Kauai July 2009 – Na Pali boat tour

This was a fabulous boat tour of the Na Pali coast. We saw a huge pod of Hawaiian Spinner dolphins, many sea turtles, Tara and Kelly snorkeled, the trip included a good deli lunch and the views were awesome. We only went in two sea caves since it was a larger boat than I planned on going on. I booked a smaller boat tour with Kahana Charters but it turns out that they also book under the name of Liko Kauai Cruises . Since they had too many people for the small boat and not enough others for the big boat we all went on the big boat which only takes 34 passengers max. I think there were about 20 people on the boat. Well worth the $140 per person for over 5 hours of fun. This was the 2nd most awesome thing that I have ever done in Hawaii. The first being the Na Pali tour I took two years ago in a much smaller boat.

I had a hard time selecting which photos to post since after editing I ended up with 89 photos from this day.

Tara, Kelly and I sat in the front row seats. As we got quite aways out on the tour we encountered some pretty big waves that were jarring to the back and butt. As Tara said “it was fun until it wasn’t fun anymore”. On the way back into port Mindy told me she saw whitecaps up ahead and said they were going to stop the boat and get the people off the bow and we should move to the back if we didn’t want a really rough ride. No thanks, been there, done that!!! Even in the last row of seats it was rough. But it was more fun than banging up and down and killing my back and butt.

 

This boat was custom built on Kauai for the Na Pali tours
This boat was custom built on Kauai for the Na Pali tours
Fishing boats at the Port Allen marina

Fishing boats at the Port Allen marina

Navy ships loading up

Navy ships loading up

Kauai is home of the Pacific Missile Range which encompasses 42,000 sq. miles of sea and air space and has minimal encroachments. The underwater tracking range extends over a 1000 sq. miles areas. PMRF features a state of the art instrumentation suite & communication network.  About 17 miles of prime beach front property is owned here by the US Military. On our boat trip there was a Navy weapons recovery ship stationed out a ways to block traffic for missile launches. We didn’t see any missiles being launched but the boat crew said unless a missile crashed and burned in the water it really was a non spectator event. Also on Kauai high above the beach in the moutains is the NASA tracking station which can be seen from the ocean.
Here is a view of the bases beach

Here is a view of the base's beach

I love the contrast of the funky old fishing boat and the nice cat

I love the contrast of the funky old fishing boat and the nice cat

Heading out to sea

Heading out to sea

  

The sea was a beautiful blue this day

The sea was a beautiful blue this day

 

 

Off in the distance is the island of Niihau

Off in the distance is the island of Niihau

 

Niihau is the smallest inhabited island in the Hawaiian island chain and it has no roads, no hotels, and no restaurants. It is located about 20 miles west of the island of Kauai. For the most part, access to Niihau is limited to the approximately 300 residents who live there, but a there are a few limited tours available from Kauai.

 

Polihale Beach, the end of the road

Polihale Beach, the end of the road

 

 

Spinner dolphins

Spinner dolphins

This is when I learned that my Flip Video camera has no low battery warning after I was about 2 minutes into filming the dolphins and my battery died. I hadn’t saved the video so I lost it. This was when I got the “practice what you preach” comment from Kelly because I said to Tara the night before to make sure her camera battery was fully charged.

 

I could just post a ton of photos of the beauty of the Na Pali coast but I won’t.

 

 

 

 

More waterfalls would be seen in the winter months

More waterfalls would be seen in the winter months

 

 

Inside one of the sea caves

Inside one of the sea caves

 

 

Snorkel and lunch stop

Snorkel and lunch stop

 

Look at the color of that water

Look at the color of that water

 

 

I did not need to snorkel to see the fish

I did not need to snorkel to see the fish

Kauai July 2009 – Heading to the North Shore

As Willie K sings North Shore Reggae Blues –
Under the Mango Tree, waiting for the sunrise, headed for the North Shore
Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa

My body’s aching for a freedom ride, My brothers calling me to join them

The party’s jamming on the other side, over on the North Shore

The Myna Birds are leading all the way, they’re telling me how to get there

I’m concentrating on my early drive, driving to the North Shore

Under the Mango Tree, waiting for the sunrise, headed for the North Shore

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa

I hear the surf calling me, singing a new song, headed for the North Shore

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa

I wipe my hair away from my eyes, I like to feel the wind on my face

The salty air begins to make me breath, down in the North Shore

I lay my mistress on the surface swell, and as I move she starts to mile at me

Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Let it ride much higher and higher

Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Take me now Im your’s take me

Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Ooh, Look at me Im higher than a mountain”

There is something about the north shore of Kauai that makes me feel like I have come home again everytime I visit there. Years ago when I thought seriously about moving to Kauai I would have been perfectly happy settling in Hanalei on the north shore. Oahau has its Haleiwa and Maui has Paia. These three cities have a lot in common. They are surfer towns and laid back hippieish, new age feeling places with a strong sense of community and ohana (family).

