Tag Archives: Surfing

A walk around Kiholo Bay

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.

Catching a wave

This surfer made it look easy, but it’s not easy. It takes practice, lots of falling off, wiping out, and getting dragged across the sand. Practice or not, it’s the kind of activity that would have me in a body cast in no time.

Posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Kind.’ See more responses here. Also posted in response to this week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme of ‘Practice.’ See more responses here.

Surfing

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Alternative Version.’ See more responses here.

Surfing originated in Hawaii and is a quintessential Hawaiian activity. When the surf’s up, so is absenteeism at the workplace. For last week’s challenge, I posted a photo of surfers waiting for a wave.

This week, I’m posting photos of one of those surfers catching a wave. In the photos, the surfer cuts a curve down the face of a wave, zips along its base, and then climbs up the face again. At the top, he jumps off, no doubt to wait for the next wave he can catch.

And the alternative version? Wipeout! In the bottom photo an unoccupied surfboard heads to shore, still tethered to the ankle of the out-of-sight surfer who wiped out moments before.

Powerboat and surfers

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Balconies.’ See more responses here.

Not having any photos of balconies in the traditional sense, I thought I’d pop for a photo taken yesterday when I was down in Kailua Kona. Here, a powerboat heading north passes some surfers waiting for a wave.

The boat is taking people out to a dive, and like many of these kinds of boats this one has a couple of balconies (though they’re not called that in nautical language) where passengers can relax en route to the dive site.

Surfers

Surfers

SurferIn response to this week’s Sunday Stills challenge on the theme of ‘Water’ (more responses here) I thought I’d post something very Hawaiian. Most widely-seen surfing images feature a surfer cruising through a barrel of blue water or sliding down the face of a terrifyingly steep wave. But many people enjoy getting out on the water and having fun on whatever waves are available.

The Big Island isn’t known for its surfing spots in the same way as Maui and Oahu, but there are still plenty of surfing enthusiasts. Good, rideable surf often leads to an increase in people calling in sick to work.

These photos were taken at Honolii Beach Park north of Hilo, a popular surfing spot on the east side of the island and a good spot for kids to get to grips with the sport.

Big surf

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Big Surf

These photos are from the Kohala coast, which is somewhat screened from big Northwest swells by the other islands. I took them around the time of the 31st Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau big wave surf event at Waimea Bay on Oahu. Eddie Aikau was a legendary big wave surfer and lifeguard at Waimea Bay.

It’s the 31st year for the event, but only the ninth time it’s actually been held because the waves have to be big enough for it to ‘go.’ Apparently, the surf this year was the biggest ever. I watched on my computer, which is about as close to waves of that size that I’d want to get, unless I wanted to test just how comprehensive my health insurance is.

There’s a common expression that has emerged from this event. While discussing the dangerous size of the waves before the first Eddie contest, Mark Foo, a professional surfer said, “Eddie would go.” It’s a phrase that resonated and is now applied to many things in Hawaii.

For more information about Eddie Aikau and The Eddie event, go to quiksilver.com/surf/events/eddie-aikau/.

Big Surf