Hilina Slump and Hawaii

The Hilina Slump is a massive piece (20 kilometers cubed) of the Big Island of Hawaii that is breaking away and slipping into the ocean. In 1975, part of it cracked and fell 11 feet into the ocean, creating a tsunami 40 feet high.

If it ever went all at once, the estimated tsunami would be 1,000 feet high. The Big Island truly is an ever-changing and ever-moving entity.

We head back to the mainland tomorrow after eight days here. Since we stayed with Sue’s brother and wife, who live here, we got to see it not as most tourists do, but from a local viewpoint. I helped her brother move a wild pig trap and watched a 150 lb. marlin get cut into fillets by the guy who caught it. Then, two hours later, ate some of it at a BBQ on the beach.

Many visitors here just bungee in, stay at an upscale resort area that they practically never leave, then think they’ve been in Hawaii. They don’t even know about the naked hippies dancing around a fire in Puna on weekend nights. Or drive up little twisty roads looking at coffee farms. Why fly 3500 miles from the mainland so you can sit in a hotel swimming pool? I don’t get it. When I travel, I like to meet and talk to the people who live there.

I would not be at all surprised if Sue and I ended up living someday. Even if the islands were created by and exist because of volcanic eruptions.


  1. People just like different things. Some like to hang in the hotels, some like to hike in the rainforest, some like to soak in the geothermal pools. But it is good that not everybody wants to see the real Hawaii, that will keep it alive. You see on Oahu there is almost no hidden place anymore, no peaceful spot where you don’t see a Roberts Hawaii or Oahu Adventure buses. And even if you would know, you would probably not want to tell.

    But I’m glad that you had your experience. It’s great here!

  2. Good point. Our hosts said out of all their guests, we were the ones that went exploring the most, wanting to see the real Hawaii.

    What surprised me is how rural most of the Big Island is. Kona is touristy. Most of the rest of it isn’t.

    Sue’s parents lived in Maui for a while and we’ve spent about a month in total there. It’s a bustling metropolis compared to the Big Island.

    Haven’t been to Oahu yet. Also want to see Kauia

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