Monday, January 27, 2014


On the big island, the Beach Apes seem to prefer blatting by on Harleys about 90-10.  Surfer Dudes waft quietly along in pick-ups with boards sticking out the back.  There aren’t as many SUVs as on the mainland, mostly Jeeps, Vans, pickups and the occasional Mercedes instead.  Lots of small Asian cars.

There are 80 varieties of palm tree in Hawaii, all introduced from elsewhere, with the coconut palm being the likely candidate for the first one, brought in by the original Polynesian settlers.  State law requires all coconut palms in or near public spaces to be cleared of nuts at all times.  A ten-pound nut falling from 80 feet in the air could spoil your day in a major way.  In fact, more people have been killed by coconuts than by sharks in the last ten years.

There are no snakes or dangerous animals on the islands (St. Pat must have been here too).  Rats were introduced by sailing ships and since they have no natural predators here, became a problem.  Mongooses were imported to deal with the problem, in spite of their preference for non-existent snakes and the fact that Mongooses are active in the daytime and the rats at night.  Eventually wild mongooses became a problem too but by then Hawaii had woken up to the risks of introducing foreign species.

The island of Maui has 125 miles of pristine, white, sand beaches.  More than any other island.

One of the local beers is called Long Board, a reference to the longer surfboard used when the waves are small and one needs more flotation help.  Small boards are used on the big waves when agility is important.

Outside of the cities, employment on the islands hinges mostly on service industries.  The low salaries available make life difficult for the locals because of the high cost of living on an island when nearly everything must be imported.  A gallon of milk is $8.  Industries don’t really get established here because the raw materials they need would have to be imported and the finished products shipped away to markets.  In order to succeed here, an industry would have to be one that focused on intellectual properties, like software.  That would entail encouraging nerds to move to paradise.

1 comment:

  1. 80 varieties of palm tree?? Wow - I only knew of three.... 1) Coconut palms, 2) Date palms, and of course 3) Sweaty palms. lol-ish

    Sounds like an interesting trip - enjoying the blog, as usual.