Safety Tips in Hawaii (State of)

  • Warnings and Dangers
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  • Warnings and Dangers
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Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Hawaii (State of)

  • BlueCollar's Profile Photo

    MOVE OVER!!

    by BlueCollar Updated Feb 22, 2007

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    ...on any of the Islands.

    It is widely published that we, as tourists, should pull over and let the locals pass. It is especially true when you are doing only 50MPH on an open highway like I have pictured here.

    This photo was taken Sept. 11, 2002 as we were driving along Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway just north of Kona. You can clearly see why the locals hate us tourists.

    On a highway where most everybody drove 65MPH+, this guy (the car at the front of the line) was only doing 50. As you can see, one impatient local was passing in a dangerous area of roadway. I grabbed my video camera and started shooting since I thought I was going to witness a head-on collision. Luckily, that didn't happen.

    Remember: The locals have seen all of this beautiful scenery a million times. It's old news to them. They just want to get to where they need to be.

    Just make sure that the next time you're site-seeing and going slower than the flow of traffic, pull over and let the others pass. They'll appreciate it.

    A
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  • BlueCollar's Profile Photo

    Nĕnĕ Crossing

    by BlueCollar Updated Feb 22, 2007

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    ...in the uplands of all the islands.

    Here is the Hawai‘ian goose. It is called the Nĕnĕ (naay-naay) and is a close relative of the Canada goose. It so closely resembles them both in appearance and DNA structure that biologists consider them to be close cousins and believe that migrating Canada geese were blown off course and deposited here eons ago.

    The Nĕnĕ has physically evolved a shorter wingspan and smaller flight feathers since it is now a non-migratory bird. It also has smaller webbed feet than its Canadian cousin possibly because it is mostly a land-bound bird now.

    It was hunted almost to extinction 40-50 years ago. Between humans, mongoose and domesticated animals hunting them, they didn't stand a chance and a repopulation effort was started in the more unpopulated uplands of the islands. This effort has since brought the Nĕnĕ back towards a better standing. Though still endangered, it is now starting to move back into the lower, populated areas of the islands as their population grows.

    These gentle birds are widely known for their lack of fear of vehicles and are known to have braved on-coming traffic while they pondered whether to cross the road completely or not. That's why you'll see the yellow diamond traffic signs warning of a "Nĕnĕ Crossing" along many upland roads. So, if you see the signs, please heed the warning and slow down! The Nĕnĕ will appreciate it.

    It is a very elusive bird it seems, at least, for us. Of our several trips to the islands and the many warning signs we've seen, we have only twice seen the birds in the wild.

    The first was on our way back from a pre-dawn trip to the end of Chain of Craters Road in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park to watch the lava. We stopped at one of the many crater lookouts along the way. That's when we finally got to see the first pair.

    The second time was while at the Kaua‘i Marriott's golf course.

    NOTE: The macron over the "e" is not being portrayed correctly on the VT servers.

    .

    Nēnē Crossing 2002: Nēnē at Hawai���i Volcanoes National 2006:  Nēnē at Kaua���i Marriott 2006:  Nēnē at Kaua���i Marriott 2006:  Nēnē at Kaua���i Marriott
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  • BlueCollar's Profile Photo

    Deadly Beaches

    by BlueCollar Updated Feb 22, 2007

    …on Kaua‘i.

    Kaua‘i has the most visitor drownings than any other island in Hawai‘i.

    What makes this statistic even worse is that Kaua‘i has the forth highest visitor count. It has only one-forth the visitor traffic of O‘ahu; just a little less than one-half the visitor traffic of Maui; and about two-thirds the visitor traffic of even the Big Island. This says a lot about just how deadly the beaches are on this island.

    Remote areas like Nâ Pali complicate rescues with no lifeguards, phones, or cell service! Help is a long wait away.

    Rough seas, especially in winter, cause rip currents and undertow. These can drag even the strongest swimmer out to deeper water.

    If you find yourself caught in this situation, keep your cool. Do not attempt a swim directly towards shore because the out-flowing current will overcome you and tire you out. Just swim parallel to the beach for one to two hundred meters. You may then attempt to swim back to shore. Repeat this procedure if find you are still in strong current.

    If you plan on hiking to Hanakapi‘ai Beach (it’s 2 miles into the Kalalau Trail), you will find an interesting sign as you approach it along the trail. It is a hand-written list of people who have drowned at Hanakapi‘ai. What I found most interesting was that whoever created the sign anticipated the need to add more names because of the large blank area below the names.

    I just knew my name would never grace that list! Why? Because I know the dangers here.

    As a matter of fact, you, too, can know the dangers of all Kaua‘i beaches. Logon to: http://www.kauaiexplorer.com/

    You will learn more about the various beaches and the hazards associated with them. It is literally life-saving information. And that knowledge may just keep you from becoming a statistic.

    Although this tip is intended for Kaua‘i visitors, the information here can be applied to any beach you may encounter in Hawai‘i.

