The Kilauea caldera, located in Volcano National Park, has traditionally been considered the sacred home of the volcano goddess Pele. Hawaiians would visit this area to offer gifts to this Goddess. In 1790 a group of Hawaiians visited this area with their gifts and were caught off guard with a sudden eruption. The foot prints of those Hawaiians can still be seen in the lava surrounding. Kilauea has been fairly active since 1790 and has been experiencing one of the longest volcano eruptions on earth, the latest one having begun in January 1983. While we did not view any lava flows, the steam vents throughout the park are plentiful. Our hike through the lava tunnel was impressive as well.
Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Park , located just south of Kailua Kona, is the site of the Royal grounds of past chiefs and also the pu'uhonua or place of refuge for those who violated kapu. In ancient times Hawaiians lived under some very strict laws known as kapu. Violating a kapu was most often punishable by death. One example of a kapu was one letting their shadow fall on the royal grounds. Some other examples include: men and women were not allowed to eat together; women were forbidden from eating certain foods; and among other things, sandal wood trees were not allowed to be cut down. If you violated a kapu, you could escape death if you were able to make it across the water to the pu'uhonua. Making it to the pu'uhonua, you would be absolved of your crime in a ceremony and could return home. This system was respected by all. This system was the law of the land until 1819 when Kamehameha II abolished these religious practices. The grounds include various ki'i (wooden statues that guard the royal grounds and temple), as well as ancient walls that surrounded the royal grounds and animal enclosures of the settlement.
Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park, located in the Northwestern portion of the island has preserved the ancient Ai'opio (fish trap) and Kaloko, fish pond. The constructed fish ponds were an area to cultivate algea and also contain certain fish. The porous nature of the lava rock would allow sea water to flow in and out, yet contain the various fish, that would later be food for the people.
Puako Petroglyphs is home to Hawaii's second largest location of petroglyphs. More than 3,000 images in stone have been identified at this site. The true meaning of the images found are unknown, they are thought to be a record of significant events in the lives of ancient Hawaiians. Here we hiked the 3 mile round trip to get to where over 1,200 petroglyphs are located in one large area.
Pu'ukohola Heiau National Historic Site is located on the Northwestern end of the Island. At this location preserved are the ruins of the last ancient Hawaiian temple. It is here that a respected Kahuna named Kapoukahi suggested to Kamehameha I that he build a luakani heiau (sacrificial temple) in order to gain favor with the war God Kuka'ilimoku. Red stones were transported by a human chain that was 14 miles long. Thousands of workers were involved in the construction that took just one year to complete, with completion being the summer of 1791. The temple was approximately 224 X 100 feet. In 1791, this temple became an important battle site in Hawaiian history, the point in which Kamehameha I would rise to power. He would later come to unify Maui in 1794, Oahu in 1795 and Kaua'i in 1810.
Mokuaikaua Church , located in Kailua Kona, is the oldest Christian church in the state of Hawaii. It was established in 1820 as a wooden structure that later fell victim to fire. The current stone structure was completed in 1837. The church interior is full of Koa wood and all the pews are solid Koa wood as well. We learned from the docent how the missionaries here first introduced clothing to the locals and also that this is the site where the first bible was translated into Hawaiian for Queen Ka'humanu.
Flowers, flowers everywhere. We love the Hawaiian flowers and just had to include some pictures within.
While on the big island there were two very special scuba dives that we wanted to experience. One was the Manta Ray night dive and the other was the Pelagic Night dive.
The Manta Ray night dive began with an afternoon dive where we were not only treated to many ocean species but also some Manta Rays swimming along side of us. Here is a short clip of Bob, swimming with the Manta Rays. Bob swims with Manta Rays Our second dive was the night dive. On the night dive many divers and snorkelers too gather at a known Manta Ray feeding spot. The snorkelers lay on the top of the water shinning their lights down and the divers sit on the ocean floor shining their lights up. The plankton are attracted to the dive lights and the Manta Rays eat the Plankton. Wow what a treat! This is on our list of one of our best dives and we will return to do it again one day. There were well over 10 manta rays swimming right over our heads, Occasionally we had to duck a bit to avoid them. What beautiful huge creatures and to see them this up close was incredible!
Our other special dive was a night Pelagic dive. Six divers are taken to an area where the ocean water is about 3000 foot. The sides of the boat have 6 tethers that descend to a depth of 40 feet. Each diver clips onto his tether with an 8 foot drop line and then the magic begins. Over an area this deep many small ocean creatures come up at night to feed. They are small yet amazing and unusual. It was another incredible dive and one we would do once again as well.
Molokai, Hawaii was Teri's next destination, while Bob flew home to rescue our kitty from boarding. Teri went there mainly to visit with a good friend, Barbara who lives in Kaunakakai town. Barbara has a beautiful view of the ocean from her house and the two of them visited and drank coffee each morning enjoying this beauty. Barbara toured Teri around the island which has various eco systems. It is a quiet place with few tourists and everyone seems to know each other on the island. Teri snorkeled and beach combed near Kaunala Bay, they visited the mountains in Palaau State park, the rain forests near Halawa Beach Park and strolled along the harbor boats. They toured the few local shops in town, and enjoyed some great local meals and music. Teri so enjoyed being with Barbara and also fell in love with the peaceful, remoteness of Molokai.
Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Park
Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park
Check out the size in relation to the divers!
Pelagic Dive, Kona
Pelagic Dive, Kona
Pelagic Dive, Kona
Kaunala Bay, Molokai
Teri's good friend Barbara
at Palaau State park