Kona Life – Sea and Terra Firma

Typically, Kona weather is fairly constant; The forecast is for temperatures in the mid-80s, for the skies to be partly cloudy, and for a small chance of passing showers. However, occasionally, as was the case this weekend, it changes:


That was the forecast as of Friday. Now, I was anxious to see this thing. Stupid perhaps, but when someone says 60mph winds I don’t panic. I lived on the Palmer divide. 45-60mph winds are not all that unusual and neither is the occasional gust well past that. 

Ah,” you say, “but  there’s also torrential rains and flash flooding.

You’re kidding, right? If you want to talk about flash flooding, I give you Colorado Springs, the burn scars of Waldo Canyon and Black Forest, and the area in general. 

Now, I get it. Were this a hurricane, we’re talking serious liquid excrement. Roofs blown off, homes demolished, enough rain to drown a duck. But this was not it, despite the news wanting oh-so-bad for it to be so. None of the predicted winds and rain came true for this area. I’ve not heard of anything major happening in Hilo or the Southern part of the island, but I suppose they might have had it worse. 

However, this very much reminded me of Colorado’s frequent forecasts of 12″-24″ snowstorms that turn out to have something like 2″ to 4″ of snow. 

By the way, I’m getting back to my longer posts. It do feel nice. 

On Saturday morning, we went to Kona proper for a quilting show. Melisa went to the show and I walked along the seaboard snapping photos. I passed businesses that were closed “due to the weather”. Here’s the weather.

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As usual, you can see a larger version of these by clicking on them. You can see the full-size version by visiting the SmugMug gallery HERE.  By the way, if you have a fast Internet connection and want to see the full-size version of the panorama, click HERE (15MB).

I like walking the seawall as one can see things on the rocks below . . . 


. . . and below the waterline. 

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By the way, the rock above is actually pink, and not because the White Balance is out of wack. Those purple things sticking on the rocks are Shingles Urchins or Helmet Urchins. Their Hawai’ian name is ha’uke’uke kaupali which roughly translates to “summabirch! this thing be stuck on there!” Once anchored, they are impossible to remove by hand, or so they say. 

After the last shot, I remembered something that I seldom recall . . . I have a Circular Polarizer filter. The dock photo and the panorama were both shot with the filter in place as was this next shot . . . 


The filter cuts a lot of the glare from the water’s surface. Of course, when the water recedes you do get a better shot of the critters below. 


The rocks below the seawall swarm with crabs running around and feasting on the ocean’s bounty. Usually, these suckers are on lava rocks and are difficult to shoot. Here, they happened to be on lighter rocks and in full sun. I thought they were black. Go figure.

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The low tide, for it was low tide, exposed other interesting sights . . . 




Mollusks and Helmet Urchins


Here’s a sea slug. It looks as if it’s expoosed to the air, but it’s actually underwater. 


This golf ball and some seaweed combine to form a simulation of an icecream cone . . . 


. . . I wouldn’t eat that; woudn’t want to catch crabs. 

Now, I mentioned that the crabs normally appear black. The previous photos show them as mostly black . . . but these next photos make them look like silver crabs. I don’t rightly know if it was just the lighting or if these were mutations or different species of crabs, but they looked neat as they scurried along. 

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So, those are ‘A’ama crabs. Few will click on the link, so I will tell you they have some camouflage ability. Their whole name is . . . are you ready? . . . 


They also can levitate and are used to predict swings in the stock market. What do you mean, you don’t believe me? How the heck would you know? Have you clicked on the link? 

Anyway, that’s probably why those were closer to a silver color . . . they were on lighter/gray rocks. Neat, huh?

The lava rocks themselves are interesting. I think this next rock was likely used by ancient Hawai’ians to poach eggs. Probably, turtle eggs. I’m only guessing, but I could be right, right?


Now, I’d not seen this before . . . 


