Thoughts on the ocean, the environment, the universe and everything from nearly a mile high.

Panorama of The Grand Tetons From the top of Table Mountain, Wyoming © Alan Holyoak, 2011

Friday, February 10, 2012

More about Kauai

Our second evening on Kauai we went out to eat in Hanalei.  We all ate at Bubba Burger.  If you are ever in Hanalei, I highly recommend it.  In fact, I ate there three nights in a row.  What should you order?  My recommendation is the Teriyaki burger with cheese and pineapple slice.  You heard that right, with pineapple!  Also, the fries are good. They cook the burgers to order to there is a bit of a wait, and the fries are nice and hot, too!  I'll tell you about another fun place to eat a little later on.

After dinner we roamed around town a bit.  There is a health-food store and a regular grocery.  Be prepared for high prices on just about everything.  Milk is over $4/gallon.

Like I mentioned in an earlier posting, the surf was up when we got to Kauai.  Kat loves waves, and here are some shots of waves breaking on the outer edge of fringing reefs near our place.

Because the surf was high during the first part of our stay we went to beaches to snorkel that had a good reputation for being safe during surf contitions.  Our frst day we went to "Tunnels Beach".  It was close to our place, and it was a pretty interesting place to look around.  I have to admit that I was disappointed in the condition of the reef there.  I did see coral heads located here and there across the reef, but overall the reef was in poor condition.  We did see quite a few fishes though, and that was nice.  That was the only time we went to Tunnels.

The next day we all went to "Ke'e Beach".  It's literally at the end of the road on the north shore.  It had a beautiful sandy area that was great for swimming, but because this beach is one of the most famous on the island, it was also infested with lots and lots of people.  The sandy swimming area is bounded by a fringing reef on one side and a rocky cliff on the other.  There is a danger of a rip current forming along the cliff side, so the life guard there periodically made announcements to people in the water and on the beach to avoid that part of the water.  We did snorkel there, but if was also somewhat disappointing.  Kat, however, said that she liked it better than "Tunnels".  I took a walk up the beach and snorkeled down the beach between the shore and the inner edge of the fringing reef.  I saw some cool fish, and swam through several cold freshwater seeps.  You can tell when you are in one because the water is cooler, and the differing densities of water mixing makes visibility poor.  It's like trying to see without my glasses on.

Starting on Thursday, when the surf was down/flat, we tried snorkeling right off of the beach by our place.  It was FANTASTIC.  The beach we went off of is also next to the Hanalei Colony Resort, if you know where that is.  The reef was in the best shape of anyplace I've been on either Kauai or Oahu.  There was a LOT of coral, many kinds of fishes, and lots of sea shells on the bottom of a rubble-covered channel that will carry you back to the shore.  We snorkeled there many times during the latter half of our stay.  It's a great place, but could be dicey if the surf is up.

Just in case you thought I was kidding before, chickens really are everywhere on the least everywhere we went.  These were living at Ke'e beach.  They don't really bother anyone, but I wonder if/who eats them?

One day we stopped at "Red Hot Mama's Food to Go."  It's literally a hole in the wall.  I didn't eat there, but those who did said it was pretty good Mexican food.  There is no place to sit and eat, inside or out, so this really is food to go!  It's located between Haena and Hanalei.

There were sand crabs and ghost crabs living along the whole shoreline near our place.  If you get to the beach in the morning, and just sit and watch, you can see easily half a dozen or more of them as the scour the beach looking for tasty tidbits of things that the waves may bring in.

I tossed this shot in because it's a fine example of limpets "farming" in the intertidal zone.  The lighter patch on the rock is inhabited by several limpets (snails with cap-shaped shells).  They make a living by scraping algae and bacterial film off of the rocks.  The brownisn and darker areas are covered by bacterial and algal film.  Just about anyt ime you see a light patch like this, it's a place where the limpets have been grazing, and keeping the rock surface clear...farming!

Our favorite Hawaiian treat is shave-ice...NOT snow cones. They are WAY different.  Shave ice is just that, ice blocks shaved to a fine consistency.  Then you add flavored syrup, and, yum!  Shave ice.  Interestingly, the best shave ice place in Hanalei is really hit and miss.  Though members of our group tried to go there several times, the owner/operators were only there twice.  But when they are, you are in for a treat!

We were treated to rainbows over Hanalei Bay twice during our stay.  This photo was taken from the upper deck of our rental place.  What a view!

I mentioned before that we collected shells on our morning walks, and during snorkeling excursions.  This is the haul we collected by the end of our week-long stay.  There were many kinds of shells, and lots of them were in great condition.  We didn't bring all of these home, of course, but we have some nice mementos of our trip...all for free.

The nights are also nice on Kauai.  This is a shot of the full moon through palm trees that line the beach.

And so, it was time to leave Kauai, "The Emerald Isle."  This is the image I had in my mind as we walked aboard the plane to head home.

Kat and I had a wonderful time on Kauai, and I'd be happy to go back any time.

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