As I'm sure everyone is aware, two months ago, the Sendai region of Japan was struck by a magnitude 8.8 earthquake. This caused a tsunami which devasted the area, and also caused damage here in the islands.
One of the hardest hit areas in Hawaii was Manini beach. Manini has long been one of our favorite spots, both for our own use and to send our guests. We went there two days after the tsunami struck, and while the damage was not remotely on the scale of what we'd seen of Japan, it was still quite jarring.
One house was swept completely out into the bay, and several others received substantial damage. The wave had reached up to nineteen feet high, and one hundred feet inland.
Two months later, the houses are being repaired (or torn down in one case), and volunteers have worked hard to restore Manini Beach. They've planted grass, new coconut palms, and put in new rock walls. But the most wondrous thing is that there is now a sandy beach! Apparently, the tsunami moved tons of sand around, and much of it ended up in Kealakekua Bay. Prior to the tsunami, the inlet was rocky, and a bit of a pain to bare feet. Just after the tsunami, it was an ugly mess, and we feared for its future. Now though, it's a lovely little sandy beach; just perfect for little ones.
Manini was always one of our favorites, but we hesitated to call it a beach. Now it can wear that name proudly. The rest of the park should be open again once the new grass has had a chance to take root.