because in reality they all did a lot of hauling for us.  All of our helpers made a huge difference to us, and meant that we could accomplish all that we have this summer.

Rob, Sabrina, Lauren, and Simon on Kauai
Sabrina and Lauren

Sabrina spent several weeks with us on Oahu and Kauai, and developed a number of invaluable skills including memorizing each person’s odd sandwich requirements (Simon for example wanted half of the bread with nutella and half with jam, but they could not touch) and communicating seamlessly with Lauren underwater using sign language.  She helped us through the lost car key debacle and was an ace with the sand anchors and transect tape.

Rob, Simon, and Sabrina, ready to haul and dive
Rosemary and Lauren on luggage duty on the Kauai to Maui move

Rosemary made the big trip all the way from New Zealand to be with us on Kauai and Maui. We really appreciated her visiting us and helping us out not only with the work on these two islands but the move between them (15 checked bags…seems our gear inventory has been steadily increasing). We also really appreciated the Tim Tams, still unavailable as the real deal in the USA!

Rob, psyched to be underwater in the tropics

Rob was with us in Kauai and researched more local things to do than the rest of us combined.  We were amazed/appalled when we did a somewhat average dive at Koloa landing, Kauai (a boat ramp) as a warm-up. Rob came up exclaiming that it was the best dive he had ever done! We guess that’s what happens when you dive in San Diego, then in zero viz in North Carolina..Rob also secured the equipment to the reef far more thoroughly than Simon or I had been doing.  Simon recalls when he vaguely signaled to Rob underwater that one of the hydrophones needed to be tied off, and watched as Rob meticulously secured the device extremely well and with great care, understanding that the site we selected periodically sees massive swell. We had to buy extra cable ties after he left, but it was worth it.

Rob uses his cable tie skills effectively for an ITC deployment off of Ahukini Jetty

Sam and Steve visited for a short time on Maui, but were lucky enough to be there to help us lug everything on moving day.  They also helped us create a new line of bagel shaped toppings to go onto bagel burgers. We were fortunate to dive the fantastic Nu’u bay with them. They were troopers when our 2WD van got stuck on the 4WD-only trail, moving gear out of the back to lighten the load and then helping to push the car out of the volcanic rubble it had buried itself in.

Team S- Sam, Steve, and Simon with a fully loaded car

Everyone hauled a LOT of our stuff in and out of the water, and helped once we were underwater.  We like to tease them, but having extra hands was invaluable.  It is a lot harder to get it all done without them!  The company wasn’t half bad either. Thanks to all you guys!

Mules moving gear over land
Mules moving gear underwater