Hawaii’s wonders: active lava flow into the Pacific ?>

Hawaii’s wonders: active lava flow into the Pacific

Watching an active lava flow, seeing the fire and water come together in the rawest form had always been a travel dream of mine. Naturally, when I read that the  famous episode 61g had started flowing again, and flowing into the Pacific, I had to be there. Fortunately, it had been consistent for a few days in April, 2017.  Hence, I took off to Hawai’i or the Big Island with red hot hopes.

The only active ocean flow was happening near Kalapana, on the west coast of the island. There are quite a few different perspectives you can get of the active flow: hiking, getting up-close in a boat, or an aerial tour. With recently proposed regulations by the U.S. coast guard, I was skeptical about the safety standards of these boats. But one thing was sure – I wanted to get a closer peak at the elements coming together.

Episode 61g displaying its grandeur
Red hot lava flowing into the Pacific

 

There are only a couple of boat operators in the region: and how close you get to the core flow depends on which captain is taking you out. I was fortunate (or otherwise depending on your perspective) to be with an audacious captain. After 30 mins of setting out from the boat launch in Isaac Hale Beach Park, the first sight of the steaming lava flow appeared in the distance. As we got closer, the sulphurous smell got stronger and the flowing lava started becoming more apparent. With every minute, we got closer and closer to the flow – and eventually dangerously close enough that the lava heated ocean water filled the floor of the boat, and the boat completely engulfed in the gaseous steam. But he seemed to be in control.

The wild coast near Kalapana: active vents, active lava flow, splintering rocks
The wild coast near Kalapana: active vents, active lava flow, splintering rocks

The venting steam from the volcanic steam, the glowing red active lava flowing into the ocean, the wild pacific – it was a powerful. spectacle. As the lava would cool down upon contact with water, parts of it would solidify immediately, small pieces of it  would splinter in all directions. I switched between merely observing my surroundings to clicking-away furiously, trying to protect my camera all the while.

A truly wild landscape near Kalapana, west coast of Hawai'i
A truly wild landscape near Kalapana, west coast of Hawai’i

 

If you are in Hawai’i, I highly recommend checking out this amazing display of nature’s elements, and see the island constantly reshaping itself. They don’t get better than this.

 

 

About Praveen Maloo

Praveen is currently based out of Seattle, United States. He loves coffee, conversations, micro-brews, and intimate jazz music scenes. When its not raining in Seattle, he can be seen enjoying the beautiful outdoors of the Pacific North-West.


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