Wednesday, August 28, 2013


29 August 2013

We drove west (along the south coast) to the town of Taga, where there are the amazing blowholes.

The island of Savaii is volcanic, and various eruptions created lava flows that ran from the craters in the center of the island, all the way to the ocean.  Much of the coast of the island is volcanic stone, especially this south coast and the SW coast.
In this area, the lava created large shelves which cooled into igneous rock as they hit the sea.  These shelves cover the "beach" area today, looking like black rolling hills over the former white sand.  It's one of the weirdest shores I've seen!
You can even kind of see the flows of lava, and the way they made ripples and layers as they hit the water.

The black rock is almost bubbly - I'm guessing from the hot lava bubbling and steaming when it hit the ocean, but it also could also be erosion from the sea.  

At any rate, the rock kind of creates cliffs that drop to the ocean, and the waves hit with phenomenal displays of froth and mist and white water flying in the 

But the best part is that, in all that bubbling and 
erosion of rock, various blowholes were created - holes that go through the rock, so that when a wave hits in a certain direction or with a certain amount of force, the water is forced up and out the blowhole, so it looks like a geyser!

WAY cool!

Some areas had blowholes that shot up in unison - others had delayed action, I'm thinking based on how 
far the hole was from the point when the wave hit the rock.

It was quite a show - with all the whooshing and booming noises of the waves and geysers shooting up, and misting flying through the air covering everything!  

Some of the blowholes were shooting at least 20 to 30 feet in the air - and if you look at the photos with the people, well, I think a guess of 60 feet (20 meters) would be accurate.  Amazing!!!!

Other tourists arrived, driving along one of the local 
men who carry along a basket of coconuts.  The "fun" thing to do is place a coconut on top of the blowhole, and watch as the force of water launches the coconut way high into the sky!  It was funny, very silly, and fun to watch, and we stood quite a way distant (to not get bonked on the head by a flying coconut), cheering away!

Just in case the whole place wasn't exciting enough, one of the young German people we were talking with saw a humpback whale fairly close to shore, and we saw him swimming along, surfacing and diving, and blowing spouts of steam and water from his own blowhole!  He continued out to sea, and we could see the whale in the distance, sometimes surfacing, but easily identified by the spout as he swam away.  How magical! 

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