Thursday, December 20, 2007

NELHA - Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority

With a bit of hope of seeing a whale shark, Rhincodon typus, as they often appear in this area in December, we launched our boat from Honokohau harbor to go north. There were reports of some sightings north of the harbor.

We took some pictures of the lighthouse and the deep sea water pipes at Keahole Point. These pipes suck up cold sea water from a few thousand feet deep and pump it to over 30 enterprises in the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA). Some companies use the cold, clear sea water for aquaculture, including the raising of main lobsters, abalones, flounders, seahorses, algae, and more. Other companies produce desalinated mineral-rich drinking water.

Lighthouse and deep seawater supply pipe of NELHA (National Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority) at Keahole Point, the 1m (40") in diameter, 6,284 foot long pipeline caters 6ºC (43ºF) cold deep seawater from 2,000-foot depths to over 30 thriving enterprises in the industrial park, off Kona Coast, Big Island, Hawaii, USA, Pacific Ocean

We recently read in the local newspaper, West Hawaii Today, that the pipe had some damage to it and would require extensive repairs.

The Keahole Point is perhaps the most turbulent, rough spot around west coast of the Big Island. The south of the point is really deep. It quickly drops off to thousands of feet in a few miles. On the other hand, the north of the point is a shallow shelf of 300-400 feet and gradually slopes down. This shallow shelf is where humpback whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, are coming back for calving in every winter.

Usually the deep ocean current hits the wall of the shelf, and is pushed upward creating turbulent water along the shelf wall. This movement also disperse nutrient rich water toward the surface gathering many bait fish. This place is called, "The Ground," spanning out miles from the point to north west, and is the best place to fish for all kinds of game fish around Kona.

To be continued to: Tasty Kona Kampachi of Kona Blue Water Farms.

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