Posts Tagged ‘Kahili Beach- Kauai’

Kauai 2022 – P.S. – Did I mention how dangerous rip currents are?

March 13, 2022

I was done with the 2022 Kauai blogs, right? Took you on the whole 10-day ride through seven blogs from our doorstep in Idaho Falls on January 19 to home again January 30, safe and sound, and hunkered in till spring (which always seems to be just around the ‘next’ corner).

Except over this past week I received some terrible news from Kauai. Two swimmers were reported missing and assumed drowned at two of the very same beaches we visited in January (and I blogged about). I made such a big deal about the surfers on Hanalei Bay (including the ‘Surfin’ USA’ YouTube video) in Part-3, even teasing that I was shopping for a suitable bathing suit and surf board because surfing was just too much fun! Then in Part-4, sunbathing on Kahili beach with Megan, watching the surfers, capturing photos and video, while David and Eric hiked to Hissing Dragon. Then my last blog, Part-7, the photos and videos of the teenagers at Lumaha’i beach, jumping into the waves in the high surf, their heads bobbing on the surface. Although I did also mention that Lumaha’i was one of the most dangerous beaches on Kauai.

Well, last weekend, a swimmer disappeared at Lumaha’i beach. There is no lifeguard there and if you read up about Lumaha’i you will be advised only to walk the beach, sunbathe, maybe dip your toe in the surf, especially a high surf, and most especially during winter months. I don’t want you to read my blog, and then decide to race to Lumaha’i and hop in the surf! Oh no!

The danger lies in the rip currents, channeled currents of water flowing away from the shore. They generally begin from the shoreline (yikes!) and head through the surf zone – past the line of breaking waves. Here’s an informative link giving you answers to such questions as, What is a rip current? How do they form? How to spot a rip current? And most importantly, what to do if you find yourself in a rip current? http://www.kauaiexplorer.com/guides/beach/rip_currents.php

Here is a diagram of a rip current

From this link: https://www.kauai.com/images/2013/09/rip-current-diagram-1.png

As far as how to spot a rip current, here’s an interesting YouTube link:

(Planning to visit Australia?)

This YouTube presentation comes to you from Australia, but I don’t think rip currents discriminate! According to this surfer, 70 % of people can’t spot a rip current, good luck with that! If you find yourself caught in a rip current what do you do? (You probably want to know this BEFORE this happens).

Per the kauaiexplorer.com link above:

The best thing to do is learn to spot rip currents and avoid them. (Yeah, right) However, if you do find yourself in a rip current, remember the following. It could save your life!

  • Don’t Fight The Rip Current – Conserve energy, keep calm, float, breathe, don’t panic, and wave for help
  • Go With The Flow – You can easily float in the current, there is no undertow. Allow the current to take you away from the beach. In weaker rips, swim parallel to the shore until the current has completely relaxed. Otherwise, the current will eventually release you offshore. Once this happens swim perpendicular and towards the beach 
  • Wait For Help – If there is large surf or shoreline hazards, wave your hands for help and wait for assistance

I’m making such a big deal about this now in contrast to how casual I was about the surfers with not a worry in the world. I posted a video of surfers on Kahili beach (also known as Rock Quarry Beach). But a few days ago we received even more terrible news from Victor and Stephanie, who live in Princeville (we stayed with them on our visit). Another surfer went missing on Kahili Beach just this past Monday.

https://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/2022/03/09/multiple-agencies-search-surfer-who-went-missing-waters-off-kauai/

This hit Stephanie and Victor really hard, as they know this man and his family. They purchase their coconut water from them. Huy Nguyen and his wife have a big farm and three children. He had been surfing before handing his board off to his son, saying he was going to swim to shore. Multiple agencies searched for him until they finally suspended the search this past Friday (two days ago).

So, yeah. Just want to get the word out there about the danger of rip currents on the beaches of Kauai. Here’s an interesting link:

https://www.civilbeat.org/2017/09/brittany-lyte-the-deadliest-beach-on-kauai-might-surprise-you/

A researcher, Chuck Blay, analyzed drownings in Kauai from 1970-2012. All told, 316 people drowned in the island’s waters during this 42-year period.

