Location: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
by Wayne & Karen Brown
Welcome to our expedition base in Hawaii, the town of Kailua-Kona!
Kailua-Kona is on the "Kona Coast", on the west side of Hawaii. (Click here to see Hawaii map.) We chose this location because the Kona Coast is supposed to have the best scuba diving in Hawaii. Unfortunately we will not be diving today because a big hurricane is headed our way! The ocean is getting rougher, and it is not safe to go diving. It is overcast today and the rain comes and goes.
It doesn't usually rain in this area of Hawaii. Kailua-Kona is on the dry side of Hawaii. Because it is so dry is no rain forest here and the hills are brown, like in California.
Kailua-Kona is a cute little coastal town. Less than 10,000 people live here. We walk along the waterfront, on a sidewalk, next to the breakwater. We find lots of little shops and restaurants. On the waterfront, in the center of town, is Hulihe'e Palace. It does not look like a palace. It is a small two-story house by the ocean. This was the summer home for Hawaiian royalty before Hawaii became a state in the United States. Because Hawaii does not have kings and queens any more palace is now a museum.
Across the street from Hulihee'e Palace is an old church with a tall white steeple. This is the first church that was started in the Hawaiian Islands, Mokua'kaua Church. This church was started by missionaries that came from Harvard University, in Boston, in 1835 (Before the Civil War.). This church is still in use today! The church did not have a steeple back then. It did not even have any seats. It just had a thatched roof, four walls made of lava rock and coral, and a dirt floor! The old walls are the same, but now the church has a stone floor, a wood roof and a pretty white steeple.
As we walk through town we notice there is a parking lot with people selling things like at a swap meet. We see people selling flowers, fruits (bananas, papayas, mangos, passion fruit, and, of course, pineapples), clothes, and hand-made crafts. One guy is selling coconuts. These are not coconuts to eat. These are coconut postcards! The coconuts are all painted with all sorts of pictures -- fish, whales, hula girls, surfers, beaches, even Sponge Bob! If you put a stamp on them and take them to the post office, you can mail the coconuts to your friends!
We walk back to your condo and see some outrigger canoes moving along the coast. These are the same kind of boats the ancient Hawaiians used. It looks like a canoe with training wheels! It is called an "outrigger" because it has an "outrigger" or float that sticks out on one side. This "outrigger" is like the extra hull on a catamaran. It helps the canoes from tipping over.
There is a big international outrigger canoe race this week. Each outrigger has a six-person team. Each person using a big paddle (Like a fat canoe paddle.) to power the outrigger. Even though it is raining and the ocean is rough, the race is still going on!
It is raining, the wind is starting to pick-up, the ocean is getting rougher and the sun is going down. We need prepare for tomorrow, but we are not really sure what to prepare for, because tomorrow is when the hurricane is supposed to hit Hawaii! We will check-in with you tomorrow and let you know what is happening.
Wayne & Karen Brown
Position: 19º 38' N / 155º 59' W
Air Temp: 85ºF
Weather: strong breeze with gusts, overcast, occasional rain showers
This is the Kona coast. You can see dry it is here, because the hills are brown. It is overcast and rainy today.
This is the water front of Kailua-Kona. The gray wall is the breakwater. This prevents the road from being wrecked by big waves. On the right side of the picture you can see the steeple of the first church in the Hawaiian Islands.
The brown building Hulihe'e Palace. This was the summer home for Hawaiian royalty before Hawaii became a state. Behind it is Hawaii's first church, Mokua'ikaua Church.
These are coconut postcards! You can mail these to your friends. The white coconut in the front is Sponge Bob!
Off the Kailua-Kona pier you can see three outriggers in the race.