Archive for Kona

Humpback Whales in Hawaii

Humpback Whales are beautiful creatures and can be seen in the waters of Hawaii between the months of November and May. They travel thousands of miles south and west to the warmer waters of Hawaii, where they breed, give birth, and nurse their newborns. Newborns, or calves are about 10-15 feet in length and can weigh up to 3000 pounds.

The Humpbacks got their names due to their arching backs as they go partially airborne, just before taking on a deep dive into the ocean. Here’s a photo of a whale breaching the water just before diving:

Humpback Whale In Waters Off Maui

If you are in Hawaii during their migratory period, chances are you will encounter more than one. The Humpback whale is currently an endangered species – from a population high of between 750,000 to 2 million, only 30- to 40,000 are now believed to exist.

Humpback whales produce a song that can last between fifteen to thrity minutes in length. No one really knows exactly why they sing this song, but that it is a sign of their social community and might be part of their navigation mechanism.

Whale watching boat tours are available on the islands of Kauai, Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island of Hawaii. The whales are visible from shore, but if you want a sigificantly closer experience, choose a boating tour. In either case, see them if you can while you are visiting Hawaii. You’ll be amazed with their sheer magnificence and grace!

Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle or Honu

If you spend time at some of the rural beaches in Hawaii, there is a good chance that you will be able to see the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, called “Honu” in Hawaiian.

The Hawaiian Sea Turtle is a majestic creature, hunted nearly to extinction in modern Hawaii, until it was placed on the Threatened Species list in 1978.

Here is a shot of the turtle, in Hawaiian waters:

Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle Honu

90% of the the nesting activity for the turtles takes place in the French Frigate Shoals, which is under the National Wildlife and Refuge System, which offers some protection for the species.

We’ve seen the turtles off the Blowhole near Sandy Beach on Oahu, Mokuleia Beach on Oahu’s North Shore, and at the Turtle Bay Resort in Kahuku, also on Oahu. They can also be seen off the Kohala Coast in North Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.

If you do see them, please do not touch or harass them, as it is illegal…….allow them to enjoy their natural habitat, and you can enjoy them too!

Kona Coffee Plant

Earlier, we talked about Kona Coffee in this post.

Here is a nice photo of a coffee plant (or tree, depending on your preference) growing on a Coffee plantation in Kona. Note that the beans are a deep red, and resemble cherries, don’t they?

Kona Coffee Plant in Hawaii

The Coffee plant takes 5 years before the beans can be harvested for production. At about 25 years of age it is considered aged. However, there are coffee trees that are over 100 years old in existence!

Before they can be roasted, the coffee “berries” have to be defruited, dried, sorted, and sometimes aged. Only then can the roasting process begin.

As you can see, quite a lot takes place before your fine Kona brew reaches your morning table!

Climate of Kona Hawaii

Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii tends to have a different climate profile than the rest of the State, and different from Hilo on the west side of the Big Island.

The Kona coast of Hawaii is the only area in the State where rainfall in the summer exceeds that of the winter. During this summer period, there tends to be a greater chance of early morning and late afternoon showers. There is a nice breeze on land and from the sea. That being said, the Kona coast area is warmer and drier.

Hilo is the more humid and “greener” side of the island, while Kona is dryer. Daytime temperatures rarely vary between a 9 degree farenheit band.

As with most areas of Hawaii, the weather in Kona is very nice!

Kona Grown Chocolate?

Did you know that there are chocolatiers in the Kona side of the Big Island?

Cacao beans are able to grow in this area – it is the northernmost region where these cacao beans can be grown.

There are small boutique companies that grow the cacao beans, process them into chocolate, and package the finished bars.

As you can imagine, this Kona-bred chocolate is not cheap, and is sold mainly as “boutique chocolate” to fine connoissuers of chocolate.

So, the next time you’re in Kona, be sure to ask for genuine Kona chocolate!

Kona Marlin Fishing

Just caught this great video of Marlin Fishing off the Kona Coast. Great weather, blue water, and Marlin just off of Kona. Geez, aren’t these suckers HUGE?

Kona Coffee

As any coffee fan knows, Kona coffee is one of the finest brews in the world.

 You might be asking yourself, “Coffee from Hawaii?????”. 

That would be right………..Kona has climate conditions that are perfect for coffee growing – this includes sunny mornings, humid and rainy afternoons and mild nights.

The next time you are shopping for Kona Coffee, be sure you know what you are buying.  “Kona Blends” are not made of 100% Kona beans – in fact, these blends may contain as low as 10% Kona coffee beans.  So, if you’re looking for real Kona coffee, insist on 100% Kona beans.

Marlin Fishing Off of the Kona Coast in Hawaii

Kona, Hawaii offers some of the best deep sea Marlin fishing in the world.

Each year in August, the Hawaii International Billfish Tournament hosts teams from around the world, in one of the most prestigious fishing tourneys in the Country, competing for the Governor’s Trophy.

The tournament lasts 5 days with teams fishing off the warm waters off off Kona, Hawaii (the Big Island).

If you’re ever interested in visiting Kona during the summer and seeing the tournament, book early, as prime hotel rooms go fast!