Welcome to my Blog - What Is A Blog?

A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. ... Your blog is whatever you want it to be.

For many years I have kept a journal, which I don't write in as much as I once did. I have an inner yearning to communicate with the world through writing and pictures Part of my motivation is to leave something behind to a world that has given me so much - a mom, dad, brother, grandparents, a loving wife, high spirited and gifted sons, close friends and loyal customers. Most of us have had some help along the way to get where we are. In my 12 step program, step 12 is about giving back to others. I hope there are posts here that will warm your heart, make you smile and make you think. That is what my blog is all about. I hope you enjoy it. Ken

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Na Pali Coast

Na Pali Coast

It’s time to head back to the Kona airport to catch our short flight back to Kauai. We still have another two days before heading home.

Zach’s been chomping at the bit to go surfing again with Cousin Benny. In just a very short while, we’re back at Benny’s house. Benny’s happy we’re back. “Cousin Zach: You want to go surfing tomorrow? There’s been a hurricane at the Solomon Islands and it brought a big swell to Hanalei." Zach gives Cousin Benny a big smile that says “yes.”

The next morning, we get into Benny’s truck, load the boards and start heading towards Hanalei. From a distance, we can see the big ocean swell. Benny reassures me he will find a sport where Zach can safely surf. When we get there, I station myself on the pier that serves as a good vantage point: I can keep an eye on Zach and also watch the pro surfers that are gathered to ride the big waves breaking "right."

My adrenalin starts to pump as I watch these brave souls ride the big ones. When I glance over to check on Zach his expression tells me he's got an adrenaline rush going as he tries to avoid getting clobbered by the five and six foot waves. It can be pretty scary around big breaking waves - they can bite you! The sky is beautiful; mostly cloudy with broken patches of blue sky against the rich chocolate brown mountains and lush green hills. Hanalei is as close to paradise as I've ever seen.

After several hours of hanging-out at the beach, we head back to Benny's for dinner. Now we only have one more day left on Kauai. Kaikala says we must take a tour of the Na pali coast.

Our instructions from the tour company read, "drive to the Industrial Harbor, park your car, and register at the office. From there you will be escorted onto a large catamaran."

There aren't any roads to the Na Pali Coast. Its sheer cliffs that drop straight down, thousands of feet into the sea, making it accessible only by boat or hiking through the mountains.

Our Captain, young, tall and tan. Captain Dave, introduces himself. He says although the hurricane brought big swells, the weather radar shows things are settling down. "Our afternoon tour should be quite nice." After everyone gets on the big cat, our sail out to the coast is pleasant. We pass a Navy base with long beaches that are closed to the public. We see a convey of tour helicopters taking tourists on an aerial view along the coast and inside the Na Pali valley.

Kauai’s Na Pali Coast is one of the most awesome sites I've ever seen. Captain Dave says many big movies like Jurassic Park and Raiders of the Lost Ark were filmed here. Although complete strangers when we first boarded, the magical vibes of the ocean cause us to magically interact amongst ourselves.

Suddenly, a bright blue flying fish lands on the boat. A young Hawaiian boy, with a beautiful bronze tan, his name is Kauai, picks up this brightly colored blue magical fish with wings and lets us all take a look at it before gently placing it back in the sea where it belongs.

As our tour continues, we are being followed: It’s a school of bottlenose dolphins flanking both the port and starboard sides of our boat. They’re happy and are playing. We watch as they jump and spin before crashing back into the water. All they want to do is play. They certainly know a different way of living than me. I see the smiles on their faces as they enjoy being together and entertaining us. They’re motivation isn't about materialism – it’s about the love of being free and part of nature. I love it! Make a mental note: Something to learn here.

After awhile, they lose interest and move on. Their magic has spread among all of us and now we're really having a good time. As our Cat hugs the Na Pali coast we get to view some awesome sights. For one, the ocean is a deep turquoise color and is crystal clear. The rich brown volcanic cliffs and fertile green hills look this way because they receive their daily dose of rain. The colors are beautiful. As our tour continues, the Captain steers our boat way away from the coast and towards the ocean, Captain Dave calls our attention to a school of Humpback whales and their calves making their way towards Mexico.

A brief history lesson: To Hawaiians, the whale is a representation of the Hawaiian God, Kanaloa - the God of animals in the ocean. Humpback whales (na kohola) are found in all of the world's oceans, although they generally prefer near shore and near-island habitats for both feeding and breeding. A large percentage of the North Pacific whales migrate to the main Hawaiian Islands during the winter months, November through May, each year. The round-trip distance they travel during this annual migration is approximately 6,000 miles, one of the longest migration distances of any animal species. During their stay in Hawaii, they do not feed, but rely upon stored energy. Near the islands, the whales devote most of their time to mating and giving birth to their calves. While visiting the islands, na kohola have become renowned for their various acrobatic displays. We watch as they come up for air and see the water shooting up high out of their spouts and see their huge tails make a big splash in the water before they dive back down under the water. This is a Kodak moment!

Kauai takes a picture of Channa, Zach and me standing by the starboard bow of the catamaran, overlooking the Na Pali coastline. Every time I look at this picture, it’s clear that most, if not all the stress we brought to Hawaii vanished. It's magic! The spirits of Hawaii cleansed our souls, removed our burdens and in sum, worked their wonders on us. This tour turns out to be a fantastic wrap-up to our Hawaiian vacation.

Before heading to the airport to catch our evening flight home, Benny and Kaikala want to take us to Duke's Canoe Club restaurant. The hostess, who Kaikala knows, finds us a nice table with open air seating. Benny suggests we order the Ono fish, a local fish of caught in the Hawaiian waters. When I take my first bite, it has a texture like Tuna. It’s full of flavor and is delicious. During our meal, we're entertained by two local Hawaiian women. One plays a hand painted Ovation guitar and the other plays a ukulele. They’re smiling as they lovingly play and sing traditional Hawaiian songs. After our nice dinner and a re-cap of how great it's been getting reconnected, we thank our hosts, say our goodbyes, and head to the airport.

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