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South Point

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  #1  
Old 05-01-2008, 09:28 AM
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starrwriter (Offline)
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Default South Point


South Point on the Big Island is a special place for several reasons.

It's the first place where Polynesian voyagers from the Marquesa Islands landed when they discovered Hawaii about 1,200 years ago.

As the name implies, it's the southernmost spot in the U.S. (Key West, Florida, is the southernmost in the continental U.S.)

It has more fish and other sea life that any place in Hawaii where fishing is allowed. South Point is noted for large ulua (jack cravelle) caught from shore, plenty of lobsters right below the cliffs and Hawaii's only green sand (olivine) beach.

I camped there often when I lived on the Big Island. It was a 12-mile drive straight downhill from the main highway to the tip of the treeless peninsula.

I had some unusual experiences at South Point camping with friends.

Early one morning I spotted a school of small sharks from a lava ledge where we eased into the water to go diving or swimming. For some reason I jumped right into the middle of them. They were only about 2 feet long, but suddenly I realized they were still sharks with sharp teeth. Gray-tipped reef sharks known to have attacked people on occasion.

They scattered when I hit the water and they didn't try to bite me, but I vowed to control my enthusiasm in the future.

Another day I swam with a pod of dolphins. I was near the ocean floor, holding my breath and looking for a fish to poke with my speargun, when I looked up and saw the dolphins directly overhead.

I surfaced slowly within reach of the nearest dolphin. The pod swam around me, obviously curious, and we stayed together for several minutes before they swam away. It was an exhilarating experience that some people describe as mystical.

Whales were often seen offshore, but I knew better than to swim close to them. Although they don't bother people, their massive size and habit of leaping out of the water makes them a danger to swimmers.

We could usually count on some ulua fillets from one of the rod and reel fishermen if we didn't catch anything. Some ulua were up to 100 pounds, which is a really big fish to land with a spinner.

Although it seldom rained, South Point did have its drawbacks. No public toilets or showers or drinking water. You had to bring everything you needed.

The dry wind almost never stopped blowing hard, which can be a problem because it tends to create static electricity that frizzes your hair and puts you in an irritable mood. There's a windfarm about half-way down to the shoreline, but they could have simply plugged into the campers.

During long droughts, field mice appeared by the dozens and got into everything that wasn't sealed up in some material they couldn't chew through. One night I awoke with three mice running around my stomach.

At some point we generally ran out of beer and had to make the long drive back to the nearest town for a new supply. It was my philosophy that you can't truly enjoy nature without beer.

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Old 05-24-2008, 08:27 PM
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Default

It has more fish and other sea life that any place in Hawaii where fishing is allowed. South Point is noted for large ulua (jack cravelle) caught from shore, plenty of lobsters right below the cliffs and Hawaii's only green sand (olivine) beach.

I camped there often when I lived on the Big Island. It was a 12-mile drive straight downhill from the main highway to the tip of the treeless peninsula.

I had some unusual experiences at South Point camping with friends.

Early one morning I spotted a school of small sharks from a lava ledge where we eased into the water to go diving or swimming. For some reason I jumped right into the middle of them. They were only about 2 feet long, but suddenly I realized they were still sharks with sharp teeth. Gray-tipped reef sharks known to have attacked people on occasion.

They scattered when I hit the water and they didn't try to bite me, but I vowed to control my enthusiasm in the future.

Another day I swam with a pod of dolphins. I was near the ocean floor, holding my breath and looking for a fish to poke with my speargun, when I looked up and saw the dolphins directly overhead.

I surfaced slowly within reach of the nearest dolphin.

Hi Starr,

I drool at your sea paradise. I am wondering about your previously posted article," Other people's rubbish." Is all the pollution affecting marine life in South Point? Or are they all gone?

Cheers,

Puresnow
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Old 06-02-2008, 04:11 PM
Lorissa (Offline)
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Default Intagration

The first question you need to ask yourself is: What is this piece about? Is it an expository piece on South Point, or is it about the good time you had with friends? Decide on which one it is, and come up with a killer first sentence. If I was an editor at say, Outdoor Magazine, "South Point on the Big Island is a special place for several reasons," would not grab my attention.
However, a reworking of your second sentence offers more fertile soil. (It's the first place where Polynesian voyagers from the Marquesa Islands landed when they discovered Hawaii about 1,200 years ago.) I.e.:

After traveling for thousands of miles in balsa -wood boats, Polynesian explorers landed thirsty and sun burnt on the southern most point of a chain of islands they would soon come to call Hawaii.

What I would then suggest is a more artful arrangement of all the wonderful facts you present here. Then, in your conclusion, you can do a "wow isn't this neat," moment when your hanging out with your friends, doing whatever, and pondering the immense history of the beach you're sitting on.
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