Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ocean Technology and Science Park

Last day on the Big Island, so we packed up and then headed up to Kona to check out the area just south of the airport.  Unfortunately, the visitors center closed at noon, so we missed the overview lecture of how the Hawaii State Science Park is incubating businesses in alternative energy and aquaculture development, but we were still able to go on our own explore.  Here, solar panels harness power for large turbines which draw cold ocean water up from 3000' below.  They use the cold water to farm: abalone, lobster, algae, pet seahorses, all kinds of fish farms that are contained in ocean-side tanks.  There is a desalination water bottling and salt production facility planned, as well as other business ideas which may not be commercially viable but are still worth developing from a technology perspective.  A thought-provoking side-trip for sure.  Wish we would have had more time to visit the beach here, too, as the volcanic pools were protected from the surf beyond, and it was busy with local families enjoying Spring Break with their kids.

A quick trip to Macy's while Trav and Rick saw a movie balanced the rest of the afternoon.  We have all done well with our "one bag" per person, but the clothes in them are now very worn and tired.  Jaclyn and Derek have also grown several inches in height and width, going up several sizes and I know nothing much will fit them in their "home" wardrobe now either.  Levi's at Macy's for $18.  Minus the 10% visitors coupon.   And, bonus, winter boots on 75% clearance for me... who buys these in Hawaii?  No wonder there are several choices here in March - can't imagine stomping around on the top of Mauna Kea, the only place it snows here, in these knee-high stiletto heels, even if they do look amazingly fabulous... but hey, in Edmonton!  As I have given up on the idea of no snow at home once we are back, I might as well pick up a pair.  Out with the flip flops, don't think I need to drag those around much longer, unfortunately.

Supper - happy hour! Bud Light $2, Margarita's for $4 - at Poncho and Lefty's, overlooking the reminants of the tsunami damage.  ABC store on Ali'i Road was still closed, but most places look recovered.  The news is still horrible over in Japan, now with nuclear reactors melting down.  Definitely worse there, poor souls.  Off to the airport tonight, for the last destination of the trip:  Kauai.

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