The end is near

Yes, the last few days of 2014 are here. It’s hard to believe that another year has past…..it’s still paradise. We have several visitors who have been trained as seal volunteers. Fred and Marian (from LA) and the Henderson family (from Toronto).

We took the Henderson’s to Larson’s beach on Monday to find 8HY molting underneath a Naupaka tree.

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It’s incredible how yucky they look when they molt, not only that but they don’t feel very good and they stink. He was really hard to see.
Another seal, V23, was sleeping only 15-20 feet away and she looked good.

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It was nice to get back to Larsen’s, since I hadn’t been there since last spring, before I broke my foot. It was also nice to be able to see these two seals, they don’t frequent the south shore, so we don’t know them like we do some others.

It was great to have the extra hands for the past few weeks, Fred left early in the week and Brian and the rest of the Hendersons left the end of the week….after New Years Day. Here they are the last day of their vacation at Larsen’.

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New Years Eve day Jamie, the NOAA seal coordinator, took us to Palamas Beach, a beautiful, isolated beach west of Poipu, that is privately owned, thus we need special permission to go there. It’s a great beach for seals to haul out so we checked for seals. We only saw one, a large male, but he didn’t haul out. We did see evidence of seals including scat that Jamie collected to determine the seals diet.

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That evening fireworks were scheduled at Poipu so we went over to Tree and Shannon’s to watch. They live In a condo on the shore with a good view of Poipu Beach. We were talking and snacking waiting for the scheduled start when we heard large booms outside……the fireworks started a good half hour early…..Tree commented that this was the first time anything started early on our island. They were quite entertaining but people were scurrying around to get there on time to see the display. The next morning more scurrying ensued, but this time with seal volunteers, when T12 cuddled up next to the rocket launchers necessitating calling Jamie on his day off to coordinate removing them from the island at Poipu. Brian was the person discovering the seal and alerting Jamie. There were scads of launchers there but they were removed without disturbing the seal.

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New Years Eve was also eventful when at midnight, all the power on the whole island went off, due to a generator failure. After 4 hours, power was restored, but Charlie stayed awake during the outage, worrying about everything from how to start the generator and whether North Korea has launched a cyberattack.
What a relief to watch the sunrise at Mahalepu the next morning.

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The whole week has been chilly, we have added extra blankets to the bed and even worn long pants and sweatshirts. Overnights have been in the mid to upper 50’s brrrr, but at least it’s been warmer than Wisconsin. The days have been pleasantly warm only nights are cool. The week ended nicely with our morning coffee/chai/scone at the Hyatt and a little yard work that filled the bed of the pickup. (The red ginger plants grow to over six feet tall and when their flowers start sprouting, need to be cut down). We had a 15 ft tall banana tree loaded with at least 200 bananas fall down necessitating cutting it up and removing it. So the truck bed is filled to the brim with green waste waiting to go to the Hanapepe recycle dump. We are giving free green bananas to anyone who will take them.

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