That’s an interesting business model. It looks like a floating rental store for See-Doos. . . wouldn’t you need a See-Doo to get out there? Then again, renting them out there maximizes the customer’s time spent running around with no particular destination in mind. 

Anyway, back to Darby . . . my one hope for the storm was for some decent waves . . .


I was not impressed.

This guy . . . 

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. . . is a Moorish Idol, a fish popular with reef divers and snorkeler. Its Hawai’ian name is KahiKahi. From the Waikiki aquarium:
The Hawaiian name, kihikihi, meaning “curves”, “corners,” angular”, and “zigzag”, may refer to shape as well as color pattern. 

It’s interesting, to me, the inclusion of the word “may” in that definition; don’t they know? On the other hand, it could be one of those words that have different meanings to different people, like honesty, fairness, honor, democrats, republicans, justice, and responsibility.

I’m assuming many of these pink bottom rocks are bits and pieces of coral . . . 


. . . but that other pink rock, the one with the helmet urchins on it, certainly was not a piece of coral. Probably some ferrite component in the rocks. Again, don’t quote me. Seriously; don’t quote me. Stand on the shoulders of your own ignorance instead of hitching a ride on mine. 

Most of the stuff I saw under the surface was mundane, but there was this thing rolling in the surf that I could not identify. It swirled and turned and did acrobatic moves as the water advanced and receded. It was agile and kept to bottom. I patiently waited for it to come near the surface and after a good few minutes with my camera at the ready, I got my chance!


. . . a leaf . . . I watched a leaf. Still, I got to tell you that it put on quite the show.

By the time I snapped that photo, the hour was approaching 11:30am. The heat suddenly went into overdrive (probably because the wind died down a bit) and I was silently cursing Darby for promising cooling relief in both the form of rain and wind but offering neither. 

I was literally dripping sweat. We, Melisa had by then joined me, headed back toward the car. Before leaving the shore I snapped a few more photos of a different and smaller Moorish Idol. This one hid whenever I made even the smallest motion, like raising the camera.

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The Moors believed these fish brought good luck . . . I don’t believe in luck, but I do hope Chance favors us with a pass on a major one of these:

4 1 earthquake

The condo we are renting is at the “11” on the map above. We had, of course, researched earthquakes in Hawaii. They are pretty common. They are also frequent (hence why they are common). 

However, we had read about small and frequent quakes that most people don’t even feel. This was a 4.1 quake (or 4.3 quake, depending on where you read).  I titled this post “Sea and Terra Firma”. Terra firma stands for “solid ground”. Few people realize just how not solid it is.

For those who have not been in earthquakes, let me give you a description. Things you think are solid around you, the floor, walls, suddenly take on the characteristics of an inflatable playground. That is, they do not feel solid at all. 

It was a bit as if someone grabbed the room I was in and treated it like a salt-shaker. Everything felt “loose”. I remember once in Michigan where the concrete slab I was standing on moved as if it were a springy mattress. This was more dynamic. 

The shaking was strong enough to knock down a couple of the figurines I brought with me. I don’t have a real-time video of the event, so I did a recreation for illustrative purposes. 

So, bugs, heat, humidity, lizards, hurricanes, volcanoes, tsunamis, and earthquakes. 

I suppose you need to compromise on some things to enjoy others. 


That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Chinese Jumble

Chinese Jumble

Astute persons might have noticed these doodles, and correctly surmised they hold some significance for me, and perhaps for humanity at large.  

If you click on the doodle, and nothing happens, this is the link it’s supposed to go to: https://disperser.wordpress.com/2011/12/26/palm-vx-and-i/.


If you are not reading this blog post at DisperserTracks.com, know that it has been copied, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intention, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


Please, if you are considering bestowing me recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline blogger-to-blogger awards.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would mean something to me.

If you wish to know more, please read below.

About awards: Blogger Awards

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Note: to those who may click on “like”, or rate the post; if you do not hear from me, know that I am sincerely appreciative, and I thank you for noticing what I do.

. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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19 Responses to Kona Life – Sea and Terra Firma

  1. Emily Scott says:

    Despite all the terrible weather you are having, l still wouldn’t mind being able to walk along that beach every day watching those crabs.


    • disperser says:

      Surprisingly, the Big Island does not have many beaches. One of the reasons it’s not as popular as the other islands. There are a few popular ones, but they are in state parks. Some of the resorts and condo units shave small beaches, but no long walks like you can do in Maui or Kauai. One of the reasons the Big Island is not as popular as the others.

      As for the weather, it’s not so much terrible weather as weather we are not used to putting up with without air conditioning. We’ll live.

      . . . i would have thought for sure I’d get comments about my video. Go figure.


      • Emily Scott says:

        I don’t often watch the videos as I can’t have sound on while baby Tom sleeps. Everything has to be done quickly before he wakes up – I can read and type fast but can’t watch videos fast!


      • disperser says:

        It’s short (8 seconds) and almost no sound (it’s a reenactment), but that’s OK. I understand not wanting to wake the baby – been there, done that.


  2. I’m not a vid fan either. But I’ve said this before. So I didn’t watch. I do click on links though.

    I like the A’ame crabs. Perhaps that’s why crab spiders that change colour are called, well, crab spiders.


  3. GP Cox says:

    That’s the kind of luck I would have – move somewhere and bad weather hits – Oh well, trouble in paradise doesn’t last forever, just get prepared and hold on tight! It’s a magnificent place you live in.


  4. Having been through 2 hurricanes in Hawaii, I’m always grateful when it turns out to be not as bad as expected. Love the photos. I do miss Hawaii.


  5. sandra getgood says:

    Oh, please do more recreations…. I found the earthquake one mesmerizingly funny and although I never giggle, my laugh sounded a little odd even to me.


  6. HA! I love your recreation, Emilio!!!! :-P I watched it 3 times!!! :-D
    Having lived in CA for years…I’ve experienced a LOT of minor earthquakes and a few really scary ones.
    I’ve never been in a hurricane or tropical storm or tornado, though. I imagine they are very scary! A VERY high wind day here is like 15- 20 MPH.
    Wow! Love the amazing photos of the cool sea creatures and fishes, etc! :-) And the lava rocks are very cool! You could use that one to hold your Deviled Eggs! :-D
    Even tho’ I love quilts, I would rather take a walk and see all those wonderful sights and creatures! :-)
    Stay safe and dry and cool!
    HUGS!!! :-)


    • disperser says:

      Thanks, and glad you enjoyed the fruits of my cinematic prowess. It took me all of . . . well, 8 seconds to create. One shot, no editing, Take that, Hollywood!

      And thanks for the safe/dry/cool wishes. Hope you had a great weekend and are starting a great week.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. AnnMarie says:

    Great video that made mother and I LAUGH . . . OUT . . . LOUD . . . (much better than all those texting shortcuts!) Funny video, but nothing funny about the ground shaking. My first terremoto memories are from Italy and the most recent was when I was awakened in our Frankfort (IL) house by a blast of energy (I envisioned a sound wave) hitting us. It came hard, but was of short duration (a few seconds) and hardly caused any shaking after the initial blast. I thought a car rammed into the corner of my bedroom! The epicenter was in Utica, IL, where it did cause damage, though. May all your future quaking experiences be short and gentle . . .

    We’re also very glad that Darby calmed down before passing over you . . . or passing you over. Whatever.

    Anyway, totally enjoyed the photos . . . new and exciting! Bring them on, bro!


    • disperser says:

      Thanks. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing but I thought it turned out great.

      I think we’ve had a couple of more quakes since that one, but we felt neither of them. I’d like to keep it that way, but we’ll see.

      As for the photos, every time we are out driving I see things I plan on photographing. We’ll see if I get to them. I hope so. .


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