We’ve started to get into a routine, finally. Charlie gets up at about 4 am…..I guess he hasn’t adjusted to the time yet. He checks his email, checks the news for the day and does any work that has come in. I stay in bed until Comet’s meow that he wants breakfast forces me out of bed. He gets his 2 pills, his (fish flavored) liquid doxycycline and his injection then breakfast. Meanwhile I’ve heated water and made my mandatory morning coffee and I go out onto the Lanai to enjoy the trade wind and the vegetation while reading the on line NY times. A perfect beginning to a day. It is nice even if its raining ( our eaves hang way over the lanai).
After a breakfast of cereal, orange juice, and sometimes mango, we ease into the day. We are still doing some house maintenance and sometimes we get a call that a seal has hauled up on Poipu beach, or we need to ID a seal on Mahalepu beach. We pull on our official “Seal Response Team tee shirts and go to the rescue. If a seal is at Poipu (an extremely busy tourist beach) we rope it off, put signs up and go into our outreach mode. The most common question is, Is he dead? We respond, “No, he/she is just sleeping, she needs her sleep In order to hunt for food all night “. Then How long will they sleep here? “All day, they usually leave at around sunset”. What is it? “A monk sea, the most endangered mammal in the world”. It’s fun, we meet people from all over the world, yesterday from Germany, Russia, Texas, Wisconsin….by far the majority are very nice. We’ve been surprised, however, how many people have no concept of wild animals…..they expect the seals to be tame, and that you can go up to them and pet them. Not cool!
Twice weekly we have signed up for Pup sitting. We traipse up to the north shore (about a 45 min drive ), hike about a mile, set up our viewing spot, check the enclosure ( move the rope and signs, if needed) and observe. Our stint is three hours, so we’ll take a book and read, take pictures to show how much the pup has grown, and act as resources to anyone happening by. Since it is a nude beach, some interesting brown leather-skinned folks from the 60’s stop by to chat. This week, a male seal came by wanting a little action from Mom…..she would have nothing to do with him. As long as she is nursing (about 45 days after birth) she is very protective and chases him off. Below, he is trying to sneak up on her and she hasn’t awakened yet.
Note,he has a tracking device glued to his back, it will come off after a few weeks. Two males on Kauai have them, one had gotten hooked with fishing hooks three times so they have been following him.
This Friday, we were invited to a casual get together at Jamie and Dana’s ( the couple from whom we bought our house) at their new place. It is a lovely, bucolic place In The Lanai Valley. Very isolated and secluded -accessible by a one lane road, with hairpin turns. It feels like you’re driving into the twilight zone, not sure who or whom could live there. But we found the house, in a gorgeous green valley, with white fences, horses and goats in the valley. it reminded us of Leta Way. It is quite remote and quintessential Hawaii.
There were five couples (one with an alternative lifestyle). One couple provided three large pizzas from a local favorite – cost $95. Wow! Food isn’t cheap. It was quite nice and we stayed up way past my bedtime. Jamey and Dana have a great place – we told them to let us know the next time they want to move, we’ll buy their house! One of the couples lives a block or two from us (the roads aren’t laid out in a grid pattern, so the term ‘blocks’ may be subjective). He’s a landscape architect, and she’s into gardening. They have an old house that has been updated, with a sign outside labeling it as ‘Old Koloa House’. We haven’t been inside yet – looking forward to it. One of the women at the party works at Captain Andy’s – it’s a company that runs catamarans and boat cruises around the island. We may take her up on discount last minute cruises.
Sunday, we have another session with Mom and Pup and Saturday, a big neighborhood planning meeting ( south Kauai ) in the community center next door, with food provided.
The neighborhood meeting was quite interesting, the Mayor of Kauai spoke as well as members of the Planning Committee. Of course, Food had to be served to give it a ohana (family get together) feel. The mayor is a very large man and he wears an aloha shirt. We also had to have a blessing from the hawaiian woman that has to bless all gatherings (I didn’t catch what she is called.) The atmosphere was very casual tee shirts and flipflops was the dress. Most of the attendees had lived on Kauai more than 20 years. About 50 people showed up. The last community plan was in 1978, so this one is way over due. There were some good topics discussed, and we had some good discussions with County staff. Charlie is going to follow up with some energy suggestions to the County.
The Sunday pup sitting turned out to be quite interesting. When we got to the site there was a large group of Hawaiians having a party at the seal resting spot. There have been some hard feelings among the locals about the seal protection, some feel that the govt has brought them in and that they are not native to Hawaii…..they feel that there is no Hawaiian word for monk seal so they aren’t welcome. So we talked with the folks and told them that it was obvious that they cared and we would walk further down the beach. It turns out that there was a newborn pup up the way and we ended up sitting with them the rest of our session. Cute as can be, still with the umbilical cord hanging off the belly. We watched to record when it started to nurse but it didn’t while we were there. The pup was only a few hours old.
Pictures of the new pup and the beach are below.