Monday, April 5, 2010

The other islands: Hawaii, the Big Island

With one exception, all of my Hawaii photos on this blog are from the island of Oahu. (The one exception was not even labeled with a location, but it's the "I hate thresher maws" photo, taken on the Big Island.) This makes sense, since I live on Oahu, and my grandparents live here so it's the island that I visited the most even before moving here. But I have been to three of the other islands, twice each: Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai. Unfortunately, the first time that I went to each island I was considerably younger and did not have a camera. My more recent visits to the islands were on a cruise with extended family three years ago (same people I went with to Alaska--my grandparents totally spoiled us, back when they were fit enough to travel), where we'd have at most two days at each island. The visits were brief, and I was hanging out with family so photos weren't always the first thing on my mind, but I'll share what I have.

First up, the Big Island.

The Hawaiian islands are formed from volcanoes caused by a hot spot in the Earth's mantle. As the Pacific plate has moved over many millennia, the location of the hot spot under the tectonic plate has changed, causing new islands to form. The island of Hawaii, known by locals as "the Big Island" (it is the largest Hawaiian island), is the youngest of the islands and the one with the hot spot still underneath it. That means its volcanoes are still active.

I've been to Kona (known for its coffee) and Hilo and Akaka Falls, but the only photos I have are of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I hear there's some spectacular diving off of the Big Island, so maybe some day I'll have more photos.

Misty Kilauea caldera

Halemaumau Crater

Closer view of part of the crater--I almost had enough to stitch together a panorama, but not quite.

It totally smelled like sulfur there.

On the national park's "Devastation Trail". I like this one.

Another look down into possible thresher maw territory, with the Halemaumau crater in the distance.

Here's one photo not from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. A turtle takes a break on a black sand beach. Having seen the rocks and soil in the previous pictures, you can imagine why the sand is this color.


Sebastian said...

Five years after a trip to Tenerife I was STILL finding specks of black sand about my personage...

Eleni said...

Are you sure it wasn't just, like, grains of gravel? Or dirt?

Tenerife? That's cool!

Sebastian said...

It was black sand... with a high tar content... stuck EVERYWHERE...

Eleni said...

Ew. Trying not to think too hard about what "everywhere" implies.