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.
I oftentimes get asked the question, “What is the best Kauai helicopter tour company?” I have been hesitant to answer in the past because I have not personally been on a Kauai helicopter tour since the 80s. Last week, however, a good friend of mine who owns a condo in Princeville, went on the Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tour out of the Princeville Airport and came back raving about it. “We FINALLY experienced this March 2019 – and WOW! It is by far the BEST way to get a sense of the whole island. It was spectacular!”
Kauai is unique in that there is no road which circles the island. Therefore 70% of the lush interior, along with the Na Pali Coast is inaccessible by car. This is, without question, the most beautiful part of the island. The tropical rain-forests, lush valleys and cascading waterfalls are what dreams are made of. Parts of the Waimea Canyon can be seem by driving to the west side of the island and up to Kokee State Park (about a two hour drive from Princeville). The 17 mile Na Pali Coast, with 3000 foot sea cliffs, is stunning by boat. However, ocean swells often keep boats from touring during winter months. A Kauai helicopter tour, on the other hand, will give you a bird’s eye view of this spectacular scenery and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters fly year-round, weather permitting of course.
If you find yourself falling in love with the albatross in Honu Point’s neighborhood, consider a walk with Cathy Granholm. She lives just down the street and checks on the albatross almost daily. With her computerized list of tag numbers handy, she scouts the neighborhood (and Princeville in general) to see which adults have flown in. She has been following some of these adults for years and has a family tree showing the lineage of many of the birds. She also checks each nest to make sure the chicks are progressing as they should.
Cathy’s walks are fascinating, filled with facts, theories, and lots of stories about birds she has observed over time. Because albatross return to where they are born and where they nest, it is much like a family reunion each year when the birds return from the north. She, like I, and many of the neighbors, feel totally invested in their welfare. Cathy has anecdotes about who has paired up with who (not all mate for life apparently) and about times when she has had to step in and help out a fledgling trying to fly for the first time. There are some funny stories as well as some sad ones. I keep telling her she needs to write a book.
I’ve written thirteen blog posts about the Laysan Albatross at our Honu Point Vacation Rental on Kauai, but, by far, this is the one I am most excited about. I have always appreciated these graceful creatures but it was while building our vacation rental that I fell in love with them. Being on the property on a daily basis and watching them soar overhead was magical. Hearing and seeing the mating dances of young birds and eyeing nesting couples snuggling along Kaweonui Road made them even more endearing to me.
Each year I have been jealous when neighbors up and down the street are given the “right” to name a new chick because of it being born on their property. Our bluff property is not safe enough for nests and fledglings wait until they are six months old to waddle down our driveway ready for their first flight.
This year one pair, Larry and Dora, returned and scouted the area for the perfect spot to nest. They eventually decided on the interior of the cul-de-sac at the foot of our driveway. This was my chance! Because the property is not private I asked (okay, begged) our resident albatross historian, Cathy, if I might have the honor of naming this chick. She agreed!
Spending lots of time on Google translator and waiting not so patiently, I searched for the perfect name. An egg was laid and about a month later “my” precious chick started pipping its egg in order to meet his/her surrounding world.
In celebration of The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villa’s 10th anniversary, an afternoon of music, art, food and fun at the Kaua’i ‘Ukulele & Arts Festival. Enjoy live performances by Kauai-based musician Michael Keale, Herb Ohta Jr., Jon Yamasato, Kanekoa and headliner Kuhio Travis. Featuring works by local Kauai artists.
All ticket sales benefit Namahoe and Na Kalai Waa o Kauai in support of the perpetuation, practice and exploration of the seafaring arts and skills of ancient Polynesians. All ages welcome!
WHAT: Kaua‘i ‘Ukulele & Arts Festival
DATE: Saturday, May 5, 2018
TIME: 4—8 PM
WHERE: The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, Main Lawn
3838 Wyllie Road, Princeville, Kauai, HI, 96722, United States
TICKETS: $45 per person; $20 per keiki under 12
RSVP: Call 808.827.8808 or visit The Westin Princeville Concierge desk.
Princeville Ranch offers lots of adventures on the north shore of Kauai and off-roading is just one of them. Located between Princeville Resort and the Kalihiwai River, you won’t have to go far to have a lot of fun. I’ve written two blogs featuring Princeville Ranch’s horseback riding and zip line adventures. Now it is time to tell you about their off-road package which includes riding, hiking and zip lining. The company is owned by Karin Carswell, a local resident I am proud to call my neighbor and friend.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll experience – not recommended for clean freaks!
Looking for a place to grab a great tasting pizza or some local food, give the North Shore General Store a try. Unbelievably you will find the store/restaurant at the Princeville Gas Station in the Princeville Shopping Center. Enjoy your meal on their outside tables, take your choices to the beach or park, or bring them back to Honu Point where you can savor the flavor while watching the ocean view! Tom and I often order pizza when friends stop by to watch the sunset with us.
Here is the video North Shore General Store uses to promote their business:
It has been three weeks since the albatross chicks were born on Kaweonui Road, Kauai, and I had to share my latest fix with you. After meeting my guests on Saturday I happened by this nest five houses down from Kauai Vacation Rental at Honu Point. Mom or Dad (not sure which) was sitting next to her/his chick when another albatross happened by. Best with sound.
Soon the parents will be leaving these vulnerable chicks by themselves as they fly off to find food hundreds of miles away to bring back to their baby. When the Mom or Dad returns she/he will regurgitate the eaten food into the baby’s mouth. This will go on for months until the parents feel the baby is ready to fledge. At that time the parents will stop feeding the chick so that it naturally figures out it is time to leave the nest. From a nearby bluff it will take its first giant leap of faith.
This is an exciting time of year for guests at Kauai Vacation Rental at Honu Point as Laysan Albatross chicks are “pipping” up and down the street. Introducing one such chick that was born within the last two weeks. It sits on a nest four doors down from our home. The mother and father alternate flying 1000 miles away to find food and bring it back to feed their baby. Such dedication and love.
I happened to be driving by on Wednesday when I spotted the adult preening its young. Best with sound. Enjoy!
Feeling guilty about all the hours you will be relaxing on the beach when you come to Kauai? Schedule a class or two at Fit Lab Kauai and work out with the locals. You will have fun and be able to shed some of those Mai Tai calories!
Fit Lab Kauai offers indoor cycling, barre, weight training and kickboxing classes throughout the week. The class levels range from beginner to high preforming athlete and can accommodate any age and skill level. Everyone is welcome!
“We strive to create a workout experience that leaves participants feeling accomplished and empowered. Every workout is designed to deliver the best results and cause an exponential increase in endorphins.”