This blog chronicles class seminars in South Dakota, out of state, or out of the country, as well as alumni travel trips.
Thursday, January 8, 2015
Day to play
Wednesday was a day to fly from Oahu to the Big Island. Before resuming our tour, the group relaxed a bit. Some of our group headed out to golf, others rented a car and drove around. Time on the beach was enjoyed. Sea turles were seen sunning themselves on the beach.
While enjoying the time in the sun, here is some info on the beaches: Parrotfishes, or uhu in Hawaiian, are key players in regulating algae and reef life. Their parrot-like beaks and fused-together teeth are used for scraping and biting dead coral, while additional teeth in their throats help to break it all down into sand. Snorkelers can actually hear them chomping or see the bite marks they leave on rocks.
Because parrotfishes don’t have stomachs, their meals pass straight through the long intestine, exploding in a cloud of sand out the backdoor. Larger parrotfish are like sand factories, producing as much as 840 pounds of sand per year. For Oahu’s snorkeling hot spot, Hanauma Bay (where a few hundred parrotfish graze), that means hundreds of tons of fish-made sand per year.
We also walked next to a field that was lava a couple of hundred years ago.
For some, the day ended with a luau on the beach with a fantastic fire show and others enjoyed Three Fat Pigs.