Punalu’u Black Sand Beach, South Point, and Green Sand Beach

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach does indeed have black sand! I took a jeweler’s loupe with me to the beach and took a picture of some grains of the sand through it with my husband holding the paper with the sand grains! They are bits of basalt – not as find as on most white sand beaches. This beach has even bigger rocks – not sand like at all like these grains.

There are wetlands (fresh water with lily pads and turtles)

And ducks that are very acclimated to people.

I set my camera to shorten the exposure so that the very bright sunny day would not wash out blackness of the day (dark but reflective) at the tidal pools,

Leading up to the palms,

The shore line,

And a ocean crashing on some rock that still jutted out from the shore….wearing it way to form more grains on the black sand beach.

There was a green turtle looking sleepily at the tourists. Just after this picture was taken, the turtle closed its eye completely.

There were mynah birds around too. This one looks particularly alert and very serious.

Our next stop was South Point – the southernmost point in the entire US. It was very windy so we didn’t stay long. Evidently at high tide – people jump from the top of the cliff and climb back up the rickety ladder afterwards. It was low tide when we were there and most people were like us – took a quick look around – and continued to their next destination.

Our destination was Green Sand Beach. We paid to $15 to a local driver to take us over the very bump 2.5 miles to the beach and back. It was even windier than at South Point. We climbed down the cliff via a crevasse (mostly with secure footing); this is the picture from the bottom of the cliff with the crevasse we came down to the left and then angling back to the right going upward. My husband managed to find a small place sheltered from the wind so I could take the picture of the sand through the jeweler’s loupe. This is not a big beach and there are cautions to not take any of the sand away. The grains of greenish olivine are clearly visible….as are some other colors. The olivine is from the cinder cone that is eroding to form the beach.

The green sand is on the cliff face

And down to the sea. Note the hair and clothes in this picture; everyone was being sandblasted! My husband’s glasses blew off as he was climbing back up the cliff; fortunately, my daughter was able to retrieve them. My hat pulled so hard at its tie that it now has new character! As I looked down at myself as we made the bump rid back, I realized that everywhere I had put sunscreen has a thin film of grit!

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