Holoholo - To go for a walk, ride, or sail; to go out for pleasure, stroll, promenade; To go holoholo is to spend the day out and about for fun.
Kai - Ocean
I went for a dive at Holo Holo Kai Beach Park this morning. The park is a short walk from Paniau in Puako right next to the Fairmond Orchid Hotel. I had never driven there before so it was good to finally figure out how. It is a short ride via the Mauna Lani resort road. By the beach you'll find a grassy area, a few picnic tables, grills, bathrooms, and most importantly an outdoor shower. At some point soon I plan on holding a bbq if we can get a spot one weekend afternoon.
We entered the water a little south of the park itself and cruised around the lava shelf. The lava rock forms an intricate series of walls and canyons that are more sheer faced than the cracks and caves of Paniau. After a few mins of cruising along we decided to head down to the reef's edge and onto the sand. We were psyched to find that the garden eels hang out here as well as Paniau. I think the sand is a little shallower at around 65 feet than it is at Paniau. My buddy and I wandered around back north in the shallows until it was time to surface. We did a max of 71 feet for 58 minutes. I think the average depth was around 45 feet.
I'd like to come back to this spot and concentrate on learning the terrain. It felt different here than in Puako. There were more towers of lava and underwater islands along sheer face cliffs. There something very death star trench about the valleys. Every now and then we saw an arch or a little puka to peer in. The winds would need to have some sort of northerly component to it for it to be calm enough to dive this spot. Any still breeze south of east will create a white wash break here. We were lucky when we exited that it was sheltered enough right in front of the park or it would have been an exciting ride. I wish I had thought to take some photos of the park and dive entry. Next time.
The other cool thing at this spot is the Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve. A petroglpyh is a drawing in stone. In this case lava. I'm not going to pretend to really know anything about them, but I'll explain what I saw on the park signs today. I hear the words "ancient hawaiians" associated with these carvings anytime I read about them. Who knows what that means? Essentially Hawaiians came to this spot where the lava was flat and carved the rock with images of people and animals. No one knows why. Most of the stick figures are drawn in the general direction of mountain top of Mauna Kea. In this arid desert area it is hard to imagine spending time carving what might be over 1500 images in the rock. The area was pretty well populated back then (whenever that was). Nearby were a few heiaus or temples as well as community fish ponds where they raised fish for food.
Now the Manuna Lani takes care of these very old carvings and the associated trail. When you first walk into the park there is a short paved path that leads to a clearing in the a'a lava where some carvings are laid out. My guess is that they put them here for the tourists who can't or won't take the short hike through the dry and sandy trail to the actual site. After walking through a kiawe (mequite) forest and across a fire road the area opens up to a flat field where the bulk of the carvings are. It was hot as nuts on the trail but totally worth the trip. I was glad to run into a bunch of people in their crisp vacation outfits and big white sneakers as I was leaving. I had a few moments alone with the dancing stick people. I'll be sure to visit them every time I dive Holoholokai.
Entire Flickr photo set can be found here.
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Great report! I love the "death star canyon" metaphor. Sometimes the topography alone can make a dive fun.
"Sometimes, when your world is going sideways, the second best thing to everything working out right, is knowing you are loved..." ljjames