|Minor light of Hawai'i - Napo'opo'o, HI|
Description: A white obelisk on the north shore of Kealakekua Bay bears the following inscription:
Captain Cook embarked on his third voyage of discovery in 1776 aboard the Resolution, and, after a stop in Tahiti to return a native picked up during his previous voyage, Cook happened upon the Hawaiian Islands in January 1778. After two weeks of trading and friendly interaction with the islanders, the Resolution sailed north in search of the fabled Northwest Passage. The next several months were spent mapping much of the west coast of North America, with the expedition reaching as far north as the Bering Strait. As fall was setting in, Cook headed south to warmer climes.
In 1908, a tall wooden mast topped with a lens lantern was placed on the point just west of where Cook fell to mark Kealakekua Bay, regarded as the finest anchorage on the western coast of Hawai’i. The light station property on which a keeper’s dwelling was also erected was 2.93 acres in size and was relinquished to the federal government by Governor Frear on March 16, 1909. Oliver Kua, a local farmer, served as the light's second keeper.
Today, a concrete pyramidal tower, built in 1922 just west of the Captain Cook Monument, serves to mark Cook Point and the northern entrance to Kealakekua Bay, a marine sanctuary frequented by kayakers and snorkeling expeditions. The ground on which the Cook Monument stands was deeded to the British Government, and a ship is reportedly sent by the British to perform regular maintenance.
Head Keepers: Alex D. Toomey (1908 – 1909), Oliver Kua (1909 – 1912), Fred Ezera (1913), C. Moses Kamakoa (1914 – 1917), George Brockman (1918 – 1921), A.D. Taylor (1922), Samuel Ako (1922 – ).
Located on the north side of Kealakekua Bay on the western shore of Hawai'i. The lighthouse is owned by the Coast Guard. Grounds open, tower closed.
The lighthouse is owned by the Coast Guard. Grounds open, tower closed.
Notes from a friend:Kraig writes:
We visited Kealakekua Bay in February aboard a Seaquest Raft, and as there were just three passengers aboard, we received a very personalized (and entertaining) tour of the amazing Kona Coast. After spending an hour or so seeing all sorts of colorful fish in the bay, we were treated to fresh pineapple and then an up-close look at the volcanic shoreline. Between sets of breakers, our captain would race into lava caves. I had to assume the captain knew what he was doing since he had survived numerous such adventures, but I have to admit I always had one eye on the next approaching wave. The waves strike the coast with such force that they create waterfalls that stream down the black lava and into the ocean. Humpback whales were also in the area, and we got an amazing view of some of these incredible giants.
See our List of Lighthouses in Hawaii
Pictures on this page copyright Kraig Anderson, used by permission.