Dodged the Bullet

We got lucky. In Kauai, the first hurricane/tropical storm hit the Big Island and rumor is that the mountain diverted and weakened Iselle. At any rate the max winds we got were around 30mph. However, Iselle was taken seriously, people were prepared. We got surf and Kauai beaches were closed but little damage was sustained. This storm eventually went south of us, but still managed to dump lots of rain here. The second hurricane veered to the north, so ultimately we were very lucky. No damage, no problems.

On Saturday Hawaii’s primary election was held, and we had volunteered to work the election at the precinct next to our house. We had to report at 5:30 am to prepare and set up the room. We were then sequestered until the polls closed, and of course had to clean up. It was 6:45 pm when we were able to leave. It was a very very long day. I’m not quite sure but for some reason, unlike Middleton, Wisconsin, the election commission doesn’t have shifts for the volunteers. We all were there for the whole time. I was quite surprised at all the people we knew. Our precinct has only about 2500 registered voters and we had a steady stream throughout the day. We were both amused at the accents from both workers and voters, it reminded me somewhat of the proverbial Minnesota accent. Like “take your ballot to the boot” instead of booth. Likewise every statement was followed by a yah, I’m not sure if it is declarative or interrogative. We both are still straining to understand pidgin English. However, people on the beach have us pegged from the Midwest. In addition to the style of speaking, the clothes are also interesting. We especially noticed one individual, who undoubtedly works at a ranch, as he came in in full cowboy gear, including the cowboy boots and spurs. Not something we saw in Middleton!

The storms did provide some relief from the almost constant seal duty that we’ve been on. Seal duty was suspended on Thursday, so we had a couple of days to rest up. The assumption was that the storm and high surf would keep people from getting too close to the seals. Sunday morning, after the storms passed, the surf was still high. In fact, the tombolo from the main beach to the island was essentially gone, and at low tide was about waist deep. And sure enough, there was a seal out on the island, and people surrounded it. We saw one person touch the seal, and the seal reacted, although not very aggressively. It’s amazing that people don’t know how dangerous the water can be, especially with high surf. Even when Aaron the life guard posted a ‘Beach Closed’ sign people still tried to go out there. And then because we don’t have signs and rope up they think they can touch the seals.

A minor concern we had for the storm was the status of our bananas. We have 4 trees currently that are fruiting. Sunday we were pleased to see that one was ripening – there must be at least 100 bananas on this tree.
Sunday started, as usual, at the Grand Hyatt for coffee, chai, and scone and after the storm the sunrise was great.

IMG_2430.JPGBelow is a view of the island as well as the rescue vessel that had to go out to rescue someone. The large waves were breaking in the normally protected inner swimming area.

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Here is a picture of our latest banana harvest.

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