I spotted this scene a while back when I was down at Kawaihae. This is one of the inter-island barges entering the harbor. Often when this happens, a smaller local tug will go out to help with the business of getting the barge safely into port and alongside the jetty.
The helicopter was something I hadn’t seen before. At first, I thought it was just passing by, but then I saw it circling. Even though I couldn’t make it out, I suspect there was a photographer on board, taking photos or shooting video on behalf of the port or the company that ships freight between the islands.
This is the second of my little series of rainbow colors in response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Bright.’ (See more responses here.)
In the top photo, a rainbow arcs over the port of Kawaihae.
Below that are orange flags available for waving while crossing the street. I haven’t yet felt the need to use them, still being able to leap out of the way of drivers focused on their phones! Actually, drivers here are pretty good about stopping for people to cross the street. I’m more surprised by how many people will just step out into traffic 20 feet up from the crosswalk. Then they look aggrieved if you fail to stop instantaneously.
The bottom photo shows the lovely flower of the kou tree (Cordia subcordata). Kou is indigenous to Hawaii but is also a canoe plant, brought here by Polynesian settlers. It likes the sun and grows along the coast.
This is the sign at the landward end of the breakwater that protects Kawaihae harbor. The breakwater is just over half a mile long and, as you’d expect, people rigorously respect the warning to stay off this dangerous structure. Just kidding. We’re talking people here. They fish from the structure on a regular basis and, as far as I can tell, nobody seems too bothered about that. This is an early morning view.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Your 2020 Retrospective.’ See more responses here. Also posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.
In this retrospective I’ve focused on events and photos that were uplifting for me during the difficult year that was. Most of these photos haven’t run before, but were taken at the same time as those in posts that ran in 2020. Links to the original posts are at the end of the captions.
One day, when the wind was howling, I watched this tug trying to bring its barge in to Kawaihae harbor. Trouble was, the wind was blowing across the entrance channel. As it came in, the tug had to slow down, leaving the slab-sided barge even more prone to the effects of the wind.
In the top photo, the tug needs to leave the green buoy on its port (left) side, which it’s doing. Problem is, the wind is blowing from that direction, so the tug is already too far over. Also, it’s easy to see how the barge is no longer directly behind the tug, but has been pushed farther over by the wind.
In the middle photo, the tug has to leave the red buoy on its starboard (right) side, but it’s obviously too late for that. The tug captain knows he has no shot and, in the bottom photo, turns into the wind before heading out into open water.
I watched the tug try this maneuver several times without success. Next morning, on my way to work, I saw the tug and barge still out in the bay. It wasn’t until later that morning that it finally gained entrance to the harbor and tied up safely alongside the jetty.
Photographers are encouraged to take advantage of the golden hour shortly after sunrise or shortly before sunset, when the light is soft and golden. Photos taken here during the golden hour showcase the wonders of Hawaii’s beaches, volcanoes, and wildlife.
Taking that as my cue, I feature one of the wonders of Hawaii in these photos. No, it’s not concrete lamp bases, which can be found in most, if not all, states. Nor is it the golden hour. But only in Hawaii can you find a concrete lamp base like this one. It’s a sunny day. Those rectangular shadows are from the lights at the top of the lamp pole. But where’s the shadow of the concrete base? There isn’t one, because these photos were taken at Lāhainā Noon.
Lāhainā Noon, a name thought up by the good folks at the Bishop Museum, occurs when the sun is directly overhead on its apparent passage north and then south again, before and after the summer solstice. This phenomenon occurs in places located between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. Hawaii is the only U.S. state in tropics and so is the only place in the country to see this.
The timing of Lāhainā Noon varies from place to place, depending on latitude. It occurs twice a year, the first time in May as the sun appears to head north, and then again in July as it dips south again. These photos were taken yesterday in Kawaihae, but where I live in Hawi, Lāhainā Noon occurred two days ago. The last place on the island to experience it will be South Point, the most southerly point in the U.S.A, on July 27.
The bottom photo shows the Sky Gate sculpture in Honolulu. This sculpture, designed by Isamu Noguchi, casts a wavy shadow most of the time, but twice a year, at Lāhainā Noon, the shadow is perfectly round. The sculpture wasn’t particularly well-received initially, but now people visit from all over the world (when that’s possible) to see it do its thing.
I saw this Hawaii County Fire Department Search and Rescue helicopter flying over Mau’umae Beach, just south of Kawaihae. I think it was just on a training exercise, but we have had a run of missing fishermen and free divers so it might have been associated with one of those searches.
The body of one fisherman was located submerged along the coast, but no trace of the others has been found yet, to my knowledge. The standard practice on the Big Island is to search for three days. If nothing is found by the end of that time, then they call it off.
There are strong currents around the island and if a swimmer or fisherman is injured in the water, it’s easy for them to be swept out to sea, where the chances of finding them diminish rapidly. Sad as it is when a body is recovered, it’s almost harder when nothing is found and there is no sense of closure for families and friends.