The engine, prop shaft, and propeller of the SS Kauai, an old wooden steamship, that sank in 1913. Now it’s home to a variety of fish and is a moderately popular dive site.
On a walk at Kiholo, I noticed a bit of a ripe smell in the air. When I got to the top end of the lagoon I found the reason for it. The shoreline was littered with clumps of these dead fish. There must have been several hundred of them all told. I don’t know the reason for the stranding, but the scene reminded me of images of fish markets or still life paintings.
There aren’t a lot of houses around Kiholo Bay, but those that are range from older, rustic shacks to palatial millionaires’ compounds. This building is solidly in the rustic end of the range.
When I moved to Hawaii, this building looked pretty much like this. The only difference was that Sonny’s Place, a restaurant, was a going concern. Not that I ever saw anyone going in or out. Indeed, I never saw any activity there at all except for the occasional sighting of a cat in the window.
It’s not a going concern today, though I honestly don’t know when that change took place. One thing’s for certain, the transition made no difference to the appearance of the place.
Rampant tropical foliage can cover a multitude of sins, including abandoned vehicles. The cost of getting rid of an old vehicle is relatively high here, so many are abandoned. Some are left on the edge of the highway or, more often, on undeveloped private property alongside the highway.
If a vehicle is on private property, the owners have to be contacted first. Often they don’t respond because they’re big corporations or investment entities and an old car or two is not worth the bother.
Those on the highway can be posted and then cleared by the highway department, but even this is not a speedy process. Recently, a Prius, of all things, was parked by the highway a few miles south of Hawi. It looked in decent shape and I assumed it had broken down. However, it sat there for more than a week, untouched. After that, an official warning notice appeared on the window. Police post these to let the owner know their vehicle will be towed and disposed of, in theory at the owner’s expense. Another week or so passed. One day I saw a policeman by the car making some notes. A couple of days later, when I went by, I saw the windows had been smashed and a couple of wheels removed. The next day, more damage had been inflicted. It was a couple of days later that the now useless wreck was removed.
Another disposal option is to shove the vehicles into a gully and let nature do the rest. These three vehicles, and there were others down there, are on the owner’s property, so that’s some consolation.
Places and things that have seen better days are likely to be vandalized or tagged with graffiti. On the North Kohala coast, there’s an old fishing shack with a couple of derelict vehicles nearby. At some time in the fairly recent past, the scene has been accessorized with a paint job. I think Noak Dom is the name of the graffiti artist who painted these.
I hope this photo doesn’t ruin anyone’s breakfast, but I run it for a couple of reasons. First, a lot of people fish around the island and most of them don’t like eels. Snag an eel on your line and there’s not much to be done. The eel will wrap itself in knots and the only way to be rid of it is to cut the line. The person fishing could try removing the hook and releasing the eel, but even if they were so inclined, the feeling is, ‘why release an eel so that it can tie itself in knots next time you throw a line in?’
And that brings us to the other reason for running the photo, and which also explains another reason no one wants to remove that hook. Look at those teeth! Rows of them, front and back, side to side. Reach for that hook and chances are you’re going to get bitten. This is also why it’s not a good idea to mess with anything in the water. Even little fish that look harmless can have a powerful bite, or sharp spines, or some other nasty surprise.
Blue skies, blue ocean, and a smashed up abandoned car, not an unusual sight on the island, in part because it’s quite expensive to get rid of a car responsibly.