    Do NOT climb on these rocks at Lumaha���i Lumaha���i:  Try to wade in all that! Waves break onshore at Lumaha���i Ke���e's beauty hides deadly secrets Hanakapi���ai Beach on a calm day
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  • BlueCollar's Profile Photo

    2WD Vehicle on Waipi‘o Valley Access Road

    by BlueCollar Updated Feb 11, 2007

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    On the Big Island at Waipi‘o Valley.

    Did you see my warning about trying to drive a 2WD vehicle down the Waipi‘o Valley access road with its 25% grade? If not, go to my Off the Beaten Path section titled Waipi‘o Valley. If you did and you still plan on trying it, here's a photo (left portion of photo) of the new look your car will sport. :)

    This car (what's left of it) is at the bottom of Waipi‘o Valley. We were told the owner attempted to drive down. His brakes failed and it took the express lane to the bottom. Luckily, the owner didn't go with it.

    The photo portion on the right shows the grade. Although not precise, it's close. The camera was held level with the horizon and the Jeep door was close to parallel with the ground. I placed the square digitally for comparison. A grade is an equation of altitude gained (or lost) compared to distance traveled and shown as a percentage. The square shows the 25% grade (if not more at this particular spot).

    You definitely need to rent a 4WD to go down here. It's worth it! Lock it into 4-wheel-low, put it into D-1 for automatics and just idle down. You'll never have to touch the brakes. Keep in mind that vehicles coming up and pedestrians (hikers) have the right-of-way. Since the road is very narrow (just wide enough for one vehicle for much of the way), if you see on-coming traffic, stop early at some of the wider areas and wait.

    Also note: we read our Jeep's rental contract exclusions and this road is listed as off limits. So, if you go down here and get into trouble, don't call the rental company.

    2WD car on left.  Access road's grade on right
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  • aloha088's Profile Photo

    Mosquitos in Hawaii?

    by aloha088 Updated Jan 21, 2007

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    yesss... there are!
    Bring mosquito repalent, bring enough mosquito repalent. Even if you think today there are no mosquitos.... I tell you, there are. I was stupid enough and forgot to put on somerepalent (I didn't get bitten so far) but that day we hiked in Molokai a long a river to see two beautiful waterfalls, and I got bitten... outch... these were more than 200 mosquito bites.

    Mosquito bites after hiking in Molokai

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  • BlueCollar's Profile Photo

    Make sure it's 100%

    by BlueCollar Updated Dec 2, 2006

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    Your trip to the Aloha State is just about over and you are in the waiting area about to board the plane for that horribly long flight home. You are proud of yourself since you managed to do everything you planned to do on this trip. Then it hits you. You forgot to buy the gifts for your family and friends that will allow you to brag a little (actually, alot) about your trip!

    You rush into the airport gift shop hoping to pick up a few things real quick. Hmmm... Coffee makes a good gift. Just about everyone likes coffee. So you grab a few bags of the cheapest "Kona" brand you see and you're off to board your flight. All the while you're thinking you just scored big points with those for which you bought the coffee.

    Now a week later, your "friends" all call to tell you that they simply loved the 10% Kona Blend Coffee you bought for them. They then inquire as to what 100% Kona Coffee tastes like. :-o

    Next time you can save yourself some embarrassment by READING THE LABEL! Make sure it says "100% Kona Coffee" on the label. Many cheap brands are just the "Kona Blend" that is only 10% (or less) Kona Coffee. A good guage might be pricing: If it's less than (US)$30 per pound, it is most likely NOT 100% Kona Coffee.

    This Hualalai Estate medium-dark roast is very smooth and very enjoyable all by itself. The more expensive Private Reserve from Greenwell Farms is even smoother. Both of these offer a refreshing visit to the islands in every sip.


    Return to my main Hawai`i page.

    See?  The label says Peaberry Kona is even more exclusive (and $$)! One of the cheaper 100% Kona brands
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  • merimichelle's Profile Photo

    WARNING YOU WILL MISS HAWAII...

    by merimichelle Updated Jan 8, 2006

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    WARNING YOU WILL MISS HAWAII BEFORE YOU EVEN GET ON THE PLANE TO LEAVE!!!!!

    Seriously...the rip tides are strong so be careful in that water! YOu don't want to end up in Alaska. If you chat with the locals you will benifit greatly! Oh and of course wear sunscreen. I did and I still got a nice tan. :)

    airport  Oahu

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  • jaros's Profile Photo

    Some hotel concierges are simply sales people

    by jaros Updated Feb 27, 2005

    Our Kauai hotel offered an orientation with continental breakfast for newly arrived hotel guests. But the so-called orientation was a sales pitch for the many costly ativities available for tourists despite the promising information at the beginning of the presentation. "Concierge" rapsodized about things to see and do that cost substantial sums of money in the 1 1/2 hour presentation. As we finally crept away near the end, we were asked, "Don't you want to do the helicopter ride? Are you afraid?" "No" to both questions, but such a "concierge" must get income only from sales commissions to warrant such aggressiveness.

