Monday, May 5, 2008

The Halona Blowhole

My wife and I love geology. We don't know much about it, but we love looking at geological formations and marveling at the wacky things that nature can put together (or take apart). One of the things we really enjoyed in Hawaii was finding various blowholes around the islands that we visited. One of them is called the Halona Blowhole, and is located on the eastern coast of Oahu.

(image 1991)

Last year when we went on our cruise to Mexico, we went to Ensenada where the locals proudly proclaimed that they had one of only two blowholes known in the world -- what they proudly call La Bufadora (the, um, "blowhole"). We were skeptical, and quickly found out that that the locals were, um, blowing smoke. There's at least a dozen good-sized blowholes around the world, and we discovered a small one we didn't previously know about on Maui (not the Nakalele blowhole, but one to the west of what are sometimes called the Olivine Pools).

Anyway, we think these little geological gems are simply amazing. My wife gets very nervous around them, and while we were kept well away from La Bufadora in Mexico, in Hawaii we were able to walk right up to them. My wife literally was pulling on my arm to keep me from going over next to them. I laughed and reminded her that it's only dangerous if you fall in, and despite what she sometimes thinks I really do have a healthy sense of self-preservation, some evidence to the contrary.

In any case, the Halona Blowhole didn't disappoint us. It was spouting well and frequently. I managed to get my wife to go near it to get this photograph.

(image 1951)

Much later, when her paranoia levels decreased, she dared me to go over and sit down next to it. I don't think she believed I'd do it, but I took my chance and quickly ran over just in time to get a face-full of water. It was beautiful.

(image 2002)

Since blowholes really do need to be seen to be believed, I've included a little video here. It's awesome.

(movie 1537)

Seeing this blowhole -- feeling the rocks beneath us shake under the awesome force of the waves as they crashed into the hole, hearing the odd "whoosh" sound that comes as the air is forced out right before the "boosh" of the water -- was one of our favorite parts of our trip to Hawaii. (Actually, I think I'm going to end up saying that an awful lot ...) We liked it so much that even though we saw it one day while we were driving by (when we took the video), we decided to go back a few days later to go hiking down by the blowhole. Awesome.

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

I enjoyed reading about your experience finding blowholes in Hawaii. I did want to mention, however, in regard to the claim by the "locals" that the Bufadora in Ensenada is one of three known blowholes in the world(the statement I have always heard is that it is one of three, not two, as you mention)is actually made by the cruise lines that visit Ensenada, including Carnaval and Caribbean Cruise Lines. Having lived in Ensenada for 33 years and worked as a tour guide for the various cruise ships that come to Ensenada for 25 years, I can testify to the difficulty of trying to convince the cruise ship passengers that take our tours that there are most certainly more than three blowholes in the world when the cruise ship has already told them otherwise.

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