Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kahalu'u Beach Park Kailua / Keauhou Kona Hawaii. Great snorkeling spot on Alii drive...

It was nice and sunny the other morning and I was in the area so I stopped at Kahalu'u beach and took a short video. I need to learn the Olympus Pen camera still, next time I'll try manual focus, the automatic focus in video mode tends to drift.

Kahalu'u is a little public park on the south end of Alii drive in the Keauhou area.
It's technically outside of the town of Kailua, but I consider it all to be Kailua - there's ancient family names for all sorts of villages here. Kailua is now the business hub of Kona (which extends from the south end of Anaehoomalu Beach up north to the south end of Manuka Bay to the south). It wasn't all that long ago that Captain Cook, up in coffee country, was the center of commercial and governmental activity on the west side of the island. I went to a traffic meeting back in about '04 or so and the Mayor said many of the problems here stem from the fact that in 1970, Kailua had a population of 291 (under 300, I may be off by 6 or so in either direction) and there's been not all that much time to effect major changes to keep up with the population boom. I came here with family as a kid back in 1972' or so... the town pretty much ended at Hualalai road, the Hilton (now the Royal Kona) was practically out of town, the King Kamehameha hotel was a grocery, and there was a long barely 2 lane road from town that, from what I can remember as a kid, ended at the little blue church on north end of what is now Kahalu'u park. We went down there nearly every day to body surf next to the church - I had no idea how good the snorkeling was here at that time.

Back to the beach... it's got a bit of a beach for sunning, but you kind of need to get there early to find space. The highlight here is snorkeling. Resident turtles, lots of fish, some reef (please do not stand on it, try to stand only on sand, best not to stand at all... just snorkel to your heart's content) and shallow water makes for good beginner to intermediate level snorkeling. When Pat and I came out here on our first visit, we hit the park and snorkeled in the late afternoon (actually, not the best time of day) and loved it.



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