Haole's i ke Moana

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This year's cruise was an 11 day aboard RCI's Serenade of the Seas departing from Honolulu, Hawaii October 5, 2006. We actually set out on the 6th because Kauai was dropped due to some conflict issue (probably with NCL) so we got an extra day in Honolulu. The ports we did hit were Maui (Lahaina overnight), Hilo & Kona (Big island) and then we had 5 days on the open Pacific finally pulling into port at Ensenada on October 16, 2006.

Then the bus ride L to San Diego so we could catch the plane home. That turned out to be a nightmare for some. We were lucky I guess.

ALOHA HILO/KONA

                                            

We arrived in Hilo, Hawaii on Monday, 10/09. This being a cargo port we were able to dock here. Patti & I took a helicopter tour while the rest of the group went out the Volcano National Park to view it all at ground level.

The helicopter tour on Blue Hawaiian was totally awesome! It was our first time in a helicopter and it was actually a nice ride. Our pilot Ray Hodges was quite knowledgeable (although I'm sure most are) and his narration was fun and interesting. Seeing the lava for the first time was very cool! Makes you realize how amazing the earth is and how at it's mercy we are. The day was a little cloudy and "voggy" but it wasn't too bad. Ray picked holes to give us a view. We also viewed the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Plantation ringed by Norfolk pines to block the wind from ripping the shallow rooted nut shrubs. On our way back in he flew over the waterfalls east of Hilo. A beautiful sight even from the air. We decided to buy the DVD of our flight @ $25. We did see some stuff we missed but the DVD's quality was disappointing in both presentation and the quality of the "burn".

After the tour we went for a late breakfast at Ken's House of Pancakes recommended by our shuttle driver Shannon. He was right it was pretty good kind of like a Denny's or IHOP but with a Hawaiian flavor. I had a Spam Omelet, not bad. Sufficiently fed we headed out highway 11 toward Volcano. We made it there (such as it is) but it was getting late so we headed back down 11 and found Lava Trees State Park on highway 132. It's quite a different perspective on lava flows. The "trees" are formed when fast flowing lava runs into the wet trees. The flow drains away and leaves lava coated to the dying tree. The lava hardens and leaves what you see.

We heard the shopping and general tourist trap stuff was not much in downtown Hilo so we just headed back to the ship.

That night on our way around to Kona the captain stopped by the lava entering the water. It was an awesome sight! He got the ship about 1 cable (720 ft) from the shore and you could feel the heat and smell the sulphur. He pivoted the ship so everyone got a reasonably equal chance to view it. We were bummed the pictures didn't come out very good. Oh well we have our memories.

The Blue Hawaiian A-Star

Not as cool looking as the Eco-Stars with the enclosed tail rotor and custom seats for each passenger but it was a nice ride.

Our A-Star

Macadamia Nut Plantation

These cover a large portion of the Hilo area and Hawaii in general

Lava flow

The trees at the top right of the picture are slowly burning

Lava flow

Since it was a little cloudy we could see the lava

Lava flow

Lava fields

A'a (the rough stuff in the center) surrounded by Pohoehoe (the smooth silvery stuff).

Lava coastline

The ever increasing coastline

Pu'u O'o

The current active volcano

Pu'u O'o

New entry

This ocean entry began just 6 weeks prior to our visit

New entry

Waterfalls

Waterfalls

Shannon our shuttle driver

Kilauea Eastern Slope

While Patti and I were flying over the rest of the crew took it all in a ground level.

Pope/Wegmann photos

Lava Fields

 

 

Pope/Wegmann photos

Lava Fields

 

 

Pope/Wegmann photos

Kilauea View

 

 

Pope/Wegmann photos

Ted at the Firepit

 

 

Pope/Wegmann photos

Steve, Norma & Ted

 

 

Pope/Wegmann photos

Kilauea - East Rift Zone

Diagramming the magma/lava flow

Pope/Wegmann photos

Kilauea - East Rift Zone

Diagramming the magma/lava flow

Pope/Wegmann photos

Lava Arch

End of Chain of Craters Road

Pope/Wegmann photos

Lava Tree State Park

Lava Tree State Park

Lava Tree State Park

Tourist shot!

Lava Tree State Park

Lava Tree State Park

Curious George or Organ Grinder monkey?

Lava Tree State Park

Easter island lookalike

Lava Tree State Park

The lava trees were created when hot lava flows around a tree and cools. The tree burns away inside and leaves this "tree" looking post of lava.

Night glow

We viewed the lava entry at night going between Hilo and Kona. The Captain got the ship about 1000 ft offshore and it was quite a sight.

Night glow

The pictures don't even come close to the grand spectacle it was.

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We arrived in Kialuha-Kona, Hawaii on Tuesday, 10/10. This is a tender port. We had no real plan here so four of us just took a shuttle down to Kahaluu Beach Park. It's a state park and the snorkeling and variety of fish is great. There are many turtles here too.  It also has many amenities such as bathrooms, equipment rentals and food/drink. We read that it was usually very crowded but it wasn't bad this day. We ended up just wading instead of snorkeling. It is fairly shallow (2-6 feet) so you can walk out pretty far. We were getting a little waterlogged we headed over to the bar & grill and had something to eat and drink. We were told the shuttles run every half hour until the last shuttle at 3:00 so we headed over at 2:15. Don't know what happened to the 2:30 shuttle but the 3:00 one did show so we made it back in time.

Kona Coast

Kahaluu Beach

The blue building in the middle is St. Peter's Catholic Church also known as the Little Blue Church

Kahaluu Beach

Kahaluu Beach

Norma & Patti

trying out their water shoes

Bill, Norma & Steve

At Kahaluu Beach.

Why's that tiny naked man whispering in your ear Norma? :-O

Kona

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Shake it Hula-Kitty, shake it like a Polaroid picture!

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LINKS:

Big Island Revealed

  Hawai`i (Big Island) Map
     

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters

HILO

Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park

Ken's House of Pancakes Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Lava Tree State Monument
     
  KONA  
  Kahaluu Beach Park  

 

   

Click on the volcano to go to the shipboard pics Volcanic erruption - Click image to download.