Home to loud shirts, awesome surfing, hula dancing and elvis movies, we were Very excited to arrive here.
I keep looking at Google Maps. Our nearest neighbour is Christmas Island, 1400 miles away or LA 2,500 miles away.
With 11 of the 13 possible climate zones (arid, tropical, temperate, alpine etc) Hawaii is massively varied. Its a steady 80 to 85 (26 to 30C) all year at the beach, but here on Big Island, it seems to rain constantly on the east coast and sunny on the west coast, freezing at the top of the volcanoes and too hot at the beach. Its also the most expensive place we’ve been so far.
First stop was Oahu Island. Home of executives going canoeing after work:
Hells Angels in flip flops…
and stylish surfer dudes downtown
We stayed with Jeff and Carly Tobias who rented us a cottage next to their house. They were so patient when our boys inevitably took over their house and garden, playing with their children Harper and Radley, both houses melted into one for the week. We met a ton a great people and had a fantastic time. Thank you guys again.
Jeff took the children out on his (very fast) fishing boat and let Milo steer, to screams of delight (well, someone was screaming…).
Jeff even showed me how to fish. Excited about the calm waters and great fishing I was puzzled at why he asked if i had waterproofs, but the basic rules are:
- 3am – get up
- 3.30 – get to the yacht club and remember that you forgot your security card
- 3.35 – load the boat while Jeff drives back to get the waterproofs
- 4.30 – catch your bait in the dark on the way out to sea, when the seasickness sets in for the day
- 7.00- arrive at the secret spot in huge ocean swells and driving rain to agree that we’ll give it 1 more hour
- 9.30 – catch the first fish (small tuna)
- 9.40 – catch the second, bigger fish
- 9.50 – catch the third, even bigger fish and keep going till the ice box is empty of beer and full of fish.
Jeff was skipper, navigator and owner, catching fish, poling them and drinking the beer. David caught all the bait, rigged all the lines, caught a ton of fish, handed me the rod when the fish was ‘on’ to reel in and hurled abuse at Jeff all day. I reeled in a fish for them to deal with and felt like a proper hero. Thank you guys for a fantastic day.
The 3 stages of ocean fishing
Great beaches aside – and there are many, especially on Oahu..
..we had to take a truck to see the Volcanoes here on Hawaii Island.
The two main volcanoes here are Mauna Loa (10,000 Cubic Miles of cold lava, its a big volcano) and Kilauea (still erupting, though the lava flow has slowed to 5ft a day, from an inaccessible fissure). The last eruption from Kilauea came to within 2 miles of Hilo city. There’s hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunami’s and an active volcano here, but Estate Agents (Realtors) are still doing a booming trade in $1m homes. The population is also around 40% Asian – mainly Japanese – so maybe there just used to it.
We drove up through the rain clouds from Hilo, around the caldera of Kilauea where either steam vents and tropical rainforest dominate
or its moonscape cooled lava fields
As the molten lava crater in the centre is 1.5 miles away from the rim and closed to visitors, we took a room in the only hotel on the volcano rim at $375 as it had ”lava views”. Well, it would have had views if it weren’t for the fog that comes down… Yes, this is the Room With a View…
Milo and I drove out at 9pm for a view in the dark. Luckily the fog had lifted around the viewing platform. Freezing cold but worth it to see the worlds only active volcano (apparently..)
Mauna Loa is a 2 hour drive, straight uphill from the coast to the star gazing centre at 9,200ft and above the cloud level.
Which means no rain. And extremely clear skies, hence the observatory and a lot of scientists happy to talk everyone through the stars, with telescopes like this:
and views like this when we walked up one of the ridges to watch the sunset:
Jonah birthday was good fun. 4 yrs old already.
If you’ve seen Sophie’s Facebook, you’ll already have seen how much I’ve aged, so i’ll keep this to photo’s of his Lordship:
Overall, and despite the rain on the east coast of Big Island, its an incredible place. Markets for Sophie:
Waves and Volcanos for me and the boys, plus we’re over on the sunny side now, in Kona and have rented a spectacular house overlooking the ocean to treat ourselves, with a pool, tennis courts, and separate rooms from the children. Its even got separate bathrooms. And the fog doesn’t come down to wreck the view..