Monday, January 30, 2012

Day 6 Big Island

Mauna Lani is where our condo is and where the wonderful snorkeling beach is.I love the leaves on the trees in the parking lot where we snorkel

Snorkeling beach, doesn't it call to you?

Don't you love to see Ted & Laela us a paddle board. Notice how much effort Ted is putting into the project. Nice hat on Laela.

(just kidding, these are just 2 people we don't know, we thought the guy had a wonderful life)

Laela getting ready to explore.... look at the lovely form.

Getting ready to snorkel.... Don't you love the masks on these three?

Ted & Heather exploring the deep. We saw so many fish....

Another snorkeling beach picture

In the afternoon we headed to Hapuna Beach state Park to enjoy some beautiful white sand and boogie board waves. Unfortunately the sun disappeared making it quite cool.

Watching the waves and trying to decide if the enticement of the waves out weighed the cool air and chilly water.

Bern & I decided to brave the water temp. When we got wet it actually felt quite warm because the air was so cool.

Thanks to Ted & Laela I am finally in a catching the wave picture. Bern agreed to join me in the smaller waves for this photo op.

Our Dinner drinks tonight. We had a passion fruit drink with a Japanese liquor. Guess what Ted and Bern drank????

Day 5 Big Island

Today was our official snorkeling day. We joined a tour company called "Dolphin Discoveries" and took a 4 hour tour. I am always a little apprehensive about rubber boats on the ocean, but this trip ended up being very enjoyable. We snorkeled at "Cooks Monument" and then at a place called "Place of Refuge". We then saw about 12 humpback whales breaking the surface. 4 truly happy sailors staring into the sun and anticipating our first plunge over the side.

Cooks Monument flanks the small piece of land that is the only British territory on the Islands. The coral in front of this area is pretty and fairly pristine. There is an amazing drop off from the coral ledge. We saw lots of different fish, however our snorkeling off the beach had yielded as many different fish. The water clarity in this area was quite remarkable.

This is a view to shore of the "Place of Refuge". I loved the story behind this location. Apparently in the old Hawaiian days, if you committed a crime (stood in the shadow of a chief, If a woman ate a banana in front of others, stole something etc). You would be punished (sometimes with death). If you could outrun the authorities to this small section of land, you would be safe. While on this land, a priest stationed here would decide how long you would have to do penance.

The snorkeling here was more unique than the cooks monument location. The coral looked different and we saw turtles, eels, parrot fish and many other marine bodies that I don't know the name of.

I don't have the ability to edit this photo here, but if we zoomed in you would see the back or dorsal fin of a hump back whale coming to the surface. 1000's of whales come to the Hawaaiian Islands to birth their calves, rest and mate prior to returning to the northern waters near Canada and Alaska. It was near impossible to get photos of these whales. Whenever I put my camera down, another whale hit the surface.

Walking to supper. Doesn't Laela look happy and cold? Very windy this evening which made a normally comfortable evening a little chilly.

Every evening Laela and I have been photographing our drinks. Tonights drink was a Grapefruit Basil Martini. Good concept but a little too Basily.

Ted & Bern decided they should photograph their drinks too!

We love their consistency in drink choices

Don't we look like we are having a good time????? Because we truly are. Every day I pinch myself and say What a lucky Woman I am.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 4 on Big Island

We got up early in the morning (at least early for Bern & I) and left for the other side of the Island at 6:30 am. We were heading to Hilo and the volcano's on that side.

What a beautiful and rugged shore line greeted us on the east side. Not as many beaches but way more lush. We are lucky to be there on a sunny day, which isn't guaranteed here.

This was at a view point on the east shore. There were a couple

families tenting here. I didn't envy the sleeping on the ground but I did envy the sound of the waves.

We stopped to see Akaka falls. It was lush and beautiful, but we

were a little disappointed. We thought we would be able to get

closer to the bottom.

The flowers and green growth around the falls were magnificent.

No idea of the name of this flower

Another view from higher on the mountain down to the

east coast just north of Hilo

Stopped for the best fresh smoothie made with guava, banana, pineapple and coconut (all fresh)!

The crater at Volcano national park.

It is spewing lots of steam and sulphur from the base of the crater. At this time there are no active flows on Big Island. The last lava flow stopped 4 weeks ago, but the underground pressure is still always present.

We decided to drive to the area where the latest lava flows have flowed into the ocean. From 2-10 pm you can walk to an area to view the solid lava and until a few weeks ago you might see actual lava.

The road we were driving on was cut off by a lava flow. We got to walk the last 1/4 of a mile by foot.

This lava flow quit moving about 20 years ago. The owner of this home, bought it sight unseen. Apparently there is no water/hydro at the site and only a very rough road. House sites on this flow can be purchased for about 2 grand if you are brave enough to build here. The most recent flow came past this home less than a 1/2 mile away. HMMM

I loved to see how the lava, in as little as 10 years, could be reclaimed by plants that thrive on the porous rock face.

The line and texture of this solid rock was amazing. Just imagine this rock as pitch black. My photo's don't do this justice.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 3 on Big Island

Where's Bernie?

We all thought that Bern's apparel was yelling for us to play where's Waldo in the colourful bougainvillea

The falls at our pool side with Laela's leis

We spent the day snorkeling and watching whales from the shore. We saw so many sea creatures but have no pictures to prove it as I don't have a water camera. I saw three sea turtles and hundred of colourful fish. I didn't see any nurse sharks which made me very happy.

This is a what the landscape looks like around our area, the Mauna Lani area. It is surrounded by black rocky earth that seems to be slowly breaking apart. It looks like a moon scape.

Notice how as you look at this photo you move from tufted grass to the black lava flow right to the ocean. This entire island was built by lava.

We drove to Kona and ate at the Kona Brewing company. We found it by accident, but what a great place to eat. We would recommend this to whoever gets to this island!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 2 on Big Island

Just to let you know, Ted and Leala have a blog too.... check their photos out, especially our day 2 accomodations and Laela's toes, love the silver. Here is the link to their blog:

Mom, can you let me know what kind of bird this is with the red head, black eyes, grey/white chest and dark grey back.

This looks like a a small cardinal... but not sure. These birds were beside our back deck.

Don't you love the one hand on the hip pose while discussing cars.....

We saw some sea turtles on our morning walk to the ocean. 2 turtles were playing in the water at our feet. The water was so clear we could see the fish playing in the water without even having snorkels on.

Dawn on Big Island. Ted snapped this one from just outside of our front door, much earlier than Bern and I were up in the morning.

Our living room in our condo.

our kitchen for this week

Our pool at our complex. It is so big and I was one of the only people who swam this whole afternoon. I love this shot below that Laela took.