This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Power of the Elements.’ See more responses here.
For the past couple of weeks or more, we’ve had a series of sizable WNW swells reaching the Big Island. What this has meant is lousy snorkeling conditions on the west side of the island and a surge in calling in sick to work amongst surfers.
The photos below show surf from one of these swells crashing ashore along the North Kohala coast. The first of these photos was taken from the parking lot of one of the parks there. In the bottom corner of this area is a metal boat hoist and concrete barriers blocking access to the corner of the lot, where it’s no longer safe to park. When big swells wash over the lot, these big concrete barriers get pushed around, such is the power or the surf.
The top photo is from a previous event of this kind several years ago, which dwarfed the recent swells. This particular swell not only washed over the entire parking lot, but also engulfed the boat hoist, swallowing it from sight. As the water receded, two portable toilets in a recess near the top of the lot, started sliding down the lot towards the water. Luckily, some people watching from nearby were able to corral them before they fell over or were washed into the bay. The boat hoist wasn’t as fortunate. After the waves subsided, it was discovered that these powerful waves had twisted the metal frame of the hoist, rendering it unsafe for use. It was several months before repairs made it usable again.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘White.’ See more responses here.
In the top photo, frothy surf barrels ashore at Upolu in North Kohala. Below that, a cattle egret surveys the scene in the middle of a water fountain. The third photo shows turbines at Hawi Wind Farm against a backdrop of snowy Mauna Kea. And the bottom photo features a bee collecting on a Maiapilo flower.
Pololu beach, at the northern end of the Big Island, is not a place for swimming, despite these people in the water. Strong rips can take an unwary person out to sea in a heartbeat. But it’s a good spot for a walk or just for viewing from Pololu Lookout, up above, at the end of the end of the highway.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Spring Green.’ See more responses here.
I’m not exactly sure what qualifies as spring green. I found a variety of values online, none of which matched anything in my archives. I went out and took photos, thinking I’d found a match. No dice.
In the end, I noticed these surfboard fins while walking at Kohanaiki Park and thought they made a cheerful scene, in the ballpark of the color I was looking for. Just beyond them was a surfboard under a tree that more or less matched the fins. And while there’s no spring green in the bottom photo, I thought it proper to show surfboards in action. These are only little waves, but there were plenty of surfers waiting to catch a ride.
This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Your Best Black & White Photos.’ See more responses here. Having posted only one black and white photo until recently, this is the second such post in a couple of weeks.
In the top photo, clouds swirl around Pu’u Ahumoa on the southwest slope of Mauna Kea. The second photo shows surf crashing against the same wharf seen in the previous post. Last, but by no means least, is a photo of a tide pool on the North Kohala coast.
Kiholo Bay sits midway between Kailua Kona and Kawaihae on the west side of the Big Island. There are two main access points to the bay. One is via a gravel road south of the Kiholo Scenic Overlook on the main highway. This road takes you down to Kiholo State Park Reserve where there’s a campground and access to the beaches. I usually go that way, but on my last visit I wanted to try the hike from the main road.
There’s an unmarked parking area north of the scenic overlook. From there it’s about a mile to the coast, along a dirt and gravel road. This passes through scrubby trees where it’s likely goats will be encountered. They’re abundant in this area. The private property alongside the road is well marked, as is the public trail through to the beach. This trail comes out near a funky building decorated with things the tide washed in.
I headed to the right, along the beach towards Wainanali’i lagoon. There are a couple of houses along here, a palm-circled pool, and usually a canoe or two under the trees. Beyond the houses, a small bridge traverses a channel which connects the ocean to Wainanali’i fish pond. This is believed to have been built by King Kamehameha I, as part of an extensive fish collection and farming operation in the bay.
A bit farther along, a blue Kiholo Bay Fisheries Management Area sign marks where the trail forks. To the right, inland, it follows the old King’s Trail to Keawaiki. To the left, it hugs the shoreline heading north alongside Wainanali’i lagoon (top photo). The trail is loosely marked with white coral and/or cairns, but it’s not vital to follow them. I stick to the shoreline.
The lagoon is the remnant of a much larger fishpond, which was around 2 miles across and protected by a 20-foot wide lava rock wall. Much of it was destroyed by a lava flow from Mauna Loa’s 1859 eruption. Today, the lagoon is a prime area for seeing green turtles. They haul out on a rocky island marking the mouth of the lagoon and on the spit that separates it from the ocean. This is where they rest so it’s important not to get too close and disturb them. I also usually see turtles in the water. They putter along the edge in blue-green water, which can give them a wavy appearance. Small fish are abundant here and are often seen.
Once at the head of the lagoon I watched humpback whales splashing and slapping offshore. It’s possible to walk down the spit (not disturbing the turtles), and if it’s calm you can wade or swim across the lagoon entrance back to the trail. Following the coast northwards will take you to Keawaiki, but I retraced my steps until I got back to where I first reached the coast. Then I carried on along the beach.
The waves were rolling in, good news for surfers. The beach here is sandy and vegetation borders it. If the tide’s in a bit of paddling is required. On the other side of this, some private houses border the beach including the Bali House and a sprawling, yellow structure.
Farther along, behind the beach, is Keanalele waterhole, also known as Queen’s Bath. This is a collapsed lava tube, filled with a mix of freshwater and saltwater, where it’s possible to take a dip in the manor of Hawaiian royalty of yesteryear. The parking area for Kiholo State Park Reserve, back in the trees, is followed by the Loretta Lynn house and the campground.
Here, along with several places along the walk, a fair number of birds can be seen including black-crowned night herons, wandering tattlers, Pacific golden plovers, yellow-billed cardinals, and northern mockingbirds.
The southern end of the park is marked by Waia’elepi anchialine pool. Anchialine pools form in volcanic rock and are connected underground to the ocean. The water is brackish, but the pools can be home to a wide variety of species. I saw goats drinking here as well as a variety of birds and insects flying about.
From there, I headed back to the car on the gravel road which parallels the coast and connects to the trail I came down on. My walk was about 5 or 6 miles, but I took more than 4 hours to cover that distance since I do tend to stop a lot!
For more walks worldwide, see Jo’s Monday Walks. Also posted in response to the current Friendly Friday challenge theme of ‘On The Way.’ See more responses here.
I was going to run photos from my archives for this post, but then last Sunday saw a large northwest swell hit the islands. This is the time of year for such conditions, which generate huge waves on the north coasts of Oahu, Maui, and Kauai, and draw big wave surfers from around the world.
The other Hawaiian islands shelter the Big Island from most of these swells, but if their direction is more northerly or westerly, then we get our share of good-sized waves crashing ashore. Sunday was one such day.
These photos were taken along the North Kohala shore at Upolu. I went down onto the rocks to get some eye-level photos and had to scramble a couple of times when I saw outsize swells rolling in. In the bottom right square is a feature I call Guard Dog Rock because of its profile. On this occasion it could be called Lifeguard Dog Rock, but you’re still on your own if you go in the water.
Posted in response to Becky’s January Squares challenge theme of ‘Up.’ See more responses here.