Point Arena, CA
We've been to Hawaii several times. Most of our trips are to the Big Island named Hawaii. It is tranquil and ideal. Our adventure happened on the Island of Kauai. Below are photos and the story.
|Our very first visit to Hawaii was to the Kona Coast of the Big Island. It was Jack's mother's 80th birthday and several relatives were part of the group||The gardens at the resort had flowers everywhere on the Big Island of Hawaii||The gardens at the resort had flowers everywhere on the Big Island of Hawaii||We think this is a flowering ginger on the Big Island of Hawaii|
|There was a pond that hosted a pair of black swans. One spring, they had cygnets (baby swans)||Our halle at the resort was on a lava outcropping with the ocean and the sunset at our back deck.||The turtles would haul our onto the warm lava rock||The surf crashed on the lava rocks|
|And we had a hammock||The views from the north end of the Big Island are typical of Hawaii||So is the lava rock that meets the ocean||These monuments stand at the Place of Refuge|
|On the northeast end of the Big Island, the volcano is still active, this is a combination of steam and gas||The lava flows across the roads eliminating their use||Occasionally, a hole develops in the cooling lava||This isn't a lake. It is a field of very smooth lava|
|One day we all boarded the submarine for a tour beneath the harbor at Kona-Kailua, Hawaii||During our trip, we all flew to Oahu to see Honolulu and Pearl Harbor||On a drive around Oahu, we came upon a lighthouse||To see a collection of Jack's dive photos, please click here|
all our trips to Hawaii were filled with the relaxation, paradise and
bliss we show above. Early in March, 2006, we rented a cottage on
the northeast side of the Island of Kauai. We arrived to
sunshine, warm temperatures and a blue ocean. By dinnertime, the
sky had clouded over and it had become distinctly cooler. Over
the next week, the island received over 10 inches of rain. On Day
4 of our Hawaii Adventure, the electricity went out as the rain poured
down at about 4AM. When we awoke after dawn, we found the
telephones were also out and the ocean below the house was an ominous
color of brown. There were several boats patrolling the beach
below the house. At about 10AM the US Coast Guard arrived with
several aircraft and a ship.|
A privately owned earthen dam (a relic from the days of sugar plantations) had burst and had sent a torrent of water down the canyon only a quarter of a mile from our house. A number of houses were washed away in the middle of the night and 7 people were missing. The activity at the beach was "search and rescue". Even after the "official" effort was halted, there were boats patrolling and people searching the beach for the rest of the week.
That was the beginning of our adventure. The flash flood from the dam breaking had washed away the road (creating a gully over 10 feet deep), isolating the resort town of Princeville from the rest of the island. Until the road opened, over a week later, resort guests were ferried by helicopter past our windows to the Kauai International Airport. Because we were able to get to the airport and most of the island by road, we decided to stay for the duration of our adventure.
It kept raining all week. Sometimes there would be thunder and lightening but mostly it just rained. A couple of days after the dam burst, mud slides and debris flows began to be reported across the island. There were clouds of hungry mosquitoes. Every day our activities would be decided by what roads were either open or forecast to be closed. Mostly, we stayed in our cottage or went into "town" for lunch or dinner. By the end of the week, all the beaches on the island were closed due to bacterial contamination. We walked down to the beach below the cottage and were struck by amount of debris and the odor - very metallic. We didn't go near the water.
Kauai is called the "garden island" because it is green and forested. Like most of the Hawaiian Islands, there are mountains in the middle and the resorts are around the edges at the ocean. When there is enough rain, waterfalls that are tens or hundreds of feet high occur on the mountain face. Unfortunately, the rains run down out of the mountains, past the resorts to the ocean. The trails leading to the beaches are mostly packed earth that becomes impossible to navigate when the earth turns to mud. It is more slippery than the ice and snow we remembered from our lives in New England.
Toward the end of the week, the sun did come out and Kauai started to return to normal except that some of the people living there had lost their property and some who either lived or vacationed there had lost their lives.
|The Coast Guard airplane was searching the water below our house||Because of the steep mountains, the plane was often directly in line with our deck|
|A Coast Guard helicopter joined the search in the brown, muddy ocean water||After the storm, a rainbow appeared|
|The Lysan Albatross nested in the field near the house. These are large birds||We don't know how old the chicks were but they were almost as big as the parents|
|The chick was quiet but seemed unafraid||The chick also seemed rather unintelligent|
|There were also Red-Crested Cardinals||This lizard was on a fence post. We never did identify it|
|The beaches on Kauai can be home to the seriously endangered Monk Seal. We didn't get to see any||Even a week after the flood, you could still see the brown water from the mud that washed into the ocean|
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