Anton and Marcia arrived Monday night, we ended up talking and imbibing for a little while on the lanai…….it was fun to catch up on Madison and California happenings (they had spent several days touring wineries). Tuesday morning, Christmas Eve, we took them with us down to the beach to check for seals. I’m still the South Shore coordinator while Donna is in California. We got to Poipu to discover a male seal that doesn’t come to the south shore too much, swimming around in the pool in front of the life guard station. When he finally hauled out we noticed that he was injured. Tissue was hanging out of a cookie shaped hole in his side.
It looks pretty awful but the vet says it will heal quite quickly. He stayed on the beach more than 48 straight hours, obviously in pain. He wasn’t using his flipper, so the bite must have extended into the muscle. But by Wednesday it looked a lot better, but all of the volunteers are still watching him carefully, looking for signs of infection. Then on Wednesday afternoon T12 hauled out right at the same place. He is a real cutie….he looks like you could hug him.
I had to include one of Santa’s helpers, Royden. He said he had to paddle very hard against the surf, so that Santa would have his grand entrance.
That evening, the four of us went to The Beach House for an incredible dinner, a sunset and after dinner a walk along the beach to check on RO18. I got some funny looks with my long dress hiked up to keep it dry as I chugged along on the beach.
The beach was incredibly busy all week and with very high surf and strong winds, the life guards were busy and every day at least one seal was on the beach. With Donna gone the coordination job was full time. RO18 stayed on the beach overnight for two nights and then came back every day to sleep. The wound still looks bad, with a lump of tissue hanging from the wound site. But it is getting better, and the vet doesn’t seem too concerned. Obviously she’s seen this before, and from experience she thinks the seal will be fine. Sunday we didn’t see him at all, but then K31 hauled out with a new cookie cutter shark bite. This one looked quite large, but maybe a week or so old. It was oozing a little, and looked deep, but it did look like the flesh had scabbed over. Definitely not as bad as RO18’s.
Anton and Marcia have been taking day trips to see the island, while we’ve stayed busy with the seals. One day though the four of us ventured over to the nearby food trucks, bought take out lunches and came back to our new picnic table area. Wine and beer with lunch made the initial meal complete.
We “treated” Marcia & Anton to a sunset with the “wall nuts” on Saturday night (a group of tourists that sit on a lava rock wall at Poipu every evening to watch the sunset ……with a beverage of choice in hand). It’s always a lot of fun, everyone asking where you’re from on the mainland, and trading jokes and smart aleck comments. We recognized some people from last year, and this year we have the fun of saying “we’re from Koloa”. We got a lots of cheers and jeers with that. Then we had to settle in with our wine, and were lucky enough to see a green flash (the green that appears just as the sun sinks below the horizon). Usually, there are too many low clouds to see it. Everyone cheers, and the day is done. And most will return the next night to repeat the process.
The challenge for the coming week will be what to do on New Year’s Eve. There are fireworks planned at Poipu, of course at 9:20 pm rather than midnight. An article in this morning’s paper said that 4000 people are expected to attend, but that parking will be strictly enforced. It could be a real mess – we’ll have to see how this plays out.
We took Marcia and Anton to Mahaleulepu one day to show them our favorite local beach, the road to it is heavily potholed, usually cutting down on the crowds, but it still was more crowded than usual. Nonetheless, we relaxed and enjoyed the view.