A good night’s
sleep, and a quick prep to leave. All
was pretty much packed, so got things into the car, and ready to roll. We got a little breakfast bowl by the
waterfront, then went for a quick stop to the grocery store for drinks/snacks
for the drive, and a little cooler for some of our perishables.
There are several
ways to get from Kona, on Hawai’i’s west coast, to Hilo, on the east. There’s the ‘saddle road’, which takes about
1.45, and there’s the options along either the north or south coast. Everyone recommended the north coast drive,
so that was our heading.
Waimea was our
first town, just under an hour from Kona, after endless expansive views of the
Pacific coast, and road-bordered black lava...
Our last full day
in Kona was a thoroughly relaxing one.
Slow to get going after a morning’s work, we strolled into Kona’s ‘downtown’
waterfront area—Ali’I Drive—to succumb to the tourist magnet. We’d stopped in to a few places here over the
week, but today strolled the length of the strip from the Marriott Hotel north
of the Iron Man’s start, past the farmer’s market, to condos beyond the hotels.
Lots of little
shops to browse, spots to stop into to grab a bite and/or drink, and basically everything
you’d expect on a waterfront tourist strip.
But this strip has the
Kona waterfront, which is just gorgeous.
Some beaches loaded with the black lava that’s everywhere, some beaches ‘cleaned’
of it and more typical sand...
Lots of business
today. Surf City almost seems to be readying
to move ahead, and we almost believe the rebuild might even allow us to be
there in late March. That’d be good,
otherwise we’ll be staying in Greenville with family, or in a hotel…late March
in Surf City is as wonderful as anywhere, and we’re rooting for that, of course. It’s a long haul since the storm in
September, 2018, so we really miss being there.
Laundry, heading to
Lowes to confirm some choices for Surf City, sending another box of overpacking
home, taking care of professional obligations.
A busy day, but very pleasant weather and just gorgeous to be here.
A fabulous day of
diving got going early, with our 7:45 call at the Kona Honu Divers boat slip. A completely different crew than the group we
had on Sunday, and they were every bit as helpful, engaging, and just plain
professional as the other group. Cannot
recommend this outfit highly enough.
The first dive was
at “Golden Arches,” a 45-60’ reef with
lots of wonderful viewing. An easy dive,
still clear to me that my skills need lots of honing. No problems, just using up air quicker than I’d
The second dive was at “Suckemup Cove,” so named b/c as you pass through a little lava tube “overpass,” there’s sometimes a bit of a ‘pull’ from one of the tubes that pulls you into a rock (ouch)...
A work day here, with no exciting excursions to relay… Attending to writing, other professional stuff, Surf City reconstruction matters. Sunshine and lush greenery all around made for a great office space. We also fit in more of our study for next week’s scuba class. We’re both done with what’s required now, and are doing other elective “courses” because they’re free and we can.
Exhausted from yesterday’s
dives, we slept in. Good, good
Some good writing,
and getting a lot of help via feedback from James.
Later morning we
drove around a bit; Pattie got some pampering, and I had a great long phone
call with a colleague, then got in some studying for the AOW certification
course we’ll take next week in Hilo.
A lazy morning, sleeping
late, then onto our covered patio area for a good writing session. One of our hosts came by to join us for a
coffee, and we heard his life story…moved to this island about 16 yrs ago from
Idaho, with his wife and two daughters (at the time in 9th and 8th
grade). He was originally a carpenter
and cabinet maker, now seems to be doing a million different little things,
from silk-screening shirts, to making popsicles, making/selling bikinis
(designed by one of his daughters), leading kayak trips…and lots of other things. “This is how we make a living here,” he said,
“by being flexible enough to adapt to different situations, and open enough to
embrace any opportunity that comes your way.”
An early morning,
but out on time easily. Passing surf
spots pre-daybreak, but plenty of surfers parked and waxing up their boards for
a day of waves. The drive easy, and we
got the car returned, bags checked (still under 50 lbs each, even with some
food we didn’t want to leave behind), and at gate with lots of time for coffee.
The easy 35’ flight
got us to Kona’s airport before 10:15am, and we were surprised and delighted to
see an airport without an ‘indoor’ area.
Lots of coverage for the sun, but one definitely feels “outside” the
whole time. Very pleasant.
Bags in hand, easy
rental car experience (Alamo), and off to the Kona Brewing Company for
day that brought unexpected broadening of perspectives our way. We’d planned a tour of a local citrus farm—Lokoea
Farms—and had a relaxing and tasty day, enjoying more after the tour with some
itself was led by Noe, who runs this spread next to her father’s farm. After time in the states teaching, then
running a pet store, she took advantage of the opportunity to take over this
land, build a house, and be back home on this land.
Not unlike the previous night’s time exploring a tidal pool with a marine biologist, this time spent with a small-scale farmer who’s constantly trying to find new and/or more efficient ways to get things growing most productively, trying new crops to test viability, etc...
Today a day of sleeping
later than usual, catching up on correspondence and some non-writing work, and
getting GoPro replacement parts—very helpful and easy customer service, happy
to replace bad battery and broken handle.
Lots of writing in
the afternoon felt good; but a particular passage needed multiple re-writings
until getting closer to ‘right.’ Time
will tell. Seem to be maintaining about
1’/week of finished music these days; it’s ok, and a huge change over any normal
semester, but I’d like to do much better.