Storm Force – Volcanos, Hurricanes, and Treasure

The Big Island of Hawaii is the main setting for Storm Force, the second book in the Storm Thriller Series. I’ve made several trips to the Big Island in the last few years: one with family, and the other to paddle in the Queen Liliuokalani outrigger canoe race. The settings in the books are the result of our explorations of the island (Check out the map here). As unique and fascinating as the island is, I was having a hard time finding a premise until I saw an article in the Daily Alta California from December 15, 1884:

PIRACY

Honolulu Captured and Sacked by an Armed Force

The most audacious Piratical Raid on Record

No Attempt at Resistance

Over Three Million in coin and plate carried off.

Got your attention—it got mine. After further research, I learned that the pirates held the city overnight, and without violence looted the town. A search was mounted, but neither the buccaneers or the treasure was found.

So, where did it go?

A couple of natural phenomena came into play: lava and hurricanes.

The Big Island, especially the southeast shore has a continuously changing landscape due to Kilauea, the centerpiece of Volcano National Park. Over the past three hundred years, the volcano has been active. As a result of the continuing flows, the present day coastline is different than it was in 1884 when the raid took place.

Two hurricanes bore down on the island last September when we were there for the race. Fortunately, the 13,000-foot volcano protected Kona, where we were staying, but the southeast shore took a beating—the same shore with tons of lava pouring into the ocean every minute. What if the buccaneers put into one of these bays after escaping Honolulu on their way to the mainland. Could a storm have not only held a ship captive but blown it into a lee shore and lava flow, where it is still buried today?

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