It is a strange and unsettling time living with social distancing on Kauai. After all, being social is what small-town living is all about. I miss the hugs that have become our welcome greeting since moving to the Garden Island. I miss the barbeques, the dinner parties, the fundraisers. I miss having friends over to play cards. I miss playing pickleball.
Even though the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus on Kauai has remained at 21 since last weekend, with 17 recovering, the state and county orders are still in place as Oahu battles to lower the curve. Our night curfew is in place, most businesses are closed, very few people are working, and face masks are required when in public. Fortunately though, Governor Ige and Mayor Kawakami understand the need for residents to exercise. Outdoor activities are a huge part of life in an area of the world where weather is pretty perfect year round.
So, surfing, swimming and hiking are still doable as long as social distancing is practiced. With this in mind, on Sunday Tom and I decided to leave Bandit, our cat, and the hens behind for an afternoon of adventure. We drove to Honu Point, our vacation rental (now closed for business), parked, and hiked down the hill to Sea Lodge Beach. The last guests who stayed at the house told us about a waterfall they discovered. We were determined to find it.
As we approached the ocean, instead of going left to Sea Lodge Beach, we turned right. After climbing across some rocks and walking down the coast for a few hundred yards, we found what a lot of people want to see when coming to Hawaii, a beautiful waterfall.
Not knowing the source of this stream or what it crossed in it’s path, we stayed our distance and admired the beauty as the water flowed into the ocean.
Turning around, we headed back toward the beach. As we rounded the point, a look up showed Honu Point proudly perched on the bluff.
Only one, lone woman, reading her book, was on the beach so social distancing was not going to be a problem today. Once on the sand, thoughts of the virus or it’s affects were quickly swept from our minds. The waves, the sun, the clouds, the breeze …. this is Kauai at it’s best. Sometimes in our hectic life, we forget to take time off and enjoy it.
As I walked down to the tree stump, Tom hollered behind me. A seal! Sure enough, I turned back around and staring me right in the eye was a monk seal swimming up to shore. I backed up to keep our social distance as it turned to swim slowly in the shallow water. The whole time we were there, it bobbed in the water just off shore, sticking it’s head up every now and then to get air. At one point it looked like it might come up on the sand for a nap, but then thought otherwise. I took quite a few videos, but this one was the best.
How fun it was to watch this guy for the couple of hours we were there. The lone woman had left and we had the beach to ourselves, except for our new friend, the albatross flying overhead, and this blue heron who flew in to do a little fishing.
But, alas, it was time to go. So, we trudged up the hill until we got to the neighborhood. At this point I heard the unmistakable sounds of courting albatross. Sure enough, there were two adults definitely trying to impress each other while two more were standing by to observe this curious ritual. In the background sat a chick, Kobe, born in January. As many times as I have witnessed this scene, it never ceases to amaze me.
What an afternoon! For the first time in over a month, I was able to focus on the moment and not worry about the future. There are so many reasons to be grateful. We are healthy and live on one of the most beautiful places on earth. We may not be able to physically interact with people right now, but we always have the ability to interact with nature. And I can not think of a better place to do that than on Kauai.
Don’t get me wrong, I can not wait until social distancing on Kauai is a thing of the past. I miss those hugs!
For more information and updates about what is happening on Kauai regarding this crisis, go to https://www.kauai.gov/covid-19.
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