December

Wow, it’s hard to believe that it is December, only when we see the weather reports on the mainland do we realize that it is only a few weeks to Christmas. After the huge windy storm on the weekend, we lost the sand tombolo that separates the island at Poipu beach from the main beach, it’s amazing how much sand can be moved by one wind storm, especially one from the SW like this one was. The winds died and many locals are saying how unusual this warm weather is for December. We think it’s great, cool at night and warm during the day.

We’ve had seals up every day except Thursday. T12 has been up three days and Wednesday W06 came up for the second day in a row. The two of us have put in two five hour days, and a three hour day. Donna has been sick, so major responsibility has fallen on us. However, it’s been interesting on the beach and our tans have returned. Wednesday, the morning started at Kiohana Plantation where V18 had come up Tuesday afternoon and had stayed after dark. Charlie walked the beach to take down the signs and discovered some black tar-like substance where the seal had been sleeping…..we then had to retrieve the substance (diarrhea) and take it to the NOAA staff to be analyzed…..yuk, a great way to start the morning. Later, two seals, T12 and W06, hauled up at Poipu. While we were monitoring the zone, a young couple approached, both in large straw hats, a gust of wind came up and removed the guy’s hat. We watched appalled, as it landed right next to W06. It was so close to her nose, there was no way to retrieve it so I went over to explain why we couldn’t go that close to her. The young man was so embarrassed that he had allowed that to happen, he was an environmental studies major from Santa Barbara and was very sensitive to that kind of thing. He agreed that it was a lost cause and would check back later to see if we could retrieve it. In the meantime, W06 spied the hat, reared up to identify it, humped over to investigate, stuck her nose on the brim, and went to sleep.

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Every morning Charlie drives down to the beach and I run down. When we get there we check for seals, give our alohas to the locals on the beach and remember why we are glad to live in Kauai.

20131205-161915.jpgSunrise at Poipu.

Meanwhile, the ship came in with the Home Depot products. We’ve been waiting about two weeks for pavers, and it’s frustrating to know that they’re now here, but not yet in the store. Meanwhile, we decided to get rid of our bamboo plant. It’s a fast growing plant, and provides a great screen on our property line. But it’s also a maintenance problem. So we cut it down, now to deal with the roots. They’re supposed to be hard to get rid of, due to the aggressive root system. We did buy a couple of jasmine plants to put in the space previously occupied by the bamboo plant. It will take them years to grow large enough to be a vision screen, but they should provide a nice fragrance in the yard.

The holiday season means it’s time to haul out the Christmas decorations. This included our artificial tree that was made in China, shipped to the USA, taken as luggage to India by Marcia and Anton for us when we lived there, moved back to Verona, and finally moved to Kauai. How appropriate that Marcia and Anton should be here for this Christmas, a full circle, with a well-travelled Christmas tree. In checking all of our boxes of decorations, it seems that our well traveled tree is now ‘tree stand-less’. Apparently the stand didn’t make the trip – who knows where it is. Fortunately Charlie brought enough tools, and he quickly made a new stand. And the tree is up!

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Had to show the decorated plantation house on Aalu Place.

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Saturday dawned, and W31 hauled up on Poipu ……….got a call from Donna so I went down to watch while she went for breakfast .,,,,1 hour maybe?…. As soon as she left a tourist told me a seal had hauled up at Kiahuna, so off I went to rope her off it was W06. So with two seals up on busy beaches I needed to stay longer. After three hours and after moving ropes multiple times, I was ready to go. However, Charlie has been sick with a cold, Tree (another volunteer) has also been sick and Shannon was getting stitches. So I ended up putting another hour on the beach later in the day….too many sickos making us short on volunteers. Fortunately, it was a gorgeous day.

Sunday dawned rainy, no seals early so went home to watch football. K31 came up around 9 so I went down for a while to monitor and again late in the afternoon until he left, otherwise the week ended slowly.

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