We slept in until around 7:00am. Harold and Kay were preparing breakfast this morning. We walked over to Harold and Kay's unit around 7:30am.
Harold and Kay have a single bedroom unit on the other side of the complex. They do not look out on the ocean like our unit. Instead they look out over the center complex of garden, picnic area and pool. Their living area seems the same size as our double unit; but, of course, they only have one bedroom.
Breakfast was pancakes and bacon. Harold made plain pancakes for the kids (and me) and pancakes with macadamia nuts and bananas for the adults. (And they were yummy - Daphne)
Damon and his family also joined us for breakfast. Damon's family was smart enough to bring their dishes since each condo did not have enough for a group our size (13 total). Unfortunately, Damon did not bring any coffee so we sent him back for some. He returned with a half pot. He must have gotten thirsty on the way over.
Breakfast was wonderful and we want to thank Harold and Kay for preparing it. But we did not stay long after we finished eating because we wanted to get on the road.
Today was surfing day. This was the day that Ben really looked forward to. We had tried boogie boarding on the big island but today we would graduate to the real surfboards and get lessons. The lessons were out of Kayak Kauai, the same people who took us on our long kayak trip. Actually it was the same company but definitely not the same people, but I am getting ahead of myself.
We drove down to the lighthouse. There is some type of national park or exhibit area at the lighthouse but it was closed until 10:00am and we got there shortly after 9. But we were able to get a decent viewing spot where we could take pictures of the lighthouse.
Bill spent a considerable amount of time setting up a few shots of the lighthouse in the favorable morning light. I turned our camera over to Daphne who also took some great shots of the lighthouse.
When we first arrived to take pictures, there was only one other car there. But when we were ready to leave, two tour busses pulled in and disgorged their loads of overweight tourists with cheap cameras. We quickly boarded our own vehicle and drove out of there.
On the way back to the main road, I asked Bill to stop so I could take some pictures of the mountains. The morning light on the mountains was beautiful but it was hard to frame a shot without telephone wires.
On the way out to Hanalei, we stopped at a scenic overlook to take more pictures. The scenic overlook had a great view of two mountains towering over fields of taro. A helpful sign explained that the government was paying people to grow taro, an otherwise uneconomical crop, so the native wildlife would have a favorable environment. Isn't America wonderful?
I took a few pictures then turned the camera over to Daphne so she could work her magic. My approach to photography is to take lots of photographs and make Daphne delete everything that doesn't look good. But when Daphne takes pictures, the composition is more than accidental.
After this photo shoot, we were back in the car heading northwest to Hanalei. As we approached Hanalei Harbor, coming down the hillside, we had a wonderful view of the bay. But they were doing tree trimming on the road and traffic was one lane only so it would have been real rude to stop to take pictures.
We arrived at Kayak Kauai just as Damon's family pulled up, at 9:45am as planned. We checked in and turned over our money. Then we waited around while they loaded up the surfboards on their truck. It seemed to take forever (or perhaps only a few minutes if you use island time)
As we walked down to the beach, carrying the surfboards, we realized why they had chosen this beach. The beach was very sandy, shallow and somewhat protected. But there was plenty of surf. The whole crew walked down the beach, following our three surfing instructors until they decided that they had found the perfect strip of sand. It looked like all the other sand to me, include the sand closer to the entrance.
We had three instructors for the surf lesson. They were all kids; the youngest was probably still a teenager and the older two might have been in their early twenties. They were all surfer dudes.
At the start of the lesson, they had us all jump from a prone position to a standing position on the surfboards while still on dry land. This was not, as I would have expected, to teach us the proper technique. No, they just wanted to figure out which foot we favored as our leading foot on the surfboard. The trailing foot would have the attached rope that keeps the board continuously dragging you into shore after you fall off.
They wanted only six people to come out into the water at the start, we sent five including Bill and all the kids. Actually we did not send Bill, we rushed into the water even before the instructors were ready.
Damon, Daphne and I stayed on shored during the first wave, along with Judy, Laurie and Heather. It was a chance to take some pictures.
The two Clark boys seemed to have an easy time of it, although they did not get much hand time. Beth and Ben had more trouble. Ben, especially, was really beat up by the waves just getting out into the water and generally had a poor attitude the whole morning. Needless to say, he gave up early.
When Ben gave up, I took over. The instructors showed me how to dive under the waves on the way out to avoid being knocked back 10 steps for every step forward. When we got deep enough, they told me to get on the board and face in shore. Then, at some time determined by the wave's position (a time that I was never able to figure out), they would push the board forward and off I would go.
