It’s a new year. Keep on keepin’ on.

Greetings in 2023! I hope your year is off to a good start. This post’s photo is a humorous take on Japanese kagami mochi for the new year. For a proper kagami mochi, there should be two round mochi, a larger one supporting a smaller one, and on top of them, a citrus with one leaf. The mochi represents the going year and the coming year. The citrus, daidai, means generations. Everything about this photo is wrong: one dented, hard mochi, a huge citrus, with more than one leaf.

This citrus is one of the two navel oranges Bea had on her tree this year, and she kindly insisted we eat the only two oranges. Her oddly low orange yield reminded me of our coffee yield. Anyway, it was special, so I wanted to commemorate its existence. At the time we only had one store-bought mochi left after our New Year’s ozoni mochi soup. The mochi that was lovingly, thoughtfully handmade by friends for us, had, and must still be having, a big adventure this year, thanks to Southwest Airlines and the U.S. Postal Service. I wonder if it will meet up with a six pound coffee package that has gone missing. Why is it always the larger packages that get shipped to the wrong place or get lost, and not a half pound order?

A few non-coffee-drinking friends had asked about the Mauna Loa eruption back in December, so I shared the link to the two posts I made about it. They were surprised to see that I’ve maintained blogging for many years. You do something regularly, and after a while, it all adds up. Thus the title, “keep on keepin’ on.”

My recent posts were not so much, or at all, about coffee, more about “this Hawaiian life.” I guess my topics are about our coffee, weather and problems that affect our coffee, other things we grow or encounter on our farm, coffee in general, Kona, Big Island volcanoes, modern and older Hawaiian culture and history having to do with the Kona Coffee Belt, and namesake Bea (Mom).

We went to see Bea in Southern California this holiday. We flew Hawaiian Airlines and kept our seatbelt firmly fastened so we wouldn’t dent the ceiling if we encountered severe turbulence. It rained more frequently than usual, i.e., it rained, period. Ha ha. The Rose Parade in Pasadena (less than 40 miles away from Bea) is always on New Year’s Day, but not if it’s on a Sunday. That worked out well this year, since it rained on New Year’s Day but was beautiful the Monday after. I just googled about rain and the Rose Parade, and this was the answer: “In the 1st 60 years(about) it rained 9 times. In the next 60 years (about) it rained once.”

Bea still had fruit on her Buddha’s hand tree. I’ve posted on Instagram, but here they are in the blog, too. I just ordered a little entry tree from California-based Four Winds Growers. They’re allowed to ship to Hawai’i. We’re already successfully growing a seedless kumquat and a yuzu from them. I want to grow my own shaka and octopus! It’s worth it for the heavenly fragrance of the fruit. I’m content just leaving it in the house to smell it. The zest will add specialness to any recipe calling for citrus zest. A cranberry recipe is better with zest from a Buddha’s hand instead of orange or lemon. I mention cranberries because Bea’s fruit always seems to be ripe around Thanksgiving.

On another note, we gave my mom a more interesting tea than we realized. We bought it since it was made of Hawaiian ingredients. We knew māmaki and lemongrass, and we completely ignored the second listed ingredient, butterfly pea. We hadn’t paid close attention to the description, and neither did she. “For when you need a little extra magic in your life, a captivating, color-changing tea.”

The first time we drank it, it was like we all expected. It was māmaki (supposed to be good for you), and tasted better because of the other ingredients. It was the second night we had some that we all noticed, “Hey, it’s green!” It hadn’t seemed to be that weird green color the first night. Then we studied the packaging. If you add citrus, it’s supposed to change color. Apparently butterfly pea is known to mixologists (hello, Big Joe!) for its vivid color and ability to change color.

There you have it. Maybe you’ve learned something new, like we have.

OK, on to coffee. The past coffee season is really over now that we have strip-picked all fruit as part of our coffee hygiene. This way borer beetles and other pests won’t have homes. Our cherry harvest, in the end was 24% of the previous season’s harvest. I’ve mentioned a figure close to that a few times, but now it’s final. I’ll be interested to see how much green coffee of estate quality we’ll end up with after dry milling. Somehow I expect it’ll be less than 24% of last year’s green coffee, i.e., I think we’ll have more smaller and inferior quality beans. Our estate coffee has to be of certain grades: Extra Fancy, Fancy, and Number 1, and Prime, and is comprised of those grades in the ratios we get when we harvest. The grades lower than Prime won’t be in our estate coffee. I suspect we’ll probably just have even less estate coffee to offer than 24% of the previous season’s amount. Sigh.

