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Manini Beach 2 August 2017

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Out to the beach first thing this morning; seas light, no wind. First thing I see with my face in the water is ...FISH! A bunch of different ones like the Achilles Tangs at right.

Internet is iffy, and I don't know how much I can get posted before it shuts down altogether, but all's well, and I'll get this day posted as soon as I can.



Manini Beach isn't a public park; it's owned by a foundation and watched over by a crew of Aunties. Maybe that's why it's so wonderful?


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We spent time with two of these aunties today -- I can't call them Aunties to their faces, because they're younger than me! -- and their grasp of what makes a place special, and helps it survive the onslaught of people, is kindness and a sense of a community that lasts for a long time ... long enough, as Sandy expressed it to me, so our mo'opuna -- our grandchildren -- can show it to their grandchildren.

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And with love and care, this is what you get: abundant, thriving, unafraid sea life.

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. If you have a fast internet connection, try </p><div align="center"> <a href="">a larger image</a></div>

A school for surgeons. If you have a fast internet connection, try

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For me, one of the indicies of happy snorkelling is whether I see anyone new. Here's someone: a Moano, or Black-banded Goatfish, with a couple of pals, grazing on the coral barely hanging on here. Still, this is the healthiest water we have seen on this trip. Rochelle says, We don't have to go anywhere else...

(For some reason, I can't send anything with quotes in it from here!)

I have probably seen Goatfish before -- they're a common food fish (and therefore shy) -- but they apparently come in many colors, and can change color to fit their surroundings. Or so it says in the fish book.

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<p>More fish. Wow. </p>

More fish. Wow. 

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After a shower and a futile search for a missing farmers market, we stopped into Ka'aloa's Super J's for a real Hawaiian lunch. We asked the Hawaiian lady behind the counter to feed us, and she asked, How hungry? Medium big, we said. Laulau is the staple -- the dark green square that's a sort of Hawaiian tamale. Rochelle got chicken laulau, chicken and white rice wrapped in taro leaves (also called laulau. A lunch plate like this is also called Laulau. Nobody is confused by this.)

The accompaniments are macaroni salad, a sort of salsa, and, in the smaller dish, a kind of cabbage and kalua pig dish, don't know its name. 

More white rice than I've eaten in a decade, but delicious. Constant stream of folks, some sit down at the big table with us, others take-out. Strong sense of community up here too.

You sharp eyed ones will note that the crockery is vintage styrofoam.

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Came back, ate some ice cream, and then Rochelle took a nap while I did some reflecting on the differences between here and Anini on Kauai.

First, reflected on this strange accommodation. Its walls are antique Balinese store fronts, gathered up and imported to Kona a hundred or more years ago, and, before the owner here bought them, lying mouldering in the jungle (or so the story goes.) They're all different sizes, and so the fit together isn't perfect. And yup, that's a big Ficus tree growing in the wall and out the roof.

The ocean here eats surf boards, and the owner collects them, and uses them to decorate, make fences, plug holes. A very interesting dwelling --  eccentric, unique, unreproducible. Our Anini house, while comfortable for a two week stay, was generic, somewhat clumsy, and without more than the tiniest touch of individuality. And, for us, three nights here is enough!




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Considering the larger context -- islands -- a major contributor to the difference between Kauai and Hawaii is their  sizes. It seems Kauai is just too small for its population ...even though in pre-contact times, that island is said to have supported 400,000 Kanaka Maoli self-sufficiently.

Hawaii, the Big Island, is just over 4,000 square miles (and growing!) while Kauai is a mere 528 square miles. Does it take 4,000 square miles to accommodate a Modrun Society with a little grace and room around the edges for us eccentrics?

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Kealakekua Bay is a mere scallop out of the rugged volcanic west slope of Mauna Loa. Lava flowed here as recently as 1880, but most of this side has been resting gently for centuries. Kauai is much older and worn down. It also seems like the hot spot that has been pushing up the Hawaiian chain for millennia has slowed down, at least temporarily.

Kealakekua Bay is mostly famous because when Captain Cook got cheeky with the natives, they slew him. 

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Manini Beach and its neighborhood got thoroughly whacked by what they call The Japanese Tsunami, the one that caused the Fukushima event. The big waves (there were five) reflected and were focused by the bay, and came ashore on Manini point. The house (using the term loosely) that we're in, roughly in the center of this Google Maps aerial from 2012, 30 feet or so above sea level, got lifted off its footings (such as they are) and washed up against the back wall. Luckily, the owners were able to jack it back into place. The houses by the park itself are gone.

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We took a walk out around the end of Manini Point, then back to the beach. That two white pixel object on the far shore is the British-installed monument to their hero.

Sat and talked story with Sandy, the volunteer coordinator. She told us that she and the community keep such close watch on the beach and park because they want to preserve it for their mo'opuna.

Interesting cross currents:  monument to Great Britain's ur-colonizer, and the enduring values of indigenes.

When the tsunami came, it messed up all the beaches along the Kona and Kohala coast, and the state and county closed theirs down for two weeks to clean up. At Manini, the community, the firemen, everybody came together and worked to clean the debris -- from the two nearby houses that had been sucked out to sea and demolished, among other things. By noon, all cleaned up! Sandy said. It takes a village. Or: a village can make it.

<p>The water entry at Manini</p>

The water entry at Manini

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<p>The sand at Manini Beach is coarse</p>

The sand at Manini Beach is coarse

Sandy told us that the tsunami washed all this coarse sand out into the bay, revealing a layer of finer sand (the same as is found in the actual entry.) How nice, she thought ...but the next couple of storms washed it back to normal. That blue shoe is one foot long (no pun intended.)

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