Monday, May 4, 2015

Surfing USA

I have always enjoyed listing to the music of the Beach Boys since I was an early teenager.  From the time we planned our trip to Kauai months earlier my son in-law said he wanted to try his hand at surfing.  Surfing was something my son in-law had never done before but he was determined to try. 

Try he did, while we were spending some time at the beach he headed over to Beach Boys Hut to rent himself a surf board and try his hand at standing up on that board while riding the waves of the Pacific Ocean at Kalapaki Beach.  No lesson, just the board and give it try.  His plan was to watch the others and try to do the same thing. 

 My son in-law paddling his way out to try surfing for the first time. 

There was a few guys out there that gave him pointers and told him how to do something things.  He tried and tried and nearly got all the way up!  One of the surfers told him he had a good form on going from laying down to getting up on his feet.  He was close to standing up and riding the waves.  I give him credit for trying and I know he will try again next time in Hawaii. 

So as my son in-law was heading back in to shore we noticed that the Pride of America was pulling out of Port, heading back out to the open waters of the Pacific Ocean.  My son in-law had no clue that the cruise ship was only a few hundred yards out behind him.  We're all on the shore waving at him trying to get his attention when I was able to finally get a picture of him with the cruise ship behind him.

 Surfer Boy!

Our son in-law gave it a good effort on his own trying to surf the waves of the Pacific Ocean. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Day 2 In Kauai

After breakfast we set out to explore the North Shore of Kauai! Prior to our journey for the day I called my cell phone provider to add on an International Data Pkg onto to my phone to reduce the cost of my data from $6/mb to $0.10/mb.  I had an App on my cellphone kind of a tour guide & GPS  of Kauia combined together.  Then we were off for the day....

As we are heading up the North Shore we come across a small pull out overlooking a valley.  Of course we stop to see what we could see.  You can see where people have stepped over the guard rail to photos and have a better view.  I had picked up a selfie stick for my iPhone and here are a couple of pictures my daughter took using the selfie stick. 

This is one of my favorite family pictures she captured.  My husband and to bend down so that he didn't block our son in-law out of the photo.

Across this valley was a farming operation and a forestry operation.  Being that I work for Forestry I am always checking out the trees at the places we visit.  Seeing an actual logging operation was a bonus in my books.  

Here you can see where the trees have been harvested on the side of the mountain and the farm land that has been worked below it. 

 A wider view of the farming and forestry operations 


After a about 15 minutes we are back on the road to see what awaits us up the road.  Not for after we start traveling our Kauai Guide pipes up telling us we'll be coming to the Wailua Falls, that were seen in the opening credits from the 1970's television show "Fantasy Island"! 

 Wailua Falls

Wailua Falls, are located just north of Lihue.  They are located at the south end of the Wailua River, they cascade into two streams, dropping 80 feet below.

Wailua Falls is most recognized in the opening credits of the long-running television show "Fantasy Island."  Wailua Falls can be seen from the roadside, it tends to get busy and the parking lot beside the falls is small.   If you visit in the mornings, you may be treated to a rainbow at the falls but we weren't so lucky but they were beautiful just the same. 

The falls can change their appearance dramatically with excessive rainfall.  

I remember when I was young around 10 years old seeing those falls on TV and thinking how beautiful they were and how much I would love to see them one day, never realized at that time where the falls were actually located.  This was a childhood dream come true, a tick off the bucket list.

 The force in which the falls are hitting the bottom of the Wailua River.

After about 30 minutes we are back on the road exploring further north.  Below is one of the beautiful views I was able to capture of the mountains in the distance. 

 The first town we come to Kapa'a! We found a viewing point along the highway to stop and admire the Pacific Ocean.

These two went in search of shells on this stop....They found nothing by the way!!

 Unknown to us at the time when we stopped here to admire the view that just over from where we were parked was a monk seal sleeping out on the rocks.  A lady that volunteers when a seal is sighted on shore sleeping they spend the day there protecting the seal showed us where the seal was.  What they do is educate people about these beautiful endangered mammals, about why they are protected.  They are there so people don't get too close or too loud and disturb the Monk Seal while it sleeps.  They are nocturnal and rest during the day for a night of swimming and hunting.

Our First Seal Sighting
 This Monk Seal is a 9 month old female.  She  loves to sleep on the rocks for some reason.  
The Hawaiian Monk Seals are mostly seen sleeping on the beaches.

Hang Loose!!

From here we were on our way to our next destination, Kilauea Lighthoue!  Kīlauea Lighthouse is located on Kīlauea Point on the island of Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi in the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.  The steep cliffs plunging to the ocean is one of the best places on the main Hawaiian Islands to view wildlife and is also home to some of the largest populations of nesting seabirds found in Hawai'i.  Visitors to the Kilauea Lighthouse also have a chance to see spinner dolphins, Hawaiian monk seals, native Hawaiian coastal plants and Hawai‘i’s state bird - the nēnē or endangered Hawaiian goose.  During the winter months visitors also have the chance to see Humpback Whales.