75 per cent of the Garden Isle’s drowning victims were tourists. Drowning is the leading cause of death among visitors to Hawaii.

One more interesting tidbit in the “deadliest-beach’ link above … In May 1964, Frank Sinatra nearly drowned in Wailua Bay while filming the WWII flick, “None But the Brave.” He was staying at the iconic Coco Palms Resort (boy that’s another story) and unknowingly swam himself straight into a riptide. By the time firefighters reached him, the Hollywood icon had been carried 200 yards out to sea. “Sinatra’s face had reportedly turned the same color of his famed set of eyes.”

Yeah, so, the most dangerous thing you can do when you go to Hawaii on vacation is go to the beach and jump in the water.

Although you can still drive past the old iconic Coco Palms Resort on Wailua Bay near Kapa’a, built in 1953, where Elvis Presley filmed “Blue Hawaii” and where Frank Sinatra stayed often (and swam in the bay). Here’s a wiki-link to the resort: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coco_Palms_Resort

“Coco Palms Resort was a resort hotel in Wailua, Kauai that was noted for its Hollywood connections, Hawaiian-themed weddings, torch lightings, destruction by a hurricane, and long-standing land disputes…”

Destruction by a hurricane? Yep. Hurricane Iniki, a devastating category 4 hurricane, with 145 mph winds, struck the Island on September 11, 1992 – 30 years ago. The immense damage done by Iniki closed the Coco Palms for good. Up until 2015 there were several attempts to redevelop the resort, but it’s way too far gone. Here’s an update on the resort from July 28, 2021: https://beatofhawaii.com/coco-palms-kauai-update/ The Plan was for Coco Palms to reopen in 2020 with 273 rooms, 77 suites, 3 restaurants, a cultural center, 12k feet of retail, and more. The last round of attempts disintegrated with multiple developers unable to make it work. I also blogged about it after our Kauai trip in 2019. Here’s the link: https://decompressionofaboomer.com/tag/coco-palms-resort/

And photos of what it looks like today.

Boy, nature can be cruel!

I’ll take the beach over … Sleeping Giants and Dragons

February 14, 2022

Part 4 – Saturday, January 22, 2022. Good morning, Princeville!

Day 2 of our vacation. It’s sunny! And the pressure is on to plan something great, fun, fulfilling, inspiring …

“Let’s hike Sleeping Giant!” Eric jumps in. His inner mountain goat must have been whispering in his ears last night in his sweet slumber. Okay Eric. Yes, so Sleeping Giant is a great hike. We haven’t done it in four years. But, no. I tell you what. In an effort to appease your inner goat I’ll post some photos from 2018 of the east trail hike up Sleeping Giant.

Eric and David. Sleeping Giant hike, January 2018.
Hiking up to his ‘chinny-chin-chin’
Channel your inner goat – uh, if you have one
Almost there. Thank goodness, not afraid of heights. Oh, afraid of heights…

Steph, Vic, David, Eric and I also hiked the same east trail to the top of Sleeping Giant 8 years ago. I blogged about it. Here’s the link:

And as a teaser, here’s a photo of Victor…

Channel your inner crab?

How about this, Eric. Larsen’s Beach! It’s a hike to the beach and then you could hike further while we bask in the sun. Well, to be honest, Eric will never turn down an opportunity to hike Larsen’s Beach. Off we go!

The walk to Larsen’s beach is easy. Along the first quarter mile the path weaves through a jungle of shoulder-high brush. Watch what plant you brush up against, it might move and curl up and freak you out. I mean it kinda freaks me out. Plants don’t have muscles, do they? Well, somehow the ‘mimosa pudica’ or the ‘sensitive plant’ moves and curls up when you touch it. It’s a very strange sight. I blogged about it on our trip in 2015. Had discovered it on a different trail. Here, I take a photo and video of it on today’s walk to Larsen’s beach:

Mimosa pudica – growing near another plant that looks similar but isn’t the least bit ‘sensitive’

You can order a mimosa pudica grow kit online and grow your own ‘sensitive’ house plant .

https://www.etsy.com/listing/997747768/small-mimosa-pudica-starter-grow

A potted sensitive plant might be a great addition to our emotional support station in our kitchen. Push the ‘that was easy’ button to gloat, grab the kitty squishies to decompress, and touch the mimosa pudica plant for sympathy when we feel hurt or slighted.