This “dry” season (October-February) has not been too dry so far. I’m not implying that’s good or bad. The rainfall chart below starts in October, which is the start of the dry season. It’s also when the Kainaliu rain gauge annually restarts its cumulative count. The cumulative rainfall of the previous entire dry season, from Oct’21-Feb’22, was 7.7 inches. We got 7.5 inches just in December 2022. I study the chart and can see no trends year to year in these past few years, which have been very dynamic with Kīlauea starting and stopping. Three sentence volcano eruption summary: From 1983 to 2018 eruptive activity was nearly continuous, then it stopped. It resumed December 2020 to May 2021, stopped, then resumed September 2021. And Mauna Loa started at the end of November 2022, after a 38 year hiatus, then stopped mid-December.

Forward and onward. We had another decent blossoming round, from the rain we received around Christmas. Someone reassured me that the season following a Mauna Loa eruption tends to be good. I don’t know about the implied cause and effect, but I’d feel better with at least a decent season after this one. There are definitely optimistic farmers out there. Aunty planted 50 new, rust-resistant seedlings. And some others are clearing acres of land and planting trees with the vision of some really high output per acre, more than we get from our three acres. You go, happy farmers!

I’ll close with a cute photo of UH in Holualoa feeding a donkey ti leaves on New Year’s Eve day. He must have been reminiscing about his old chore of caring for the family Kona nightingale.

A Kona Coffee Christmas Poem

The Kona Coffee Farmers Association published this poem today. It’s such a good one, I have to share it, too. It was written by KCFA member Joanie Wynn to her husband Steve, for Christmas 2022.

A KONA COFFEE CHRISTMAS POEM 

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when out on the farm
The pigs were all snorting and causing alarm,
They’d torn up the lawn and caused damage to trees,
Which was nothing compared to the coffee disease.


“A fungus among us!” cursed old farmer Steve,
“A leaf rust, a menace, it’s hard to believe!”
But that wasn’t all the poor farmer had battled,
CBB beetles had made him quite rattled.


The weeds overwhelmed him, the drought gave a fright,
Each month he slogged through, with no end in sight.
Supply chains were straining, fuel prices rising,
The fact he survived it was somewhat surprising.


The coffee still grew, though somewhat diminished.
Pickers went home, for the harvest was finished.
The cherry all pulped, laid on the deck drying,
A sense of achievement, no matter how trying.


The farmer, so weary, turned in for the night,
Dreaming of coffee not ruined by blight.
Under the covers, tucked tight in his bed,
Dark roasted coffee beans danced in his head.


No visions of Santa or tiny reindeer,
Just hope for a more robust crop without fear.
His dreams were of coffee fields loaded with cherry,
of bags full of green beans, of farmers so merry.


The next morning came with a strong cup of Kona,
Gifts were delivered; FedEx, Amazona.
The farmer would smile and put away strife,
Embracing the joys of his Big Island life.


A happy occasion, a time to rejoice,
With friends and with family, a time to give voice,
To gratitude, fellowship, season of hope,
To fortitude, strength, and the courage to cope.


More fruit was coming, new snow on the trees,
A hearty crop promising bounty and ease.
The yields would be staggering, bigger and better,
The farmer believed that, now more than ever.


Despite all his trials, he truly felt blessed.
He was cheerful and buoyant, no longer stressed.
He grinned and exclaimed as he kicked off his flip-flop
“Merry Christmas to all! And to all a good crop!”

Our poinsettia planted in 2020 in December 2022.

Kekemapa on the cushion, volcano, and sea

Hawaiian word for the day: Kekemapa. December. The last two weeks flew by! Months ago I invited two friends from California to join me at Daifukuji temple for the Rohatsu sesshin, sometimes called a Zen retreat, a time of intense meditation in celebration of Buddha’s enlightenment. I had something in mind, where we’d have a lot of quiet time, bracketed by morning and evening meditation, and there’d be yoga, cooking and enjoying a main meal, maybe just one local activity at some point in the day. It’s grounding to spend time this way during a typically hectic, increasingly commercialized holiday time.

