Mark Twain’s thoughts about the Hawaiian Islands

8 07 2016

IMG_5954The loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean.
Mark Twain

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Months of the Year in Hawaiian

1 05 2016

IMG_5781January – ‘Iaunuali (ee-ya-oo new-ahlee)
February – Pepeluali (pay-pay loo-ahlee )
March – Malaki (ma-la-key)
April – ‘Apelila (ah-pe-lee-la)
May – Mei (may-ee)
June – Iune (ee-oo-ney)
July – Iulai (ee-oo-la-ee)
August – ‘Aukake (ah-oo-ka-key)
September – Kepakemapa (key-pa-key-ma-pa)
October – ‘Okakopa (oh-ka-ko-pa)
November – Nowemapa (No-vay-ma-pa)
December – Kekemapa (key-key-ma-pa)





Kona’s Ironman Triathalon

10 02 2016


The Ironman World Triathlon Championship or Ironman Triathlon is an annual race, made famous by its grueling length, race conditions, and the extensive worldwide participation and media coverage.

Held each October in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, the race encompasses three endurance events; a 2.4 mile ocean swim in Kailua-Kona Bay, a 112 mile bike ride across the Hawaiian lava desert to Hawi and back, and a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big Island (from Keauhou to Keahole Point to Kailua-Kona); finishing on Ali’i Drive.

The whole town turns into a crowded circus act as these world-class athletes converge to compete for the championship and to better the record set in 1996 by Luc Van Lierde of Belgium whose winning time was 8 hours, four minutes, and eight seconds. The next Ironman World Triathlon Championship will takes place each October. I once heard it said that to train for the swimming part of you should have friend through chairs into the pool to mimic the crowds and waves you will be swimming in during the race!





Hawaiian Sea Turtles

26 01 2016

 

Sea turtles are air-breathing marine reptiles that are said to have been around for well over 100 million years.

There are three species of sea turtles native to the Hawaiian Islands:

the Green, the Hawksbill (called in Hawaiian as ea or honu’ea), and the Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea). The most commonly seen is the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) known in Hawaiian as honu.

These animals have long been revered in Hawaiian culture representing strength, protection, wisdom, creation, and longevity. Turtles are features prominently in petroglyphs, in the fourth verse of the Kumulipo the Hawaiian creation chant, and ancient stories they often appear as helpers and demigods.

The Greeen Turtle can weigh up to 400 pounds when fully mature and primarily eat algae or limu, a Hawaiian seaweed.

They are gentle reptiles who live most of their lives in the ocean. They reach sexual maturity after 30-35 years and only then make the vast migration to the French Frigate Sholes to mate, nest, and lay their eggs. Satellite tracking data indicates that they can swim hundreds if not thousands of miles. Males accompany the females on these long journeys and mate with them offshore from the nesting beaches. They nest only at night and spend a lot of time to find the perfect nesting site. The sticky tears they shed while on land prevents their eyes from getting covered with sand and help to remove the excess salt from their bodies.

The female deposit up to 100 eggs, in the nest, and then covers them with sand and returns to the water leaving the eggs to incubate for two month’s time. Once hatched these tiny turtles weighing only one ounce take several days to immerge from the sand laden nests. Young Green Turtles are thought to be temporarily carnivorous feeding on the passing invertebrates. After departing the nests they begin a five to ten year journey back to the islands often called “the lost years” because little is known about this phase of their life cycle.

The life span of sea turtles is generally thought to be unknown. They grow slowly and are long lived. Adult sea turtles have two main predators: sharks and people. Tiger Sharks regularly feed on sea turtles of all size.

Male and female turtles look alike until they mature and the males develop a long tail that extends beyond the back flippers, while the female tail extends only to the end of her shell.

Green Turtles were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1978 and it is illegal to harass, harm or harvest sea turtles. Swimmers must keep their distance and respect these revered and ancient Hawaiian residents.






Hawaiian State Flag

28 12 2015

commissioned by King Kamehameha I in 1816

The canton of the flag of Hawaii contains the Union Flag of the United Kingdom, prominent over the top quarter closest to the flag mast. The field of the flag is composed of eight horizontal stripes symbolizing the eight major islands (Hawaiʻi, Oʻahu, Kauaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Lānaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi and Niʻihau). A ninth stripe was once included representing the island of Nihoa. The color of the stripes, from the top down, follows the sequence: white, red, blue, white, red, blue, white, red. The colors were standardized in 1843, although other combinations have been seen and are occasionally still used.

Source: Wikipedia





Hula

20 11 2015

The hula is a dance formed by body movements combining with pictorial hand and arm gestures and rhythmic lower-body patterns that are named. It is accompanied by chant or song. and was developed in the by the Polynesians who settled in Hawaii. The chant is called a mele the hula dancer dramatizes the story told by the mele.

HULA CIRCA 1908

There are many styles of hula. They are commonly divided into two broad categories: Ancient hula, (which was practiced only by men), as performed before Western encounters with Hawaiʻi, is called kahiko.

Hawaiian history is an oral history. It was codified in genealogies and chants that were memorized and passed down through the generations. Chants told the stories of creation, mythology, royalty, and significant events and important people.

HULA DANCERS CIRCA 1890s

Hula is taught in schools called halau. The teacher of hula is the kumu hula, where kumu means source of knowledge. Hula dancing is a complex art form, and there are many hand motions used to signify aspects of nature, such as the basic Hula and Coconut Tree motions, or the basic leg steps, such as the Kaholo, Ka’o, and Ami.

HULA DANCERS CIRCA 1906

Instruments that may accompany the hula:

  • Ipu- single gourd drum
  • Ipu heke — double gourd drum
  • Pahu — shark skin covered drum; considered sacred
  • Pūniu — small knee drum made of a coconut shell with fish skin cover
  • ʻIliʻili — water-worn lava stone used as castanet like instrument
  • ʻUlīʻulī — feathered gourd rattles
  • Pūʻili — split bamboo sticks
  • Kālaʻau — rhythm sticks

The dog’s-tooth anklets worn by male dancers can be considered instruments, as they underlined the sounds of stamping feet.

HULA CIRCA 1930

Hula dancers: in traditional kahiko costume





Some Favorite Big Island Places

20 10 2015


Like the name states, the Big Island is big. People come to the island of Hawaii and think they can see it all in a week, take my word for it you can’t possibly.

You can however see some highlights and explore the vast natural world and find places that are not overrun by people by getting  a tad off the beaten track. If you pack some decent walking shoes you can go many places and find yourself away from most tourists who go to the same spots and take the same photos.

Greenwell Farm’s Living History Display

Portuguese Sweet Bread hot from the wood fired oven Thursdays 10-1

Exploring the natural world of Hawaii is a highlight and part of that is visiting some of the sacred ancient sites too. These photos portray a few of my favorite places on the Big Island some of which long time island residents we know have yet to visit. Enjoy!

Mahukona a old sugar depot on the north shore

Ancient Heiau by Spencer Park