Flossie

The big news this week was Flossie, the tropical storm with Hawaii in its sights. Dire predictions started on last Saturday. Heavy rain, strong winds and flooding were expected. This was to be our first tropical storm. We were prepared ……a trash can filled with water, jugs of water, 12 cans of tuna, bread and plenty of booze. The Big Island had wind and rain, Maui had rain, Oahu rain too, but by the time it got to Kauai, according to the Garden Island news “it fizzled”. We got rain and wind but not nearly as much as predicted. We weren’t disappointed.

The second, not so big news, concerned my first race since arriving, I won my age group. Of course I was probably the only one in my age group, but who is complaining? After the race a man came up to me and asked if he could interview me. It turns out that he was the editor of the local paper, I got plenty of flak from friends but it was fun. The race was the last event of the Plantation Days Celebrations. It was very much like the races back in the 70’s. Participants’ numbers were taken down as they crossed the finish line, it was all then (manually) written down on a piece of paper, numbers were matched with individuals, then age groups were added. No computer, no tear off numbers, no chips. The results weren’t available until the next day.

The seals must have hunkered down most of the week, there were only a couple on the south side beaches. However, with the storm and tides, the surf was extremely high. Lifeguards at Poipu were very busy warning beach goers to stay out of the surf due to strong currents. A woman got caught in the current and the guards had to take the surf board out to rescue her.

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That was Poipu Beach.

Charlie was called Monday by the Monk Seal response Team…it seems PK2 might have been hooked by a fisherman and he was needed to go up to the beach to crate the pup so he could be taken to Oahu to have it surgically removed. The plan was to carry the 200 lb pup in the crate up a steep hill to the truck. Charlie wasn’t the least bit disappointed when It turned out to be a false alarm. Toting that pup up the hill wasn’t going to be easy.

Friday we became involved in the tagging of PK2, the youngest pup, and the one we saw almost immediately after his birth. From Oaho came one of the scientists involved in the seal recovery effort, Sean in order to tag the pup. Charlie and I met the vet, Mimi, the Kauai supervisor, Jamie and several other volunteers at the beach in the morning. When Charlie and I got there, PK02 was lolling in the waters edge but by the time the rest of the crew got there, he had hauled up on the sand. Charlie was then outfitted with coveralls and Surgical gloves, he was to hold the seal down at the back (remember this seal is about 200 lbs). I was photographer. Sean held the head , Charlie the rear and Mimi was to clip the tag onto his flippers. Last of all, the pup was measured, he was sure glad to be released, but even after we let him go, he stayed nearby so he obviously wasn’t too traumatized.

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The beach that all of this took place is quite isolated and very beautiful.

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We just got our report about our solar output from our new photovoltaic system. We apparently had a carbon offset equivalent of 6 trees, 506 lbs. Pretty cool! We are reducing our carbon footprint.

Saturday afternoon was spent on Poipu beach seal sitting W06. She had ensconced herself at the start of the tombolo, and we needed to change the zone several times due to the high surf and tide.
Sitting on our beach chairs on the beach, talking to tourists from all over the world is a tough job, the pay is poor (volunteers don’t get paid) but the benefits are priceless.

The aftermath of Flossie caused high surf and loss of sand at Poipu so the lifeguards closed off the tombolo leading to a small island. The rip currents were extremely dangerous, it was amazing to us how many people ignored the signs and went out anyway.

After a busy week, we took it easy on Sunday, went to the Hyatt for coffee and scones and read the newspaper. We took a bike ride to a local gas station to fill our tires then on to Kukui’ula shopping center, a scenic ride overlooking the Pacific and home. We hadn’t ridden our bikes in at least a month, the air compressor at the local station has been down for that long. This is Kauai after all.
The view from the Hyatt.

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We did putter around in our yard, however. Charlie did some routine pruning of our bamboo plant, this is a monthly task as the plant grows quickly. We didn’t have to do this back home in Wisconsin! We have also hired a landscape company to level the yard, as its quite uneven. They’ll also add under ground sprinklers, plant grass and add a patio. In typical island time little has happened in at least three weeks, so now we have the brownest yard in Kauai, as the grass has been killed prior to being tilled. We hope we’ll have green grass before our first visitors arrive in October!

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