Well, there’s vision and there’s reality. The three of us have spouses, and they played in. I asked Hubby to go somewhere for the week+, since he doesn’t practice these activities, and it’d be weird to have someone in the house on a completely different schedule who’d probably want to watch TV and listen to music. The two from California and their spouses had never been to the Big Island. I haven’t seen any of them in person in over two years. There were multiple factors affecting how the days actually went. Not the least was Mauna Loa erupting!

The time was very fun, meaningful, and I think will bear a lot of fruit in the future because of so many personal connections made. And you learn more about your friends by living with them. One surprise for me was that one friend is a bit spooked by creatures. I had been periodically sending her photos of the various sea creatures I’ve encountered, and she had probably always been having an “ewww!” reaction. And I realized how much I’ve been delighting in discovering all the various creatures here when I’d tell a story and then see her cringe. There I go again, freaking her out.

The other friend was a sea creature magnet. In our swims together, he was fortunate to see all kinds of things it usually takes us many swims over months and years to see: mantas, a sandbar shark, octopuses, turtle, dolphins, eels, and the usual array of reef fish.

For various reasons, my friends couldn’t come at the start of the retreat, but they attended by Zoom so that they wouldn’t come in “cold” when they did arrive. Mornings there’s a lot of traffic noise. Evenings is a riot of coqui frogs and crickets, with not as much car traffic. They were convinced those chirping noises were birds. Nope, coquis. A coqui frog even hopped inside the house into the guest area. For those who could look, they were shocked to see that little one inch critter and know that it makes that shrill, loud whistle. And one morning on our drive in the dark to the temple, we saw piglets crossing the road. Since there wasn’t any traffic at 5:40AM, I paused and we counted TEN little piglets! Arggghhh!!! At least it wasn’t right by our house.

We managed to make a trip to see lava. The first night we intended to go, it was just pouring over here. I knew the weather could be very different at Saddle Road, but it was practically flooding over here. We ended up getting almost two inches of rain that night. So we went the next night. Traffic flow had improved greatly in a week (thank you, Hawai’i County). There were plenty of cones on the side of Daniel K. Inouye highway (new Saddle Rd.), so people were no longer pulling over willy-nilly on the shoulder of the 60 mph highway. Old Saddle Rd. was opened up as a one way lava viewing area. Drive on the left, park on the right. Old Saddle had been temporarily closed a day or two after opening because of an unexploded ordnance found nearby. That kind of news helps keep people from exploring too far from the viewing area.

On our way there, there was a time when there was a large stream of cars coming towards us, away from the eruption. I was thinking, “Uh oh. It’s probably pouring rain or foggy.” But we were going anyway. Conditions can change. As we drove along Old Saddle Rd., there was hardly anything to see because of thick clouds. For my friends, they’d never been to the area at all, and their first time was in the dark. There was almost a full moon, and luckily it wasn’t too cloudy on the north side of the highway, where Maunakea is. Since that volcano flank doesn’t have any settlements or lights on it, it was nice to see it by moonlight.

Eventually we saw a few Mauna Loa embers and some red glow. Cars were pulled over at various places, and we pulled over for a while to see if the weather would clear. Later as we continued along the road, we could see more embers, and a low wall of red on black, the part of the cooling, spreading flow that was about two miles away from the highway. The left lane for driving was practically at a standstill. Eventually I had my friends just ride in the truck bed since we were moving so slowly. Riding in the truck bed is a hit, I tell you. It’s not just for kids. They were surprised how much they enjoyed it, despite it being 50 degrees.

Since we were all the way out at Saddle, I drove up to the Onizuka Visitor Center on the Mauna Kea Access Road. From below, I could see there weren’t too many cars on the road, unlike the week before. We were so lucky that the thick clouds were rapidly moving, and we had some moments where we could see the red lava river coming down Mauna Loa’s flank. They could finally see a bit of what Mauna Loa looks like. It wasn’t just dark grey matter in the distance. The view appeared and disappeared several times. I haven’t studied how to use our digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera at night, so I didn’t even get any photos, plus the view was fleeting.

On another note, I just learned yesterday that a photo I took on November 29 with my iPhone has a special feature in it. I had shared the photo with a friend two days after I took it because she wanted to share a lava photo or two with friends. I hadn’t paid close attention to it, because I liked Hubby’s photos better. Do you see it? (Answer at the end of this post). I’ve even shared the photo with West Hawaii Today to see if they’ll publish it in the daily Island Life section.

