Hawaii Day 5


Today we went to NELHA and learned about the energy efficient buildings and innovative fish farms. After this we went on the black water dive which was one of the coolest experiences of my life. At NELHA there are a series of energy efficient building that have a special cooling technology to produce fresh water and cool a building without air conditioning. The design of the building features a copper roof with an air channeling gap under it that leads to big pipes. The copper absorbs a large amount of heat and then the gap pushes the hot air out through the pipes. Then with the access to deep sea water, the building channels the water into tiny little pipes under the building. These pipes are located in a compartment of space 4 feet tall. The sea water is so cold it cools this compartment under the building therefore cooling the building. Around these tiny pipes condensation of fresh water occurs converting the surrounding air into water. This is then collected and used as fresh water. The building collects about 65 gallons of fresh water a day from this phenomenon.

Then we went black water diving which was my favorite part of the trip. We headed out at 9:00 to the open deep sea water. In Hawaii there is no continental barrier so the drop off from shallow water to deep water is one of the sharpest in the world. We went out 3 miles from the shore and the depth was around 6,000 feet. We were tethered to the boat on 45 foot ropes that hung over the deep darkness of the ocean. I was able to witness the largest migration ever. This was the sea creatures rising from the depths to feed. Every single organism was different and I have never seen any of them before. They were mainly clear with lighting around there bodies mainly to defend themselves. A cool thing we learned was that if someone got sea sick on the boat and threw up into the water the vomit would actually chum the water attracting sharks in a seven mile radius. The thing I’m most looking forward to from this point on is the drive up to Mauna Kea.

Fish farm algae growth being trucked off.