Hawaii '05
Journal notes #8


Who is this engaging man holding this giant lobster, and what is he doing on this Kona coast near the airport with tens of thousands of our Maine lobsters ?

Why, he is Joe Wilson who supplies these Islands with our famous Maine critters. We ran into him while we waited for Dick
( to show us where to capture the tiny shrimp for the grandchildren's seaquariums .)

There were scores of white boxes marked Maine Lobsters (just off the jetliners up the road)  being emptied into REALLY HUGE tanks of REALLY FRIGID Pacific water pumped up from thousands of feet below. The handler explained as he nudged a mound of newly emptied cold lobsters with his rubber boot, that they just have "culture shock", being introduced into the Hawaiian waters.

After an animated and enlightening conservation with Joe, we realize that we have encountered a businessman who knows more about our Maine's lobster fishery and the economics of our seafood industry than most Mainers who are in the business. He told stories of how he worked to convince the Maine fishery (lobstery?) in the 1970's that their current practices would guarantee their demise. Increasing the size limit, restricting the catch of female lobsters and forbidding the stripping of eggs were the remedies that he promoted to save the Maine Lobster fishery.

There were more tales - about his role in providing a R&R for lobsters enroot to the Orient and how he maneuvers to guarantee that he will have the thousands of lobsters for the holidays when the Maine waters will be to stormy to fish. This is a fantastic story in itself.

We after many trips to Volcano National Park decide to actually make the 30 mile trip down to see the lava flow into the ocean. Here Betty sits on the (cold) lava flow where it last ended and forced the closing of the road. On the right is the sight I saw after walking a couple of miles over the lava fields - here the new red hot lava met the sea and produced huge clouds of hydrochloric acid laced steam. The sting to the eyes and lungs was memorable but less than the sight of molten rock forming new Hawaiian real estate.

On E-Bay, I recently discovered a vintage postcard illustrating an interesting bit of touristoastianna (if I may invent a word.). Pictured are tourist toasting or otherwise browning the edges of postcards in the volcanic vent cracks to be sent home as proof of the heat. Click on the image to see an enlargement.


This sign warning of the fragile nature of this new land is well heeded. Swimming with the dolphins is one thing, swimming with red hot lava is another....

The warning on the right was found posted at a technical school on the shore by the Hawaiian Energy Center near the airport. Being in the middle of the Pacific on a island like paradise has its hazards.


Three years ago when we were here our friends the Dyer's and we hiked down into this fantastic valley on the North Kohala Coast. (click here for pictures).
This year, we decided to forgo the hike, call the Dyers on the cell phone and reminisce the views in real time and then settle for this picture.



On our return ride thru the beautiful hills of Kohala to Waimea we were treated to some rare clear weather sights of Mauna Kea and 7 of its observatories basking in the clean Pacific air at the top of the world. This is a sight that never fails to thrill us.


We end this journal with a picture of our friends, Barb and Dick Choy cooking and preparing for yet another of their grand picnics at the City Of Refuge park on the historic Honaunau Bay.

For years now, these events have been a part of the memories of scores of happy visitors from all over the world, who have had the privilege of enjoying the Choy's hospitality .

It is always with sadness that we have to leave them and their paradise.

Thank you !


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