Hawaii Journal: Volcanos & Coral Reefs

Son Spencer is impressed

Yellow Tang

Keakakekua Bay (Photo by Moon M. King)

We observed these turtle at a "cleaning station"

School of Triggerfish off of Puako

Absolutely fantastic encounters with turtles and reef fish by snorkel. We were tipped off to a location several 100 yards off shore where Green turtles gather to get “cleaned” by willing reef fish who feed on the algae that gathers on their shells. Incredible to see.

Cleaning Station

Sea urchin feeds in the shallow reef areas

Volcanoes are monuments to Earth’s origin, evidence that its primordial forces are still at work. During a volcanic eruption, we are reminded that our planet is an ever-changing environment whose basic processes are beyond human control. As much as we have altered the face of the Earth to suit our needs, we can only stand in awe before the power of an eruption. There are few places on our planet that one can witness the origins and Volcanoes National Park’s Kilauea Volcano is one such place.


Ancient Tree molds from eruptions of the past


Lava tube

Inside a lava tube -volcanic drips on the roof

Read more.. Sunday, January 13th, 2013

Hawaii Journal: The Big Island

Island in the Pacific

Hualalai Volcano

It was an easy sell to our adult children and their spouses to join us on Hawaii’s Big Island for the Holidays. As a young family we frequented this special place almost yearly, usually in the spring, and we hold many fond memories of our time exploring there. In fact our passion for birding was given a major boost by a chance meeting in the 1990’s with a local naturalist and entrepreneur, Rob Pachenco . His company, Hawaii Forest & Trail, has flourished and is a model of responsible ecotourism in the region. In fact we arranged several exploratory excursions into the Mauna Kea rainforests with HFT naturalist and bird specialist Garry Dean, who had guided us on our last visit to the island in 2004. And of course not to be missed is a journey into Volcanoes National Park which we did and spent a beautiful day into the evening in the shadow of the great Kilauea Crater, one of the few accessible active volcanoes in the world. It has been erupting continuously for 29 years! So include some spectacular snorkeling, body surfing and opportunity to get up close and personal with a newly born humpback whale calf and its mother all in a primordial setting of moonscape lava rock with average dry temperatures of 80 degrees…it was magical. Since there is much to review from this expedition we will explore through several posts.

Kohola Volcano from Puako

Marine Preserve at Wailea Bay

Mauna Loa from Hakalau National Forest

Sun sets in Puako

Full Moon rise over The Big Island

Observatories on Mauna Kea from Saddle Road

Mauna Kea Volcano

Pololu Valley

Christmas Sunrise on Mauna Kea

High Surf in Puako

Read more.. Sunday, January 13th, 2013