A Travellerspoint blog

Viewing a Volcano from the Air and by Land

Plus Candy and Orchids


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2010 Yellowstone and Hawaii & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

June 22, 2010

We have two excursions today - one the Circle of Fire Helicopter, and the other going to the Volcano National Park. We don't have time in between to go back on the ship for lunch. Since we didn't do the Tora Tora Tora tour in Honolulu where black clothing was suggested for lack of reflection, I wore black for this one.
View of the island from the ship

View of the island from the ship

100_6674.JPGHarbor

Harbor


Our meeting time on the pier is to be 9:00, so we went up to the Aloha Cafe for breakfast about 6:30.
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When we got back to the room, I figured that I could order something from room service to take with us in addition to the two rolls that I put in my pocket. So I ordered grilled cheese sandwiches and put them in a napkin in my bag.

Then we went out on the pier to meet with our group. While we waited there was electric ukulele music (very loud) and hula dancing.
Loud electric ukelele on in the pier June 2010

Loud electric ukelele on in the pier June 2010


A black dude came into the terminal and weighed us on a scale. The rules said that if you were over 250 lbs that you would be charged extra. My grandson weighed 85 lbs - less than I had guessed (I guessed 100 lbs) and I was more than I had put down (but of course I'm usually weighing in the morning before breakfast when nude), but not over 250 lbs. We got into a van and they drove us to the airport.

We did this tour out of the Hilo Airport. Known as General Lyman Field prior to 1989, Hilo International Airport occupies 1,391 acres about two miles east of Hilo, on the eastern shore of the island of Hawaii. The airport has a couple of shops, a newsstand, a cocktail bar and a restaurant. Arriving passengers at Hilo International disembark through jetways to the second level of the terminal. They can take an escalator, elevator or stairs to get to the ground level baggage claim area, rental cars and ground transportation. Signs will direct them to the correct baggage carousel. A Visitor Information Booth is located in the arrival area to assist passengers.

I understand that there used to be helicopter tours right from the park, but they are no longer available as there were safety concerns. We walked to the Blue Sky Helicopter place and they gave us a safety briefing and handed out the little life preserver/fanny pack. I couldn't get mine on because it had been put away wrong.

We were lined up in groups - my grandson and I were in the first group - he was #3 and I was #4. Two of the others were two women from Australia, and there was also a young couple. They walked us out to our helicopter - they took me on a golf cart.
x100_5787.jpgBlue Sky helicopter tour June 2010 and Controls of the helicopter

Blue Sky helicopter tour June 2010 and Controls of the helicopter


It was raining and we got wet. Our pilot was Julie. The young couple sat in the back on the right side, and we sat on the left side with my grandson next to the window.

Julie took off and flew toward the volcano.
As we are taking off

As we are taking off


There were raindrops on the windows and there was a rainbow out the right side
Rainbow in the rain

Rainbow in the rain

Julie flies to the coast

Julie flies to the coast

100_5728.JPGCoastline

Coastline


y100_6683.jpgHouses on the lava plain and smoke or steam from a vent from a helicopter

Houses on the lava plain and smoke or steam from a vent from a helicopter


barricade over the road

barricade over the road


We flew over the house of the man who wouldn't evacuate,
y100_6686.jpgBed and Breakfast - closed off by lava flows

Bed and Breakfast - closed off by lava flows


Because it was cloudy, we could see the red glow from the lava around the edges of the flow.
Glowing red

Glowing red

Glowing lava

Glowing lava


Hot lava

Hot lava

large_y100_6698.jpg large_y100_6699.jpgLava from the air

Lava from the air


x100_5744.JPGShiny lava is recent - has more silica

Shiny lava is recent - has more silica


She also flew around the edge of the crater with steam coming out.
y100_6696.jpgMauna Loa Volcano from the helicopter

Mauna Loa Volcano from the helicopter


large_x100_5767.JPG
Old and new lava

Old and new lava

y100_6697.jpgSulfur or iron deposits

Sulfur or iron deposits

Island of trees and reflection in the window of the life jacket

Island of trees and reflection in the window of the life jacket

My grandson got some really good photos (he was next to the window). Then she flew over some waterfalls on the river -
waterfall from helicopter

waterfall from helicopter

River

River

x100_5779.JPGWaterfall

Waterfall


this part was a little rough for him as it was more bouncy and he was less interested.
University

University

Pride of America

Pride of America

Hilo

Hilo


Airport tower when we came in for a landing

Airport tower when we came in for a landing

Julie took a photo of us with my camera,
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and they also had cameras in the helicopter which showed where we went and had Julie's narrative.

We got back to the airport - the sun was out but I was still a little damp around the edges from the rain earlier. I got a ride on the golf cart back to the gate. I ordered the DVD of our ride (one for him and one for me). It occurred to me that we could probably get food at the airport, so I told him to go buy something and he got himself a hamburger. I ate one of the grilled cheese sandwiches and the rolls while I was waiting for the DVDs to be finished. Then we were driven back to the ship. I used the bathroom on the pier
Sign on the inside of the bathroom on the dock

Sign on the inside of the bathroom on the dock


before we assembled on the pier for the Volcanoes National Park Tour. We had a driver named Rob this time
Park in Hilo

Park in Hilo

Leaving tsunami evacuation area

Leaving tsunami evacuation area


First he took us to a candy company where we could see candy being made and we bought some.
large_x100_5798.jpg
I don't remember what we bought and we ate it before we got back to the ship. Their website says: Our ..original products – such as our Chocolate Dipped Macadamia Nut Shortbread Cookies are world renown. All of our products are made with the finest of ingredients, such as locally grown macadamia nuts, 100 percent Kona Coffee along with island eggs, real butter and high-grade chocolate
Entering the park

Entering the park

Blurry photo of the military camp from the bus

Blurry photo of the military camp from the bus


Our next stop at the National Park was the Jagger museum.
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This time I had brought the NPS passports and we each got a stamp.

