Hawaii - It's Not What You Expect

This blog has been a little quiet lately. Rob and Tony have been busy hosting a Hawaii Workshop and we’re just now trying to catch up on sleep and work.

The workshop was on the island of Hawai’i, also known as The Big Island. We can’t count all the calls and notes we received from people concerned that we were heading into an erupting volcano. Kilauea has been making news lately with dramatic eruptions and flowing lava that has destroyed many homes and caused evacuations for several neighborhoods.

Photo by US Geologic Survey. Showing fisure #8 lava fountain. 

The news reporters warn of poisonous gasses and destructive lava flows. The airlines are now allowing people to change their flights with no penalty. And broadcast news shows beautiful homes being swallowed by lava.

The situation looks dire. And it is - for those in the path of the volcano. I certainly don’t want to minimize or trivialize the pain and heartache that some are going through. To date, almost 90 homes have been destroyed and there are more in the path of the lava flow. There are 2,500 people who have been evacuated and can now only wait and see what unfolds.

Corbell Workshops has made a donation to the Hawaii Island Volcano Recovery Fund to assist with recovery efforts.

 While we photographed the beautiful sunset, Kilauea had explosive eruptions that spewed steam and ash clouds 12,000 into the air. 

While we photographed the beautiful sunset, Kilauea had explosive eruptions that spewed steam and ash clouds 12,000 into the air. 

During our workshop, we traveled throughout The Big Island, from Kailua-Kona on the leeward side to Kohala in the north, down the Hamakua coast, and into Hilo. We even drove the saddle road between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. We did not try to get close to the eruption - they don’t need us clogging up the roads. Throughout the island, it’s business as usual.

One day we photographed a beautiful sunset. On the same day, the US Geologic Survey reported explosive eruptions in the Hale Ma’uma’u crater at the summit of Kilauea sending ash clouds 12,000 feet into the air.

Another day we visited Honoka’a to watch their Western Week parade. Kid’s had stick horse races and the parade wound it’s way through town - in the rain. At the same time, Kilauea was rocking the Puna area, spewing lava that has now covered over 3,000 acres.

 Kids have a stick horse race in Honoka'a during Western Week, a celebration of the towns paniolo (cowboy) heritage.  

Kids have a stick horse race in Honoka'a during Western Week, a celebration of the towns paniolo (cowboy) heritage.  

The Big Island is named that for a reason. It’s big. Our hotel was 70 miles from the volcano summit and almost 90 miles from the fissures that are currently erupting.

When it was time to go home, we boarded our flight home, an American Airlines flight from Kona to Los Angeles. Less than half the seats were occupied. That’s great for me. My wife and I had two rows to ourselves.

What’s unfortunate is that so many have a perception of doom when they think about the island of Hawai’i.  Some think the entire state is in trouble. The lifeblood of the islands is tourism and those numbers have tumbled. If you’re looking for a great vacation and a wonderful place for photographs, then head to Hawaii. I’m sure you can find a deal this summer.

 Tony photographing the rugged coast at Laupahoehoe Beach Park on the windward side of the Big Island. 

Tony photographing the rugged coast at Laupahoehoe Beach Park on the windward side of the Big Island. 

Why Donate to Hawaii Community Foundation

There are many organizations that are providing support for the victims of the current Kilauea volcano eruption. Hawaii Community Foundation is local and knows the unique needs of the community. It is listed in Charity Navigator with a very high four-star rating. This means that more of your donated dollar goes directly to the victims who need your help. Visit their website to donate to the Hawaii Island Volcano Recovery Fund.