And of course now there is all of the controversy about the meaning of the song “Puff the Magic Dragon”.   Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea, And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee”. When Tara was little I used to sing this song to her everytime we went to Hanalei. That was every year until from age 9 – 16 and at least 3 or 4 times a trip. She hated me singing the song especially as she got to be a teenager. At dinner one night Kelly brought up the drug reference and Tara said “Nu Huh! You used to sing this song to me all the time when I was little.”

Tara and Kelly drove beyond Hanalei to the end of the road. The plan was for Tara to take Kelly to a couple of her favorite places, Lumahai Beach and the Blue Room. However it was so busy that Sunday that there was nowhere to park. So they came back to Hanalei Bay where they had dropped me off a couple of hours earlier.

Kilauea Lighthouse

Kilauea Lighthouse

During the winter months Kilauea is a good place to spot whales who have migrated south for the winter.

First stop on the way to Hanalei

First stop on the way to Hanalei

Kalihiwai Bay – summer months it is a great family beach
Kalihiwai Bay , water looked like glass this day but during the winter this is a popular surfing spot with big waves

Kalihiwai Bay , water looked like glass this day but during the winter this is a popular surfing spot with big waves

This has always been one of my favorite Hanalei Bay homes.

This has always been one of my favorite Hanalei Bay homes.

Fabluous views of Na Pali from Hanalei Bay

Fabluous views of Na Pali from Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay pier

Hanalei Bay pier

I want this great beach house. Problem is I dont have the millions of $ it would take to buy it.

I want this great beach house. Problem is I don't have the millions of $ it would take to buy it.


Shop in Hanalei

Shop in Hanalei

Heading back from the north shore we make this stop at a scenic overlook. Those are taro fields in the valley.

On the way to and from the north shore we pass the Sleeping Giant. “Legend states that this giant once roamed the land and was much loved by the Hawaiians.”
I took this photo from a moving vehicle so it’s not real good.
Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant

The end of a great day on the north shore. Goodbye North Shore until next year when I plan to return again for a summer vacation.

Kauai – 2009 vacation coming soon!

Tara, her husband Kelly and I will going to Kauai in less then two weeks. Kelly has never been to any of the Hawaiian islands. He is going to love Kauai. There is great snorkeling, beautiful beaches and lots of really fresh seafood.

I have two timeshare condos reserved in the complex right next door to where my friend Karen and her husband used to live. We will be in Poipu Beach with a good snorkeling spot right across the street.

These are some of my photos from 2000 and 2007 visits.

 

Oops, wrong caption this is Wailua Falls not Opaeka.

Opaeka Falls

Opaeka Falls

Morning at Poipu Beach Park

Morning at Poipu Beach Park

Anini Beach

Anini Beach

Lumahai Beach

Lumahai Beach

View from Prince Kuhio condos, the unit next to where my friends lived

View from Prince Kuhio condos, the unit next to where my friends lived

Bottle Nose Dolphin seen from Kauai Fun boat

Bottle Nose Dolphin seen from Kauai Fun boat

Inside a seacave

Inside a seacave

Looking south toward Kapaa

Looking south toward Kapaa

“Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called honah lee”


Hanalei Bay pier

Hanalei Bay pier

Hanalei Valley taro fields

Hanalei Valley taro fields

Spouting Horn

Spouting Horn

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Canyon

Photo album on Webshots of 2007 trip

Posts from my 2007 Kauai trip includes a map to orient yourself to the island and lots of photos.

2007 Kauai Trip Report – part 1

2007 Kauai – part 2 Na Pali boat trip and Waimea Canyon

2007 Kauai – part 3 The east side and the north shore

2007 Kauai – part 4 The end

Highlighting Portland ~ Some of the cities famous landmarks

Portlandia – It is the second-largest copper repoussé statue in the United States, after the Statue of Liberty.

