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Anyone See Pele?

Spattering is common in the summit lava lake, normally at one or more sites along the lake margin. A spattering area along the northeast lake margin on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, is shown here.

USGS Photo

The surface crust tends to flow into the spattering area, where it sinks. This migration can produce rips and tears of the lava lake crust as it approaches the chaotic spattering zone.

The Volcano House Story – Restoring History to Hawai‘i’s Oldest – and Newest – Hotel

The beloved Volcano House will fully reopen on the rim of Kīlauea caldera in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park next month, following a multi-million dollar upgrade and completing yet another chapter in the epic history of this iconic hotel.

NPS Photo by Jay Robinson

NPS Photo by Jay Robinson

Soon, guests will stroll through the lobby, where polished concrete floors of deep jade have been restored to their 1940s luster, and into the Grand Lounge. Flames from the original lava rock fireplace will warm the lobby and cast flickering light upon the imposing bronze of volcano goddess Pele, sculpted by Honolulu artist Marguerite Blassingame. A few more steps will reveal an expansive, comfortably appointed sitting room with spectacular views of Kīlauea and fuming Halema‘uma‘u Crater beyond large picture glass windows.

While temporary shelters on Kīlauea predate the 1824 grass hut built by Chiefess Kapi‘olani and her entourage, it was in 1846 that Hilo resident Benjamin Pitman, Sr. built a grass house, and christened it “Volcano House.” The name stuck, and the first substantial wooden structure to welcome guests at Kīlauea was built in 1877. (Eventually, this one-story building was relocated, repurposed, and currently houses the Volcano Art Center). Famed writers Mark Twain, Isabella Bird and Robert Louis Stevenson were among guests in the 1877 building, as were King David Kalākaua, and French microbiologist, Louis Pasteur.

The Volcano House in 1947, a historic landmark overlooking Kīlauea Crater, east side. NPS Photo

The Volcano House in 1947, a historic landmark overlooking Kīlauea Crater, east side. NPS Photo

In 1895, Greek-born George “Uncle George” Lycurgus acquired the Volcano House, and several structural evolutions ensued, including the construction of an ornate, two-story Victorian-inspired building that served many distinguished guests. Visitors included President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934 (the first U.S. president to visit Hawai‘i), Amelia Earheart, and Princess Victoria Ka‘iulani.

In 1940, a fire from an oil burner destroyed the Victorian-style Volcano House. No lives were lost, but the entire hotel was a complete loss. Undaunted, Uncle George negotiated the construction of a new hotel with the park some 200 yards from its former site. In late 1941, the new Volcano House, designed by Maui-born architect Charles W. Dickey, was unveiled with great fanfare on the crater rim – and it is unveiled again in 2013 in the historic character of the 1940s. Uncle George’s name, flair for hospitality, and affinity towards volcano goddess Pele, will continue to define the character of Volcano House.

Historic photo taken February 1966. NPS Photo/Wm Robenstein.

Historic photo taken February 1966. NPS Photo/Wm Robenstein.

The 33-room hotel is owned by the National Park Service, and is managed under contract by Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC, who also manage Nāmakanipaio Campground and 10 A-frame cabins. While the views from Volcano House of the active volcano may be distracting, the careful observer will note the restoration of canec ceilings in the comfortable guest rooms, appointed with historic crown moldings. Prints by local artist Marian Berger of native birds in the Audubon style of the era adorn the walls. Original tiled hearths in three rooms were upgraded with electrical fireplaces.

Outside, two new decks overlook Kīlauea caldera. Indoors, guests can have a seat at the lovingly restored original koa wood bar in Uncle George’s Lounge, where another bronze sculpture depicting Pele’s vengeance graces a historic fireplace.

If Uncle George were alive today, perhaps he’d marvel over the coincidental return of Pele to her home at Halema‘uma‘u Crater, which began to erupt again in 2008, and to the return of guests to historic Volcano House.

Maurella Meets Pele – Going on a Lava Tour with Kristina Anapau and Lava Ocean Adventure Tours

Local “True Blood” celebrity Kristina Anapau has been back on the Big Island during this holiday season and she has been getting a chance to do more stuff on the island now that she has more then a few days on the island.

Kristina Anapau at the County of Hawaii's Magic of Christmas Celebration

The other day she had the opportunity to go check out the Gemini Astronomy Center up on top of Mauna Kea and today she got invited to go on a lava tour with Lava Ocean Adventures.

Captain Shane and Kristina

We arrived at Isaac Hale park at 5:00 this morning and signed in with Captain Shane Turpin and then we were off for our adventure.

Getting ready for the tour at Isaac Hale Park (Pohoiki)

The newspaper was correct in their statement this morning:

…”Compared to the past two nights, the flow field and ocean entry plume seemed quite inactive yesterday afternoon and overnight,” geologists wrote in their daily activity update, posted Thursday morning. “The webcams picked up no surface activity on the pali, weak, sporadic surface flows near the coast, and a weak ocean entry plume generated by lava entering the ocean at the West Ka’ili’ili lava delta within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.”

The lava flow may be reached by foot from the national park side, by tour helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft, or by one of the tour boats that provide viewing opportunities along the coast

While the lava wasn’t pumping as much as the last time I visited… there were still at least three lava fingers entering the ocean while we were down there.

Pele meets the ocean

One thing about Pele is that you never really know how much lava is going to be flowing into the ocean until you actually get out to the site as the flows can stop and start at anytime.

Picture taken a couple of days ago from Lava Ocean Adventures Facebook page

Captain Shane mentioned that just a few days ago… there was much more lava visible then there was today.

Lava enters the ocean

Here is a video of the flow from last week:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/BvPSv9VjM0c]

Recorded on the south shores of the Island of Hawaii Saturday morning, December 17, 2011. Video shot from a boat without any stabilization can tend to roll around a bit … so I kept it short so you won’t get seasick :)

The volume of surface lava being sent from fissures at Pu`u O`o Crater through insulating tube systems seven miles south to the ocean changes daily, but yesterday I went by boat to witness this. For more information on how to see the lava by boat and to see some of the still images that I took there, go to my Hawaiian Lava Daily blogspot website.

I’d like to thank Captain Shane for taking us out there and providing us with a great seat at the back of the boat where we were allowed to stand up and get an even better view of things.  Mahalo Shane!

To learn more about Lava Ocean Adventure Tours or to book your own tour click here.

 

When Pele Burps

This is what she looks like:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Raob7dItIwE&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&hd=1]