Hawaiian Reef Etiquette

2 04 2016

Milletseed Butterflyfish

Hawaiian Reef Etiquette This short public service announcement is colorful and educational teaching viewers the proper behavior when watching the sea life in Hawaii. Highly recommended.

Here’s a cool website that lists various Hawaiian fish and their Hawaiian names and more common names here.





Ahu’ena Heiau

5 03 2016


Ahu’ena Heiau was site of the Capital of Hawai’i from 1812 -1819.

King Kamehameha built Ahu’ena Heiau as his personal temple to Lono, the god of peace and prosperity. It was much larger in scale to what has been rebuilt and is on display today.

From the book Ancient Sites of Hawai’i by Van James:

“The name Aheu’ena means “hill of fire” or “red hot heap” and its is the fite of a fifteenth century heiau luakini.”

“The restored heiau has a hard hale mana (place of psiritual powers), a wicker lele (alter), an ‘anu’u tower and several wooden ki’i (carved figures). The carved images with the plover bird on its head is the god of war. A sacred drum called Apahou, decorated with human teeth, was house here at Ahu”ene. Pigs, bananas, coconuts, and men were offered as sacrifices at luankini heiau. ”

From the book Exploring Lost Hawaii by Ellie and William Crowe:

“Kamehameha the Great appreciated the ocean view. He made his fanial home at this pretty cove in 1812 and maintained a permanent residence here until his death seven years later. …On May 8, 1819 Kamehameha the Great died. The kingdom was stunned and grief striken. Some chiefs requested that they be hurried with him. many people knowcked out their fonts teeth in grief, and some tattooed the date on their bodies. The king’s bones were stripped of flesh on the mortuary platform and prepared for burial. Hoapili, a kahuna, the one of the kings most trusted ali’i , were entrusted to hide the bones. They are said to be hidden in a cave and have never been found.”

“After Kamehameha’s death, it was this heiau that his son Liholiho, reluctantly sat down with the strong willed Queen Ka’ahumanu and his gentle mother, Queen Keopuolani and ate a meal on the formal occasion. The Hawaiian people were shocked at this public act of defiance–the ancient kapu of men eating with women had been broken. But no gods retaliated, and as a result the whole kapu system was overthown.”

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Ahu’ena was carefully restored in 1975, at a cost of a quarter of a million dollars. It is a National Historic Landmark that can be easily approached from the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel, 75-5660 Palani Road, Kailua-Kona and there are daily guided tours offered, call 808-329-2911 or you can wander the grounds on your own.





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!





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





Portuguese Sweet Bread

3 09 2015

If you are lucky enough to be passing by the Old Greenwell Farm on a Thursday between 10-1 stop by to see the Kona Historical Society “Living History” demonstration. Go down in the field where you will see their wood-fired forno, an outdoor stone oven, they built in 2005 to bake Portuguese Bread the old-fashioned way.

Greenwell Farm’s Living History Display

The Portuguese from the Azores and Madeira started coming to Kona in the 1870s to work in the ranching industry in Hawaii. Where they settled they would build these stone ovens and bake their breads, soon they began baking and selling the breads to supplement their income.

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

It’s a great thing to see this artful process and witness the excitement on the faces of those waiting for the freshly baked warm bread straight from the outdoor oven. A splendid delight with a pat of butter a tasty part of Hawaiian History.

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The Kona Historical Society offices, H.N. Greenwell Store, and the Portuguese stone oven are all located on Mamalahoa Highway (Highway 11), about 14 miles south of the town of Kailua-Kona, between mile markers 111 and 112. Look for our sign on the makai (toward the ocean) side of the road. GPS: N19° 30.647 W 155° 55.225





Hikiau Heiau

26 08 2011

Hikiau Heiau- Kealakekua Bay, Hawaii

Hikiau Heiau, located on Kealakekua Bay, in South Kona, was a luakini temple where human and animal blood was used as sacrifice by the Ancient Hawaiians.

Sitting on the south end of the bay, at coordinates 19°28′31″N 155°55′9″W, it is associated with funeral rites. The large platform made of volcanic rock was said to be over 16 feet high, 250 feet long, and 100 feet wide. It has been established to be the first place that Hawaiians have sustained contact with Western outsiders. Cook’s journals claimed there were four villages with eighty houses each with several thousand native Hawaiian villagers when he landed living along the three miles of shoreline.

A plaque commemorates Hawaii’s first Christian funeral conducted by
Captain Cook on January 28, 1779 mere weeks before his own death.

Across the Bay is the Captain Cook Monument that was erected in 1874 to mark the place Captain James Cook was killed on February 14, 1779. It is only accessible by boat but makes for a lovely journey through the clear waters often accompanied by dolphins and colorful fish visible to paddlers.

Kealekekua Bay State Parkis a 4 acre site with access to the water, picnic tables, rest rooms,and parking.

stones of this ancient heiau





Big Island Place Names and Their Meaning

12 06 2010

northwest, in Kohala

Many people pass through the Big Island and never bother to think what the meaning of the town names in Hawaiian.

Here is a small sampling of a few of the more common place names on the Big Island and their Hawaiian meanings:

Hilo– First night of the Hawaiian moon calendar, new moon
Honoka’a– Rolling Bay
Kailua– Two Ocean Currents
Kilauea-Spewing Volcanic Eruption
Puna– Spring of water
Waimea– Reddish Water