We should definitely add a mimosa pudica!
Mimosa Pudica (yeah, just try growing one from seed)

Well maybe add a lava lamp to the mix, as well.

Mais oui! I digress! We’re going to be stuck in Kauai forever the way these blogs are going. Huh… I’ve blogged about Larsen’s Beach numerous times. Except this time we have Megan with us!

On Larsen’s beach there’s a good chance you will run into at least one monk seal and maybe a sea turtle or two sunning themselves on the narrow beach. We run into both of these endangered species today.

Soaking up the sun. Boy do monk seals know how to relax. Look at that face!

There are two sea turtles sunning themselves on a narrow area of the beach.

Larsen’s beach. Saturday, Jan 22, 2022

One of them decides to head for the water, at a slightly faster pace than a snail:

Eric decides to hike further to the arch at the end of the cove. Here, hang with the rest of us on Larsen’s beach for a minute and enjoy the surf…

Yes! We wander back toward the car. Eric jets back from his hike and meets us at the trailhead.

The following day we come up with a plan that works for everyone. Steph and Vic have business to take care of at home. Eric, David, Megan and I drive to Kahili beach. Megan and I will sunbathe on the beach while Eric and David cross a stream and hike up along the cliffs to one of Eric’s favorite places at the end of yet another cove, Hissing Dragon. We have hiked here at least three times before. It’s in my 2017 Kauai blogs. Hissing Dragon can really be fierce if you hit it in high surf. It actually roars through a crack in the rocks and almost ate Eric when he was standing with his phone trying to catch a video next to where the dragon explodes. So imagine that you now go with Eric and David across that stream and hike along the rocks at high tide to the end of the cove. You hear the dragon’s roar through a crack!

January 20, 2017

Now you’re standing where Hissing Dragon explodes. My video camera is ready…

Hissing Dragon!

Of course, Eric is not satisfied with his video. He steps closer for a better shot. He gets it alright. Maybe that angry dragon is tired of curious tourists gawking at his resting place. In any case the dragon explodes and darned near sucks Eric back into his crack with him. Alas, Eric survives this 2017 adventure, captures the video and posts it here:

https://m.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Feric.seneff.98%2Fvideos%2F234042560339373%2F&show_text=0&width=560

Okay, so that’s how your adventure could go today should you choose to go with Eric and David and hike along the rocky shore to Hissing Dragon. There they go! They are crossing the stream that separates Kahili Beach from the hike to the cove.

Put your shoes back on!

And so begins the hike to Hissing Dragon

They disappear and Megan and I pick out a perfect spot on the beach to set our blanket down.

Kahili Beach – a great place to people watch, except there’s hardly any people

We just sit and relax (channeling that monk seal) for the next hour. The beach is practically deserted. Megan plays music on her phone and we watch the waves. And the surfers. And the happy young couple near us. She is sunbathing while he attempts to break open a coconut that has just fallen off a tree (forget it!). I take a video of the surfers while Megan sings along with her music:

Another sunbather walks by

and some surfers

The couple next to us goes in for a swim.

Ah, but before we know it, here come David and Eric. Crossing the stream back to the beach after their hike to Hissing Giant.

Dig that hiking shit!

Wow! How did the hike go? Did you make it to Hissing Dragon?

Yes, we did.

So how was it?

We didn’t see anything. Nada. Tide’s too low, I guess.

Oh, so Hissing Dragon was more like, uh, ‘Sleeping Dragon?’

Yep.

I think I can guess what was inside David’s head about agreeing to the hike to Hissing Dragon with Eric after I shared my beach photos and videos with him.

What was I thinking???

Then again, that Hissing Dragon can be extraordinarily fierce when awakened by a high surf.

Kauai “Where’s Waldo” Brain Plasticity Adventure

February 17, 2018

Still in KauaI!

View of North Coast from Sea Lodge Beach

I have so many Kauai nature photos to share, with no cohesive story, thought I’d do a ‘Where’s Waldo’ activity of sorts – combine my “find the critter” photos into a 10-minute brain exercise, if you will … think, brain plasticity!

