Posts Tagged ‘Hanalei Bay’

Hanalei Bay on Kauai’s North Shore

February 10, 2022

Part 3 – Friday, January 21, 2022. Good morning Kauai!

Okay, so our Kauai vacation is totally redeemed with this sunrise after yesterday’s travel day from hell. I want to show you a map of Kauai and specifically the location of Princeville and the north shore, and the route to Princeville from the airport in Lihue (the red line). The drive to Princeville from the airport takes about an hour.

The drive from the airpot in Lihue to Princeville

That was the last leg of our trip yesterday, the drive to Princeville from 11pm to midnight after we (luckily?) snagged our rental car. You will see from the map that the roads in Kauai largely lay along it’s perimeter. There’s no cutting across the island to get to the other side! I suspect on this trip we’ll experience most of our adventures near Kauai’s north shore.

So what to do today, our first full day in Kauai?

For someone reading this who might be planning a trip to Kauai, let me just say that our main guidebook over our nine visits has been this one, by Andrew Doughty:

It’s a fantastic guide book. You can also download the “Hawaii Revealed” app by Andrew Doughty that offers a wealth of information about each island, history, sites, beaches (including current surf conditions), activities, restaurants, with recommendations and reviews. He also offers narrated driving tours.

We have driven as far as we can go around the island on previous visits. Hey, we were younger! Our last trip here was three years ago. Our first trip was 10 years ago. David and Victor are both 75 years old now, Stephanie a few years behind, I’m pushing 70, and Eric, well, there’s still a young mountain goat trapped inside his 64-yr-old body. Megan is 33 with some physical limitations so she fits right in!

It’s a beautiful sunny day! Let’s head to Hanalei Bay, on the north shore of Kauai just a few miles west of Princeville. – Home of ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ … (FYI, for all you youngins’ under the age of 65). We always walk the beach at Hanalei, cloudy, rainy, windy, or whatever, but I believe the weather today is the sunniest I’ve ever seen it. We walk to the end of the dock and back. Perfect day for surfing!

Catching a wave by the dock at Hanalei Bay

That Beach Boys ‘Surfin’ U.S.A.’ tune is dancing in our heads (okay, my head…)

The original, man!

Hey, come on! Post something a little more recognizable to the under-60 crowd!

How about this ‘Surfin’ U.S.A.’ remastered version featuring Blake Lively on the surf board (yea, that’ll help you get your surf on! …)

Surfin’ U.S.A.!

I took a video while standing on the dock:

Surf to shore, paddle back out again! 

If everybody had an ocean across the U.S.A.
Then everybody'd be surfing like in Hanalei

After hanging out on the Dock of the Bay we walked the full length of the beach. Megan paused for a photo. Perfect day with just one fluffy cloud in the sky.

Megan with the dock and surfers in the background

Walking back from the far end of the beach

Victor, Steph and Eric

A last view of Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay

Time to hit our favorite lunch spot in Hanalei, the Kalypso. Good news, the Kalypso survived through the COVID-19 shutdown over the past two years. Bad news, they open at 3 PM now on weekdays because of a shortage of employees. Yep, that sounds about right. Typical new normal for restaurants. However on Saturdays they open at 11. We make it to the Kalypso for lunch at least twice, to burn up the $300.00 gift card Eric had bought for Steph and Vic. (While we gave them a measly wooden sign with a cow on it?)

Lunch at the Kalypso is on Eric

In that case, let’s order Inikis!

… A wicked Mai Tai named after Hurricane Iniki, which hit Kauai on Saturday, September 5, 1992, which also explains all the feral chickens

The restaurant is practically outdoors as one whole wall is open with outdoor seating. To comply with the indoor mask mandate put on your mask before you enter any restaurant and wear it till you get to your table. Take it off once you are seated. Put it back on at your table after you finish eating and wear it as you leave the restaurant. Take it off when you get outside. It gets quite complicated. Like, you may not realize when you leave an outdoor restaurant that you are indeed outdoors and can now take your mask off. But if you find yourself crossing the street then you are likely outside and others in your party might cue you that it is now safe to take your mask off. Unless, of course, you wish to keep it on.

David – Secret Agent Man

There’s a nice shopping plaza in the area behind the Kalypso with lots of small shops. We stopped to look at bathing suits hanging on a rack outside. Huh, based on the styles I saw on the beach today, I could use an upgrade. What do you think?

Yes, Jody, just right for a 68-yr-old woman

Now all I need is a surf board!

So what do you suppose we’ll be doing tomorrow?

Kauai’s Epic Rainfall, April 14-15, 2018

February 10, 2019

(January 2019 Kauai Trip – Part 2)

Imagine you are visiting or living on the north shore of Kauai near Hanalei in the middle of April, 2018. You wake up on Friday, April 14, 2018 to a hard rain. Forecast calls for a major storm, so you hunker down inside your residence. The storm hits about 5 am but it’s ever more fierce than you imagined. It’s raining HARD, and continuously, throughout the day and into the night. You just can’t believe the persistent pounding on the roof and surfaces outside. Finally in the middle of the night, Friday night, you go out and capture a video: (take a little time here to listen – the sound of rain (albeit in small doses) can be a bit relaxing …)

Video taken Saturday April 16,3:30 AM by Theriault Brigette

Finally by 5 am Saturday the rain begins to subside. This storm turns out to be epic – dumping an average of 2″ an hour in Hanalei – 48 inches in 24 hours! Residents emerge to discover widespread damage and devastation – washed out roads, upturned vehicles, homes on the verge of collapsing or washed away, people stranded. Landslides.