We looked at the seismographs and exhibits.
Seismographs at the VNP

Seismographs at the VNP


y100_6720.jpgy100_5825.jpgObservatory

Observatory

Volcano watch

Volcano watch


The Museum is next to the main crater, Halema'uma'u.

We took pictures of it.
From the visitor's center

From the visitor's center

x100_5821.jpgx100_5805.jpg
The Hawaiians believe Kilauea and Halemaumau to be the home of Pele
large_x100_5822.jpgMauna Loa sign

Mauna Loa sign


I also took photos of the sign asking us not to feed the Nene (the Hawaiian goose-an endangered species)
Sign about Nene

Sign about Nene


because then they are attracted to the roads and parking lots and get run over and killed. I wouldn't have fed one, but I would have liked to see one. But they were all away from the tourist areas.

The driver (and signs at the museum) attempted to explain the difference between the two kinds of lava - Aa which is very jagged and rough and may be 10 feet thick, and Pahoehoe which is smooth and only one of two meters thick. The differences are caused by the temperature of the flowing lava. Hotter lava flows smoothly and spreads out more.

He said that it was best just to evacuate and wait for the lava to do its thing - because none of the things that people have done worked. Building dams to deflect it, - doesn't work. Putting water on it to cool and harden it - doesn't work. (Don't fool with Mother Nature - or Pele)

When we were there, Kilauea was Active at two Locations - the Summit and East Rift Zone
Eastern Rift zone

Eastern Rift zone


The most recent flow in the park had gone across the end of Chain of Crater's Road and part of the Crater Rim Drive was closed also.
Sign explaining how to access the lava flow

Sign explaining how to access the lava flow


The place to see the hot lava flowing though was outside the park boundaries and it was most visible at night.

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We loaded back in the bus. Rob stopped at the steam vent which has a railing around it. I didn't see but one of the steam vents because I didn't walk past the one that is in the parking lot. Rob explained that ground water seeps down to the hot volcanic rocks in this area and returns to the surface as steam. It is warm, but it isn't hot like a steam iron. At least this one wasn't. It did fog up my glasses.
90530546601826-railing_arou..ional_Park.jpgSteam vent

Steam vent


The bus took us down through the tropical rain forest (where it was raining)
y100_6729.jpgTree Ferns and Ferns

Tree Ferns and Ferns


and down into the temperate rainforest (it was still raining).
Forest

Forest

We went down to the where the lava had closed the road by flowing over it.
e2d521d0-cbb1-11ea-a9b2-4d4084c345da.JPGFJ.s photos of Old lava flow up close

J.s photos of Old lava flow up close


Then we came back up to the lava tube. I stayed on the bus but my grandson got off at each stop.
y100_6744.jpgInside the tube

Inside the tube


Inside Thurston volcano tube

Inside Thurston volcano tube


We had one more stop at the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens.before we went back to the ship.
x100_5832.JPGOrchid garden

Orchid garden

y100_6761.jpgy100_6767.jpg
Going to the gardens is free and they hope you will buy some of their products from the gift shop.
Grandson photographing orchids

Grandson photographing orchids

y100_6762.JPGOrchid

Orchid

Succulent

Succulent


They also sell through the internet and ship. The gift shop features orchid and floral-related products and made-in-Hawaii gifts, including Akatsuka Original Magnets-clay replica magnets designed after the orchids. You can also buy the plants which are certified for US Mainland travel and can be purchased and shipped from our counter or packed for carry-on.

We got back to the ship about 5 pm - it was to sail at 6. The dinner tonight was prime rib and they had it up in the buffet as well as the dining room. It was the Captain's night, so I changed into a long dress and decided to eat in the upper level dining room. My grandson went to the buffet. I told the people at the desk that I wanted to eat with other people so they had me sit in a chair until they found someone else to share with me. I got a couple who normally cruise with Renaissance - they were astonished at the extra price restaurants.

I had
Chicken egg drop soup

Chicken egg drop soup


Roast beef, baked potato, onion rings.  It came with carrots and peas which I didn't eat

Roast beef, baked potato, onion rings. It came with carrots and peas which I didn't eat


Cappuccino chocolate mousse in a chocolate cup

Cappuccino chocolate mousse in a chocolate cup


My grandson went to the show, and then came back and fell asleep. While he was out the room steward made a towel animal. Rabbit towel elephant

Rabbit towel elephant

Since there is no way to get the announcements in the cabin (a major annoyance), I did not hear when they said that you could see the red lava on the shore, but I looked out and saw it and saw people at the rail. I was already in my nightgown and my grandson was sound asleep, so I didn't wake him up, and I couldn't take a picture from the room very well.
Lava on shore

Lava on shore


This was disappointing, but we saw lots of lava earlier today
Full moon reflected in ship

Full moon reflected in ship


Tomorrow our port is Kona

Posted by greatgrandmaR 19:48 Archived in USA Tagged volcano orchids lava candy helicopter seismograph

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