Kilauea lava reaches the ocean – part 1

Kilauea lava pours into ocean as people watch from the cliffKilauea lava pours into the ocean
On July 9, I posted about a visit to see the latest lava flow (exotically named the 61g flow) from Kilauea Volcano’s Pu’u O’o vent. At that time the lava was less than three-quarters of a mile from the ocean and I figured I’d go back when it got closer to the emergency road (about a tenth of a mile inland) and the water.

That, of course, was the cue for forward progress to cease. The flow was still active, but mostly in breakouts to the side. Day after day the lava was noted as being about half a mile short of the water. I checked again on Sunday, still no change. Monday, I forgot to look. So naturally, Tuesday’s lava report, not seen until the late afternoon, reported that the lava had reached the ocean at 1:15 that morning. Scratch the idea of being present when that happened.

However, my wife and I really wanted to see the lava’s ocean entry from the water and it sounded as though at least one boat tour company, Lava Ocean Guided Tours, was already running trips. A phone call later, we were booked on the sunrise trip the next morning. Check-in time was 4 a.m.. Current time was 5:30 p.m.. Drive time to the launch place is three hours – it’s the far corner of the island. That left seven and a half hours for getting organized and, oh yes, sleep.

Today’s photos show we made it. At the top is the view from the sea, and people ashore perilously close to the flow. Second photo is a frontal view. Below, the morning scene looking toward the sunrise. Tomorrow I’ll post more photos and details, but first, a good night’s sleep is in order.

For more information about Kilauea Volcano and it current eruption, go to
For more information about boat trips to see the lava, go to

Kilauea lava pours into the ocean at sunrise

6 thoughts on “Kilauea lava reaches the ocean – part 1

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    1. Graham Post author

      Thanks. I wouldn’t have been out there, but it was great to see the flow and those other people being there gave it a sense of scale and drama. It is primal. The first time I visited Hawaii I was lucky enough to see a small flow just a few feet from where I was standing and there was something strange and wonderful watching rock glowing and moving, like something by Salvador Dali.

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