Saturday, April 27, 2013

Kamehameha the Great and the Kona-Kohala Coast

Among the postcard perfect beaches and active volcanoes, the Big Island of Hawaii has numerous ancient archeological sites that are evidence of a thriving and structured ancient civilization. The Kona-Kohala has been the land of Kamehameha for hundreds of years.

After the death of Chief Kalaniopuu, Kamehameha rose to power along the Kona –Kohala Coast and eventually included guns into his arsenal and proceeded to unify the islands under Kamehameha rule. These efforts were strategize and executed from the war temple at Pug Kohola. Visitors to the heiau can visit the shoreline where war canoes were launched toward Maui to defeat Chief Kahekili.

Life for the makainana along the Kona-Kohala coast was a rich one. Evidence of this can be found at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park. Visitors are welcome to walk through petroglyph fields, visit the ancient fishponds and fish traps that sustained a lively and thriving society.

Kamehameha the Great and his wife Kamamalu ruled by a series of kanawai or laws that incuded kapu that regulated certain activities. Those who were caught violating kapu were sentenced to death. However, there was a loophole. Those finding their way to the Pu‘uhonua would be spared and forgiven after spending a time being rehabilitated under the supervision of a priest. Today the largest pu‘uhonua in Hawaii can be found along the Kona Coast. A visit to Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau today can include a self guided tour though sacred sites as well as a day snorkeling with green sea turtles.

The duties of Kamehameha I took him to Maui to oversee the activities of the new Kingdom of Hawaii for an extended period of time. When he returned to the Big Island in 1812, the Ahuena Heiau became the center of the Kamehameha power. Located in the very heart of Kailua-Kona, the heiau was a nightly gathering place for advisors and royalty. His kingdom continued to thrive until his death in the early morning hours of May 8, 1819. Today, visitors are welcome to visit this restored historical site that is just steps from Alii Drive just makai of the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel.

Those visiting these historical sites are asked to not touch or disturb any of the stones or structures at anytime. These sites are considered sacred and should be treated with respect at all times.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Kayaking on Kealakekua Bay -- An Update

One of most popular destinations on the Big Island for kayaking and snorkeling, Kealakekua Bay and the Captain Cook Monument area of Ka‘awaloa Flats have been negatively impacted in recent years by an influx of illegal and unpermitted kayak rental operations. Beginning the first of this year, the State of Hawai‘i imposed a moratorium on the use of kayaks and floating vessels in Kealakekua Bay in an effort to "give the bay a rest" until planned management and regulatory actions are complete. Nobody knows for certain how long this process will take, so in the meantime, kayakers are basically out of luck when it comes to exploring Kealakekua Bay.

There is some good news, however, for visitors who want to go kayaking in this pristine Marine Conservation area. This month, the Department of Land and Natural Resources approved permits for  two commercial kayak tour companies, Aloha Kayak and Kona Boys, to return to the bay to offer guided tours twice a day. Currently, each tour company is allowed a total of 12 participants each trip, which means only 48 people per day can go on guided tours until further notice.

If you're planning a trip to Kona, be sure to book your kayak reservation in advance since space is limited. Located less than a half-hour drive from Holualoa Inn, Kealakekua Bay is a prime destination for viewing pods of spinner dolphins in the wild. Our Holualoa Inn ohana will give you insider tips on how to enjoy your day trip to Kealakekua Bay.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn