Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Lucky girl

My kids always say I have very good luck when it comes to seeing wild animals. I guess yesterday proves their point.

Steve, Aidan and I went snorkeling at Ke'e beach at the very north end of Kauai yesterday afternoon. It was windy and kind of rainy so the water wasn't as clear as it could have been but it was warm and the reef there is beautiful so it didn't matter much to me. After the initial 30 nanoseconds it takes to get used to the water, the swimming here is extraordinary. (I hate cold water so much I can even think the water in Hawaii feels cold!). We saw zillions of tropical fish, large and small. And most excitedly a 700 pound Hawaiian monk seal taking a nap on the beach. These seals are critically endangered so it was more than a treat to see one.

But let's back up a bit and start the day for real. First off Steve and I went for an early morning walk along Anini Beach (the beach that is 100 steps from where we are staying). The tide was low so we were able to wade around the headlands and watch the sun rise up (not the official sunrise but the rising sun). It was beautiful. In our wade we saw all kinds of critters in the tidal zone--sea cucumbers, beautiful fish, crabs, and a bunch of critters that I don't know the names of. Then we went back to the house, had breakfast and got ready for the day. (It was all of 7 by then.) The Hawaiian time is 3 hours earlier than we are used to, so it has been early to bed, early to rise for this crew so far.

Anyway, Steve loves to snorkel but has all kinds of trouble with it..he wears glasses so he can't see and has a mustaches so the water leaks into his mask and goes up his nose and makes him really uncomfortable. Poor guy. So after our last trip to warm snorkeling waters he swore he was going to change this. When it came time for him to get his eyes examined last year he decided to buy himself some contacts. He's been wearing glasses since he was 12 and will be 55 in a couple of months. 42+ years of glasses with no contacts. This was a big change. He's been learning how to use them hiking and skiing (other places where his glasses caused him trouble) but he has been waiting to see what it will be like to snorkel with them.

He has also been saying he needs to shave off his mustache to properly seal the mask so he can have fun. Now saving a mustache might not seem like a big deal to you, but in our 33+ years together I have never seen him without one. I have seen pictures and let me tell you, they were scary. I have always jokingly said if you ever shave off your mustache I know you want to break up with me and then when we got married I included that as my only condition to marrying him. It was a joke but you know how jokes often are--they aren't really. So after this 30+ year build up, let's just say he was more than a little bit nervous about doing this and actually needed a lot of encouragement from me. I cleared him for this project months ago but I guess he didn't believe me.

I just spent way too long trying to post pictures of this but something weird is going on...so I am giving up. Here's a link to facebook to see the pictures...hope this works.

After all this was done, we packed a lunch and headed out for Ke'e beach...I just tried to post somebody else's beautiful picture of this beach (because we forgot to take one so excited we were to get into the water) but that didn't work either. hmm.

Anyway, we donned our flippers and masks all piled in the water. Aidan, a bit reluctantly, and Steve and I with great enthusiasm. We snorkeled to our heart's content. We saw oodles and oodles of beautiful fish and after snorkeling we walked down the beach for awhile and saw the Hawaiian Monk seal. It was raining on and off but that didn't matter in the water. We were already wet.

After our walk, we sat on the beach for awhile and ate lunch (peanut butter on rice cakes). 15 tiny dove like birds and a Hawaiian cardinal came around begging for treats. I fed them little bits of plain rice cakes and soon they were climbing all over my leg and arm and eating right out of my hand. One time I had three of them on my hand--two were piggy backed on each other! Obviously, somebody had tamed them before me. They must have weighed 3 ounces at the most and had such pretty little feathers. About an hour later when the doves were getting full, 3 wild chickens came by and chased all the little birds away. They pecked my little bits of rice cake down in not time flat and were on their way. As Aidan says there's no escaping chickens or rain in this life.

All in all, it was a great day that we topped off with a trip to banana joe's...a place that transforms plain old fruit and nothing else into the best frozen concoction I have ever had...or at least one of the very best. Yesterday's flavor was pineapple. yummm Then we piled on home, took showers, had dinner and another beautiful walk on the beach (that makes 3 in one day!!!) and came home to watch Men with Brooms. The movie was funny but not near as much fun as the rest of the day,

Now here it is the next morning. I woke up bright and early ready for another early morning walk but these two lumps are still fast asleep.

And actually it is raining, dumping so hard even the infamous Kauai chickens have gone back to bed. So I guess I will wait awhile.

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