Friday, December 7, 2012

Lava continues entering the ocean

After a week of what was a somewhat inconsistent flow of lava reaching the sea, now seems to be nearly constant.
Many people are making the one hour trek (one way) out to see this lava flow but we are also seeing more injuries and people getting lost out there. If this is your first time hiking to distant lava, I highly recommend going with one of the well established tour guiding outfits; ask around for the most acknowledged guides because their experience and safety will better ensure you having a good trip there and back.
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Lava breakouts are not just at the ocean, there are many molten ruptures taking place day and night all along and on top of the entire coastal plains; from the base of the Pulama Pali two miles to the shoreline.
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Also, back to safety; variable winds lately can switch the sulphur dioxide, degassing from the entire coastal plains, right into your lungs. Not good to breath!!. This wind switching is even more of a danger where the lava enters the sea. There we have sulphuric acids and tiny glass particles and scalding steam; all forming constantly. These things can do more than just irritate the eyes, throat and lungs-- they can quickly cause severe damage. A good respirator should be close in hand when approaching the coastal ocean entry lava zone...
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Well gee.... since I am on a safety rant, maybe it's time to also remind hikers to the lava that the most dangerous area is an ocean entry that has become established and consistent. It is these areas that are quickly forming new land under water and along the flow front above the water. These are called deltas or lava benches. This is very unstable new land that is being undermined by the sea and is very weak rock; like making cement with too much sand in the mix...
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Lava benches will break off without notice; both small sections or hundreds of feet at at time. The result can be extremely explosive; tephra, molten lava rock flying through the air in all directions, a local szunami of hot scalding water, a rush of sulphuric acid and scalding steam, and solid inland cliffs fracturing into the ocean. I am serious about this, I have witnessed this happen many times; luckily from a safe distance. These bench collapses are often small sections but as the one I recorded in Nov. 2010 (two miles east of the current entry) you can see the violent action of a quarter mile of new delta suddenly breaking off in sections in the pre-dawn light. My original blog post on the event HERE Video here below (turn your audio up :):
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Even from the County Lava Viewing area directly off the lava-severed end of Highway 130 both steam/laze by day and the same steam reflecting the red-orange lava colors by night can be seen; especially when the Trade Winds are light and variable as there are now.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lava Lover Bo dies

Bo Lozoff; Photo courtesy Big Island Video News ~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~ It has been difficult for me to write this posting; Bo Lozoff was my friend. I first met Bo when he stopped in at my roadside lava photo display booth three or four years ago. We hit it off right away and he became a regular visitor to the booth. We shared dinners at his home in Kalapana Gardens and, of course, at times walked the molten lava fields together. Bo was tragically killed in a motorcycle/car accident last Thursday afternoon, November 29th. ~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~ Back when we first met, Bo was new to the Big Island and was fascinated by the lava, and wanted everyone to see it. He began doing casual lava tours for those interested in seeing it. His genuine excitement at seeing new molten lava breakouts was clearly evident on all his fun little lava reports that he placed on his LavaLoverBo YouTube website; "Oh my Lord! -- Just look at this beautiful breakout!" he would often exclaim as he recorded from his little flip-phone camera. We exchanged regular emails and phone calls regarding the lava activity, "I see rivers of lava pouring down the pali, we should get up there!", he might say.
Bo, in the green shirt & pointing, shows his tour group a new lava breakout. (Most of my photos of Bo are on another hard drive that I can't access at this time) ~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WAKE FOR BO --EDIT -Gathering for Bo changed today by Dale- It will NOT be on Friday night at Uncle Robert's-- No new time has been scheduled yet. Same with the Saturday spreading of ashes-- That has been rescheduled for December 16th - a Sunday: A celebration of Bo's life is not being held at Uncle Robert's This Friday, Dec 7th as planned. But there will be another tribute done with Bo's ashes the December 16th, a Sunday morning: Meet up at 7:00 AM in the lava viewing parking lot off the end of highway 130. Bo's neighbor and very close friend Dale will be leading a walk out to the ocean entry area of lava and spreading Bo's ashes in the lava flow. ~~~ ~~~ For pictures and video showing Bo, you can see them in a well done Big Island Video News report of the accident and a review of Bo's wildly creative life HERE. On there are links to Bo's websites, as well as resent interviews done with Bo about living close to the active lava.
Above, photo taken from Kalapana Gardens last night looking out at the entire coastal plains lava flow; the new ocean entry is the streaming glow on the left.