I remember the first time I saw the Halona Blowhole. I was in Hawaii for a ten-day
Lucky for me, I had some relatives stationed in Hawaii at the time, so
I had free tour guides. Jeff
took me all over the island, and one of the stops was at the blowhole and cove. When Jeff explained to me
that the cove was used for a scene in one of my favorite movies, I could just visualize the scene and
all the effort made in getting all the cameras down the cliff to the beach.
Halona Blowhole is a rock formation and a blowhole on the island of Oahu, Hawaii off of Hanauma Bay at Halona Point overlooking the Pacific Ocean. In Hawaiian halona means "lookout" - and it lives up to it name, fantastic view.
The blowhole has its most dramatic effects on windy days when the tide is high, the ocean breeze sends the waves rolling on to the shore where the rock formation then shoots sea spray high into the air through the cave acting like a geyser. It is not always at its best every day though. The first time I saw the blowhole, it was shooting streams high in the air. Unfortunately, this last trip was not so exciting. This is a big tourist spot in Hawaii. People come from all over to enjoy the beautiful scenery, the beach at the cove, and in the winter it is the spot to go to see the humpback whale as they take their journey leaving the North Pacific or the Honu (The Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles) swimming about.
Diving is possible along the coast when there are light northerly winds blowing and no surf. It is recommended diving elsewhere when waves are breaking. The erratic tidal changes that take place offshore make the waters experience a strong current called Moloka'i Express that can drag divers out to sea. A large wedged shape area right off the coast next to the cove is a reef coated with Sinularia Leather Coral, which is a coral that does not need much light to live, in which you can find many different species like echinoderms, slugs, corals, and eels. The shoreline cliff beyond the cove, ending at a point, should be the limit of any shore diving here due to the strong current and distance. There is also a narrow rift along the base of the cliff which was formed by a large section of rock that broke away from the land can be seen very well on a clear day.
Thousands of years ago when volcanoes were still active on Oahu, Koko Crater's lava flowed into the ocean there at Halona Point. The molten lava tubes from volcanic eruptions that occurred thousands of years ago formed the natural occurrence known as the Halona Blowhole. The lava tubes extending into the ocean are very narrow at the top, and when the surf is just right, the mighty blowhole can shoot sea spray up to thirty feet high in the air.
Halona Cove is the small pit of sand just to the right of Halona Blowhole(when facing the ocean) where tourists and locals can also enjoy a small beach while visiting the blowhole attraction and it is great for swimming when the surf is very calm. Access to the beach is difficult (most visitors scale the cliff from the parking lot) and it is dangerous to swim here while the surf is rough considering there are no lifeguards on duty here. This was the site of the famous love scene between Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster in the 1953 film "From Here to Eternity", and also between Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler in the movie "50 First Dates". In 2012, the beach was featured in the music video for Nicki Minaj's "Starships".
This is also a very dangerous landmark where there have been numerous accidents and even deaths because people did not pay attention to warning signs and got too close to the hole. They have since put locked gates up to keep the people from going out onto the rock formation, but tourists and locals still climb the fence. In one example, an 18-year-old was vacationing in Hawaii with his family. He was warned by witnesses to stay away and not climb on the rocks. It was said that he wanted to feel the water hit his chest. Thirty seconds later, his wish came true and people watched in amazement as he straddled the blowhole. Suddenly, a wave came shooting a blast of water through the hole, launching him five feet into the air. His body was found the next day. There was a lawsuit in this incident about warning signs. Not only the teen, but four others have been sucked into the blowhole. Three of these incidents have been fatal. Also, below Halona is one of the most dangerous ocean currents in the world. Its name is Ka Iwi, or commonly the "Molokai Express", for its legendary power to carry the unwary to Molokai. It is very unpredictable and you should not swim there when the ocean current is rough, as the waves crash against rocks.