Friday, January 7, 2011

In Which I Stay Home, and Everyone Else Sees Dolphins (Among other things. Like, their lunch.)

Last time we visited Kauai, we spent a day at sea on a boat tour of the Na Pali Coast. Encompassing a 26km or so stretch of the northwest coast of the island, this State Park is inaccessible by road as the cliffs are sheer and rise straight up from the ocean reaching heights of 4000 ft. There is a trail that energetic types can hike, but otherwise it’s helicopter or boat.

The boat tours head out from the south and make their way north along the west coast of the island stopping for snorkelling, whale watching, dolphins etc. It’s all very lovely and beautiful and scenic. The brochure pictures are particularly lovely, depicting calm seas and sunny skies, with happy people frolicking in what looks to be the mill pond it’s so calm.

What the brochures fail to show or mention (and can you blame them, really) is that it’s only that calm on one day of the year in, like, august or something, between the hours of 4 – 6pm, when the wind is at the bar for happy hour. The rest of the time it is a tempest. A beautiful tempest, but still a tempest. The boat, which looks like a normal size in the picture, suddenly seems to shrink into a tiny little thing that your kids play with in the bath. The ocean feels huge, and the cliffs rise menacingly above you. The waves are relentless and soon, approximately 5 seconds after leaving the dock, you are wishing you had never heard of the Na Pali coast and you don’t care if you never see another dolphin as long as you live.

After some time, the feeling may or may not pass slightly, and you may or may not lift your ashen face when a passing humpback whale stops to see if you are ok.

What feels like several years later, you make it back to the dock where you fall to your knees in a prone position and stay there for what feels like the rest of your life and no amount of anything can get you to stand up for a long time.

You go home, embrace religion, pray to the Gods that you are very sorry for angering them and that you will never go on a boat again. You don’t sleep that well that night due to the fact that your poor tortured body still feels like it’s on the wretched boat.

At least, that is what happened to me last time.

So you won’t be surprised to hear that this time, everyone else went on the boat trip, and I stayed home.

I know this to have been a good idea because the first thing Zoe said to me when she came home was “Mummy I was sick and slept for an hour and a half and Mel threw up and so did almost everyone else including a man who threw up twice.”

It wasn’t all bad however as Zoe took some killer dolphin shots. Nice camera work, Zoe!

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And the coastline is beautiful too:

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After everyone had sufficiently recovered, which involved naps, a swim in the pool, cups of tea and some lazing around, we headed to Brenneke’s Beach Broiler for some dinner. I first ate dinner here when I was 9 and was thrilled to come back three years ago. It was just as I remembered. So I got a bit bossy (I know – how unlike her, you are thinking) and demanded that we go to Brenneke’s for dinner on this trip too.

It’s a bit of an institution here in Poipu and while the food is nothing to write home about (so I won’t) the vibe is great and the view killer and I just love it.



The sunset was beautiful tonight. Ok, Ok it’s beautiful EVERY night but tonight I took a picture.


And the night skies are amazing here – I swear you can see every star in the milky way. The new moon is also lovely, even if it is “upside down” as Zoe observed. I tried to take a picture…


Good night :)

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