Residents of Hanalei Bay, Hawaii had a stressful 4th of July weekend, compliments of the U.S. Navy (probably). As many as 200 melon-headed whales, a deep water species, came as close as 100 feet to the beach. The locals eventually used a web of ropes and vines to herd them back out to sea -- a sort of reverse-hukilau, the traditional Hawaiian fishing technique of hauling nets to the beach.
And then ...
"Several hours after the Hanalei Bay episode began, locals learned that a six-ship Navy fleet 20 miles out to sea had begun a sonar exercise the morning that the melon-headed whales headed toward shore. Officials at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration said it is too early to conclusively link sonar to the near-stranding, but they said their top priority is to learn more about the Navy exercise."
Posted by Randy Olson at July 22, 2004 08:31 PM
"All the ama ama come a'swimmin' to me": the normal sort of Hukilau
that doesn't involve whales or the Navy.