Koloa Plantation Days

Plantation Days lasts for 10 days, rodeos, walking tours, music, a parade, all kinds of activities. I took the first walk Monday starting at the Hyatt and walking along Shipwreck beach to Makawehi, there are a couple of concrete gun emplacements from WWII along the ridge, a fisherman’ s Heiau, nesting shearwaters, and large calcified sand dunes. Lovely views from the cliffs. One cliff is noted for Garrison Ford and jumping off it in the movie, 7 days and 7 nights.

Tuesday was pup sitting morning again, the good news was that the $5000 Critter Cam was found on the rocks and recovered. Both pups are doing well hanging out on their respective natal beaches. Only a few seals have been hauling up at Poipu, a welcome respite.

Picture of V18 and his tracker showing where the camera was mounted.

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Wednesday was another historical and geologic hike. We started at the stables east of the Hyatt and walked along the ridge, past the Makauwahi Cave (an archeological dig site from early Hawaii, around 10,000 years documenting plant and animal life and about 4000 years ago, human life). Then down to the beach at Mahaulepu where just to entertain the hikers, a seal was resting. We called the ID back to the seal hotline and continued along the beach to one of our favorite spots where the group, Malama Mahaulepu (save Mahaulepu) treated us with welcome ice water, humus, bananas and fresh pineapple.
A wonderful place that is really tough to drive to it is much easier on the car to walk the beach.

Plantation days continued Thursday when I went, with our neighbors, to the ruins of the last sugar mill on Kauai, Charlie had to work. We learned how brown sugar was produced from sugar cane from the former supervisor in the mill that closed in 1996. He and Auntie Stella “Talked Story” that is, reminisced about growing up in plantation days. Quite enjoyable.

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Thursday then became very eventful. Starting at 7:30 am we were called to go down to a narrow beach off the Kilohana Plantation to rope K30 off. I checked her again around noon, adjusted the ropes again, walked back along the each to find another seal, W06 out on the island off Poipu beach, one of the busiest beaches on the island…..he decided to swim around in the crowded pool to come back to the tombolo connecting the island to the rest of the beach. It’s a challenging place to rope. Finished that and went home leaving monitoring to other volunteers until sunset, when I went back to remove ropes and signs. Unfortunately, K30 wasn’t ready to leave. So, after adjusting ropes, I went back to Poipu where W06 had left. Unfortunately, it was getting dark and the tide was rising, I successfully waded through the hip deep water in the dark and retrieved all the signs and ropes and went home…..it was 8 pm, a long day.

A couple more Sugar Mill pictures

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Saturday was the climax of Old Koloa Days…..the parade. It was great fun! The street was lined with people it lasted about 50 minutes and it ended at the ball field. There were horses, floats, vintage cars, beauty queens, hula dancing, quite the spectacle.

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After the parade everyone went to the ball field for the celebration. Huge tents were set up with a stage in one, crafts in another, food tent, and inflatable water slides for the Keiki (kids). The stage hosted hula dancers, comedians, and two slack key guitar players. Just like a county fair except Hawaiian. The thing that surprised me the most was that there was no trash on the ground. Kauai is very recycling aware.

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Saturday ended at the beach overseeing W06 and watching the sun go down.

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The danger of the surf was driven home to us this week. We were sitting with friends having a cocktail at the Waiohai shore bar when we noticed two surfers dragging a man to the shore, he had obviously ventured too far out and gotten in trouble, lucky for him two surfers came along. He dragged himself up onto the sand, his swimming suit half off and collapsed. He laid there at least a half hour before he had enough energy to pull his suit up and leave. Several people stopped and asked if he needed help and he refused. The surf demands respect and many tourists don’t realize it.
Saturday night W06 decided to stay on Poipu Beach until after dark. We were sitting waiting for her to out and who should walk by but Mimi Fulner, I recognized her from Anton’s concerts and walked up and introduced myself, she and her husband are vacationing here….what a surprise!
The week was capped off with the Plantation Days 5km, 10km, & 10 mile runs, my first race since the Berbee Derby last Thanksgiving. With a record turnout of about 400 and results recorded like we did pre computers, the age group results were not available by Sunday night. It was fun though, right along the ocean shore.

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