No Ke Kai Kakou E
What a year it has been. As we get closer to the Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations, I have to reflect over the events on our island.
This year has been one of the wettest years since I can remember. Not since 2005 has there been this much rain. There was an island wide drought for years. That has ended. As of this writing, we have had more days of rain, than days of sunshine. That’s not a bad thing. My water catchment tank hasn’t been cleaner. Algae growth is down because the water is replenished. Yes, we drink our catchment water. It is filtrated with Ultraviolet light, rope and carbon filters, and a calcite filter to add minerals. Besides a first flush downspout to capture any debris in the gutters, we also use a nylon stocking to further capture any debris that would make it to the water tank. I’t a clean system where the PH is properly balanced. The calcite filter helps balance the PH. The volcano does throw acid in the air, and gets mixed into the rainfall.
Pele made an appearance in lower Puna. The eastern rift zone of the Big Island. For weeks we were watching spectacular lava flows into the ocean. Lava tubes that started in January of 2017, continued to 2018. Lava was draining Halema’uma’u caldera at Kilauea, and the Pu’u ‘Ō’ō vent. Numerous earthquakes occurred as the lava flowed underground into the ocean. There was a lot of tour boats that went out to view the lava.
Then the large 6.9 magnitude tremor happened, and cracks appeared in Leilani Estates grounds. The disaster unfolded quickly. A large portion of Leilani homes were destroyed. A number of fissures appeared like foot prints across the subsivision. Then they suddenly stopped. Only fissure #8, continued, and sent lava in huge rivers towards the ocean, destroying Kapoho vacation lots.
People were looking for a name for fissure #8. It was seemly unending in its lava flow. Somebody called it Pu’u Leilani. I named it Kawahawalu, which means fissure eight. Kawahawalu formed a cinder cone over 150 ft high, taller than Aloha tower. As the lava flowed into the ocean, it created its own weather system. That wasn’t good. Pele’s hair, a mixture of lava glass that looks like hair. The steam formed hydrochloric acid. Very dangerous, and when mixed with trade wind showers, extremely acid rain. We disconnected our first flush downspouts to prevent the rain water from entering the catchment tank. Still, there was a smoky smell in the air and water.
Eventually, Kawahawalu stopped erupting lava. Everything got quiet. The National Guard tested the air quality and any lava flows. Scientists determined the eruptions had stopped. The Guard dismantled the checkpoints, and allowed people back to their properties. The temporary shelter, Pu’u Honua o Puna, still exists to help people displaced from their property. Many have started rebuilding in other subdivisions. Some homes in Leilani Estates are total losses. Others are spared, but surrounded by hardened lava. The Geothermal electricity plant is permanently shut down. It’s a completely different island. There are still lava flows deep under neigh the ground. Steam seeps up from the ground. The highway, Rt. 130, by Leilani Estates still has steal plating on the road, and steam still emits from the ground.
Air quality has cleaned up remarkably. The amount of acid rain has fallen below levels before the eruptions. Kilauea, Pu’u ‘Ō’ō, and Kawahawalu emissions are almost nonexistent. The lava flow into the ocean created a huge new Black Sand beach which stretches from Kapoho to Pohoiki boat ramp. Remarkably, Pohoiki was spared, but surrounded by lava. Large D9 bulldozers have been clearing the roads of lava. Incredible efforts by the country of Hawai’i to restore access to the affected areas. Such is life on a volcano.
So far, we’ve survived volcanoes, hurricanes, floods, and tourists. Just kidding about the tourists. It has been an interesting year, and it’s still not over. The whales have arrived back to the islands. The rain continues, and that’s a good thing. The sky weeps, the earth lives, Uē ka lani, ola ka honua.
I suddenly realized that I’ve been giving back to those in the community without realizing it. Volunteering my time, donating money and food, helping out those that have lost everything. Little things that add up. When my avocados produced more than I could use, I gave them away. Like much of my produce on my small farm, the rain, combined with what sun we had, produced an abundance. Why let it rot on the ground? Better to just box it up and drop it off. I hate things going to waste.
The chickens always find a new place to roost and lay eggs. Sometimes we get more eggs than we can use. So, we give them away. Some people see their eggs a 5 dollars per dozen carton. When the stores sell mainland eggs at half the price. It all local living, and giving back.
The season of giving is year round. Sometimes, in the course of just getting around daily living, you don’t see the little things. Until you start adding things up in reflection, you really don’t notice. I guess that’s the way it should be.
Decided to bring back “What’s For Dinner” one more time!
Hawaiian Ono Fish Mediterranean Style
Yes, I made that!