After a couple of tries, I got in what seemed like a great run. I got up on my feet and was moving quickly towards shore but in my way was Beth. She must have decided the best vantage point was right in front of me. To avoid taking off her head, I jumped to the side, ending what was probably my best wave of the day.
I tried a lot to get a good run on the surfboard. I did much better when the instructors gave me a push. When I tried it on my own, I would wait for the wave to get close, and then I would paddle furiously forward only to move five feet and have nothing else happen. The trick seems to be to time the paddling well and paddle fast. But I never picked up the trick.
I had one great run later in the morning and rode the board, on my feet, all the way into shore. But the photographers were so busy watching they forgot to take pictures. But I assure you, it really happened.
I got pretty beat up during the surfing lesson. Once I bent my toe backwards (it was still tender that evening). And once I jumped off the board into what I through was a few feet of water only to land hard on the bottom after only six inches.
I also got a sunburn on my forehead. I don't normally put lotion on my forehead since my hat covers my forehead and the lotion just runs into my eyes. But I wore no hat while surfing.
Daphne bashed her finger really badly. We don't thing it is broken but later that day, she bought a splint ad I had to take over the journal.
Ben gave up after two attempts and ended up playing in the sand. Beth also gave up early and ended up practicing her surfing in two inches of water on the shore. Bill kept trying to catch a good wave long after everyone else had given up. I believe he had a good time.
While we were loading the surfboards onto the truck, our instructors started explaining the finer points of approaching right-handed vs. left-handed waves. After listening for a while, I commented that it would be enough if I could tell when a wave was coming. Left alone lifting up the waves to tell their sex.
The instructors seemed to spend a lot of their time surfing themselves -- or rather, demonstrating the proper technique. They were adequate, but they did not get a tip.
After surfing we drove back towards Hanalei to get lunch. But first we tried to find a pharmacy with a finger split. But the nearest pharmacy was back where we went surfing. Oh well, we took care of Daphne's finger later.
Lunch was at Zelo's Beachhouse. Daphne picked this restaurant because she though that they would have food that Bill could eat (they didn't except for salad). I had the fish and chips; it was good but not great. I think everyone else said the same for their meal.
After lunch, we continued driving west towards Tunnel Beach, near the end of the road. We had planned on meeting the Clark's at the beach at 1:30. When we got close to the beach, we had trouble finding parking. We ended up parking at the campsite and beach past tunnel beach. We then walked back along the road. That turned out to be a mistake; the walk along the shore was a lot faster.
Before we started our walk, we picked up some shaved ice from a street vendor. It was pretty poor. The best shave-ice was back in Kona. On this island, the best shave-ice was at Jo-Jo's (all the way around the island).
The beach was interesting. Lots of (hot) sand but good shade. There were rock (or coral) formations in the water with only a few channels to use to get out to the snorkeling. We all took turns snorkeling at the beach. It was marginal at best. There was not much living coral at all and only a few (well fed) fish.
But there was one interesting sight. A ways from shore, Daphne, Beth and I spotted a silver stream under the water. It was a school of fish, thousands of them, swimming together over the rocks. The fish were each around a foot long, silver in color with large eyes. It was really cool to watch them all swim together in unison like an underwater river. I went back for Judy so she could see these fish but we never found them again. Daphne went back to shore because her finger was bothering here.
Daphne's note: Actually there were some cool fish here. The best was a strange fish I had never seen before. It was bright green and blue and its snout was long and thin and pointed down towards the bottom. I still haven't been able to figure out what fish this is.
We did not stay at the beach long but left for home soon after snorkeling.
The roads up north are narrow, twisty and have a lot of one-lane bridges. This is in contrast with the roads around the condos, which allow for three lanes of traffic. I guess there is not as much traffic up north.
For dinner, we ate at the Bull Shed, just south of the condo. This was recommended by a number of locals at the place near us to go eat.
We got a nice table right under a window facing the ocean. During dinner, we watched the waves crash against the sea wall just 10 feet from the table. I understand that in winter, they have to close the windows to keep the sea spray outside.
Dinner was good. I got the teriyaki shrimp which proved to be the best meal. Ben and Judy both got a scallop dish. Beth got crab legs. Daphne got surf and turf. The rest of the food was good but not great.
After dinner, I decided that I wanted fudge so we drove north to Kapa'a, just past the condo and looked for an open store. We found an ice cream place and all got small dishes, but no fudge.
Bill drove the car back and the rest of us walked home. Then we collapsed. Another long, tiring day.
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Text and images © Copyright 2001 Joel and Daphne Gould. If there are any problems or questions email Daphne Gould.