I will identify where I took each photo – say, for example, in planning your next trip to Kauai, you want to avoid spiders, or something…

Like this spider I spotted on the trail to Larsen’s Beach:

Find the spider

Do you see it? It’s directly above center in the photo. Zoom in for a closer look… I know you want to:

Common Kauai garden spider

Beautiful! How many spiders in this web above our heads? Zoom in on the web and count them:

How many spiders in this photo?

You’re not that curious, you say? Ready for the answer? ……………………………………………………….

Eight.

(You seriously don’t want to be the first person in the morning breaking trail.)

Walking toward our car now, at the trailhead to Larsen’s Beach. Whoa! A big honking snail!

Find the snail

Crossing the road. Oh no! I took a video:

About as much action as you will capture from a snail…

David rescued it:

One hunk of a snail

Put it on Stephanie’s shoulder

‘Aloha’

Not shy, but surely soon dead had we not moved it to the grass…

Find the lizard:

In Stephanie and Victor’s garden

Now find the lizard, on our hike to Sleeping Giant:

Hint: upper left quadrant

Don’t make yourself cross-eyed. The sun is shining on her head and she is looking right at you. Same lizard is a bit easier to find in this photo:

See its head sticking out?

She’s just above the center of the photo.

Find the ‘Sleeping Giant’:

Sleeping Giant – ‘shhhhhh!’ don’t wake him!

That whole mountain, Nounou Mountain, is Sleeping Giant- Local legend has it that a giant who attended a party given in his honor feasted so much that he laid down for a nap and never awoke. Follow his head, on the left, over his chest, to his feet on the right.

Sleeping Giant’s Head:

Hike to the head of Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant, near Kapaa, is one of the most popular hikes on Kauai. Here’s a fun, informational link about Sleeping Giant. It’s 4-mile hike (and 1000-ft elevation gain) from the trailhead to the top of his head and back. Once you are on top you can hike from the hair on his head to his ‘chinny-chin-chin.’ Here we are on top – can you find the two other hikers on top in this photo?

Easy to see one hiker, where’s the second one?

Quite difficult to find the second hiker. Here – I’ll zoom in!

‘On top of the world, Ma!’

Back down to the beach now – Aliomanu Beach. Among the ‘rocks’ ahead, which one is a monk seal?

There’s a Monk Seal?

Hard to guess. Not so hard when you practically step on it. It’s the shape furthest up on the bank. Sunning himself… Here – I took a video, brace yourself for the action:

Just enough action to prove the shape isn’t a rock

Speaking of rocks, find Eric:

Hike to Hissing Dragon – where’s Eric?

Find the horse on the trail ahead of us:

What horse?

We were hiking the Mahogany Plantation Trail. The trailhead is right at the Kileua Farmer’s Market. It is flat and beautiful. There were several horses grazing and signs that read “Do not touch the horses” – which seemed like a set-up because this horse would not move out of our way, until David swatted it on the butt.

Here’s more photos of the Mahogany Plantation hike:

Find the bird in Stephanie and Victor’s back garden:

Find the bird

‘You’re giving me a headache!” you say. Okay this one’s difficult. Hint: It’s perched underneath the bushiest blossom on the flower that’s furthest left. (Read that aloud five times for extra brain boosting.)

This one’s a bit fun: How many chicks in this video? (taken at the top of the “ANGER US CONDITIONS” trail to Anini Beach in Princeville):

I don’t know either. They really don’t want you to count them. 5?…6?

Find the way around the mud:

There isn’t a way.

But we’re on a great hike – the Kuilau Ridge trail near Wailua – a 2 1/2 mile hike through the rain forest, only muddy in places. Here’s a couple of photos I took near the summit:

Kuilau Ridge Trail

Lastly, what’s wrong with this picture?

Two highly-paid consultants

We all piled in the car in a big hurry to shop at the Waipu Farmer’s Market, near Hanalei – had to get there – quick! with the mob, when it opened. Not sure what David’s excuse is with his shorts, but Victor did put his sandals on in a hurry.

Finally, dear reader, here’s a beach video for you. To help you decompress after all that brain exercise:

A walk on Kahili Beach. Yeah, that’s better…

Who friggin’ needs brain plasticity exercises anyway?