On December 1, the volcano was spewing out SO2 emissions at 180,000 tonnes per day. It wasn’t too bad here in the central Kona area because most of the vog was blowing north to the other islands. Last week, though, was pretty voggy. We couldn’t see the horizon. At the end of the day the sun would just get absorbed into thick vog soup before it’d reach where the horizon should be. On December 10, SO2 emissions were at about 20,000 tonnes per day, a little over 10% of December 1. Some excerpts from this morning’s December 12, 9:35am report:

“The Northeast Rift Zone eruption of Mauna Loa may still be active at the fissure 3 (F3) vent but all 2022 lava flows appear to be inactive. “

“The inactive main flow front remains stalled about 1.7 mi (2.8 km) from the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (Saddle Road) when last measured the morning of December 10.  The inactive main flow front still glows at a few spots at night and may inch northward very slowly as it continues to settle.”

“The significance of the continuing inflation while the flow field is inactive is not yet clear; it is common for eruptions to wax and wane or pause completely, but none of the eight recorded eruptions from Mauna Loa’s Northeast Rift Zone returned to high eruption rates after those rates decreased significantly.”

No more fountaining, and not nearly as much red to see. It seems this eruptive phase is wrapping up.

Changing subjects, during the time of our retreat was also National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day on December 7 to remember and honor the 2,403 Americans who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The U.S. declared war on Japan the next day and thus entered World War II. I recently finished reading Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II by Daniel James Brown, the author of The Boys in the Boat. I highly recommend that book.

I’ll close on a lighter note with photos of local flavor this Kekemapa and Kalikimaka (Christmas) time. The lighted boat parade was a bit light on boats. I don’t think there was much notice that it was going to happen. The events are still slow to return from COVID hibernation, and sometimes they’re decided to be on, with little notice. Still no Jingle Bell Beach Run.

In case you didn’t see the image in the lava photo, there’s a white dragon head on the right side belching fire.

“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.”

— Eleanor Roosevelt

Madam Pele is anything but predictable. We feel lucky that we discovered the early hours of Mauna Loa’s eruption by seeing the red glow up the mountain from us. We could see it because the eruption began in Moku‘āweoweo, the summit caldera of Mauna Loa, a little over 13,000 feet. So, many people could see something was going on at that height. Our view from the farm the following two nights, was that the red glow was much dimmer, lower, and diffuse, and had moved a bit northwards. That’s because there’s no longer any active lava in the caldera.

Last night I received a text from a friend that Saddle Road (Daniel K. Inouye Highway, Hwy 200) might close very soon and he and a friend were going NOW. I saw that an hour after he sent it. I wasn’t sure if a possible closure was because of lava or lava viewers. I couldn’t reach him by phone or text.

I googled to find out more about Saddle Road closing and the criteria. What I read was they’d close it when lava reaches about three or four miles from Saddle, and that the closure would be almost 12-20 miles long (I read different numbers than the closure map I saw). And yesterday I had read in the USGS status that lava was 4.5 miles away, so I felt closure was imminent. Originally I was thinking I’d wait until Saturday or later to go, so I could bring our next visitors.

At first it was still hard to overcome inertia, like usual. But I had checked Google maps to see how bad the traffic was, and it didn’t seem too bad (1.25 hours or so). That morning a friend who had gone Monday night reported that there was a lot of traffic, but not a jam. I had tips from her and a photo of what she saw. The mental calculations were, “We drive two hours to go to Volcano National Park to see a little red in a lava lake at a distance. This is shorter, and there will be lava flowing down a big flank. And there’s fountaining.” And if Saddle closes, there could be an amazing flow going on, and it could be really difficult to view it.

Within four minutes we decided, gathered flashlights, camera, binoculars, warm clothes and water, and threw in some chairs and headed out.

It felt like a lava pilgrimage. Yes, there were many cars. It’s a highway with a 60 mph speed limit (which we rarely reached), with one lane in each direction. You are not supposed to pull over on the shoulder. It’s dark; it’s dangerous! And a few people try and cross the highway on foot. You can’t even see them. We passed a vehicle accident with flares on the road, and we pulled over for emergency vehicles coming towards us in response. But there were cars parked in the shoulder anywhere you could see red lava.

