A few highlights from Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument: 🐟
Tagging a 12’ tiger shark (would’ve been 14’ but tail was bit off) with a camera package and successfully retrieving it. 🦈
Drilling core samples in the old reef off East island with the geo team. 🏝
Getting to see a baby monk seal that was less than a day old with the placenta still attached to it. And watching the monk seal team help it. 🌊
Hand fishing for large ulua so they could put a tracker in it. 🐠
Seeing a species of acropora coral that only grows in French Frigate Shoals. 🐚
Participating in Hawaiian oli to start and end the day. 🐡
We had an amazing trip with an awesome crew of people. Everyone worked well together and worked hard to get their research done. Can’t wait to start sharing the photos and videos with everyone. For now I’m waiting for the room to stop rocking back and forth. #sealegs#pmnm#papahanaumokuakea#civilbeat#wildlifephotography
Today is the day! I’m off for two weeks on the MV Searcher. I’ll be accompanying an awesome group of scientists and ship crew as I document the trip and their research. I am incredibly grateful for another experience up in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. It is a special place and am humbled by it.
I’ve got a backpack of underwater gear, photo and video gear, personal items and two quarantined buckets with clothes and gear for two on-land trips.
We will be unplugged and off the grid during the entire two weeks. I have an inreach satellite phone for emergencies so I will check in with my family every once in a while, hopefully not for emergencies.
A hui hou!
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue! Here’s the haul of all the essentials minus the shark pole, computer, cords, backups, gear bags, etc. Thank you @nathaneaglecb @anthonyquintano @thejessterrell @civilbeat @saltnairstudios @clouds_and_coral for all the help. #photogear @canonusa @lacie_tech @dafinhi @gopro @djiglobal @ikelite @samsungmobile @leathermantools @pelicanprofessional @diveoceanic @tokina_global @rodemic @mycharge @delormegps
A little bts footage of my bird-loving husband @nathaneaglecb photographing Laysan Teal on Laysan Island in Papahanaumokuakea last year. This is the rarest duck in the world! I enjoyed watching the joy he got out of all the sea birds during our trip. It was contagious. ⠀
I’m obviously still sad he won’t be accompanying me on this next voyage. But seriously people, I don’t know how I lucked out. His support and encouragement drives me to reach way beyond any dreams I once limited myself to. He lets me be me times a thousand, which is scary for this world, but I’ve never felt more authentically me probably since I was a child. Elections are important so I guess it’s okay he has to stay home to cover politics, but the pressure is on to make the two weeks home worth it!⠀
With the news of the latest shooting at the #capitalgazette I have to give my appreciation to all the journalist in the world. Your commitment does not go unseen. It’s my greatest fear to lose my love to his line of work but I know that would never stop his dedication.
Sometimes I forget that we live on a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Sometimes I forget to take a moment and have quality time with my family even though there’s a million things to do. There will always be a million things to do.
Sometimes I forget to live in the moment and be grateful for everything I have now.
Sometimes I forget that it took me a long time and a lot of work to get here.
Sometimes I forget, but that’s why I write everything down.
Drone video by @clouds_and_coral
With @tangerland @reefeagle
“Not perfect things” is 🔑⠀
Perfectionism is paralyzing. ⠀
I’m excited for the things I will make on this upcoming trip to Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. And how the not perfect things will make my soul grow. But this is who I am called to be. ⠀
It’ll be a solo mission trying to do all the multi-media jobs at once. Last time @nathaneaglecb and I worked as a team, which we are great at. ⠀
We helped carry each other’s equipment, helped capture something that the other person might’ve missed, helped each other back up our memory cards and hard drives at the end of the day (as I fell asleep). But this time I won’t have him there. I’ll have to rely on my own planning, thoughts, questions, observations, skills, and energy. ⠀
At first I wouldn’t allow myself to even get excited about this trip because I felt bad that he wasn’t allowed to go because of polical coverage obligations. But he is an amazing person and partner and feels like for some reason, I was meant to do this trip without him. ⠀
Of course I rather him be there, but I am open to what the universe will bring during this trip. I can already feel the changes happening within me as I prepare for two weeks out on the field without being able to even talk something out with my teammate. It’s excitingly terrifying. ⠀
Our permit was approved to enter Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument! On June 30th we will depart on the Searcher vessel for two weeks, headed to French Frigate Shoals. My role will be to document as much as I can through videos, photos, 360, underwater and above, and bring it back to share with the public through @civilbeat . There will be two scientific reasearch teams. One will be studying shark and predatory migration and behavior (Carl Meyer) and the other will be measuring sea level rise and effects of climate change (Chip Fletcher). I will be posting photos from our trip last year as a count down, then I will be radio silent until I return. Looking forward to another exciting assignment.
First photo of me on Laysan by: @nathaneaglecb #papahanaumokuakea#pmnm
The ocean lifts me to the skies⠀
The salty breath on my face ⠀
The sun squinting in my eyes⠀
I float and drift into space ⠀
There is no need to hold on tight
Drain the weight out of my chest
Floating still with all my might ⠀
Fighting just to take a rest⠀
Rest for now and rest for then ⠀
It will never rest upon my chest again.⠀ .
Image and poem: @alanawanna as part of “Ocean Textures” series. ⠀
Freediving in Shark’s Cove is my fave. Laughing at my resting dive face without my snorkel. Also my new mask won’t stop fogging. Does anyone have any tips on defogging besides dishsoap, toothpaste and spit? My spit used to work like magic and I never had to use defogger or baby shampoo. #freediving
How many of you ever feel shitty about yourselves? I know I’m not the only one. I had a discussion about this with some very supportive business women and wanted to share a personal story about this photo.
