So, I decided to take a day off of the blog since it was a travel day. Yesterday, (Monday) we moved from the North Shore to the South Shore of Kauai. We had to check out of Hanelei Bay Resort by 10 am and couldn’t check in until 3 pm in Poipu. We also had some errands to run so it was just a ‘regular day on the island’. We did take advantage of the drive a bit by stopping at a great little smoothie/fruit stand that had wonderful sandwiches. It was beautiful most of the time but every once in a while during the drive it would just pour down rain. Like when we stopped at one of the few McDonald’s on the island. (Casey was NOT liking anything from the smoothie stand nor was she happy to be ‘just driving all day’ so we compromised with a little taste of home.)
It is gorgeous. We stopped at Safeway on the way here yesterday to take advantage of somewhat lower grocery prices and have cooked in both nights, eating out on our deck with the waves crashing as background noise. The evenings have been nothing short of heavenly.
Unfortunately, Mike had to work today. We like to say he only worked ‘a half day’ (that’s 6 am to 6 pm) — unfortunately when you are an entrepreneur it can be hard to take a whole month off. But we knew this might happen so the kids and I made the best of it and set out in the car to see some sights down here on this side of the island. We stopped first at Spouting Horn. It was incredible to see and to hear. It is unique in that there is an additional hole very close to it that doesn’t spout water, only air, causing a loud moaning or gasping sound. Legend has it that a large sea serpent named Mo’o would eat anyone that tried to swim or fish there. One day, a fisherman named Liko came by and Mo’o went to attack. Liko threw a spear into Mo’o, who chased him into the lava tube and became trapped in the spout, where its cries of hunger and pain can be heard today.
The photos don’t really do Spouting Horn justice. It is better represented visually with a video…
We then stopped at Glass Beach. You would not think as you approach Glass Beach that it would be worth a stop. You have to pass by the electrical station and a few other industrial sites to get there. And, it was not a beach you would want to swim or hang out at. But Dan found some great pieces of sea glass that he is planning on taking home. This was debated and confirmed to be ok to do on Google because it is considered kapu (bad luck) to take coral, sand, and lava rock off the islands as they are the domain of the Goddess Pele. (Interesting fact: hundreds of packages of lava rock and coral are sent back to the Islands each year in an effort to relieve consciences and change one’s luck.)
We had a wonderful lunch at The Lanai in Kuhio’ula Shopping Center and then even did a little shopping. By then, Casey was done… back to the condo she went while Dan and I slipped out again, this time to Brennecke Beach, known for amazing boogie boarding and turtles. We ended up getting both! We both saw turtles only a few feet from our boards floating in the water like large discs; they looked so graceful in the (what we learned was) rough surf.
Here is Dan riding a wave.
The waves were ‘sick’ as the locals would say. Dan did great, but I had a bit of a tougher time. The rocks on either side of the small sandy section were not to be messed with. The 8-12 foot waves would crash further out but then some 6-10 foot ones would crash really close to the shore.( There is no way I would have let Casey even get in the water, it was so strong.) After about 10 minutes I understood why the local ER likes to refer to this little patch of sand as Break Neck Beach. At one point, I rode a wave in but got caught up in it as I got close to the rocks. I lost my board as it got pushed to shore so I just tried to come up for air and head for the sand. Unfortunately, a long set of strong waves came in just at that moment. Every time I came up for air from one wave I would get hit by another, even though I was trying to dive below each one. They were so strong. I suffered a small scrape on one knee but other than that I made it the last 15 feet to shore without any injuries, except maybe emotional. I consider myself an OK swimmer and have a very healthy respect for the ocean. But even I got tossed around quite a bit only 15 feet from shore. It was just a great reminder that island life is one that demands a strong sense of respect, understanding and appreciation of the land and of the sea. And now you know about my 3rd terrifying moment of the trip. (You can read about #s 1 and 2 here. )
Tomorrow, Michael and I head out on Captain Andy’s Catamaran to see the Na Pali Coast and snorkel. I will be sure to get some good pictures and some sun! (We are buying sunscreen like crazy here!)