May 2009 Log

A photo diary of life in Hilo Hawaii




Nippon Maru in Hilo

Since the H1N1 flu scare in mid-May, the number of Japanese visitors decreased in Hilo. They were missed after a great turnout in Hilo earlier in May during Golden Week. But the arrival of the MV Nippon Maru cruise ship on May 28 once again filled Hilo with Japanese tourists. The Nippon-Maru is part of the Mitsui OSK Cruise Lines. The ship can carry up to 400 passengers and spent two days in Hilo harbor.

Coconut Island in Hilo

Fortunately, the weather was clear and warm for their visit.


This time of year the trade winds should be blowing in heavy clouds filled with rain. Instead, the air is nearly still, filling the town with vog. Rainbow Falls is nearly dry due to lack of rain, but the high humidity is keeping the grass growing and the flowers blooming.

Rainbow Falls with no water


Gecko in Hilo

Geckos of various coloring and sizes inhabit our house. They come in and out through the opening between the walls and the roof rafters. They flit around our kitchen like they own the place, completely unconcerned by our presence. Some people object to them, but we have come to like their company, particularly during the evenings when the termites swarm up from the soil under the house. They click and bang on the windows while gorging themselves. This gecko has come to like honey, which we hope won't interfere with his appetite for bugs.


Shipman House in Hilo

The Shipman House is a mansion walking distance from downtown Hilo, that harkens back to Territorial Hawaii when the "Big Five" ruled the Hawaiian economy and sugar cane was Hilo's big export. Willie Shipman bought the mansion in 1901 from Jack Wilson and he and his wife and 10 children moved into the house.

Shipman House inside

Hawaii's last monarch, Queen Liliuokalanli, was one of the famous visitors to the Shipman's grand home as well as movie director Cecil deMille. Jack London stayed at the house during his trip to Hilo.

Shipman house interior

Barbara Anderson, the Shipman's great grand-daughter and her husband have restored the grandeur of the mansion creating a living museum with historic furniture and art pieces.

Barbara Anderson Shipman House

They have kept up the acreage filled with tropical plants, fruit trees, and flowers.

Shipman House flowers

Barbara and her husband let me look around the mansion and walk around the gardens. Shipman House porch

They have created a comfortable and unique place for their B&B guests and kept a piece of Hawaii history intact within the fast changing town of Hilo.

Shipman House breakfast

I got to sample their breakfast and taste some very exotic fruits grown in their garden.

IShipman house fruits

They have 5 rooms available, three in the main house and two more in a secluded bungalow on the 5 acre property.

Shipman guest room

If you are staying in Hilo and want the feeling of old Hawaii, check out the Shipman House.


May has brought the end of the spring semester at UHH. The high schools get out the first week of June and UHH graduation is this weekend. The UHH students are packing up and leaving town. The invited UHH commencement speaker this year was Jerry Yang - Yahoo co-founder. He spoke briefly the evening before at 'Imiloa.

Jerry Yang in Hilo

He thinks the Pacific basin is becoming the center of commerce.

Rose Tseng, Chancellor to UHH, introduced him.

Rose Tseng, UHH

We are surprised at the people that visit Hilo and the opportunities it gives us to learn about the world. Though Hilo is remote, it doesn't seem to deter scientists, inventors and internet entrepreneurs from visiting.


Antheriums in Hilo

Summer seems to have arrived in Hilo quickly. We are back to lazy days with an abundance of flowers everywhere. We went to Kino'ole Farmers market today, which takes place Saturday mornings, to look at the flowers and plants.

Flowers in Hilo

Kinoole Farmers Market Hilo

Red Ohia flowers in Hilo



Mayor Kenoi at Astroday in Hilo

Astroday was held May 2 (Astronomy Day) in Hilo. The event was opened with music and a speech by Mayor Kenoi.

Most of the Observatories with telescopes on Mauna Kea had displays.

Gemini Observatory Hilo

JAC telescopes Hilo

Subaru Observatory Hilo

'Imiloa Astronomy Center sponsored Galileo - in full costume with his telescope.

Galileo in Hilo

And University of Hawaii had an Astronomer on hand.

UH Astronomy

Previous April 2009 Hilo Log posts


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