Post #1 of the last month. Kaliua Kona, Kohalo, and Nishimura.

It’s been a fantastic month. Where has Camanoe been and where is she going? I will try to sum up the last month for everyone in two posts, it will be difficult. There is so much beauty here, so many nice people, and so many new experiences to enjoy, it’s difficult to paint an accurate picture.

Pop's standing watch while enroute to Kaliua KonaThe parental units left Kailua Kona about four weeks ago for Sacramento. They are lucky enough to fly for free with military stand by flights. Courtesy of 20 plus years in the service. Basically, they wait at any of the military bases with flights going where they want and hope for a vacant seat. Sometimes it’s similar to flying on a commercial airline. Sometimes they fly in the bowels of the plane next to military equipment with their luggage strapped to the deck in front of them. Unfortunately, they had to wait three  days for an available flight back home to California. Fortunately, there is normally some type of military lodge on the base which is reasonably priced. Either way, free always beats commercial airline  prices. So, I better see them back here at some point.  After they left, I purchased a mountain bike and explored Kona. Kona is on the leeward side of the Big Island so there is little rain and lots of sun. It is also a cruise ship destination so you can imagine the beauty of the active harbor. There is no shortage of locals swimming, stand up paddle boarding, and canoeing. As an added bonus Kona is large enough to have the big name stores like Target, K-mart, and even the store I love to hate, Wal-mart. I even found a Bikram Yoga studio. Which by the way, will separate the men from they boys, unlike in Thailand where you have to use a crow bar. Sorry, dirty sailor humor.  The only real shame of Kona is the fact I didn’t take many pictures. Ok, I lie, I didn’t take any pictures of Kona. I will do better I promise!

After Kona, I let the wind decide our destination. Outside of the harbor I had a perfect downwind run heading north. After twenty miles the wind died, close to Kohalo beach. Kohalo is almost surreal, similar to what you would expect to see in a movie. Coast pilot’s considers it an anchorage only for those with local knowledge. My guide book doesn’t mention it. It’s a wide open bay, which can have strong winds, but good holding. The entrance of the bay is covered with jagged ominous lava rock dunes and overhangs. Kohalo anchorageOnce in the harbor it is a sand and coral bottom with brilliant blue/green water. The surreal part is the black sand beach which, how kewl is this, leads to freshwater ponds lined with palm trees, and freshwater marine life.  It reminded me of a mirage scene from an old desert movie. After a few days of swimming, snorkeling, and exploring, I headed out for Nishimura anchorage. Nishimura is the last anchorage before departing across the feared Alenuihaha channel. Capt Cook circumnavigated the globe 6 times, only to be dissmasted in the Alenuihaha channel. He ended up drifting to shore south of Kailua Kona where the locals were nice enough to kill him for his effort.Perfect Swimming hole at Nishimura Anchora

 

Nishimura anchorage is more of an open road stead than an anchorage. It’s very windy due to it’s proximity near the channel, which is nice for wind generators. However, it is relatively calm. The water is beautifully blue and clear with some of the best snorkeling and lobsters I have found so far on the Big Island.  Best of all, there is and ancient  navigation Heiau on shore. Anceint Heiau above Nishimura Anchorage, Big Island Hawaii A Heiau is a type of miniature stone henge used by the early Hawaiian navigators. After two days here, the weather forecast allowed for a 12 hour window to head across the dreaded channel. The next one wouldn’t be for at least a week. I will tell you all about it next time, including diving Molokini crater. Hopefully there will be some pictures to add to the post.

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