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  • Roadquill's Profile Photo

    North/East shore waves are not to be trifled with

    by Roadquill Written Feb 15, 2005

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    The waves hitting the NE shore of Oahu are extremely dangerous. You don't realize how much power they have until you are doing face plants into the coral and rocks.

    This is of a wave crashing almost blocks out the entire sky. It was over 20 feet tall. The little blue seen in the photograph delineates the wave from the cloud.

    Wave Crashing on NE Shore
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  • iluvtrvl's Profile Photo

    Beware of Intoxicating Sunsets

    by iluvtrvl Written Jan 22, 2005

    The sunsets are just the icing on the cake for remembering Hawaii. The adjoining photo speaks for itself.......taken in Lahaina on Maui, from our table at the Feast at Lele luau.

    And no - there were no enhancements of this photo - only editor was the finger of God.

    Lahaina Sunset
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  • rdw66's Profile Photo

    STREETS AFTER MIDNITE

    by rdw66 Updated Sep 15, 2004

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    WAIKIKI STREETS ARE PRETTY WELL DESERTED AFTER MIDNITE. THE ONLY PEOPLE LEFT OUT ARE THE DRUNKS AND DRUGIES. STAY ON THE 2 MAIN DRAGS, USE COMMON SENCE, AND KEEP YOUR STREET SMARTS ABOUT YOU. DON'T CARRY ANY MORE MONEY OR JEWRLEY THAN YOUR WILLING TO LOSE.

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  • SethNess's Profile Photo

    Theft from rented cars / overcharge for car fix

    by SethNess Updated Sep 2, 2004

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    Countless other tips mention that your belongings are not safe in any car, when you visit a tourist site. This is particularly true at Electric Beach, Lanai Lookout, Blowhole, Sandy Beach & remote beaches. Typically, while you're preoccupied with the scenery, they pop your car door's lock w/ a screwdriver & remove clothing, bags etc. They mostly want cash, but take everything, typically throwing useless bits into caves & bushes where cops find'em weeks later.

    I've been robbed 3x at Lanai Lookout, mostly while SCUBA diving, but once while perched on a wall nearby.

    If scuba diving or snorkelling, leave someone IN the car. Don't bother trying to put stuff out o'sight (e.g. in the trunk) once you get to these places; they're WATCHING you do it. Come prepared. If you're scuba diving, leave your stuff at the diveshop.

    Not only rentacars. SCUBA vans & really ANY car is a target. Reduce YOUR temptation by renting an open, soft-top suzuki samurai jeep, so you have no illusions about doorlock security.

    IF your rentacar gets broken into, beware of a little game the rent-a-car agency might play. They ask you to sign a form giving them permission to charge your credit card ANYTHING for the repair to the car's broken lock or window, BUT they don't tell you how much that'll to cost. They say "trust us".

    But, ANY rent-a-car agency in Hawaii knows precisely how much it costs & has extensive experience in those repairs-- so if they say "we dunno how much the repair will cost", they're getting ready to charge you big $, not the true cost of the repair. So, don't sign for the repairs unless they give you a definite reasonable cost for the repair.

    If you get robbed, report to

    Honolulu Police Department
    801 South Beretania Street Honolulu 96813
    E-mail hpd@honolulupd.org

    Tel :
    General, Honolulu/Oahu (808) 529-3111
    Lost & Found (HOnolulu/Oahu) 529-3283

    Other islands:
    Kauai 245-9711
    Maui 244-6400
    Kona 935-4646
    Hilo 935-3311
    Lahaina 661-4441
    Hana 248-8311
    Molokai 553-5355
    Lanai 565-6525

    Cars' doorlocks don't stop thieves
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  • HarmoniousBotch's Profile Photo

    It's Aloha if you need to exit the plane quickly

    by HarmoniousBotch Written May 22, 2004

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    The behavior of Aloha Airlines is truly dangerous. In a misguided attempt to follow the ADA ( Americans with disabilities act ) they put a small guy with a bum leg in the window seat in the exit row. He got to the exit row by boarding early with the aged and infirm and people with children. He said that he wanted the extra room to stretch out his bum leg.

    The person in that seat has to be able to move the door - which weighs 60 to 65 pounds - and move it quickly. But this guy could barely move himself. In an emergency he would not have been able to move the door, nor would he have been able to get ouy of the way quickly so that someone else could do it.

    I'd sooner swim to Kauai than take Aloha Airlines.

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  • cm1977's Profile Photo

    Theft

    by cm1977 Written Dec 17, 2003

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    Don't leave things in your car there's a high likelyhood it will be stolen. When we came back from snorkeling, there was car that had been broken into the cops were there and everything so be careful about that.

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  • chucklenut's Profile Photo

    Time Share and other Sales Presentations

    by chucklenut Written Oct 10, 2003

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    You may get an offer to sit through a sales presentation in return for a helicopter ride, boat tour, dinner, etc.......DON'T. These people are high pressure sales sharks and will keep you longer than you bargained for all the while sucking the life out of you and your vacation.

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