Sea Turtles

For quite a few years, I lived right on the ocean. I was so close that the salt spray covered everything in my home. But the view was unbeatable. I watched the surfers at both Banyans and Lyman’s Point.

The salt did a lot of damage to my belongings, but I didn’t mind it for the years I lived there. The surf roared and crashed twenty-four hours a day, and I loved it. When I finally left, it took me a while to become accustomed to the silence.

Some days, I watched dolphins play in the little bay outside my deck. Other days, I had the pleasure of the whales on their journey. There was always something going on.

There was one bit of sea life I could depend on every single day – the many honu, or sea turtles that sunned themselves on the rocks. Sometimes there would be as many as eight of them on the lava rocks.

As the tide gradually came in and covered the rocks, they would slip away into the water, then return as the next low tide began. Watching them, I learned the personality of each one.

This big guy is in the water part way. He was funny to watch. As the tide crept up, he would haul himself just a little higher up the rock until he finally couldn’t stay above the water. Reluctantly, he would slip back into the ocean and swim away.

Many times, I had to shout at visitors who tried to touch them. The turtles are protected and don’t react kindly to being teased. So if you are visiting Hawaii, please stay away from the turtles. Take pictures from a distance and go away knowing that you are helping to preserve our natural environment and care for our endangered honu.

A hui hou!

The Mermaid

Today’s post is a bit of my short fiction.
From time to time, I will post something on that order.
This photo of surf and rainbow was taken on Ali`i Drive, Kailua-Kona HI
 

The MermaidGingerly, she steps around the walkway encompassing the hull of the boat. She is deprived of the oxygen tanks’ guardianship this time. Only Spirit protects her. A new alternative reality begins. Capturing one final breath of the salt air, she plunges into the dubious nourishment of the salt water.

She comes to swim with the shark. She comes to be recreated, to become the virgin mermaid. Deeper and still deeper the woman is drawn into his world. Forever on the quest for Life, she carries the light that could guide her way, never knowing what lands will be found in the depths of this foreign territory. She knows, for this is not the first time she has been called to this place, yet time changes all.

Down she spirals, seeing life at every level. Schools of clown fish wiggle through their anemone playground, while angel fish glide quietly in their heavenly realm. Turkey fish compete for space with stone fish. Darts of color flash by as she peers into their temples. Ever watchful for the moray eel, she searches the crevice for friends to surround and join in her transmutation.

Preparation is needed to live in so many worlds: this world of water and wave, that world of sand and dust and danger, a world of tropical splendor, a frozen world. Will she endure? Another test of endurance? Of power and talent?

The passion begins, the body veers into a new form. Lungs expand to absorb the new life force. Arms grow stronger for stroking the tides. Hair flows behind her for stability. Hips broaden into solid encrustation as scales form to enable her survival in this new world. The vulnerable womanhood now hidden, she is granted safe conduct through a hostile outpost. Feet flow into one mass, supple and fluid, feathery.

Now more swiftly she swoops through the kelp, surging past the curious crowds. Her goal draws closer. The shark sleeps below, then wakes as her body generates ripples in the water round about him. He waits for the mermaid, circling … circling … circling as she arrives, but she is bold and fearless. No longer can his threats keep her away from her destiny, no longer overpower her genius, no longer stifle the transformations.