We did see a few Humpback Whales way out but too hard to get photos of them.  Lots of sprays and the backs of the whales but no big breaches. 
From here we were back on the road to exploring the North stop is Hanalei Bay for lunch.  Not knowing where to stop we pulled into a parking lot and decided to get out and check what was there.  We ended up stopping at Bouchon's Grill & Sushi Bar, It was a good choice.  The food was amazing, the atmosphere was wonderful and the service was top notch.  It was starting to drizzle as we left the restaurant so we got back on the road and continued our journey north.

 As were driving along we seen these fields. Not sure what they were we thought maybe rice fields as they seem to be in water.  Found a little pullout where I was able to get a few photos and we were back on our way.  As it turned out we ended up coming right up to these very same fields we seen from the highway up above.   Well they weren't rice fields......they are Taro Fields. 
Hanalei Taro Fields

As we come to the Taro Filds we upon a Single Lane Bridge.  This was really cool, Local Courtesy is 5 - 7 vehicles then stop and let the other side go.  It works really well. 

The further north we drove the more it rained.  By the time we got as far as we could drive on the highway it was pouring so we turned around and headed back towards the south and Lihue.  

As we were traveling back on left side of the road, just before Mile Marker #9, across the street from the Ha'ena Beach Park we seen Manini-holo Dry Cave.  We pulled into the little pullout there and off to explore the inside of the cave. 

 Roots from plants dangling down in front of the cave
Looking in from the outer edge of the cave
The rock formations look like something you would imagine seeing in outer space. 

Looking from the back of the cave out to give you and idea to the size of opening and the depth of the cave.  Which apparently was much larger at one time than it is now. 
Another quick stop in Hanalei to see the Hanalei Bay Pier.  It was raining pretty good here so only my daughter, son in-law and I got out of the vehicle.  I said I have to walk the pier and see it....the pier was made famous in the movie "South Pacific"

 Hanalei Bay Pier

 This sail boat just a ways off from the pier.  I love how it looks in the mist over the ocean. 
One of my favorite pictures of my daughter & son in-law!!!  

As we were driving back heading south to Lihue we were sure this rain was socked in over the entire ilsand of Kauai!  We couldn't have been more wrong.  Slowly you could notice the clouds lifting and the rain getting lighter and lighter.  Soon we could see clear skies up ahead and that is when we came across the most beautiful vibrant rainbow I have ever seen.  The photos just don' t do it justice.

 Some Where Over The Rainbow~

By the time we arrived back in Lihue there was no sign of the rain we had been in earlier that day and no sign that it was heading our way.   Seeing this rainbow was a wonderful way to end our day of exploring the North Shore of Kauai!!! 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pride of America

Day 2 found us awaking to Kauai's own alarm guessed it the Roosters!  I really can't complain as I was able to enjoy another beautiful sunrise while having my first cup of coffee.

As I was sitting on the Lanai enjoying a delicious cup of Kauai Coffee I get a text message from a friend of mine in LaRonge asking if we were going to be there that week with the Canadian Challenge Sled Dog Race!

I quickly snap this photo of the sunrise, teasing him that I am sitting on the Lanai enjoying the beautiful warm weather of Kauai, while he is maybe not enjoying as much as living with the snow, wind and cold temperatures of a typical Saskatchewan winter.

So as he and I are chatting, my daughter comes into the room to join me when she say "Holy Cow, Look at that!!  I look up and pulling into the Nawiliwili Harbor is a Pride of America Cruise ship....that ship was very quiet and quick!  We knew it would be arriving first thing in the morning and I had been watching for it but it was like it came in from now where.  Not 5 minutes prior I was watching for it and it was in front of me.  My daughter laughed at me for not noticing it, but when busy texting you don't necessarily notice things.

I quickly snap a couple of photos and send them to my friend, showing him was just pulling in.  My friend's reply was "I wish I was on that instead of sitting in the office watching the snow"! 

The cruise ship sure dwarfs this little tug boat that brought it into the Harbor. 

It sure didn't take long for the tug boat to get the "Pride of America" docked and the passengers were deboarding for their day in beautiful Lihue, Kauai!  

A close up of the tug boat through the fence as it sits in the harbor. 

The best photo of the Pride of America all lite up at night that I could get off our Lanai.   The ship stayed docked at the Nawiliwili Harbor in Lihue, Kauia for the night.  

The Pride of America pulled out of port on Thrusday afternoon around 2:30 pm with the Tug Boat towing it back out to the open ocean.  

 As one set of visitors arrive by air, one set of leave The Garden Island by boat! 


It didn't take long for the tug boat to get the Cruise Ship away from the dock and turned around to take it back out to the open waters of the Pacific Ocean.  It was really neat to watch it leave the harbor with such ease.  

Heading back into the Harbor!!