Day 2: Mauna Kea & NELHA


Today we started off the day by going to NELHA and learning about conservation and research efforts unique to Kona. One such example was the OTEC, use of cold deep water and surface water from the pelagic zone close to Kona’s shore to create energy using the re-boiling of ammonia through a closed system. By boiling the ammonia using the warm water and condensing it with the deep water in a closed system with a propeller, OTEC creates clean energy that could be a future replacement for fossil fuels. At the monk seal hospital we learned about the human impact on the monk seal population and how our activities have both depleted and restored their numbers. Humans are the reason they are endangered, but also the reason the monk seal population has been able to improve.

In the afternoon we went on a tour of Mauna Kea up to the summit. The tour guide explained how Mauna Kea is the biggest mountain, from base to summit, in the world. He also explained how the mountain and the Hawaiian islands were formed by a hotspot pushing magma through a moving tectonic plate on to the cooling ocean. The tour ended when we went to the summit and were given a star show, brownies, and hot chocolate.

I am looking forward to the two tank dive tomorrow because the only dives I have done are the ones required for open water certification.