Christmas came and went

It was pretty low key, we went to the Kiahuna Plantation to visit our friends from Canada, Jill and Brian, for Christmas Eve to enjoy steak, shrimp, cocktails, and sunset with a green flash.  A couple of whales also entertained us at sunset.  Christmas Day dawned cool, we checked the beaches and celebrated quietly.  We did get a real tree this year for the first time since we moved here, surprisingly, a tree doesn’t dry out quickly like it did in Madison.  It occurred to me that it was because of the humidity….I guess heating your house dries anything out but I didn’t expect that.

To commemorate a Madison tradition (ours) we made George Washington eggnog to toast the season….wow it packs a punch!  We took some to a friend’s, Carol Yoshuda’s house when we went to address envelopes for The Garden Island Arts Council (of which Charlie is a member of the board.)  We introduced the group to our “tradition”, hardly anybody has had homemade egg nog so we we did make a bit of a caloric impression.  Part of the time the crew shared a video of a Hawaiian trying to order a pizza, Heineken, and poke in pidgin English, using Seri (hysterical).  Seri translated his order and had us all giggling.

The seals have been pretty scarce with the exception of K31, a large male who picked the Grand Hyatt to start his annual molt.  He’s a bit grumpy (they don’t feel too good when they molt) and he looks scruffy.  This takes about a week.  Notice the scraggly skin sloughing off.img_0490

We had two friends from Madison visit, they came the day before New Years Eve.   John, Bob and we went over to Tree and Shannon’s to watch fireworks on the Eve.  As usual the display wasn’t on time, but started 1/2 hour late…typical Kauai.  But for such a small island, the display was pretty darned good.  The weather cleared just in time for the event and seal G22 left Poipu before the start.  A couple of years ago, the fireworks were on the edge of being cancelled because one of the endangered monk seals was on the beach.  This seemed to be the only fireworks on the island so there was a large crowd, that we luckily avoided, being up the hill a little.  Downtown Lihue had decorated the county building with lights for Christmas so we took an obligatory drive down Rice Street to see them.  Pretty fancy!fullsizeoutput_ddc

After several weeks of rain, the weather has cleared and is perfect!  We’ve even had to don sweatshirts in the evening…..great for sleeping.

We had a nice visit with John and Bob, they left only to return to Madison’s snow and cold. They treated us to a nice dinner before they left, what a treat!img_0513

The beaches have been extremely crowded over the holidays, a record, according to the newspaper, so our seal work has been tiring, some days I’ve been on the beach as much as 5 hours.  A pair of young males have been coming in regularly and entertaining us with their antics in the water.  It isn’t too uncommon for young males to play together, later on the older seals tend to chase other seals off.img_0504

Another big event in the past week on Kauai was the arrival of the Nippon Maru, a large 4 masted sailing ship from Japan.  She arrived with great fanfare since it was the ship that had escorted the sailing canoe Hokulea (a replica of the polynesian boats that reportedly brought Polynesians to Hawaii).  She was crewed by young, enthusiastic Japanese interns and was pretty impressive.  It happened to be in Nawiliwili Harbor at the same time as a sister canoe to Hokulea, Namahoe.  The juxtaposition of the two ships was quite striking.   Namahoe is a two hulled canoe, quite small in comparison to the Japanese ship.img_0511

The week culminated with an unfortunate situation at Poipu.  We’ve had strong winds and currents and when I came down to the beach for a shift with the seal that had hauled out, I arrived at the same time as  a firetruck and an ambulance.  Two older visitors had gotten in trouble out in the water and one was lying on the beach, the other up higher and people were doing CPR.  We still don’t know if she survived but the lifeguards were not encouraging.  Poipu Beach is deceptively lovely but has some of the most drownings in the state.  Today’s paper didn’t have any details, I’m sure we’ll hear more about this later this week.




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