Today we did a beach restoration service project and we went to the summit of Mauna Kea. At the service project, we started by cleaning up trash off the beach for around 30 minutes. This helps make sure that the trash can’t wash into the ocean and harm marine life. It is also good just because it helps make this beach much nicer and cleaner in general. During the cleanup, we saw a Monk Seal lying on the beach, which means we saw 2 of the 5 Monk Seals left near the big island chain. After that, we dug sand out of a pond that was washed in by tsunamis. The sand that we dug out of the pond we moved to the beach and used it in a sand castle competition. My team made the big island of Hawai’i which we outlined in black rocks and added the 5 sacred mountains and forests. Our team won the competition and as a prize I got a stuffed dolphin. At the Mauna Kea summit we were over 13,000 feet high. There were lots of massive observatories and they are currently trying to build a 30 meter telescope which would be the largest in the world. We also saw the sacred peak at Mauna Kea that the Natives believe is a portal to the gods. We looked through a telescope at stars and planets where we saw a star cluster, a glob cluster, Mars, and Saturn, including its rings and moons. I was most was excited to have our farewell dinner because I knew it would be a really good and fun meal together. I was also excited about having a day to rest and recover from all the hiking and diving that we did.
Link to info on the Mauna Kea observatories: https://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/mko/