For the benefit of The Boys Hawaiian Life readers that don’t use Facebook, I thought I’d do a post about what’s been going on lately in Kailua-Kona as it has been an interesting few days.
We have been experiencing drought conditions here in West Hawaii for a while now. Even the generally lush green areas of the rain belt in the foothills of Hualalai are crisp! And over the past week or so we have been having crazy wind island wide. As my California and Mountain West friends know this is not a good combination when it comes to wildfires.
Yesterday around 1:30 someone in the office spotted smoke a few blocks away and soon everyone was crammed around a window watching and speculating as we watched flames and thick black smoke in the distance. It turned out to be a big brushfire and the wind was spreading it and making it damn near impossible to get a handle on. For hours we watched as the flames and smoke moved along as helicopters scooped up ocean water from the bay and dropped in on the flames. West Hawaii Today has a few pictures and a story on the fire here.
I’ll just add that we have some amazing emergency crews and firefighters here. This is not the first time I have witnessed a potentially dire situation with lost structures be adverted by these guys. Last nights commute however… Oy! Due to the location of the fire and the fact it was jumping streets and highways, many (if not all) major arteries were closed at rush hour. This means all highway traffic was diverted to small surface streets and the result was a long and slow commute home.
The other story here on the leeward side of Hawaii Island is big surf. So big that our regular Wednesday ship could not run shore tenders today and instead pulled up anchor and headed to calmer seas near Maui to watch whales. There has only been one other time we did not get Wednesday ship since we have lived here and that was immediately following the Tsunami last March.
Unfortunately this is the ONE time I actually had friends on board the ship and a day of plans with them. It’s an odd feeling to wake up and see the ship in the bay and know friends are on it only to later get a text saying they can’t come to shore. I thought about going to get them on my paddle board before they texted again and said the ship was headed back towards Maui. Jason and Anne… guess we’re meant to meet here another time.
Well I am off to pick up papers and things that are flying around this wind tunnel I call home. As a rule having a Hawaiian-style house that is completely open to the outdoors is wonderful… in this wind… Grrrrrr! Aloha!