The Lagoon


I awoke feeling hot and sweaty but knowing that there were only two full days left to our Hawaiian adventure.  A swim in the pool relieved any discomforts left over from the hot night.  Swimming in the pool nearly every day became a robust workout for us and has gotten us to consider putting in one of our own.  We walked to Aki’s for breakfast.  While we ate we watched as a large fishing boat named Wild West maneuvered itself near the beached scow.  Just as we were finishing our coffee, a backhoe with a crane attached to it pulled up across the street and a fellow got out and studied the scow.  After a bit, another man in a pickup truck arrived and joined him.  We left them pondering and walked back to the hotel.  We spoke to Mark on the way back telling him of our adventures the day before.  We said that we really wanted to go back to Hapuna beach again and he suggested that we might also try Mauna Kea beach which is just about a mile north of Hapuna.

We headed north with the simple desire of finding any beach where we could get into the water again.  I was reading the descriptions of the beaches in "The Big Island Revealed" and thought that Kehaka Kai State Park sounded intriguing and it said that it was "fairly easy to get to".  I should have noted the qualifier.  The entire area is an a’a field, the Hawaiian word for rough lava as opposed to smooth lava, poehoe.  The road is roughly flattened out of this sharp edged black rock.  We drove very slowly over the fissures and jutting rises hating to put the Sebring through any more difficult terrain after its heroic dash through the flood yesterday.  Forgive my anthropomorphizing but I was fond of our car and it had served us well.  Then we saw another Sebring coming towards us  from the beach.  This was encouraging.  They had their top down and we stopped to chat.  They told us it wasn’t worth the drive.  When they got to the end of the road you had to get out and walk a long way and they never did see the beach.  We didn’t need to hear more.  We turned around and headed north for Mauna Kea beach.

Mauna Kea is also a big resort and when you arrive you must stop at a gate and tell them you’re going to the beach.  The young man at the gate informed us that the beach was closed because of the downpour that happened yesterday.  He said that Hapuna was closed as well.  This was disappointing because we really wanted to go for a swim in the ocean.  We asked the young man if he had any recommendations and he said we should try Spencer Beach just north of the conjunction of Rte 19 and 270.  He said to look for a big long pile of black rocks but a sign led us to Samuel M. Spencer Beach Park easily.  The pile of black rocks was the Pu’ukuhola Heiau National Historical Site where Kamehameha the first built this 100 by 224 foot mortarless stone heiau because he was told by a prophet that if he did so, he would become the leader of all the islands, which of course, he did.

Spencer Beach is the perfect place to come if you want to swim rather than body surf.  There are excellent facilities here with showers and changing rooms, and it is very photogenic.  They allow tent camping which looked like a great way to enjoy a vacation with a cheaper price tag.  A woman camping there with her husband said it was ten dollars a day per person.  The beach was a lagoon formed by a line of rocks far off shore where the surf was breaking.  Big beautiful shade trees with wonderfully twisted trunks and branches lined the small sandy beach and offered cover to the campers.  In spite of the mostly cloudy, breezy conditions, there were a good number of people on the beach.  I wondered if that was usual or if so many had come here as we had because of the closures at Hapuna and Mauna Kea.  The water was amazingly warm with only gentle little waves lapping in at the shore, more like a lake than an ocean.  You have to walk a short distance over some rocks before arriving at a large sand bar.  The swimming was luscious out there. The warm breeze felt cool compared to the even warmer water.  Buoyed by the salt water, I swam as limber and strong as a fish.  It reminded me of my youthful summer days swimming in Lake Huron.

We left for our drive back to Kailua late in the afternoon.  Just as we got to the Keahole Airport we encountered the rush hour traffic.  We should have considered this.  It took longer to get from that point to our hotel as it had to drive down from Spencer Beach.  But who could complain. We listened to John Abercrombie and his cohorts as we crawled past stark a’a fields.

Back in our steam room at the Royal Kona, the sunset appeared as just a thin line of light at the horizon because of all the clouds.  We showered and relaxed with a little sake.  Someone from the front desk brought us the fan that the girl from the day before said she would bring us from home.  It helped a little.  We decided to eat at the hotel’s Tropics Café for dinner.  We asked the hostess for a table by the water and she seemed annoyed by our request.  We’d encountered her before and always got something of that attitude.  We were left waiting for some time as they cleaned a table for us.  It was worth the wait to be able to watch the crashing, splashing waves in the hotel’s lights.  I ordered the daily special which was teriyaki chicken but she brought me a huge platter of both chicken and steak.  I only eat meat in moderation so it was far more than I wanted to consume but it was deliciously marinated and cooked.  I have generally liked the food at the Tropics Cafe if not the service.  After dinner we took a long and leisurely walk around town.  That night we slept with the fan on.  Often times in noisy motels or city situations, we use the constant whirring noise of a fan to help us sleep.  With the sound of the surf, I never even heard the fan but its movement of air helped the sleeping conditions.


Back ] big island tourist ] Up ] Next ]