18 February 2009

Blue Hole

Yes yes once again its been ages since I've posted anything here. But we had an overnight collecting trip to a spectacular place last week...Blue Hole. The photos speak for themselves mostly, but in order to understand the full power of this zone, it helps to know the topography. The hike follows the river all the way to the back wall and into the corner at the left in the foto above - that's the hole. The top of the wall is essentially the summit of Kauai sitting at about 5,000 feet, marking the eastern edge of the Alakai swamp. Usually a mire of cloud and rain, it is a rare sight to see it this clear. So the Blue Hole is essentially the drain pipe for a giant basin of swampland where a huge proportion of the waters from the Alakai plunge nearly 3,000 feet into a single stream drainage.

About half-way in - rockhopping up the stream with full camping gear.

Coming around the corner where the real waterfalls start. With the amazing weather we had on the first day, the stream was low and safe, many of the falls were dry.

Pinao `ula, the Hawaiian red damselfly mating.

It was about 7 hours with stopping to collect and setting up camp to reach the back wall.

And the closer we got the more gigantic the Hole became. Find Natalia in the lower right corner to put things in perspective.

Looking back down the drainage with a helicopter tour coming in the late afternoon.

Above is the view from back at our campsite the evening of the first day. Clear and beautiful. When the rain started the next morning, however, we had no idea the show we were in for. An hour of moderate to heavy showers and Blue Hole transformed...just look at the fotos above and below.

This is a sight few humans ever get to see from the ground - Blue Hole in flash flood. Safe and sound at our campsite, waterfalls gushed in every direction. But the awe this event inspired quickly changed to concern when we realized we could be stuck up there. Fortunately, the waters subsided shortly after the deluge began and we were blessed with clear weather for the hike out.

Again - here're some video clips - the first taken right when the rain started (trying to motivate out of my hammock) and then moments later the full flood...


Anonymous said...

Looks just like Okemo on a good Spring day... I NEED to be there!!!!!143 Dad

Karisia_Safaris said...

that place looks superb especially as we wait in the dry grass and scorching sun for our monsoon rains.
cheers, James Christian
Walking Safaris in Kenya

Argy Stampas said...

Weeve, it's argy. Really great shots and captions, but gimmee what I want. Gimmee the good stuff... insect shots. Give them the spotlight, instead of your precious plants. We all know they're just as important, and more importantly, cooler. Ease up on the insect porn though- my daughter is going to be reading this soon.

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