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Jo Mitchel's Kapoho Beach House

Salem, Oregon
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Jo Mitchel's Kapoho Beach House

So I'm thinking of booking this property for mid-late June. This seems to be a great forum to gain local knowledge. We are aware of the fact this is an older proerty, off the beaten path and I would love to get some feedback from locals.

I've seen some posts about water quality in the tide pools and would appreciate any info.

Thanks in advance!

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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1. Re: Jo Mitchel's Kapoho Beach House

We need links to the property listing, please.

While I could search it, then it becomes like a job for me.

I am not sure there is any definitive information on the water cleanliness. There are known problems, but there have been some steps towards clean-up.

There are two subdivisions. Kaopho beach Lots is by Champagne Cove, Vacationland is by Wai Opae tide pools. While both subdivisions have cesspools that percolate into the ground water, the two areas of water are quite different.

Salem, Oregon
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2. Re: Jo Mitchel's Kapoho Beach House

Here is the link

tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalReview-g60603-…

It has several great reviews so thats what we based our decision on.

Thanks in advance for the advice.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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3. Re: Jo Mitchel's Kapoho Beach House

sorry, I meant the actual listing for the rental, not the reviews.

I am hoping you get a response from someone who has stayed there. If you don't, you can also click on a reviewer's TA name and PM them. I would choose reviewers who have multiple TA contributions; one-timers are questionable when it comes to reviews.

If you stay there, I would stick to the water area out near the ocean end of the inlet. That is where they test the water. I would not put my face in the water where the pics show the kids snorkeling.

As I said, answers are slim on the water quality. I did read a report (a government study) that put dye tracers in water in toilets there, and tested the transit time from a toilet flush into the swimming waters, and IIRC it was only 20 minutes before the dye appeared. However, sunlight does kill that type of bacteria fairly quickly.

It's a long inlet, and the farther in you are, the less water exchange.

It is quite hot in Kapoho in mid-June, so swimming would be important.

Kapoho is a long drive if you plan to use it as a base for touring. It's one of the most remote areas on the island, and there's only one road out from Pahoa to Kea'au (Hwy 11), which gets quite congested.

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Pahoa
Pahoa
Island of Hawaii, HI
Island of Hawaii...
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4. Re: Jo Mitchel's Kapoho Beach House

Reference for the statement above:

…pacificprotech.com/env_mng/…202.pdf

Pg 2-24

"Tracer dye tests conducted at two Kapoho Beach Lot residences demonstrated that movement of wastewater from toilet to cesspool to coastal waters was very rapid (about 20 minutes) due to the permeability of lava strata."

2005 study of Wai Opae tidepools indicated that enterococci levels were above acceptable more frequently Mon--Wed and within acceptable later in the week. Conclusion that weekend crowds in the rentals and in pools translate into water quality issues and lag slightly. (pg. 2-34, See Table 2-35.)

Showering immediately after swimming is recommended.

However, snorkeling can involve swallowing water and getting water in ears could be a problem.

btw, Kapoho Beach Lots is not "off the beaten path." It is a busy vacation rental community full of visitors. If you want to be away from other tourists, this is not the place!

Kapoho itself is isolated, but the water recreational resources are quite crowded, as there is very little else in Puna.

Salem, Oregon
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5. Re: Jo Mitchel's Kapoho Beach House

I appreciate your responses, I believe this link will take you to the property inf

…bigislandvacationrentals.com/Unit.mvc/…32002

Looks like we may have to rethink our plans, I am really looking for a spot to get into the water.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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6. Re: Jo Mitchel's Kapoho Beach House

You can get into the water there, but just be aware and don't go in with skin breaks ... and in any case, know there is no beach and it is a pond ... the actual ocean is too rough there.

If you want to get in the ocean and play, why are you not looking at the west side?

haines, alaska
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7. Re: Jo Mitchel's Kapoho Beach House

KK the testing you cite was done in 2005.......has there been more recent testing done ?......Just wondering if the water quality is improving at all during the past seven years.........we were so tempted to book a vacation rental there and snorkel in that area, but avoided it for obvious reasons........would definitely consider it in the future, though, if the water quality improves !

Salem, Oregon
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8. Re: Jo Mitchel's Kapoho Beach House

KamaainaK

From what we read that side of the island was less crowded and would be drier in mid June. We also like the fact we could step right into the water.

I'm open for suggestions, we visited Kauai last time and realy enjoyed it becuse we were able to get away from the resorts.

From what I understand these are tidal pools so I'm making the assumption that its connected to the ocean and the water would be exchanged with the tides.

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Kauai
Kauai
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Island of Hawaii...
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9. Re: Jo Mitchel's Kapoho Beach House

mombear, the residents who manage rentals would say it has improved.

Testing is done all the time by the Health Dept.. They have certain limits they impose before they issue warnings or make closures. In practicality, people can acquire infections in any marine waters, and the more pollution there is the more likely IMHO.

It is no longer allowed to build a new home with a cesspool, and I think the septic system has certain requirements, but there is no way to require owners to redo their wastewater system. It's extremely costly.

Island of Hawaii...
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10. Re: Jo Mitchel's Kapoho Beach House

Salemduckfan,

Kapoho is more crowded than the average west side beach in hot sunny weather. There are only a handful of spots to swim on the east side, and many lovely and large beaches on the west side, so do the math on the population pressure. Many tourists select Kapoho. It has been a vacation getaway for decades.

>>> I'm making the assumption that its connected to the ocean and the water would be exchanged with the tides.

Not necessarily. First, the Champagne Cove is NOT a tide pool. It is a man made inlet blocked off with lava rocks, that gets refreshed by waves breaking over the lava, but there is no mechanism to refresh the long deep inlet. Some water coming in is ocean, and some is fresh water from the porous water table, so some pools are what you'd call brackish.

Wai Opae tide pools are more or less refreshed twice daily, but the ones closest to the road are less so. A lot of people go in them, a LOT of people. Basically it's swimming all day in a series of small public swimming pools where people are peeing in the water and taking babes in diapers and all that, but with no disinfectant like what pools have.

No public restrooms at all at Champagne Pond, public uses bushes.

Porta-potties recently donated at Wai Opae.

Be careful reading all the glowing prose in rental ads, and read stuff that is not trying to sell you ...

Be aware that travel writers love to write like they have discovered something off the beaten path, but there is nothing off the beaten path that also has that many vacation rentals.

You might look at Puako and Waialea if you want right on the water and don't like resorts.

I consider myself a non-resort person, but I think people who look here with the "I hate resorts" mindset are actually shooting themselves in the foot. On this island, the better resorts got the BEST of the ocean and the beach access, and the best proximity to the more natural and quiet beaches too. That is why they were built where they are.

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Puako
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