HAWAII - Oceanscapes

Waipio Lookout is a wondrous place to view the ocean. It has cliffs, waterfalls, luscious valley rolling into the ocean and is tourist-friendly with great viewing areas and restrooms but is pretty slim on the parking area and fat on the stairs down. All is well worth the trouble!

One of the views from our house on Maui .. it was great watching the waves break over the lava rock .. and trying to time your shot to catch the apex of the spray.

Our rented house was right on the ocean and this was part of the beach area ... some sand and some lava but it makes for a beautiful contrast.

We stopped at a view point on our drive to Hilo when we saw this unusual rock formation.

While we were out looking for a 'bird man' (see the bird pics posted earlier), we found a rather secluded area with nothing but lava beaches and formations ... again, tempting us to get our timing right for the best breaking wave shot.


HAWAII - Flora and Fauna

This is the second-largest banyan tree in the world .. it was so wide, the outer branches were propped up by posts. In the little park under the tree, there was a craft market every day ... which made for comfortable browsing.

These are Chinese Ferns and we saw a lot of them on our drives around the islands. They looked like huge blankets of green covering the land ... spectacular sights.

We haven't seen Rainbow Eucalyptus trees anywhere else and they are fascinating. It's quite apparent why they are named this ... aren't they beautiful?

Being islands, there are nothing but cliffs and canyons to see as you drive around.

What's Hawaii without the adorable Bird of Paradise? We found this one on top of one of those massive cliffs (above) ...

This was in the parking lot by an outdoor market .. I'm not sure if it's a tree, shrub, succulent or some kind of dracaena .. but it had a beautiful shape and it was huge .. you can see a lady sitting under it for size comparison.

We saw trees with these orange flowers all over the islands. I have no idea what they are but they really stand out.

This is one of the 'Jurassic Park' areas we walked through .. houseplants with 3' leaves and 15' height, ferns with 10' fronds, vines 30' tall.

One of the local sea turtles basking in the warm water. They are protected because they breed and nest here ... not what you'd call very 'active' animals.

Hardly 'native' to the Islands, these Wapiti were in a field with a young buffalo ... I can only think they were cross-breeding them with the local stock to improve them.


HAWAII - Whales

We went out on two whale-watching trips with Captain Steve .. the craft was an inflatable, grey with orange sides, and held about 24 passengers ... Cpt Steve is extremely knowledgeable and the inflatable allows us to really get close to the whales ... This first photo is a mother humpback who came to say hello and her baby was beneath her. She stayed alongside for a little while then went under the craft, and away. You can see her dark body and the lighter fins.

Here's one of the humpbacks breaching .. it looks like so much fun, flying up out of the water and twisting over to make an almighty splash on re-entry.

My sister took this photo but I love it because the tail looks like a huge bird, wings outstretched, skimming over the ocean.

The whales come to Hawaii from Alaska to give birth in the warmer waters and allow the calfs time to grow strong enough for the journey back. The females pick up an 'escort' in Hawaii who will mate with her and escort her back to Alaska (to keep other males from mating with her). Of course, if a larger escort comes along, he'll take over the 'escort' duties.


HAWAII: City of Refuge

One of our trips was to the City of Refuge ... a native town which was divided into the Alii side and the sanctuary side ... by a 10' thick wall. People who had been sentenced to death for breaking kapu (law) fled to this section to seek refuge, often by swimming across the entire bay. Other men, women and children, those weak and ill, those defeated in battle, or those who were non-combatants in battle but on the losing side also came. Once the petitioner arrived, the kahuna pule (priest) would be obligated to offer them sanctuary and absolution, under pain of his own death should he refuse to do so. Often the petitioner would be freed within hours to resume a normal life. These people had been given a second chance for life itself. This was not a place teeming with hardened criminals. This was a sacred place on which life began anew for the ancient Hawaiians.

These are two replica huts .. the smaller is a living hut and the larger is where they built their boats, etc. With tropical weather, there's really no need for four walls.

Outside the church compound ... the shelf was where food and supplies were left by the villagers for the priests and those in sanctuary.

The indentations in this lava rock on the beach is where they prepared some of the foods. They hammered them out and built fires in the holes.

A lot of the trees in Hawaii have multiple root systems because of the lava or sandy nature of the islands. This tree in the village is a good example. Because roots can't go very deep, they multiply for stability.

This is one of the many local turtles resting in one of the village bays. I wonder if they ate turtle in the olden days?

There are two ponds within the compound .. one was to keep fish for the Alii (royalty) ... in the other pond we found these fish .. each guarding its own nest. Each circle has a fish sentry. It was fascinating watching them chase off intruders.