Friday, March 5, 2010

Hapuna Beach and Lapahoehoe Point

A beautiful beach with white sand on the big island is Hapuna Beach.
For some reason, while we were on the Kona side,
the waves were unusually high and fierce.
One person summed it up this way
"those waves were big enough to eat you."
The flag indicates dangerous waves, tides.
Basically, you weren't supposed to go into the water.
But everyone did, including me.
We were on our way to Hilo and one place we were told not to miss was Lapahoehoe Point Park. (Lapahoehoe means "leaf of lava.") We were told that people do swim there - but this was one place that I wasn't tempted to get into the water. You drive some distance out to the point and it is beautiful with grass and trees, quite lush. But the shore line is rocky and ominous.
You get the picture.
Lapahoehoe Point has an interesting history. A very small railroad town, the point was hit by a tidal wave in 1946 which was the result of an earthquake in the Aleutian Islands. The tsunami killed twenty students and three teachers and only three people lived to tell the story. There is a memorial on the point with names and ages of those killed on that day.
In 1985, the power of the water was proven once more. A barge carrying several brand new Toyotas broke free of its tow line and the entire load was spilled into the ocean. An insurance adjuster with Lloyd's of London flew to the barge via helicopter, demanding to land upon the deck. The waves washed over the barge deck, toppling the helicopter, claiming the lives of pilot and adjuster.
Just standing at the edge of the shore watching the waves crash upon the huge rocks of lava was both thrilling and terrifying. The waves hit so hard that a huge boom resonates with each hit Despite the violent waves, the shoreline spoke to me. I wanted to linger and I wished we could have camped at the point. I imagine at night fall, the area would be quite mystical and a bit magical.

1 comment:

Chatty Crone said...

The colors of your pictures are so beautiful! I love that aqua color. Interesting about the tsunami and the devestation in the Aleutian Islands.

I can see why you said, "I imagine at night fall, the area would be quite mystical and a bit magical."


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