Up till the point we reached the electronic sign board explicitly stating not to park on the shoulder between mile posts 16 and 31. $1000 fine. And we could see the blue lights of police cars about every 1/4 mile. At that point, instead of parking on the shoulder, traffic was almost stopped. We just crawled along. I took some photos out the window.

We turned up the Mauna Kea Access Road and drove about a mile up for our vantage spot. You’re driving further away from the flow, but you’re also climbing for a higher view. The photos below were taken around 9:30pm HST on Tuesday, November 29, 2022. With binoculars you could easily see the constant fountaining at the upper part of the rifts. Earlier, that afternoon USGS reported that “fountains at fissure 3 were consistently 40-50 m (131-164 ft) tall and fountains at fissure 4, which formed at approximately 7:30 p.m. HST on November 28, were 5-10 m (16-33 ft) tall.”

From my daily USGS.gov email about Mauna Loa sent today, Wednesday, November 30, 2022, 9:08 AM HST, the first and last paragraphs:

The Northeast Rift Zone eruption of Mauna Loa continues, with two active fissures feeding lava flows downslope. The fissure 3 lava flows are travelling to the northeast, though the direction shifted slightly westward overnight, still moving toward Saddle Road. Fissure 3 is the dominant source of the largest lava flow, and the flow front is about 3.6 miles (5.8 km) from Saddle Road as of 7 a.m. HST this morning. The flows have been advancing at a rate of 0.08 miles per hour (130 meters per hour) over the last day, but they are approaching a relatively flat area and will begin to slow down, spread out, and inflate. Forecasts indicate it may take two days for lava flows to reach Saddle Road.

There is no active lava within Moku’āweoweo caldera, and the Southwest Rift Zone is not erupting. We do not expect any eruptive activity outside the Northeast Rift Zone. No property is at risk currently.

It’s fortunate that the activity is in the NE Rift Zone, because the saddle between the two big maunas doesn’t have any communities or much property. There’s a military training base. With Saddle Rd., many people can easily view the flow. It wouldn’t be so easy to accommodate many viewers anywhere else. The Southwest Rift Zone is the one that would endanger communities. From the USGS Mauna Loa FAQ:

“All of the previous 33 recorded eruptions on Mauna Loa started within Moku‘āweoweo caldera at the summit of the volcano and we expect future eruptions to follow this pattern.  About half of the eruptions remain confined to summit area and did not pose a threat to surrounding communities. 

However, nearly half of Mauna Loa eruptions have migrated from the summit down either the Southwest Rift Zone toward Hawaiian Ocean View Estates or the Northeast Rift Zone towards Hilo.”

Note the EITHER in the last sentence. Because the eruption is in the NE Rift Zone and not the SW Rift Zone, the powers that be have closed the two shelters they had opened on Monday. I get the impression people’s anxiousness is settling down. Maybe more people than a typical day are filling up gas, and stocking up on food and toilet paper, but I haven’t observed any apparent group panic and hysteria. Mostly we’re sharing our excitement and experiences.

Another observation: Norwegian Boy has gotten soft. Where we were last night it was 53F (12C), and he was really cold.

It’s happening in our lifetime! Mauna Loa erupts after 38 years

Hubby woke up last night to go pee, and then I coincidentally got up for the same reason. It’s my habit to always glance around outside (see if we left lights on, look at the stars and moon, or see if the sky is cloudy). The sky had a red glow to it. I asked Hubby if he saw it (no, he didn’t look around) and what he thought it was. We went out on our lānai to get a better look and smell. I took the photo used as this post’s feature photo. It’s looking towards the center of the island. The little lights are from two cousins’ houses. We weren’t sure if it was a nearby fire’s glow, or could it possibly be an eruption?! We didn’t smell anything.

Photo taken by Rune at the same time with a better camera, while a car passed by.

It was around 1:30 AM. We checked our phones for news, and Hubby learned about the ashfall advisory, while I searched differently and found that Mauna Loa started erupting at just 11:30 PM. At that time they didn’t yet know much about the flow because they couldn’t conduct aerial reconnaissance at night.

It was exciting to personally discover the eruption in the old fashioned way: observation. I’m glad it happened at night, because we could see something. And it’s a quiet time (which is OK if there’s no danger to communities). It’s also gratifying and reassuring to live in our time of technology and immediately be able to find out up-to-date information.

It’s about 12 hours later now. There had been an ashfall advisory until 10am, but we never saw any ash, nor Pele’s hair. We still haven’t smelled sulfur or smoke.

