This week the wind came up from the north and things got pleasantly cool, great for sleeping. The wind was 20-30 mph, the lows in the lower 60s and highs in mid 70s.
Donna left for Oahu for three days, so I was the acting coordinator for the south shore. Neither Monday or Tuesday were any seals to be found on the south shore. We took the opportunity to work trimming the vegetation in the yard. We filled the pickup in just an hour. It may be winter, but things still grow like summer in Wisconsin. No rest from yard work, but also no snow to plow or shovel.
I got quite a kidding this past week since twice I left home and forgot my shoes. We are barefoot so much sometimes we forget to wear them. We don’t wear them on either the beach or in the house so it’s not hard to do.
There are scads of sea urchins around the island but this week was the first time that we saw how painful they can be. While I was monitoring T12 at Poipu, a man approached asking what to do if you stepped on a sea urchin. Since I wasn’t sure, I referred him to the lifeguards. His friend, a young man, was in so much pain that he couldn’t walk, so the lifeguards wheeled him in from the island on a wheel chair equipped with flotation wheels. He had numerous stingers in both feet from stepping on sea urchins. He appeared to be in shock, or close to it, as he was shaking from the pain in both feet. The lifeguard told him the best treatment would be to urinate on his feet (although not in those words), presumably because the acidic content would relieve the pain. We suggested that they also call the emergency room for their suggestions. We did learn afterwards to soak the foot or whatever in vinegar and the spines will dissolve on their own. We did learn from Ruth, an emergency room nurse here and another seal volunteer, that essentially there is no treatment for the sea urchin stingers. Just time for the stingers to dissolve.
We managed to get to the Wall several times this week. While we didn’t get to see the ‘infamous’ green flash due to clouds on the horizon, we did see lots of whales. I don’t think we’ll ever tire of seeing these huge beasts come up out of the water when they breach! The wall crowd has started to intensify, with upwards of 30 or 40 people there now.
Our friends from Madison, Bob and Caryl Terrell, stopped over at our house after going horseback riding. They had with them Bob’s sister MaryBeth and her husband Art. We had already made arrangements to go to Waiohai with our neighbors Kathy and Peter, plus Peter’s brother Leonard and his wife Ruth. So we combined groups and all went to Waiohai for happy hour and food. It was an overcast afternoon, with some drizzle mixed in, so there wasn’t a crowd as usual. In fact, we had the place pretty much to our selves. Alicia the waitress got us an extra table umbrella and we were all set. Had a great time, and everyone seemed to mix well.
The end of the week, starting Friday, the wind switched and came from the south (a Kona wind) that warmed things up and brought vog in…….so it became hazy. Plus it’s been a rainy couple of weeks, certainly more than the past few weeks when we’ve been here. At least the rain keeps the crowds down at Poipu beach.
Friday night was another seal volunteer meeting. We heard details of the 2013 year for the seals in the main Hawaiian islands. There were 5 seal deaths, most from natural causes, and 21 births. However in the northern islands the picture is reversed, with more seals dying than being born.
Saturday we immersed ourselves in Hawaiian culture by attending a local hula show in the big city, Lihue. It was really fascinating. All ages danced, illustrating not only Hawaiian but also other Polynesian dances. I was struck by the fact that every speaker, singer, mc, or honored guest, either male or female, at any get together on Kauai is presented with a lei. The keikis (children) were particularly charming. Our mayor even sang while the head of the hula school, Leilani danced. (He also was presented with a lei).
I’ve included some pictures of the event below. It was announced with a conch shell horn. The event featured music and hulas from many Pacific islands, from Hawaii to Tahiti to Tonga. It was really fascinating, and a lot of fun.