This week has been really busy, first of all Monday was the last EKK of the season and it was most memorable. The program was called a community hula party and there were three “circles” of hula instruction in place of the normal ukulele circle. It would have been interesting to take a lesson, but Charlie and I were kept busy welcoming attendees and getting them to sign in. This was also a fund raiser for a scholarship so numerous unusual events were included. Our leader, Carol, immediately after the intermission, danced a hula parody, dressed in a tea leaf hula skirt with multicolored electrical ties, and tights. It was a complete surprise to all the volunteers. Carol is a retired art teacher, a tiny dynamo of Japanese descent and we had no inkling that she had these comedic talents. Since Diana Ross is soon performing in Honolulu, one of the male hula dancers performed a parody of that, dressed in a sparkly robe and his hair wildly teased. The whole evening was like a big party….and for all of this we only ask for a $5 donation….quite the event….it’s fun to be a part of it, it feels like we have become part of the community.
The weather has been so dry, that Wednesday’s heavy rainfall was welcome. However, that was also the day that Carol had scheduled the EKK volunteer appreciation breakfast at her house. Unfortunately, her house/studio is down an unpaved road near the harbor, after slipping and sliding through the mud, we came to the studio part of her house. I must say it is obviously the home of an artist. Everything is colorful and eclectic. The studio, a shed off another building, was set up with a long table with benches around the perimeter. On the table were three hot plates, fruits and various ingredients to “make your own omelet”. It was quite the event…..the volunteers are also eclectic.
We also sat on “the wall” probably for the last time this season since not only are most of the snowbirds gone or leaving soon, but the sun will be no longer setting over the water, but will be hidden by the island of Niihau.
Thursday and Friday were devoted to seals. On the first day we had a call about an unknown seal at the Hyatt. After Charlie and I roped it off, Jamie, the NOAA head of our program appeared and we decided to tag the young male, another seal new to us, no doubt from Niihau. We are getting fairly experienced at it now, so we netted, tagged, and chipped it in short order.
The little guy wasn’t very freaked out, he stayed the rest of the day after being tagged. In the meantime the familiar W06 hauled out at Lawai beach. It seemed that almost all our volunteers were busy, both Shannon and I had double shifts, it’s lucky that we have scads of sun screen.
Friday it was determined that the seal, 6AP, that we had treated for worms a few weeks ago, should be weighed in order to determine if he was gaining weight. He has a tracker on his back and he had been hanging out on a beach at the Pacific Missile Range on the west side of the island so Jamie and Mimi mobilized the crew, Charlie, me, Shannon and Tree to accomplish this. We met at 6:30 am to caravan out to the base, about 25 miles away from Koloa. It’s very involved to get clearance to get on to the base, security clearance and all, but, after a significant wait, were escorted by security to the beach that the youngster had been resting for the 4 days before.
We scoured the beach…..or at least an MP in a jeep unsuccessfully scoured this absolutely gorgeous beach for 6AP, while we waited. At about 9:30, we got the satellite signal that told us that the little bugger had swum the channel over to the island of Niihau. In case you wonder why we didn’t know this before, it’s because there is a 6 hour delay for us to receive it. Back to the drawing board….but the head vet from Oahu decided that if the little guy had enough energy to swim the channel, he is probably ok. Hurry up and wait, that’s the name of the game. Meanwhile, Mimi and Jamie decided since we were all together, we would go to Palamas beach on the way back and tag another new seal. Before we got there, while waiting in a traffic line, we received a call that another new untagged seal was at Shipwreck beach next to the Grand Hyatt……so instead of Palamas, we went on to that one to tag…….we are getting experience. This guy was a little bigger than the one the day before, and this time Charlie got the back flippers.
This one didn’t stay the day, he went out right away. Luckily, Charlie and I had to go into Lihue and missed the next event, to find a dead green sea turtle. For those two days we spent a total of 12 hours on the beaches. But we did have the opportunity to visit probably the most beautiful beach on the island. We plan to obtain clearance so that we can return, this was the first time that we were able to see it.
Saturday dawned sunny and mild nice for softball, unfortunately the West Kauai Seniors lost and we immediately had to go to another gig. The Grove Farm old fashioned games, Charlie was in charge of The Coconut Shy, where kids threw rice filled socks to knock a large coconut off a pedestal to win the coconut…..little kids were better at this than some of the bigger folks. I worked the Troll Roll, little kids loved this one, it was a slanted board with a picture of a troll on the end, 5 holes to the end, and two parallel rods that a small ball rolled dow. The idea is to pull the rods apart to allow a ball to fall into one of the numbered holes and they had three trys. In order to win a prize, the sum of the number on each hole had to add up to 5. There were numerous old fashioned games and we had fun with the children. It was amazing to see how much pie a small child could eat. I’m told the pies were good.
Some of the othe games were coconut bowling , sack races, puppet shows, and a miniature horse petting zoo..
It made for a fun afternoon, especially since members of a high school service club helped us…..nice kids!