Punalu’u is one of the more popular places to visit on the Big Island. For one thing, it’s a black sand beach that’s easily accessible. It’s also a great place to see Green Turtles and sometimes Hawksbill Turtles. There’s picnic tables and restrooms, you can camp there, and it’s a beautiful stretch of coastline to wander along.
On my most recent visit, I was happy to see that the area where the turtles tend to rest has been more obviously identified with a rock wall and signs. This is part of the ongoing efforts to deter the ‘Let’s get a picture of little Billy riding the turtle’ crowd. Oh yes, they exist and, sadly, they’re nowhere near as endangered as the turtles. There is one turtle in this photo, but it looks like a rock.
Here’s a closer look.
And a close up (with a zoom lens), getting some much needed rest.
I really like Punalu’u, especially early in the day as this was. Later on, it can get very crowded.
This bench, located on the shoreline just below the lighthouse between Mahukona and Lapakahi, is a memorial to Malcolm Davis. Malcolm was a North Kohala man who disappeared while freediving off this part of the coast in 2020. He was 20 years old and was never found.
It’s a lovely spot, with a view up and down the coast and across to Maui, a place to sit and watch the waves, a place for contemplation.
Not exactly a mine, but this was how early Hawaiian settlers got their salt. Suitably cupped rocks were filled with saltwater. The hot sun evaporated the water leaving behind salt crusts on the rocks. In this instance, the water in the bowls is probably rainwater, hence the lack of any salt residue.
These rocks were at Lapakahi State Historical Park, which contains the remains of an old Hawaiian fishing village.
The boat hoist at Mahukona has featured in a few of my posts, most notably here and here. Over the years, it’s taken a lot of punishment and that has finally caught up with it. When I went for a swim a couple of weeks ago, this was all that remained of it. I rather liked the jaunty hat on the piece at the left. When I went down there again a few days ago, the last of the metal had gone.
I’ve heard it might be replaced, but the wharf would probably need fixing first. Next door at the beach park – though there is no beach – the old pavilion is cordoned off awaiting demolition and replacement. That process started several years ago and the old building is still standing. Everything will happen in its own good Hawaii time!
This little sailboat is a modern rendition of a traditional Hawaiian style. The two hulls are common in various forms in Polynesian culture and the sailing rig features a Hawaiian Peʻa sail, otherwise known as a Crab Claw sail. These sails used to made from the woven leaves of Hala trees.
On this boat, the sail is made from a modern material and it’s speedy progress through the water wasn’t down the the light breeze, but rather an outboard motor, which is also not traditional!