Monday, February 29, 2016

Monday February 29th is Leap Day

Feb.29th comes around only every four years

Not too much to report. This is our last full day on Big Island. Adrienne is going to do the Green Bay Packers thing. (Packing the suitcases.) We head to Vancouver tomorrow and home on March 3rd. Is it almost March already?

Many good memories of our 4 week stay here in Hawaii. Big Island is definitely our favourite Hawaiian island. Two tours of the entire Big Island and several trips out to the Kohala area north of where we have our condo.

Today we are set  for one more snorkel and one more  pool and that should be the last of that. Good weather for beaches right now but the forecast is for the surf to get wild tomorrow or some days after.

Dinner should be Annie's Burgers and Beer....and GypSea Gelato.

Aloha from Hawaii. The Hawaiian gods or their statuary are bidding as goodbye.


Sunday Feb.28th the Kahaluu Beach is open

Feb.28th Sunday

Just in time for many weekenders, the snorkelling beach is open again.

Since we had to  do a lot of driving on Saturday to Kapa'a, it was good to relax in the morning. The low tide mark was supposed to be around 1:50pm so we thought to wait till after that to go snorkelling. Pool in the morning. Not enough interest.

Adrienne had a snorkel mask repair which allowed her to go with us into the ocean. It seems Adrienne and Jean and I were out for about one hour in the water at Kahaluu. There was certainly lots of fishes to see once again. I enjoyed particularly the coral gardens further away from shore. Some of the areas I call coral canyons because the walls of coral are interesting to glide in and through them. Many first timers or newbies step on the coral. It is a wonder that so much coral is left.

The pool is once again an afternoon favourite. Right after Kahaluu the girls go right into the pool for at least another 60 minutes. I go for half that much. It is very relaxing nonetheless.

Dinner at Splashers Restaurant. For Kim and I it is round three. For Adrienne and Jean it is the second go round. Adrienne has the Captain's Table consisting of all my favourites: crab cakes, shrimps and battered fish. I have the blackened Mahi Mahi on a bed of delicious vegies. The two cakes on the plate must be vegie cakes but inspired by seafood crab cakes. Again a very good kitichen makes for a pleasurable meal. It is easy to be a foodie with dishes like they produce.

Below is very early Sunday morning snorkelers who cannot wait to get in the water. The beach was closed for 5 days and maybe they have to go back home today or tomorrow.

Rush hour early at Keahou Bay. The earliest boats that do go out to Captain Cook Memorial are the zodiacs. The regular catamaran tour boats leave at 8:30am and 8:45am. The Zodiacs can leave as early as 8am.........

Saturday Feb.27th Whale watching at Kapa'a beach


The day before was a fast day for the girls. Since Kim and I had the luxury of getting a special eating out dinner we had to give Adrienne and Jean the idea to plan the next few days.
The Kahalu'u Beach was still  closed today. No snorkelling. The place of refuge park that is farther away also said they were closed. What is a tourist to do?

The trip to  Kapa'a Beach is the answer. It is one of our favourite whale watching places. And we have also brought plenty of picnic lunch ahead with us. One of the highlights of the lunch was cut up steak which we desired to consume before we left Hawaii. The picnic table itself was a pretty good vantage for looking over the ocean looking for marine life.

Dinner out was the Rebel Kitchen Restaurant. Adrienne and I had the Jambalaya dish. The waitress said they might be running out of rice which we thought might be funny. Anyway, when our Jambalaya arrived it had a good bowl full of rice and all the beautiful New Orleans ingredients surrounding it. Many, many flavours in this dish. The cooks here do not stint on shrimps, sausage, chicken and also herbs and hot spices. GypSea gelatos for dessert. Especially ice creams with macadamia nuts. Such as Fig and Honey ice cream with macadamias.

Below is Kahaluu Beach which is closed for the 5th day in a row.

The Sea Paradise main boat is the Hokuhele. Today they have traded it in for a similar vessel the KonaSpirit. Same size catamaran, I believe.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Friday Feb.26th....Nothing Day at the Condo + Photos

February 26th

A very relaxing day. The two drivers did the trek around the island yesterday so today is mainly doing nothing. Reading the e-reader and puzzling and checking the internet.
Pool time is 3pm and the pool is always rewarding.
Kim and I go out to Splashers Restaurant together because the girls are on a fast day. Kimhas fish and chips and I have the Captain's Table...crab cake, 4 shrimps and a piece of battered fish with the two sides of French fries and a Caeser salad.

