West Coast Hawaii

Hawaii (The Big Island), Hawaii, 25 February 2015

Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

Early in the morning I went down below the front yard to take some shots of the lava and the sea.

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife .

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

Then after a while we hit the road.  We were fortunate to pick up a hitchhiker who was going to Punalau’u beach, where there were some green sea turtles hauled up on the black sand.

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

There were also a couple of birds in an idyllic lagoon that appear to be Muscovy Ducks.  Normally these are said to reside in Mexico and Central & South America (not Russia) but evidently Hawaii is within flying range.  Muscovy ducks were domesticated by various preColumbian cultures.

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

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Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

After leaving the beach we stopped for a couple of shots of the coast from the road.

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

After this, we visited Pu’uhonua O Honaunau (Place of Refuge) but I will show images and explain this in the next post.

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

Much later, this is Kealakekua Bay.  The stones in the foreground are the top of Hikiau Heiau, a large stone structure that originally would have had wooden buildings on top. This beach was where Captain Cook was killed.  I did not realise this at the time or I might have taken more photographs of the beach.

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

An unusual stand of succulents behind the heiau.

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

The side wall, maybe ten feet high.

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

This is a solid structure, perhaps roughly square, requiring a lot of stone and a lot of work.

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

There is no access to the top for the general public but the fact that the stairs are concreted in suggests that it may be used for religious rituals or traditional practices. Cook died at Kealakekua Bay in February 1779.  He had received a friendly reception when first calling in January and returned after incurring rigging damage in a storm.  He was killed along with some of his men after a dispute involving a stolen ship’s boat.

There is a theory by Val Wake that this was not an accident but an assassination organised by Kamehameha to discredit the priests and strengthen his claim to the chieftainship of the island of Hawaii. When ali’i nui (paramount chief) Kalaniʻōpuʻu died in 1782, his son Kiwala’o inherited the realm but Kamehameha received the Waipi’o Valley (see previous post) and guardianship of the God of War.  Later that year, just south of Kealakekua Bay, he defeated and killed Kiwala’o in the Battle of Mokuohai though it took him nearly a decade to control the whole island.  In the 1790s he conquered Maui and Oahu and by 1810 controlled all of the Hawaiian Islands.

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

Our final stop for the day was to see some petroglyphs at the Puako Petroglyph Park.  This was very disappointing.  I was expecting to see then in situ, perhaps showing why such a location was chosen and revealing something about how that related to the lifestyles of the Hawaiians.

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

Instead, what was presented was chunks of rock in an artificial setting near a hotel.  No context.

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

It made me wonder whether I was seeing an example of corporate vandalism,  with the hotel complex having built over the original site of the petroglyphs and failed to conserve them in their original location.

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife .

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

A grove of trees near the petroglyphs.

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife .

. Green Turtles, Hawaii, Hikiau Hieau, Kealakekua Bay, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, seascape, The Big Island, Travel, Wildlife

Sunset at the sea near the petroglyphs. There was no time remaining to visit Pu’ukohola Heiau a few miles to the north.  This massive heiau was built by Kamehameha in 1790 to 1791.   His rival Keoua accepted an invitation to attend the opening ceremony in 1791 but Kamehameha had him killed as he stepped off the canoe.

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5 comments on “West Coast Hawaii

  1. leecleland says:

    Bloodthirsty lot, but that seems to be what history records. Amazing the palm trees growing out of the larva on the beach.

    Like

    • Murray Foote says:

      Yes, I’ll have more to say of the history in the next post (and maybe another; not sure how much I’ll cover in that post).

      The lava has been there 15 years so the palm trees must have grown in that time.

      Like

  2. Murray, if you post the photo of the goose-like bird on FB and tag me, someone from my Island friends will know what it is.

    Like

  3. […] West Coast Hawaii […]

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