Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day 4 - Hilo Town, Coconuts, and HUGE surf

Today was another wet and rainy day on the Big Island as we spent much of our day around Hilo, but we had other things to worry about according to the sign below:

We drove along Banyan Street which showcased some of the huge Banyan trees. Here is one of them on the street.

We stopped for an hour at a series of parks along the shore where tsunami’s had hit in the past. One of the palm trees on Mokula Island (sometimes called Coconut Island @ 19.729422,-155.068638)  showed the rise in sea level during the past tsunamis, with the highest being 26 feet in 1946, then 15ft in 1960, 12ft in 1952, and 8ft in 1957 – Note the signs on the palm.

In the Google map below if you zoom out to see Hilo, notice that there is huge amount of park and gardens at the south part of Hilo bay, situated between the airport to the east and the commercial downtown to the west (the buildings). These parks and gardens were created because of tsunami threat. Hilo became known as a city of parks to protect people from tsunami events in the future.

View Larger Map

Here we have some in the group taking cover from the pouring rain at a Japanese influenced garden.

In Hilo we went to church together at the Haili Congregational Church, which has a long history as part of one of the largest congregations (nearly 10,000 as part of the Hilo mission through the preaching of the Gospel from an early missionary, Rev. Titus Coan many decades ago). The church is now much smaller in number but it really was wonderful as the service was half English and half Hawaiian language. We sang praise songs in Hawaiian!

After church we saw the famous Rainbow Falls and then onto the “Boiling Pots” falls which feature interesting rock formations in the falls channel. With all the rain, though the rock features were under water.

Rainbow Falls, Hilo Hawaii

The rest of the day was spent having fun snorkeling in a little known spot on the far eastern rift zone of Kilaeua near Kapoho Point. The surf was huge today with warnings. We saw some 10 to 15 foot waves. It was really incredible!

Steven M. and Ian B. get ready to snorkel @ 19.488246,-154.820018

We finished the day with food and live music together in the little town of Pahoa.

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