August 18, 2016    Huge Ocean Entry
(Big shout out to Jake Shimabukuro for allowing us the use of another of his fantastic cuts from his new album “Nashville Sessions” on JS Records. You da man, Jake!)
The ocean entry of the 61G Lava Flow continues to increase thew size of its lava delta at Kamokuna in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The initial entry to the east continues to grow even as the second entry to the west gains momentum. Both quite robust, as numerous fingers of a’alava dripped over the coast cliffs and dozens pahoehoe flows entered the water. Several pahoehoe outbreaks were noted on the coastal plain, both above and below the access road, which Pele has now crossed in at least three places. A third ocean entry will probably develop over the next day or two. Most of the skylights, or windows that allow us to peer inside to see lava flowing below, have closed up now. These tubes are feeding the flows downslope. We were able to access the Pu’u ‘O’o Vent, and observed a partially obscured lava lake on the west end of the vent. We searched for faces in the lava, but saw none. To conjure up any images on the lake surface, I’m afraid one would have to connect the dots. Visitors continue to access the lava flows by helicopter, boat and on foot, via the newly built access road. Hikers can make the approximately 8-mile roundtrip trek from either the Kalapana or HVNP side. Fewer visitors than usually were on foot this morning, but several boat tours continue to do a brisk business. Special guest, John Douglas Chaney, Bruce Omori and I were treated to a crystal clear sky and the expert piloting of Paradise Helicopters’ clean shaven pilot, Robert Mitchell. Leilani and Lava Ducky were missed, but not forgotten this fine morning… but they’ll be back next week, I’m sure of it!
Mahalo to Paradise Helicopters and Bruce Omori at Extreme Exposure