We bought a house last year and it was my first time getting ready in our new home. I took my time doing my makeup and curled my hair with the portable air conditioner blasting on me because our house is damn hot! I put on my new dress and I felt great! I felt so good I asked my husband to take a few pictures of me in front of our plumeria tree.⠀
When I looked at those photos I didn’t see the beauty I felt while looking in the mirror. I thought I looked fat, uncomfortable, I hated the angle of my face, the shadows were harsh. I picked apart all the pics and even got mad at my husband for them. I told him he didn’t see me as a beautiful person and he didn’t care. I blamed him for my insecurities. ⠀
Of course my husband tried to talk me out of my moment of self-destruction with caring compliments and reassurance that he does actually think I’m beautiful, amazing, the best wife ever, a badass, intelligent. Okay, I’m over-exaggerating but he’s said those thing but not all at that one time. ⠀
The other day I had to look for a headshot and I came across this set of photos and to my surprise I actually liked two of them. How could this be? How delusional was I when I first looked at them? All I can say is that we are all too hard on ourselves. We constantly try to be something we aren’t and too often say, “one day.” #YouAreEnough and you are #beautiful just the way you are now! Quit being so hard on yourself because those standards are society’s pressures making you feel like shit. Stop letting your body stop you from doing that thing you want to do! #bodypositive
One of the best lessons we learned in our freediving class is how to breathe. Breathe ups slow your heart rate down so you can hold your breath longer. Now I use breathe ups when I get upset or anxious to release that stress and it works like a charm. ⠀
Breathe in through your mouth for two seconds. ⠀
Pause for two seconds. ⠀
Slowly release from your mouth for ten seconds. ⠀
Repeat until you feel calm. ⠀
This can be interpreted in many ways. I love this reminder because too often we compare ourselves to others, especially on social media. ⠀
I love IG as a platform to share and be inspired but I used to compare my work to the best people and decrease my own confidence and value. I thought I wasn’t good enough to call myself a “professional” anything. ⠀
We look for approval in the strangest places. But we don’t need approval from anyone but ourselves and our values. You are worth so much more than you can imagine because there is only one person who can do what you do!
There are four honu in this picture! There were actually about seven or eight eating algae off the coral in this shallow area but they didn’t all fit it in the shot. It was like a hidden turtle cafeteria.
I took my cousin @snapcracklekat snorkeling at Shark’s Cove yesterday. The water was crisp and calm so I was able to swim above the reef shelf in areas that are usually too rough to be in. Once in a while the water receded and left me stranded on the reef.⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀
A few of these green sea turtles were really young looking and more curious. The older ones stayed back more tucked into shallow packets. There have been times where I haven’t seen a honu while snorkeling so it’s nice to see this healthy population.⠀⠀⠀
Feeling #grateful for the beautiful day spent with family. I love visitors because it gets us out to places we love that we don’t get to enough.
I’m getting back in adventure mode, prepping for my next trip to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands at the end of June. Here’s a photo from my previous trip. I look hilarious but I’m in my element. ⠀
That is a hat my dad would wear. There were no trees on Laysan, meaning no shade anywhere. Laysan Island is a quarantine island meaning all of our clothing, shoes, and anything soft had to be purchased new and frozen for at least 48 hours. Then it was sealed in a 5-gallon bucket which we didn’t open until right before we got on the island. ⠀
This process prevents any hitchhiking invasive species of plants or animals from catching a ride on us and disturbing the biodiversity on this island. Before human immigration it is estimated that a new invasive species would be introduced to hawaii about one every million years, now it’s about 12 a year. 📷: @nathaneaglecb
Happy World Oceans Day. The ocean is precious and fragile. There are layers upon layers of fascinating ecosystems that live beneath the surface. I will live the rest of my life fighting to protect it, help keep it clean, and explore it as much as I can. For those who are unfamiliar with the ocean, please keep in mind that your actions also have an impact on the ocean because everything is connected. Thank you @oceanelyse for this photo of me. Taken while we were both on assignment at coconut island to photograph coral sex. Story on @civilbeat by reporter @nathaneaglecb #worldoceansday#womenphotographers#coral#underwaterphotography
"If I'm an advocate for anything, it's to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food." -Anthony Bourdain 🧀
Another devastating loss today to suicide. I looked up to Anthony Bourdain as a host and traveler. He tried hard to be culturally sensitive as he explored every corner of the world. Sometimes he drank too much, but he was authentic and generous to the people he encountered and his audience. 🍺
One of my favorite episodes was when he was in Italy diving for octopus and realized they were throwing in frozen octopus because the area was overfished and didn’t have any they could find. He was pissed! He called them out. But he communicated, found out about their problems, and still ate a meal. 🐙
Thank you for sharing your talent, energy, and adventures with the world. #anthonybourdain Photo from his episode in Hawaii. 🌶
How to get help: In the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Mental Health issues are nothing to be ashamed of and are growing at a rapid rate in the U.S. You are not alone.
If you need this, it is for you. ⠀
Do you ever get analysis paralysis? I’m always stuck. Sometimes I create. Mostly I am planning big things. But usually I am stuck. ⠀
But being stuck is the challenge that inspires me to create more. To find a way to express myself in newer and braver ways. But dang it is hard not to over analyze each step.⠀
When I’m not creating something, the energy is stagnant and depression takes over. It took a while for me to learn this about myself. We are all here to create something in this world. Go out and make that art. You don’t have to be an “artist” to create something. Just let that creation out in the form it wants to release in. Otherwise it’ll harden up deep within and hold you down like a heavy weight. ⠀
Thank you @cathyheller for the push to keep going. “With action comes clarity.”