June 2008 Log

A photo diary of life in Hilo Hawaii







We went to Rainbow Falls, near downtown Hilo, and were surprised to see the small amount of water going over the falls. It was surprising because we are getting quite a bit of rain.

Rainbow falls Hilo, little rain hiloliving.com

The Norwegian Cruise Liners (NCL) used to have 3 ships in the Hawaiian islands, each visiting once a week. Now there is only one ship that comes on Tuesdays since two have been deployed elsewhere. Here is a photo of the ship's arrival to Hilo Bay early this morning through the mist.

NCL arriving in Hilo


The trade winds are blowing again. They have cooled the temperatures from the 80's to 70's and greatly increased the humidity. We have had a couple of days of rain and now cloudy skies.

Cloudy Hilo Skies

As long as the trades blow, they draw in moisture from the east and blow it west, hopefully providing rain to the rest of the islands, all which are below their normal rainfall. Only Hilo seems to be getting its fair share of rain.

Hilo clouds

The Importance of DampRid in Hilo's Humidity

DampRid is a product that has become very important to us since moving to Hilo. It is the only reason my mainland clothes (which sit idle in my closet) and prized photographs and scrapbooks haven't been destroyed by mold and mildew yet. You can get DampRid packages with a hanger to put into a closet.

DampRid empty

A new one, like the one above, has a type of dried clay in the top and the bottom is empty. When it is ready to be replaced, it looks like the picture below where the silver portion is full of liquified clay that has absorbed the moisture in the air.

DampRid full of moisture

The package says it lasts 60 days, but I rarely get 2 weeks out of one of these and I keep them refreshed in all our closets. One of our closets has paper and office supplies which are kept dry by the DampRid.

Damprid package

Occationally we can find DampRid packets in the store, which I use in plastic containers that hold my prized photos.

Protecting papers in Hilo's humidity hiloliving.com

My scrapbooks and photo albums have a better chance of survival in plastic containers, but even in sealed plastic containers the DampRid packets swell with moisture. The cardboard moving boxes, that we have yet to unpack, in the garage have begun to melt. Cardboard just doesn't stand up to humidity like we have in Hilo. We keep a fan on the boxes to help retain some dryness and keep bugs away (bugs hate wind).

The benefit of the complexity of keeping things dry in Hilo is that it is a great motivator to get rid of stuff. We have been severely pruning the amount of stuff we own for the past four years, but we are motivated to cut back even further.


Normally Kona has the beautiful sunsets, but recently we have been getting beautiful sunsets here in Hilo.

Hilo Sunset

June 11 was KAMEHAMEHA DAY - a state holiday

Hilo celebrated King Kamehamha I's birthday on Coconut Island (Moku Ola) off Banyon drive. The celebration was sponsored by the Royal Order of Kamehameha I and included hula, singing, and local food.

Hilo King Kamehameha celebration

The Ke Ola Pono No Na Kupuna danced hula.

Hilo Kapuna hula dance

A great hula by an 83 year old man.

Hula in Hilo by 83 year old man

An outrigger was parked near by.

Hilo Outrigger

The Royal order of Kamehameha I had a ceremony at high noon.

Royal Order of King Kamehameha Hilo

Here is the noon ceremony speech by the Royal Order.

The day was hot so the children were in the water keeping cool. The kids crowded on to the diving platforms to jump into the ocean.

Hilo kids swimming on Coconut island


It took us a while to decide what exercise group we wanted to join in Hilo, but after checking out various possibilities we picked a water aerobic group. Since losing weight and getting into shape are our primary goals right now, water aerobics was e a great place to start.

We scoped out the two pools in Hilo, and I really liked the the Naval Air Station (NAS) pool near the old decommissioned Hilo airport terminal and air traffic tower. The pool reminded me of the one I use to swim in on an army base in Korea where I spent some time during my youth. In the picture below you can see the roof of the old airport terminal in the distance. This grand old NAS pool was built as a part of the Hilo Naval Air Station during WWII and is now owned by the county.

Hilo NAS pool

Our aerobic group meets 3 times a week. Some of the group does aerobics in the shallow end and another group does deep water aerobics. With an outdoor pool we get to enjoy the sun beaming down on us as well as the rain. Some days we get both rain and sun.

Hilo NAS pool aerobics Hilo NAS aerobics

Over the past months, we have come to know the women that attend the class. Many are in their 60's and 70's and have amazing stories of growing up in Hilo and elsewhere in Hawaii. We have learned so much about Hilo and Hawaii from them and they are always willing to answer any question we have and tell us what they think.

The group is renown for their potlucks. We had one last week.

Hilo party

The home cooked food was awesome and everyone brought huge quantities of Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Hawaiian and mainland dishes. It was a real treat to try so many new recipes at once. They were all wonderful.

Hilo food Hilo food

Hilo NAS Pool potluck


The State of Hawaii finally put up an informational web site about VOG and its impact to people and plants. This is long overdue, since the county web pages are rarely updated, there are no TV stations dedicated to the Big Island only radio stations, and we find the latest information about the VOG on blogs and forums.

The sites we check often are:

EPA AIR NOW forecast for particle emissions. This site is updated during the day. On the Big Island, the Kona readings seem to often be in the red. There are no sites published for the Kohala coast and the closest reading for the South point area is Pahala.

CAM in Kilauea's Halema'umau vent is a set of 3 live cameras pointed into the caldera. You can tell how much gas is spewing out and what direction it is going. You can move to the right of the pictures and see the tourists at the Jagger museum lookout. If the plume is headed backwards - it is headed out to sea and will end up in Kona. If it is voggy in the caldera, either the winds have stopped or it is raining. If the plumes are headed to the right, it may be coming to the East side. At night, the vent often glows and sometimes you can see it spewing bright red cinders.

USGS Hawaii recent Earthquakes tells us what the current activity is under the volcano. Increases in earthquakes will likely proceed the volcano going off.



Hilo June gas prices

Like everywhere, gas prices are continuing to go up in Hilo. Lots of folks commute to Hilo from Puna and the Hamuka coast and they are feeling the pain. We haven't noticed a reduction in the number of SUVs and pickups yet.


We spent last week driving around the Big Island. We have become so engrossed in Hilo that it has been a while since we had visited the rest of the island.

We spent two days snorkeling at our favorite place in Kona: Kahalu'u Beach.

Kahalu'u Beach Kona Hawaii

The fish were really out in style. We saw Tangs, Triggerfish, Goatfish, Butterfly fish, Parrotfish, Pufferfish, Surgeonfish, Wrasse.

Convict Tang Kona

Yellow Tang and Racoon Fish Kona

Here is a video we took of the massive varieties of fish that were on the reef. It included Angel fish, Yellow tang, Unicorn fish and more.

It was really fun to snorkel, but we were very happy to get back home to Hilo and away from the overwhelming vog.

Kona vog made day look like night.
Vog in Kona

You can see more videos of our trip to Kona at our YouTube HiloLiving site.

In Hilo we have been having clear skies, blue ocean, and refreshing cool tradewind breezes.

Here are some pictures from the past week around Hilo.

A picturesque scene of fishing near Coconut Island.
Fishing near Coconut Island Hilo

Colorful Hilo clouds.
Hilo Clouds

Refreshing Hilo Rain.
Refreshing Hilo rain hiloliving.com

Hilo Hotels across the blue Hilo Bay.
Hilo Bay hiloliving.com

Previous May 2008 Hilo Log posts

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