You venture out, manage to get down along Hanalei Bay and witness the aftermath, maybe capture some respectable photos and video of the devastation. Here’s a video from (what must be) a drone, where one can see that Weke road – which runs between multimillion-dollar houses along Hanalei beach, near the dock, is clearly destroyed. So are several houses…

April 2018 Flood-posted by Aaron Feinberg

Rescue teams disperse in helicopters, rafts and jet skis. 152 people are evacuated by helicopter. Flooding sweeps a herd of buffalo away at a nearby ranch and buffalo are stranded in peoples’ yards and in Hanalei Bay. Buffalo stranded in Hanalei Bay? Yes. Someone captured a video of Hawaii cowboys, “Paniolo” on jet skis catching stray buffalo in Hanalei Bay:

Hawaii Paniolo catching buffalo

30 campers are stranded on the Kalalau Trail along the now-isolated Napali Coast. Bad timing for a backpacking trip! Turns out the Kalalau trail and Napali Coast are cut off because the only road going there, ‘Kuhio Highway’ has sections that are completely washed away.

To give you an idea of where this epic rain occurred, here are a couple of maps of Kauai. This first one is of the whole island –

Island of Kauai

This second map is a closeup of the North Shore where the April flood hit the hardest: Hanalei, and Napali Coast…

North Shore

The section of road in red is the Kuhio Highway that connects you to the Napali Coast – Ke’e Beach, Kalalau trail, Lumaha’i Beach… The road is closed because of extensive April 14-15, 2018 flood damage.

So when David, Eric and I visited a couple of weeks ago (Jan 17-31, 2019) we hung out on Hanalei Beach and then decided to take the Kuhio highway over to our favorite beach of all time, why of course, – Lumaha’i Beach! We weren’t even through Hanalei when … What ??

Kuhio Highway

Wow! Nine months after the flood and the highway is still closed? Is there no way to get to Lumaha’i Beach?

Nope. Not unless you have a permit to go past the barrier – and only as part of a convoy that enters and exits the area every 1 1/2 hours. If you live past the barrier, then you get a pass, but you still have to enter and exit the area with the convoy. Say you are a contractor, building a new house or or something past the barrier. You have to get a new permit every Monday (in Lihue) to enter the area for that week, and exit, with the convoy.

We learned much of this from talking to the locals. The Kuhio Highway had literally been washed away in places off the edges of the slopes of the Napali Coast. After removing debris they have to ‘slope scale, stabilize and reinforce’ the road – it’s a massive construction project. Here’s a link with lots of information about the ‘Project Status’ of the road repair – (for you engineering types who would likely find this fascinating):

Project Status as of 12/28/18

The town of Hanalei is fully alive, however, with businesses open and doing fine. Eric even successfully persuaded David and I to walk with him to the end of Hanalei Beach and then further along the rocky coastline to see if we could get to Lumahai Beach on foot. Sure Eric, why not?

We didn’t get too far till we had to turn back!

The end of the beach at Hanalei Bay

Directly parallel to us, off to our left is where the convoy begins. David counted 60 cars that lined up to go through at about 12:45 in the afternoon, January 26, 2019.

Here’s a couple more photos I took of Hanalei Bay as it looks now:

Hanalei Bay

The dock

And a couple of the houses on Weke Road along the beach near the dock that were severely damaged on April 15 and still standing, as if they haven’t even been touched since the flood (insurance settlement issues?? Too unsafe???):

Now dear reader, if you have any time, energy or inclination to look at another April 15, 2018 Kauai flood you-tube video – this last one is really quite interesting. It was posted by a local woman – obviously someone who lives or has lived on or close to the beach here where the flood took out these houses. Anyway, she provides close-up coverage of the flooding around the houses on the beach and interesting commentary about the building of these (multi-million dollar?) houses in this unfortunate location:

Weke Road Flood update Hanalei 5-2-18- Felicia Alongi Cowden

And lastly, wouldn’t you still like to get to the fabulous Lumaha’i Beach? Dang! Well, you’re in luck because I can take you there. Here is a video of the beach I took on a previous trip to Kauai, way before the flood – posted in one of my previous Kauai blogs – link here.

Although my video doesn’t hold a candle to a video I found on You tube of the same spot: click on this video by Cyndi Totti – taken on January 20, 2016, during record high surf with an added bonus of lots of girls in bikinis diving into the crashing waves (You’re welcome).

Aloha! Now you understand why my brother Eric was coaxing David and I to walk with him along the treacherous rocky coastline beyond the barrier to get to Lumaha’i Beach!

Meanwhile, back at home in Idaho at the moment …

Sunday, Feb 10, 2019

Yeah. Nature pretty much gets her way.

No worries. We’ve hired a crew to shovel us out. They’ve just pulled up in front of our house

Sweet!

Young strapping males

Feb 10- 5 PM – Yes!!

Oh, BTW- After every hike on the beach at Hanalei we do have the option of refreshing ourselves with a round of Iniki Mai Tais at the Kalypso Restaurant in Hanalei.

Kalypso, Jan 21, 2019 3:15 pm

And feed off of my brother Eric’s infectious energy.

Although look at those eyes. What new mischief is he up to? Devising another lawless scheme to get us past that barrier over to Lumaha’i Beach? Hmmm. Seems likely. What do you think?

Oh, and by the way, click on this link if you’d like to give to the Kauai Relief and Recovery Fund through the Hawai’i Community Foundation.