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Friday, July 15, 2011



But back to this second one, no, a 5 pound kumu has nothing to do with British currency nor hula.  You need to be a dedicated fisherman to appreciate something like a 5 pound kumu, but, actually, the title is just the most creative variation I could conjure for my visit to Hilo, Hawaii.  Why am I here?  Return tomorrow for the details.

Anyway, I woke up this morning in Honolulu to a moonset:

I then flew over Diamond Head (I show the interior in case you never went there) followed by Hanauma Bay:
where you've no doubt gone snorkeling.

My hotel, the Naniloa, is the one to the right:

I had lunch on my patio:
The wine is a special Stanford University Ridge Meritage, with Bugles, the cheese a Castello and the tomato from my roof garden.  That small bottle is a Grand Isle Tabasco for the tomato.  If I were you, I would not ever try to read the information on the Bugles package.

You will note Hilo Bay in the background.  Just below me were four female fishermen.  This could be an all-time first.

Honestly, now, how many of you have ever seen four females, a grandmother and her three grandchildren, fishing?

Now this is where the title enters.  Pearl's father regularly fished here, and a couple of times I accompanied him.  I never myself caught anything, but he once brought in a 5 pound kumu (goatfish).  Honestly, now, how many of your have ever seen, even in an aquarium, a kumu that large?  Here is a kumu I found on the internet:
This one did not even weigh 4 pounds and was caught off Maui.  The Hilo kumu was not as chubby, and was longer and not as red.  Was it really 5 pounds?  I'm guessing, but the Hilo kumu looked closer to the following:

For all I know, maybe it was not a kumu.  But it was large.

Baby goatfish, oama, is now running at the outlet of the Ala Wai Canal along Ala Moana Beach.  You see swarms of fishermen with short poles catching these 3-4" fish.
A few articles have said this is the juvenile kumu, but I don't think that is so.   There are eleven (62 worldwide) types of goatfish in Hawaii, the oama grows into a kind of weke, and it looks like the following, which is a weke pueo:

I'm now composing this posting with the following view of Hilo Bay:
This could well be heaven.  Oh, a Hilo gekko keeps visiting me next to my computer:
Inquisitive guy.  Almost looks like that commercial.  I think it was trying to talk to me.

I just realized it was exactly 50 years ago that I came to work in Hilo (city to the east--towards the right--on the Big Island) for the summer with C. Brewer after my junior year at Stanford.  The city was only a year removed from the largest earthquake ever, the 9.5 in Chile, which sent a tsunami, killing 61 here.  (Come to think of it, I'm only on the third floor and a mega tsunami can get as high as 30 feet.)  Half a century later and this city of 43,000 has not structurally changed at all.  There is not one substantial new building.  Also, there has not since then been another major tsunami.  This is the second largest city in Hawaii.  Even the combined Wailuku-Kahului on Maui has a lower population.  In case you're wondering, Kailua-Kona has less than 10,000 people.

For dinner I walked over to Nihon, where I had butterfish misoyaki and teriyaki beef with sashimi, miso soup and an assortment of side dishes.  I also had a table to view the Hilo sunset, which, of course, means no sunset, as the setting is over Mauna Kea.  The fish had way too many bones and and I wonder what kind of beef was used, for it was as bad as Zippy's.  Anyway, this is what it looked like:

It was a ten minute walk back to the Naniloa, and I was serenaded by what sounded like birds, but were Coqui Frogs (about the size of a quarter), now officially determined to be a nuisance in Hawaii.  I think they came from Puerto Rico where they are loved:

It is a very popular creature throughout the island and enlivens the evenings with its timid ko-kee from which it get its name. The coquies begin to sing when the sun goes down at dusk, singing all night long until dawn. The male coquí sings - not the female. You can find the coquí nearly everywhere, from the margins of the forests where the areas receive large amounts of moisture, in highlands, lowlands, dry and arid places, even in caves depending on the species.

Coquis are despised here because at one time Hilo was quiet at night.  Not anymore.  If Coquis only chirped in the daytime, there would be no problem.  What is the sound?  Click on COQUI FROGS IN HILO.  They are now found on all the major islands.

The Dow Jones Industrials went up 43 to 12,480, with world markets mixed. Gold, yet again, hit another all-time high, up $4/toz to $1593.  This probably means that investors are wary of where the stock market is going.  Myself, I'm awaiting a crash to 10,000 or lower so that I can buy again.  The NYMEX crude is at $97/barrel, while the Brent Spot is at $118/barrel.

Super Typhoon Ma-on is at 120 MPH, which is 10 MPH lower than earlier today, so, perhaps, the situation is improving for Japan:
Just the fact that Ma-On did not strengthen at this crucial stage omens well for Japan.


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