The Keahou Bay hasrbour is lacking some vessels this morning. Our tour boat the Hokuhele is not there and the very large catamaran Fair Wind II is not there. The swells on the ocean may have deemed parking (or harbouring) the vessels elsewhere.

This is Kahaluu Bay in the photo below. Beach is closed. This beach often has hundreds of swimmers and snorkelers per day. Several tourists are disappointed, I am sure.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Frb.25th Again about the Hilo Day


Something wrong about making a blog too large. So this is Part II of Feb.25th.

The Hilo part of the voyage was to see two museums:

1) Imiloa Astronomy Center on the campus of University of Hawaii at Hilo. We saw a wonderful presentation in their planetarium. A lot of fundamental star gazing info. A lot of Hawaiian and Polynesian interpretations of the skies. The information is very well received. The exhibition part is also interesting and rewarding. How as an amateur can you help finding exoplanets...planets around other stars. How the Polynesians travelled with the stars. How there are projects today taking Hawaiian canoes around the Pacific and around the world. A real eye-opener.

The Pacific Tsunami Museum is our second museum. Even if we do not have a lot of time it is interesting to see the history of tsunamis. Yes, they are very devastating and I did no realize how many people died in Indonesia in their big tsunami. Today's world is trying to be more tsunami responsive but their are always people living right by the ocean.....

Polynesian canoes and navigation by the stars. Imiloa Astronomy Center............

ving near the oceans.

Wed.Feb.24 is Coffee Farm Day, Thurs. Feb.25th is Volcano and Hilo Day

Wed.Feb.24th Visiting 3 Coffee Plantations

The snorkeling is pretty well out for a day or two. Two of our main beaches are closed. Their respective parks are also closed to the public. Naturally it means a few odd, very odd surfers think that they should challenge the big surf. They probably are not doing badly but we heard that on day one of the big surf there had to be a number of rescues.
There was a Botanical Garden we wanted to check out not too far away. It turns out was closed. Permanently. So we go to Greenwell's Coffee Farm. It has been going for a long time. Some of the coffee trees are about one hundred years old. Our guide takes us around a small tour of their operations. 50,000 coffee trees, I believe. They also have some avocado trees and banana trees. It is interesting to see the multi-step process to finally get a roasted coffee bean. Adrienne does most of the coffee (liquid) sampling. And she buys her favourite beans.

Holualoa Coffee Farm was visit number two. It has the chickens and geese running all around. Very much a `traditional` farm setting. And also very much a working coffee farm. Even though we heard that coffee picking is done from August to February, this crew was busy processing and even roasting coffee beans. (We had to make do in their parking lot to have a quite pick-me-up picnic type lunch. We had packed our own sandwiches and such so it was not difficult to eat standing up.)

Mountain Thunder Coffee Farm was our third visit. I have read about this one before. Not only because they claimed leadership in sustainability and organic farming but because other people claimed coffee could not be grown at this higher elevation. (4000ft.approx.) And they have what looks like a successful business. Coffee is great and Adrienne definitely buys a French Roast to take home.

Photo number one is beside Holueloa Coffee Farm....

At Greenwells Farm we had a good tour guide.

Thurday Feb.25th is Volcano Day and Hilo Day

This is how I am trying to catch up. It is Thursday and a long day and yet I am trying to get these last notes in.
The four of us are on the road at 9am and heading to Kilauea volcano. The roads we take are in good shape. we have two drivers and we do not attempt to take one lane sideroads that go nowhere.
The volcano is perfect for taking ore pictures. I see a little more of the scenery and landscape because I am not driving this time around.
Our lunch is near the National Park Center where there is a picnic table for us. We share with a couple from Israel.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tuesday Feb.23th Just a swimming pool day. Beaches closed


I will still try to post a few pictures. It was mainly a swimming pool day but we went for dinner at Kona Brewery Restaurant. Good ales and good pizza. Adrienne and I had the usual Pele's Own spicy pizza. The red ale for her and a nice porter for myself.