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OT from HAYN

Discussion in 'Open Discussion (Work-safe)' started by hawaiianbuckeye, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. hawaiianbuckeye

    hawaiianbuckeye Where's YOUR Gold Pants?

    This is my story (email) from 2-22-05...HAYN

    Holy Shit! Today was the craziest day ever! I have to say it is in my top 3 for Adrenaline Rushes throughout my lifetime. I'll have to call some of you guys about this one b/c I can in NO WAY type it all here. Even telling you over the phone will not be good enough.
    Basically, as most of you know I am working on a whale research project here on Maui which is involved with National Geographic. The purpose is to place "crittercams" on the back of humpback whales to see what is going on underwater when a diver just isn't adequate enough to capture everything. There are human limitations but "crittercam" overcomes all of these. I've been here almost a month now and it's been one hell of a ride. If this is the first time I've told you about this I am sorry for not keeping you up to date but today was a monumental day which I feel I must share with as many people as I can. So without giving anymore intro's I will try to keep this short, but doubt it will be. Nat Geo will eventually put a movie together on all of what we've done with crittercam since this is the first time it's been done on Humpbacks in Hawai'ian waters.

    Ok so we were trying to deploy crittercam and I was on the pole today (an 14-16 ft pole with a camera mounted on the end with a suction cup to attach to the whales body (this is a very hard thing to accomplish, but we've done it. Anyway, we found a pod (group of whales) today that looked like 8-10 as we approached but soon found out we were wrong. I started to get my gear on and strap myself into the bow of the boat (front) as we got closer. We then got out the pole with the camera and proceeded to track the pod and try to identify individual whales (basically which were the lead males following the lone female). It was almost immediately after this that we new we were onto something much more intense than what we had seen so far. So I'm standing on the bow of the boat (as you may have seen in the pictures) and the water is so clear and glassy today that you could see down to at least 60ft. We realized that this pod was more like 15+ animals as they surfaced and we worked our way in slowly to the towards the front and all the while I am scanning in front of me and off to the side tracking the whales. It was at this moment I looked over the side of the boat, down in front of me and out past the whale closest to us (10ft) I was FUCKIN FLOORED! I could see all the whales at or near the surface BUT below them at least another 10 (all at different depths) There must have been 20-30 whales all around us!!! It was so FUCKIN INSANE!!! I could clearly see every frickin whale within in my sight(up to 60+ feet deep!)...words can't express what we had just come upon. And then when they started surfacing it was even more INSANE! We were in the middle of WHALE SOUP! My heart started pumping and I was so damn jacked up with excitement and amazement! I had to try and focus on the task (placeing a camera on one of these guys) and not get caught up in all this but it was hard! I wish I had a video camera attached to my head!!! So as we make a few attmepts at these guys (we're literally within 2-10 ft of these behemouths!!!) a few times a whale was about to commit to taking a breath but wouldn't, he just stayed about 4-10ft underwater and would dive or veer off. I could see him staring right at me with the pole and camera. We looked right into each others eyes, it was AMAZING!!! Like I said, words will never do this justice and I'll never be able to express it the way it happened, I have to store it in my memory bank until the day I die, b/c it's one I DON'T want to forget! So without wasting anymore of anyone's time, I will say we got a camera on. Not once, but TWICE! The didnt' stay on as long as we would have liked but what we go is quite awesome! The videos came out spectacular and with some intriguing footage that NOBODY in the world has ever seen. One of the cameras was a bit damaged do to the competitiveness interactions the males were having. These cameras were rear-facing so we attempted to put them on animals at the front near the female, which we did. In the one video you can see what looks like a "school" of whales the jocking for position with some "battles" going on below the surface. We expected to see how the camera came off and suspected it was do to a "blow" received by the whale "wearing" the camera. It was captured on video quite nicely and brought out some pretty loud "oohs and aaahs" as we watched it...and that was the end of that camera deployment. The first camera didn't have as much action but was very interesting and has the Dr's here trying to figure somethings out. I will not wast time describing what happened, may be Nat Geo will include it in the film. Anyway, I wanted to write this when it was still fresh in my mind (hence the expletives, but that's what was going through my mind when I witnessed all this going on) before I lost all the emotional high which accompanied today's experience. Hopefully, our other boat behind us (which my mom was on) got some good pictures of us in the middle of the pod. lf you don't hear the story from me, ask my mom sometime about it...I am sure she will have a different but just as thrilling version to a day that we both will never ever forget!

    Aloha to all,


    PS pass this along to anyone that you know, who I know that may not be on this first email of mine...I will be forwarding this to others as the names come to me, so please forgive me in advance if I resend it to you. Once the pictures come, I will send those too!

    Click here for ALL my photos and those of me in action taken by others:
    MililaniBuckeye likes this.
  2. OilerBuck

    OilerBuck Sweet Crude

    Sounds like a sweet trip, Scott. The pictures were spectacular! It takes a special talent to pull those off...I couldn't take a decent picture of a rock. You are truly one of the lucky to have a job that you enjoy doing and get such a rush out of.

    Good luck with National Geographic...sounds like you are really hitting it big.
  3. BuckeyeInTheBoro

    BuckeyeInTheBoro This space left intentionally blank

    Oh yeah!?! Well yesterday I went into the office and sat in my cubicle in front of a computer all day! :(

    Seriously, that's a fantastic experience/memory. I look forward to seeing more pics, etc. as you get them. Let us know when the Nat'l Geo thing comes out.
  4. Thump

    Thump Hating the environment since 1994

    Am I the only one that is wondering what in the hell HAYN stands for?
  5. OilerBuck

    OilerBuck Sweet Crude

    Ha-waii-an = HA - Y - N
  6. scooter1369

    scooter1369 Chief Toad Fart

    Absolutely phenomenal pics, HAYN. Most would be incredible desktops.

    I truly envy your gig, my friend.
  7. Thump

    Thump Hating the environment since 1994

    Thank you sir.

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