This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Summer.’ See more responses here. Seemed like a beach-related theme worked for this. And at the beach…
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Beautiful Beaches.’ See more responses here. Obviously, this was a tricky challenge for me, but I have managed to come up with a few photos!
The top photo shows Green Sand Beach. It’s official name is Papakōlea Beach and the color of the beach is due to an abundance of olivine from the old volcanic cinder cone that borders the beach.
Next we have two black sand beaches. The best known black sand beach on the island is Punaluʻu Beach, which is often referred to simply as Black Sand Beach. However, there are several others. The first of these is Pololu Beach here in North Kohala. The black sand is a result of the breakdown of black lava into smaller pieces. Over time, the grains become as fine as those on white sand beaches.
Pohoiki Beach is the newest such beach on the island, formed by the eruption of 2018. The grains are still a bit coarse, but it’s mind boggling to think that before that eruption, there was basically no beach here at all. Now, as the photo shows, it’s extensive.
Finally, some white sand beaches. Anaeho’omalu Bay Beach, at the south end of Waikoloa Beach Resort, is a curve of sand dotted with palms, a quintessential tropical beach.
Hapuna Beach, farther north, is a regular on lists of best beaches in the U.S.A..
The beach at Spencer Beach Park is a current favorite of mine, a place I like to walk in the early morning before going to work. The sheltered waters, shade trees, and picnic areas make it a favorite with families.
Sunset at ʻAnaehoʻomalu Bay. I have no idea what made this splash in front of the setting sun. I don’t think there was anything out there to cause breaking waves. It could have been the wake of a boat, but I didn’t see one going by. One of life’s little mysteries.
Back in August of 2020 I posted some photos of a walk I did along ʻAnaehoʻomalu Bay beach (here). The top photo in this post was taken at that time. As you might remember, this was during the time the island, and all of Hawaii, was more or less shut down to visitors. Consequently, this popular beach was almost deserted.
Last week, I thought I’d revisit the scene and took a late afternoon walk along that stretch of coast. The bottom photo shows a scene from the same end of the beach as the top photo. It was actually less busy than I expected, but still considerably more than my previous visit.
Behind the beach at Anaeho’omalu Bay are two fishponds, Kahapapa and Ku’uali’i. These ponds are typical of the kind that form behind a beach, which protects them from the ocean waves. The ponds are connected to the ocean by this channel, which allows was to come and go with the tides. A sluice gate was used to prevent fish using the channel as an escape route.
Where natural ponds weren’t available, they were created by enclosing areas with rock walls. I featured one such fishpond here.
In Hawaiian history, fishponds were very important. In such an isolated community it was important to have reliable food supplies. The ponds provided this, supplementing fish caught in the ocean. Many ponds have disappeared due to development, volcanic activity, tsunami, and the like. But the ones that survive are a bit of living history, used now more for education than for food.
For more information about Hawaiian fishponds go here.
This hike is a 7 mile loop directly north of the Keawaiki to Kiholo loop hike that I posted about here and here. One could combine the two, but it would make for a long, hot walk, though with several opportunities to take a cooling dip. I chose to start the loop at its northern end, heading south on the inland lava field before it got too hot. The return, along the coast, is still over lava, but usually features a cooling sea breeze.
A Bay is officially known as ʻAnaehoʻomalu Bay, but most people find A Bay easier to pronounce. There’s bathrooms and showers at the beach here so I find it a good place to start and finish.
From the parking area, head inland to pick up the old King’s Trail which is marked by a sign, though it’s obvious without it. The King’s Trail heads south in a ramrod straight line. Eventually, this trail intersects with a dirt road headed toward a cluster of palm trees on the coast. Follow this road down to the Brown estate, which is surrounded with barbed-wire. The trail goes down the side of this fence to Keawaiki Bay and its lone palm tree.
Heading north again, the next bay is Pueo Bay and a small trail inland from this leads to the Golden Pools of Keawaiki. The color of these pools is due to a unique algae that grows here. There’s no swimming in these pools, but further up the coast, after passing Weliweli Point, another lone palm tree marks Akahu Kaimu Bay. Just inland from the palm is a large freshwater pool which is perfect for a cooling dip. When I visited, there was no one else there, or indeed within a mile of the spot.
Heading north along the coast again, the lava transitions to the kind of sandy beaches that Hawaii is renowned for. The southernmost beaches are usually sparsely populated or just plain empty. These beaches lead back to A Bay and its welcome facilities.
For more information about this, and other hikes on the Big Island, go to bigislandhikes.com. (This hike is listed as Keawaiki Bay to ʻAnaehoʻomalu Bay (A Bay), starting from the southern end.)