Day 12 — Hawaii “The Big Island” Part 2 — KONA — 8/9
We started the day off a little differently this morning by going to a sit down restaurant to order breakfast instead of pigging out on the buffet. The next thing different about today was that the harbor does not have a terminal able to accommodate our ship so we anchored off shore and they had to tender (shuttle) us to the dock. They did this by lowering about 5 lifeboats and loading us in them and then driving us to the dock where we boarded our excursion buses. Our driver today saw my Clemson shirt and talked about how great the National Championship game was. By the end of the day I believe I had made us a new fan, because part of his tip was a $2 with an orange tiger paw stamped on it!
Our first stop was at a Kona Coffee plantation where we learned about the growing, harvesting, roasting, and selling of Kona coffee. The Kona coffee region is only about 50 miles long by about 2 miles wide and to have 100% Kona coffee the beans have to be grown in this region. You can also buy Kona “blend” coffee which only has 10% Kona coffee. Most of the Kona coffee plantations are only about 5 acres each. There are hundreds of Kona coffee brands, as a lot of times each plantation will have its’ own brand. Kona coffee has to be certified and is all hand- picked which makes it so expensive.
After we left the coffee plantation we took a scenic journey back to the dock to board the second half of our tour. On the way back we stopped at the “Painted Church”. The “Painted Church” is actually Saint Benedict Roman Catholic Church which was founded by Fr. John Velghe from Belgium. He built the church from 1899–1902 to bring Christianity to the Hawaiian people. He spoke only French, Belgium, and Spanish and the Hawaiians only spoke their own language so he painted the inside of the church to get his message across.
The next stop on out trip back was at the National Historic Park Pu’uhonua o Honaunau. Here we heard about the local history of the area and saw different representations of them. The park is located right on the ocean front and is quite beautiful.
The second half was aboard the double decker Body Glove catamaran Konoa II. We headed out of the harbor to see the sea side view of Kona. We were thrilled to run across a huge school of “Spinner” Dolphins who were not spinning. We were told that the “Spinner” Dolphins come in close to shore during the daytime to “sleep”. Bu sleeping they just sort of laze around in the water not doing much. About dusk they head to deeper water to catch their dinner and put on a show. We headed south to the cove where Captain James Cook (not me) landed and also where he was killed. We heard conflicting stories about his demise. I was glad to see this as I have the same name and made it out alive!! On our way back in we ran across the same school of “Spinner” dolphin who put on a small show for us. I was not quick enough with the camera to get a real good “spinning” shot and we passed so fast that they were gone fairly quickly. It was still neat to see.
Then it was back to our ship for dinner and fun. After dinner we went to a Frankie Valley and the Four Seasons show that was really good. We then took in a magic show that wowed us. We didn’t have one of those great sunsets I have showed you on previous pages but had a great full moon moonrise!
Once again we want to thank God for this beautiful earth, the health to be able to see it, and the safety to get us through the day.