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l Mill Ends Park in     Portland, Oregon, United States, is a small park that was created on St. Patrick’s Day, 1948, to be a colony for leprechauns and a location for snail races. It is the smallest park in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records, which first granted it this recognition in 1971. The “park” is a circle two feet (610 mm) across (with a total area of 452 in2 (0.2916 m) in a traffic median which in 1948 was intended to be the site for a light pole. When the pole failed to appear and weeds sprouted in the opening, Dick Fagan, a columnist for the Oregon Journal, planted flowers in the hole and named it after his column in the paper, “Mill Ends”. “

Oaks Park –  Historic skating rink and amusement park in operation since 1905. A great place for family fun. Go roller skating, ride the rides and have a picnic in the park. Good clean family fun!ar117569864861393

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Arlene Schnitzer Performing Arts Center – It is the last surviving theater building on Portland’s Broadway, which was once lined with large theater houses.arlene-schnitzer-concert-hall-portland-oregon-usa-michelle-lane

Paul Bunyan“Portland’s Paul Bunyan statue is 37 feet tall and weighs six tons. The statue was erected in 1959 at the intersection of Interstate and Denver avenues by the Kenton Businessmen’s Association to celebrate Oregon’s centennial. The Centennial Fair was held in the  livestock yards nearby.”

Paul is a bit intimidating and frightening to some small children He can scare the bejesus out of them.

Pittock Mansion – “Located in the West Hills with a spectacular city view, it has been a local landmark since its construction in 1914 by Henry Pittock, founder of “The Oregonian.” The mansion, which incorporates Turkish, English and French design, was built by Oregon craftsmen and artisans using Northwest building materials. Now a museum, it provides visitors with a glimpse into the luxuries–and hardships–in the lives of Pittock, his wife, Georgiana, and their family.”

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A must see is how the place gets decked out for Christmas.3081039026_3ba8d6d73f


Portland Japanese Gardens“Nestled in the scenic west hills of Portland, the Japanese Garden is a haven of tranquil beauty which has been proclaimed one the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan. Encompassing five and one-half acres and five separate garden styles, the Garden includes an authentic Japanese Tea House, meandering streams, intimate walkways, and an unsurpassed view of Mt. Hood.”

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The Oregon ZooSince the late 1800’s, the Oregon Zoo has been promoting conservation.

packybaby“Packy put Portland on the map in 1962 when he made international news for being the first elephant born in the Western Hemisphere in over 44 years.”

Max Light Rail Max can be your transportation to several of the above landmarks.As of late 2007, MAX is the fifth most ridden light rail system in the United States and the country’s second most ridden standalone light rail system, after San Diego’s. (The busiest light rail systems—Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles—are integrated with heavy rail subway networks.)


OMSI “Founded in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is one of the nation’s leading science museums. OMSI offers 219,000 square feet of brain-powered fun through hundreds of interactive exhibits and hands-on demonstrations. OMSI has five exhibit halls, eight science labs, a giant screen OMNIMAX Dome Theater, the most technologically advanced planetarium in the Pacific Northwest, and the USS Blueback submarine, the last fast-attack diesel-powered submarine built by the U.S. Navy.”

Easy to learn, Easy to work, Easy to play

That is what Asus says about the little mini laptop, the Asus Eee 1000H N280. I ordered it last Sunday from Amazon and it arrived on Wednesday. That was super fast!

It is the perfect size for when I travel on vacation. I can check my email, read blogs, find things to do in the areas that I visit, etc.

I will be taking it on my next trip to Isla Mujeres. I already know all of the restaurants that provide free wireless internet access. I am hoping that the restaurant just a couple of doors down from where I stay has a strong enough wireless signal that I can connect to it from my hotel room. I eat breakfast at that restaurant 3 out of every 5 days anyway so I wouldn’t feel like I am stealing their internet. It will be nice to go have a drink in the evening and get on line while waiting for dinner at some of the other places that have wireless access.I hear that the new Cafe Mogagua is a great place to sit, relax and people watch while accessing the internet. I have not heard great things about their breakfasts though and only mixed reviews about dinner. But I have heard great things about their banos. That is an important thing to know when traveling in Mexico.

I took Tara her mini laptop today and she was thrilled but at the same time disappointed because she says now Kelly will never get off of the computer. He is a gamer and a computer hog.

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