Beware the deadly Dragon’s Breath

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It’s always nice to the see the blow holes below the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail when they’re really pumping out spray.  Some people call it Dragon’s Breath, and refer to the side by side blow holes as the Dragon’s Nostrils.

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It’s been a few years since I’ve hiked down the hill to dip in the beautiful tide pools and see the Dragon’s Breath up close.  It’s not a hard hike, but the area can be deadly dangerous when the waves are acting wild.  This was not the day.

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Ka Iwi Coast sea caves and petroglyphs

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Caves and lava tubes are tucked away among the intricately eroded sea cliffs.

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And some hide semi-secret historical treasures …

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… that tell stories of long ago.

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Many have eroded badly over the centuries.

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Tide pools form in eroded lava shelves.

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And tunnels lead to favorite fishing spots.

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Hidden away from the city’s noise and traffic.

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Aloha.

Sand Island sojourning: Part I

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Sand Island is an unusual place.  Connected to Oahu by a drawbridge, Sand Island is a mixture of shipping, industrial, and municipal infrastructure facilities with a pretty raw coastline of tidepools and scrub.  A cattle egret hunts for lunch above.

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And a different kind of bird takes off from nearby Honolulu International Airport …

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… and flies toward Diamond Head and Waikiki for some sight-seeing adventures.

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And even bigger bird takes off toward the U.S. mainland …

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… leaving behind a world of waves and tidepools.

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They look like concrete bunkers but these are probably really part of an old breakwater or outfall pipe structure.

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And these look like giant sponges or decayed trees, but upon closer inspection they appear to be the remains of a large insulated pipe that has rusted away.

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Not too many visitors to this stretch of coastline, but somebody has been making a real effort to make it look tidy.  Dig the white coral borders along the bushes and scrub.

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And somebody even spelled out “Aloha.”  Cool!

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A natural puka worn into the shoreline by the waves.

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And more tidepools.

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Tug boats slip out of Honolulu Harbor to meet an incoming vessel.

 

 

 

Bay Area interlude: Part I

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An early morning at the Sutro Baths ruins near the Cliff House at the north end of Ocean Beach, San Francisco.  The Sutro Baths opened in 1896 as the world’s largest indoor pool.  The structure burned down in 1966 and the area has been a nice place to wander ever since.

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The ruins are now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which includes some good walking paths and trails, even a couple tunnels.

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Parts of the ruins now function as artificial tidepools.

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The Seal Rocks, just off the beach, are mostly full of pelicans these days.

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A guano miner’s dream.

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Just don’t splat us, please.

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There’s a nice beach at low tide, but it’s not there for long.

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A gathering spot for early morning fishermen.

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There are also lots of big black ravens.  They remind me of the Maltese Falcon, a San Francisco icon (and cliche).

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The sandstone cliffs are really cool.

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So are the bluffs above.

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Somebody’s lost feather got stuck in a California Poppy, making it look almost like a Hawaiian Hibiscus.

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The north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge is barely visible through the morning fog.

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Along with another squadron of pelicans.

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We’ll head over that way too.

 

Wandering along Ka Iwi Coast tidepools

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The rugged Ka Iwi Coast on the east side of Oahu is a great place to wander.  Lots of tidepools and little surprises.

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Oahu’s last active lava flow met the sea here many moons ago, and the beach is now a fascinating mix of coral and lava.

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A few nice shells are scattered here and there.

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The line on this fish’s back makes it look like he’s looking up and frowning.

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Lots of little reef fish in the pools.

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Some of the fish have very good camouflage.  Look closely and you will see the fish in the center below.

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It’s always nice to see the Coast Guard on the job.

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The empty shell of a large crab still stands guard too.

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Koko Crater looms in the background.

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This old engine block has seen better days.  It’s almost like an archeological find.  But not quite.  Just another reminder of the modern world.

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