Together they circle and stalk, stalk and circle. Will he never fear? Will he always reign in this channel? Without a quaver, she perseveres in her mission. He cannot thwart her progress. He consumes her, denounces her, abuses her until she will yield to him. The woman will never succumb. She simply desires to swim in his space, beside him. Where is her solution?
~~~
From Feral Fables by Lucy L. Jones. To purchase check out my Author Page on Amazon.com.

Cooking Under the Stars

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This past Saturday, at the King’s Shops of Waikoloa, the Culinary Arts Program of Hawaii Community College (both Hilo and West Hawaii Campuses) offered their annual “Cooking Under the Stars” to the public for spectacular tasting.

A bit of drama was added at the end of the evening as the full moon burst through the clouds to provide a glorious view to our Hawaiian locals and visitors.

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Watch the slideshow below to see some of the local chefs, instructors, and students as they cook, taste, and stroll among the booths.

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Pictures were taken by Becky Stalder and Chef Mark Johnson.
A hui hou!

Palamanui Update as of December 2014

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In November of fall semester 2014, I visited our new Palamanui campus. You can look at the slideshow from that trip and read a bit of the school’s history here.

Then in December, with all classes and exams complete, our faculty and staff gathered for our annual “end of fall semester” celebration with a potluck. This year, we gathered under a large tent at a location just above the new campus so we could look at it as we ate.

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Through our gathering, we felt like we were staking our claim for the new school. We have been told we can start teaching there in fall semester 2015. In our minds, we visualized walking into the new classrooms to join with eager students in their educational process.

The pictures from the November post were of the inside of buildings primarily and I wasn’t able to post pictures of the overall campus. I took more pictures from our vantage point during the December potluck, and thought those of you who have an interest in Palamanui would like to see.

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Most of the work is being done on the inside right now, so the outside doesn’t look finished yet. These pictures show several buildings and the total layout of the new campus.

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I’m sure our community will get a chance to visit this new campus in the near future. We look forward to bringing higher education to the North Kona side of the Big Island of Hawai`i.

A hui hou!

Palamanui – Then and Now

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On May 19, 2004, a group of instructors from the University Center at West Hawaii were taken on a trip to see the land where a new campus would be built. We went in a convoy of four-wheel drive vehicles. I took quite a few pictures, but two stand out in my mind.

The first is where the buildings would ultimately be put up.
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The second is a shot of us seeing the plans for the first time. It was raining, and as we huddled under the tent to stay semi-dry, the site was pointed out to us. We all became excited!
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That was over ten years ago!

This past week, November 14, 2014 I had the wonderful opportunity to be taken on a private tour of the buildings by Dr. Marty Fletcher, Director of our facility. Below is a slideshow of the pictures I took to show the progress, and I was almost in tears as I remembered how long we have all waited for this. We have been assured that we can start teaching in the new buildings for fall semester, 2015!

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The windows go in right away, and then they can start finishing the inside. Walkways will be covered and shaded with solar panels. It is like a dream that is coming true! I’m sure I will be giving an update as soon as we are actually in the new campus, or maybe a few more as we start moving in.

A hui hou!
Lucy

Iselle on the Leeward Side

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I know some of my readers are interested in knowing what happened here on the Big Island when Hurricane Iselle hit this past week.

Fortunately, I live on the leeward side of the island with two mountains dividing us from the windward side. Iselle’s landfall was in Ka’u District, where Ocean View, Na`alehu and Pahala are located, creating lots of flooding and loss of trees. It seems the biggest damage, however, was in the Puna District. Here is a link to some of the pictures showing the results of Iselle there.

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The morning after Iselle hit, I walked with some friends visiting from California on the beach just below my home to see the surf. The pictures on this post are from that walk.

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We got rain earlier that morning, but it was nothing like what I had expected. A little later in the morning, we got quite a wind – so much that I almost had white caps on my pool! Other than that, we were not hit at all. Many of my friends were not that fortunate, and too many are still without power and phone. It’s a miracle that people lived through it all.

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Mahalo for all the thoughts and prayers that came to our island!
A hui hou,
Lucy

Sunrise – Sunset

Sunset from my patio

When I lived on Guam, I always thought the sunsets were particularly spectacular, and they were. I haven’t seen anything like them anywhere since then. I will find those slides someday and do a post on them.

In the meantime, the sunsets (and sunrises) on the Big Island of Hawaii and other places are beautiful, too, and in a different way. It’s not easy for me to explain, but here are a few for you to enjoy.

The sunset above is from my patio, looking out toward the ocean.

Each morning, we walked along St. Petersburg Harbor around 6:00.

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This sunrise picture was taken just as the dark was ending on Coffee Pot Bayou in St. Petersburg, Florida, where I spent a few weeks this summer visiting my brother.

Coffee Pot Bayou

Early evening on our cruise, we enjoyed sitting on the top deck. Here I am looking toward the bow of the ship. It was not quite sunset, but getting close.

Sunset just starting-toward bow

I attempted a shot of the sunset on the Gulf of Mexico heading toward Cozumel, Mexico. The reflection on the water was almost too bright to photograph well.

Sunset on cruise

At the end of the cruise, my brother took this picture on our return, with an interesting view of Tampa Bay just before sunrise.

early morning return to St. Pete

A hui hou!
Lucy

Punalu`u Black Sand Beach

While friends were searching for turtles and swimming in the rough water, I sat at my favorite spot to watch the surf pound against the rocks. Just for fun, I shot a short video I thought my readers would enjoy watching (and hearing)!

Click here to watch the YouTube – and yes, it was really that loud!

A hui hou!

Fire Dancer on Waikiki

Another attraction here is the Hawaiian Fire Dancer. I’ve known young children who were already training, showing great skill. Check out this past Monday’s post to see the Fourth of July fireworks. The fire dance performance took place at the Luau that marked the end of the conference I attended on Waikiki.

At one point in this YouTube, the dancer leaves the stage, but he went to get more fire. Don’t think it’s finished when that happens. He comes back!

I give my brother, Hilton, credit for the silhouette on Waikiki Beach at the beginning of this post.

A hui hou!

Fireworks on Waikiki!

One week ago we celebrated Fourth of July as a nation. I was attending a conference on Oahu, staying in a hotel on Waikiki. I had a ring-side seat to the fantastic fireworks display.

Waiting for the big event, I watched the sun drop down behind the horizon, something we all seem to love – and there’s nothing quite like a sunset on Waikiki.

I was able to get a short video on my little Nikon CoolPix camera. It may be a little blurry or shaky, but in case you missed the fireworks somewhere else, you can watch this YouTube. Pretend you are sitting with me on the balcony of my hotel on beautiful Waikiki Beach!

A hui hou!