A bit of a break

We had an early Thanksgiving dinner with our friends Kathy, Peter, Joanie and Doug, since Joanie and Doug were going to spend Thanksgiving week on the mainland.  We had a great dinner, tons of food, and lots of wine and gin and tonics.   Quite the recipe for a good Thanksgiving.   Charlie went to Honolulu for a day the following week, to take his computer to the Microsoft store.   I stayed home and managed the ranch (ranchette?  la petite ranch?) and south shore seal duties.

I let the blog slide over the past few weeks, just starting to pick it up again.  Of course the coming holidays may again interfere with my blog efforts…..

Seal activity has been up and down, some days we’ve had 4 seals in three different locations, and then other days no seals at all.  One of the main seals that we’ve has is G22, one of this year’s pups.  He has decided that he likes the south shore, the young pups usually stay pretty close to their natal beach but this guy is adventuresome.  He has been hanging out on the rocks, so we haven’t had to spend the whole time watching him, we don’t even rope him off, just check him periodically throughout the day.  The first Saturday, however, K30, the big scarred female, was up for the day as well as a young adult male.  They spent the whole time fairly close to each other.

We’ve been continuing our Sunday morning visit to the Hyatt Seaview Terrace for scones, chai and coffee.  Here’s a couple of shots of the rising sun horizon.

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1448245249520The young male, Temp 322, was on the beach the past couple of weeks, but this time K90, a five year old female, was with him.  The two of them entertained the beach goers, nuzzling each other, and generally behaving like teenagers in heat.  very romantic, people interpreting and enjoying it.  This type of interaction is quite rare to see, since the seals are essentially solitary.   However, raging teenage hormones get the best of the monk seals, just like with human teenagers.    The visitors got quite a treat.   I had an uncomfortable question posed by a 4 or 5 year old girl, I quickly looked for her parents, and of course they weren’t to be seen.  I hemmed and hawed, and mumbled something about just being a boy.  I didn’t want to get into the birds and bees with her.  Whew!

These past 3 weeks have found K90, who the scientists think is old enough and receptive, has attracted numerous males, K31, V18, Temp 322, G22 (this year’s pup, he started coming up on the beach) and 6FQ.  Hopefully, one of these will result in a pup next year.  V18 and G22 ended this week frolicking off Kiahuna Plantation and the Sheraton much to our delight.  It appeared that they were just playing in the surf, just like the visitors.

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This was K90 with one of her suitors, Temp 322 on Poipu Beach.

Sunrises here are not to be missed, every day is special, below is sunrise out our front window.  Not an ocean view as from the Hyatt, but still colorful.

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On Wednesday before Thanksgiving we went to the Fine Dining Luau at the Community College.  The students put on a traditional feast, with kailua pork, fish, laulau, chicken, poi, rice, etc, plus several desserts.  Below is the menu, the students print special menus for each dinner.K30 Temp322 003

Jennifer came to visit from Denver on the 5th, and we spent the week showing her the island.  We went out on Captain Andy’s Na Pali dinner cruise midweek.  We have planned it in the past but always got skunked due to the weather.   This time, however, was a success and well worth the trip.  We saw our first whale blows and a group of spinner dolphins decided to surf in the bow wake.  Jen and I sat on the trampoline of the catamaran to see them.
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What a special treat! there must have been 20 of them.  The cruise left Port Allen Harbor and cruised past the Pacific Missile Range up to Kalalau Valley where we turned around.  That valley is the end of the Kalalau trail that starts at Ke’e beach on the north shore past Hanalei and goes 12 strenuous miles up the coast, with scary exposures on the way.  Usually, hikers camp out there and return the next day, its difficult to do out and back in one day.

Cocktails and dinner was served on the return trip, timed so that we arrived back in port just after sunset.  Note the island of Nihihau in the background.

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Midweek, Shannon, Jen and I took a road trip up the east coast to the north shore.  We had to stop in Kilhuea on the way to check out the bird sanctuary.  The blue footed boobies, Nene and albatross nests were impressive.  After a morning of shopping and eating, we stopped and hiked the pup beach to see seals on the way back.  As if we didn’t see enough seals all week in Poipu.  Shannon, our official photographer, took a picture of us on the wind whipped shore.

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We left Charlie to take care of any seals, and none showed, for a change.

We had to introduce Jen to The Wall at sunset, so we met Tree and Shannon for cocktails and snacks…..it is the beginning of Wall season, the whales are just back, the sun sets on the water rather than over Ni’ihau and the Canadians are starting to return.

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Tree and Shannon are in the foreground.

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Jennifer’s last view from the wall, she left on Saturday night, at 9:55PM, on the red-eye,  the usual time for flights out of Lihue.

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