Hello Friends and Family,

1981 - Hawa‘i, the Big Island, Part 3

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

You may have heard on the news that the Kilauea volcano has been erupting again — presented with some spectacular video of lava flowing and spouting. This photo shows Kilauea back in 1981 a couple of eruptions ago. It doesn't look like this now — every eruption changes its appearance.

When I first saw the caldera, the surface reminded me of that of a brownie after it cools --- cracks run everywhere. And between the cracks, it is a smooth undulating surface — yep, just like a brownie.

This shot really captures the heart of Kilauea with mounds of cooled lava but note the lines on the far wall showing how high the lava reached before Madame Pele, goddess of the volcano, turned off the spigot.

However, Madame Pele rarely sleeps — she continuously pushes steam through the porous rocks — so it looks like fires burning in the distance.

Close up — here is what the lava looks like. It is okay to touch it now but when it came out of the volcano it would have registered 570°F or more.

This is a cairn — just a pile of rocks. There is some dispute about the practice. Sometimes the Park Service will make one marking a trail. Tourists do it because they think it is cool. Some Hawaiians feel it is sacrilege if non-Hawaiians do it. I will go with the Hawaiians — it is their native land.

Some of the lava spewed forth by Kilauea will make it to the sea — where it naturally solidifies, then gets tossed about by the waves, breaking it into smaller and smaller pieces. The waves then push the smaller pieces back onto the shoreline — resulting in a black sand beach such as Punalu‘u.

On this particular day, there were some large waves crashing on the beach — discouraging anyone from swimming. Note that on calmer days, you might see a Green Sea Turtle pull itself up the beach to rest after a busy day eating seaweed. Note that it is illegal to get too close to them or to harass them in any way.

I borrowed someone's feet so you can see the size and texture of the black sand. It's pretty coarse but very black.

Eventually, the wave action diminished and folks moved closer to the water — but not in it. Lovely sight regardless.

Driving north from Kona, I found this gorgeous view. Wouldn't you love to have the megabucks of a Larry Elison (who bought the island of Lana‘i) to purchase a huge lot with this kind of view? Then think of the ways the architect could give you a glimpse of this view out of every room in the house. Now, where did I put that Lottery ticket?

A bit further is the Mauna Kea Resort — an expensive and exclusive place to enjoy your Big Island vacation. There are two premier golf courses here — one is the simply named Mauna Kea Golf Course, created in 1964 by Robert Trent Jones Sr. on what was once a barren black lava field, plus Hapuna designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay. I have played both and both are spectacular for any golfer who is not put off by the green fees. (They are currently $175 but both were cheaper when I played them.) Nice beach too.

Here is a closer look at the beach with palm trees and Royal Poinciana trees plus umbrellas to keep the sunburn down. Spectacular.

The beach is protected by lava barriers on either side of this little cove. It makes it perfect for swimming or even sailing a small boat.

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com