Return to the Surf


It was Thursday the 26th of February, one full week of our Hawaii adventure completed.  Our last morning at the Ohana. This was to be the day with the most perfect weather of our entire vacation.  We had breakfast on our lanai of fresh papaya, mango, pineapple, apple bananas and macadamia nuts.  Wow!  After this satisfying and energizing feast, John did some computer work and I went out with my camera again.  This time I went over the decrepit bridge that said kapu or keep out and took some pictures of the now defunct Kona Lagoon Resort.  This hulking white structure with nearly all of its windows smashed and grafitti scrawled all across it seems to still bustle with eerie ghostly activity though itís probably just rats and mongoose (is the plural mongeese?).  Couldnít help wondering how such a prime piece of property sits so fallow and abused.  I later read in "The Big Island Revealed" the tale about the Japanese company that bought both hotels, closed the Kona Lagoon for repairs and then ran out of money.  It seems that this particular spot has quite a past   The breakwater was built by the Menehune, the first people to populate the islands long before the Tahitians arrived. There are very few Menehune left today. They were said to be ingenious builders. In the 1600s the Tahitians made a heiau or temple on this place in honor of one particularly gruesome murder of the King of Maui which is recorded on petroglyphs at the waterís edge.  Many others were said to have been sacrificed to the gods at this heiau over the years.  Because of this history, the locals feel that no business will ever succeed here.  It certainly has that feel to it.  The breakwater here had eroded more than in front of the Ohana and the water was too deep and turbulent to see any fish.  Walking back over the bridge I saw that a sleek white cruise ship had entered Kailua Harbor which I could see distantly down the coast.  As I left the skeletal ghostliness of the Kona Lagoon and approached the manicured loveliness of the Ohana, I felt like I was stepping out of the past back into present day, and sure enough there were three men pacing outside of the hotel, talking urgently into their cell phones.

We moved back into town and into the Royal Kona Resort.  This time our room was on the top floor oceanfront in the Beach Building.  We were a little disappointed that we were unable to get the corner room which also overlooked the manmade saltwater lagoon.  The hotel had closed the lagoon the entire time we were there because of high surf.  This was to be the only day that it was opened.  We thought that the corner room would have been quite a coup but it was occupied  However, room 654 was a fine room and the surf boomed even louder than in our other room at this hotel because it was directly below us.  I noted that our car license number HCT339 and all of our room numbers Ė 519, 501, 654 Ė in numerology added up to sixes.  I  appreciated the synchronicity.  Six has always been a favorite number of mine.

It was a beautiful day.  There was little wind and only a few beautiful clouds.  Even the humidity seemed less that day.  It was hard to believe that the other islands were getting pummeled by a powerful storm.  Our fruit breakfast had been excellent but we missed out on our 100% Kona coffee so we walked down to Akiís for lunch.  I think that we absorbed the most sun on those daily walks into town and my shorts, shirt sleeves and sandals defined my tan.  We sat at an outside table under an umbrella.  At the next table sat two very beautiful Japanese women and an equally beautiful man.  During the course of our lunch, we watched as a Japanese film crew filmed them eating what looked like a sumptuous meal.  They did close-up shots and shots from across the street.  The town was bustling with tourists who were being ferried on and off the cruise ship so a crowd gathered around the filmmakers.  Josie, our beautiful Balinese waitress, explained that one of the young women was one of the most famous women in Japan.

After lunch we strolled to King Kamehameha Hotel, better known as King Kamís, to see about booking ourselves a room on Saturday night.  The walls of the huge air-conditioned lobby were covered with paintings of Hawaiian royalty going all the way back to King Kamehameha the first.  This hotel has the only sand beach in town and it was crowded with happy people swimming, wading and going out in kayaks and outrigger canoes.  The ocean was very tame here and the water crystal clear.  Just off-shore on a walled-in sandbar is a well-maintained Hawaiian thatched structure, Ahuíena heiau, which was King Kamehamehaís final home before his death.  We left there thinking we would probably stay there Saturday night but we were still hoping that Ann would be able to keep us in the Royal Kona.  Heading back to our room, we walked out on Kailua Pier which gave us a good view of the mile long stretch of downtown Kailua all the way out to the spaceship-shaped Royal Kona at the next rocky point.

John spoke with Ann and she was able to help us out; we would be able to stay in 654 for our entire stay.  This was good news.  We relaxed into our room with a knowing that it would be home for the next week.

I noticed that the hotelís saltwater lagoon was open so I got into my swimsuit and came down to try it out.  We hadnít swum in a pool in a couple of days so I was eager for a swim.  I tried to wear my flip flops, called slippahs here, because the rocks were sharp but then I couldnít swim with them so the whole operation was awkward.  But I managed to get in and swim around once just to say Iíd done it.  There would not be another chance to swim there for the rest of our stay.

We watched another magnificent sunset.  It would be the last night for several days that the dinner cruise ships would be touring the bay because of the approaching storm.  We had an excellent dinner at King Yee Lauís and a fun amble around town afterwards.  When we got back to the room we watched the local news.  The storm had been destructive on the other islands with eight inches of rain falling in a short period of time and high winds.  It was supposed to brush the big island the next day; maybe it wouldnít be so bad here.  It was a warm and tranquil night but the surf pounded against the rocks relentlessly with a rhythm that carried us through the night sleeping soundly.


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