LOST on the North Shore of Oahu

There they were, a podcast film crew shooting some surfing scenes on the North Shore of Oahu near Sunset Beach.

Then guess who comes walking by???

Yep, that would be Terry ‘O Quinn, who plays John Locke on the hit ABC Show, “LOST”. Some news reports had indicated that ‘O Quinn often walked the beaches of the North Shore, and that he often walked to the show’s “set” on the beach, in order to stay fit, and to achieve the scruffy castaway look.

That gesture he’s flashing is called a “Shaka” sign in Hawaii. The Shaka sign can mean many things in Hawaii, but most often means “Hello/Aloha”, or “Thank you”.

So, the next time you’re watching the waves at Sunset Beach or Banzai Pipeline, keep your eyes peeled! You never know who may be walking by!

Hungry in Hilo? Try Ken’s House of Pancakes!

Sometimes, you just want a good old fashioned breakfast – at 2am. Other times, you want to eat something new and exotic. Whatever you want, Ken’s House of Pancakes in Hilo, Hawaii will satisfy your cravings. This pancake house (with a diner-style atmosphere) has been around since 1971, and is very popular with not only tourists, but local residents as well.

Ken’s isn’t just another small breakfast place either. There are almost 180 breakfast choices at Ken’s. They have one of the largest menus in Hawaii. Aside from 180 delectable choices, you can visit this restaurant at any time in the day. That’s right, Ken’s House of Pancakes is open 24 hours a day. Many other restaurants in Hilo close later in the evening, but Ken’s is open whenever you get that craving for some great food.

The food is not priced out of reach either, so you won’t break your wallet. If you are ever in Hilo, vist Ken’s House of Pancakes at 1730 Kamehameha Avenue in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. Your appetite will thank you!

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!

Kauai and the Wettest Spot on Earth!

Did you know the wettest spot on Earth is on Kauai?

Yep. Its in Kauai on Mount Waialeale, where the average rainfall averages over 460 inches each and every year!

It’s northern position in the Hawaiian Island chain gives it more exposure to weather fronts, the round/conical shape of the peak provides all-point exposure to rain, and the peak lies just below the point where clouds cannot rise above. This “perfect storm” of conditions creates the substantive moisture at the Waialeale’s summit.

So, the next time you’re headed to the mountainous area of Kauai, be sure to bring an umbrella!

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!

Maui and Haleakala Crater

Haleakala is one of the most visited destinations in East Maui and rightfully so. It is an enormous, spectacular crater that stretches as far as the eye can see. “House of the Sun” in Hawaiian, the crater sits 10,023 feet above sea level (3055 meters) and has an area of 570 square miles!

According to the U.S. Geological survey, Haleakala has experienced at least 10 eruptions in the past 1,000 years (that’s quite a lot, in volcano/geological time). In fact, this pattern indicates that the East Maui volcano will once again erupt in the future!

Sunrise is spectacular at the crater (many love sunsets there too), but it requires that you get up incredibly early in the morning to make the long trek up to the crater summit in your car (biking expeditions are also available).

Oahu and the Shrimp Truck

On the scenic North Shore of Oahu, you’ll find a curious phenomena – as you drive along Kamehameha Highway, you’ll see Shrimp Trucks dotting the landscape.

Here’s a tip……..if you want freshly cooked, succulent shrimp, be sure to visit the “Original” Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck in Kahuku, on the island of Oahu.

If you love shrimp (and you’d better, because that’s all they serve), you’re going to love their Shrimp Scampi, Hawaii-style.

One dozen jumbo shrimp, smothered in garlic and butter, dripping over white rice.

They’ve got several picnic style tables set up under canvas tarps.

No, it isn’t fancy, but I can’t think of a better way to spend time, eating a delicious meal outside, close to the beach, in a largely unspoiled stretch of Oahu.

Tip: If you like a little heat, be sure to ask for some hot dipping sauce for your shrimp scampi – but be careful! It can blow your mouth off!

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?