Journal Notes #4
COFFEE & more FISH
As our adventures continue, this report is about Kona Coffee, the only coffee produced in the U.S., and yet another fishing story - this time from shore.
The red section of the map to
the right indicates the major coffee growing
region of Hawaii. You can see that Captain Cook
is right in the middle. Our 1,500' elevation and
to the water makes for an ideal sub-tropical climate. The
plants seem to thrive in the black lava. The beautiful ropes of fragrant coffee
blossoms are referred to as Kona Snow.
All along route 11 there are signs quoting the price currently paid for "cherry" (the coffee berries in their red state) and "parchment" (beans that have been fermented and the parchment like covering removed).
People with coffee plants have all the DIY options of picking, grading , fermenting, roasting, packaging and even marketing. Most choose to work with the large co-op or one of the smaller coffee mills who will provide any or all of the services.
Most of the mills and the co-op have displays, small museums and shops where you can sample and buy the variety of products from coffee ice-cream to roasted coffee. The many tour busses find these places entertaining stops on their way down to "The City of Refuge". The Mac nuts reported on earlier are also produced by many of these mills - It's natural compliment.
These are 500 lb bags of Mac nut shells destine for composting. And, here, on the left, are small roasters at the co-op.
Fishing from Shore
For a change of pace, Dick suggested that we try some shore fishing at the small National Park next to the Marina, on the way to the airport. Betty and I are amazed that this gem is so secretly hidden - no signs or hints until you walk through the marina parking lot and emerge onto a long beach of soft coral sand and lava flows. The water is shallow and of course warm.
Within a short time from baiting our hooks, casting into the breakwater and attaching the bells to the sand mounted poles, there is action.
First , Dick notices one line is slack and upon investigation pulls in a beautiful 14" flounder - it seems identical to those in Maine. (Indeed last night we ate it and it was DELICIOUS !)
As Dick wandered down the sand
to check the far rod, I heard the bell ring on the near pole and look up
in time to see it jump from its mount and be dragged into the
I run, grab the pole and reel in a spirited fighting 7 lb
(Dick says 5)
We are not surprised to learn that Bonefish are loaded with bones. Dick says that the meat is soft and you roll a wine bottle back and forth over the fish then cut a slit near the tail and roll the soft meat out of the slit sans bones. This meat makes the best fishcakes. He tries to call a friend who is an expert at it and will do it "for halves" - she is on another island today . So we call Dick's daughter Pam, who loves bonefish raw - Dick lovingly calls her "the cannibal". She is elated and corrects her father that that Bonefish is "bigger than 'good sized' " !!
Our relaxing and entertaining stay here is entering the second half, and we still have so much more to do. And the daily views from Tim's web cam back in Whitefield tell us it is way too early to return to the North.
Return to Hawaii'05