February is back

The annual whale count has started, I volunteered at Makuhena Point though we saw quite a few whales, it didn’t seem as busy as last year, the migration seems to be later, perhaps due to El Nino.  This winter has also been warmer than usual, records have been set numerous times, the trades have been less dominant and rainfall is down.  I can’t help but blame global climate change.

The second week in February had fewer seals hauling out, we’ve even gotten a few days off from the beach.  We’ve seen the young seal, G22, numerous times but mostly on rocks, where we don’t need to put signs and ropes up.

EKK had the usual music camp crowd, we even had to turn people away, the ballroom has a capacity of 489 people, and we were packed.  Music Camp is one of the most popular Monday nights because the Beamer family, Jeff Peterson, and many world renowned musicians come to teach and then jam at EKK.  Charlie, Donna and I are very busy keeping the crowd under control while waiting for the sound checks for the musicians.  The remaining concerts should be much more controlled.

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Note the length of the line during the sound check waiting to get in, way in the back left of the dividing wall.

Senior softball kicked off on Valentine’s weekend, after a ceremony, a blessing , the national anthem for USA and Hawaii and short speeches by all our politicians the games began.  Unfortunately, West Kauai (Charlies Team) lost but the beer and potluck afterwards helped make up for it.

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Here is our mayor throwing out the first pitch.

We welcomed back seal volunteers from last year, Jill and Brian Henderson, as well as other short termers, mostly from colder climes, back to give us a little beach break.

The fellows that entertained us with Hawaiian music in Kona at the softball tournament last August, started playing at a local golf course,  every other Friday night, so Barry, Mary, Charlie and I went to listen.  The fellows are also members of different Kauai teams, so we’ve gotten to know them.IMG_0691   The beer garden also had an event at Lawai, and a new restaurant, The Garden Island Grill featured the legendary Larry Rivera on Sunday nights, so we have immersed ourselves in the local music scene lately……what a busy social life we are leading.

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Here is Brian Henderson taking a hula lesson from Larry’s granddaughter.

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Here is 86 year old, Larry Rivera talking story with Brian and Jill.  Larry played at the legendary Coco Palms with Elvis Presley years ago.  His voice and sense of humor are still intact.

We have been enjoying fresh squeezed orange juice from Peter and Kathy’s orange tree, for the past month, it will be hard to go back to bottled OJ.  My compost pile is getting very acidic from all the orange peels so maybe it’s ok.

One of our feral cats (Snowball)  that we’ve been feeding since we came to Kauai, died despite our best efforts to save her.  She had gotten in a fight with another cat and scratched her eye, it became infected that caused a respiratory infection, I took her to the vet, treated her with antibiotics, but she passed on overnight after appearing to rally.  So sad.

The end of the week of Feb. 15, we took a trip to the Big Island to visit friends and former neighbors, Mary Lou and John Rashke, who visit every year.  We had a fantastic time, visiting good restaurants, a wood show and finally drove from Kona to the Kilauea volcano that has been erupting since 1983.  It had a new breakout in the caldera close to the visitor center that I was particularly interested in since we hadn’t been there for a number of years.  It didn’t disappoint, smoke and steam was emitting and the crater rim road was closed because of gases emitting.  The day was perfectly clear on that side of the island, though in Kona, fog (volcanic fog) was prevalent and made it more difficult to breathe for me.
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The smoke coming from the lava in the crater.  The sky was unusually clear, we could see not only the telescopes up on Mauna Kea, but also south point.

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We explored one of the lava tubes, in the rain forest located close to the barren lava flows. This was the entrance, covered with ferns.

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Three of us posed for a picture after leaving the tube and before eating one of our gourmet meals at The Hilo Bay Cafe.  We returned to Kona across the Saddle Road, that until recently was practically impassable.  It cuts off at least an hour in the drive from Hilo to Kona.

We were only on the island for 3 days, but we packed a lot into those three days as well as into our stomachs (we ate very well).  Our last lunch was at Sam Choys in Kona, up on the mountain side with a panoramic view of the ocean.

We returned on Saturday, so that we could work our E Kapakapila Kakou stint.  This one was especially entertaining, it featured a Japanese fashion show (Harajuku) with off-the-wall costumes.  Harajuku is a fashion developed in Shibuya, Japan by teens in which you mix different styles, patterns and colors, anything goes, as long as your outfit is a “thoughtful expression of your individuality”.

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Here is the organizer and EMC, Carol Yotsuda, in her version of Harajuku.

After the fashion show, Makana played.  He is an awesome slack key guitar player with an equally awesome voice.  He also happens to be the background singer in the movie, The Descendants.  Wonderful music, and entertainment but since we were responsible for compiling the judged fashion show results and counting the money collected from donations…..stressful!  Not to mention that we had to turn people away, since Makana is so well-known the ballroom was packed.

Since not much is written about our seals, I thought that I would provide a link to the birth of one of our seals last year.  A volunteer just happened to be there when it occurred…just amazing.  I just found it again and realized I hadn’t posted it then.

 

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