It all happened differently than I imagined it would. We all knew Mauna Loa was becoming more active. I thought we’d be feeling more frequent and larger earthquakes building up to the eruption. I thought more of the signs that occurred prior to the 1984 eruption would happen, and the media would be reporting it. I thought there’d be a prediction of “any day now.” We’ve been feeling earthquakes, and they’ve been slightly more frequent, but nothing alarming. A smaller, closer one to us can feel similar to a a further, larger one. Earthquakes happen frequently enough that we usually don’t look up the details. Media coverage about Mauna Loa had been building up in September/October. But then Thanksgiving came, and the approach to the end of the year holidays seemed to hold people’s attention. And then it quietly happened.

There are no mandatory evacuations at this time, but two shelters have opened because a number of people in South Kona have been voluntarily evacuating. These are at Kekuaokala Gym (also known as Old Airport Gym, where we volunteered during the mass COVID vaccination effort) in Kailua-Kona and Kaʻu Gymnasium in Pāhala.

If you missed it, I blogged about Mauna Loa and a community meeting by the Civil Defense in the last six paragraphs of my post two weeks ago. I’ll repeat a bit of it here. Here’s the link to the map Mauna Loa Eruption Response Times again. We’re in Honalo, the northern part of that red “South Kona” box (but technically we’re in the southern part of the North Kona District). That blue line there indicates the border where the Mauna Loa and the Hualālai slopes are. We are located just north of that line, on the east/mauka (mountain) road north of that intersection. We were surprised to realize just how close we are to the Mauna Loa slope.

The Hawaii County Volcano Hazards page has a lot of great info, including the USGS map.

This is very exciting, and right now no one and no property is immediately in danger. It’s a huge event that affects all of us on the island. It’s a shared experience of Nature’s awesomeness and power, different than the whole COVID-19 shared experience. We’re all in this together. Our island is very much alive and growing. I couldn’t sleep for maybe an hour or two afterward.

From the USGS site, in contrast to other worldwide volcanic disasters, “fewer than a hundred people have been killed by eruptions in the recorded history of Hawaii and only one of them in this century.” This is not like Iceland’s explosive eruption in the ice-covered summit crater of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010. No lives were lost, but its fine ash was blown by northerly winds over the North-Atlantic Ocean and Europe. In total, about 100,000 flights were canceled, and two million people were affected. And from Wikipedia, “The Mount St. Helens major eruption of May 18, 1980 remains the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in U.S. history.”

Here are some of the questions I’ve received from friends. I’m sharing since you might have the same questions.

Q: How far away are we from Mauna Loa?
A: About 23 bird distance miles. That’s measured using Google Maps from the summit to our farm.

Q: Are we affected by the eruption?
A: Immediately, no. We will be in a loose sense, in that we should be mindful that in certain areas where Mauna Loa’s flank is steep, lava can reach the ocean in three hours. That means the highway could become blocked off. Most of the places we frequent are on the slopes of Hualālai. In that USGS map, it’s the white area on the west just north of the red area.

Q: Is the air smoky with vog?
A: This morning wasn’t too bad, but it’s getting increasingly voggier (written at 1:30pm). The horizon is blurring between ocean and sky.

Q: Did you feel the earthquakes?
A: I felt the one the night before the eruption. It wasn’t long or big enough to concern me. There are always many little earthquakes somewhere on the island. We probably don’t feel the majority of them.

Q: Should we still visit you from the mainland?
A: No need to change plans. Just be prepared for things to be very dynamic. Stay informed. Be flexible. For example, Southwest canceled all flights to Hilo today. Hawaiian Airlines is still flying in/out of Hilo.

Q: If the house is damaged by the volcano, does homeowner’s insurance cover it?
A: It’ll depend on the insurance carrier. This hawaii.gov site answered this question after the 2018 damage from Kīlauea.

Q: Are Pele shrines popping up around town? What kind of offerings do people leave?
A: I haven’t seen any offerings around the town of Kailua. I’ve seen many offerings in the Kīlauea caldera. I think this post on kaahelehawaii.com addresses this topic very thoroughly.

Q: Are helicopter tours booked up?
A: I don’t know. I haven’t heard anything through the coconut wireless (the grapevine). I’d have to look that up on the web or call, so if you’re interested, I respectfully ask that you check that out for yourself.