Kauai 04

Last new years, we thought it would be nice to get together (reunion, like, ya know?) some place and time in addition to Phil's at new year. Phil mentioned a place on Kauai called camp Sloggett. Everyone said it was a great idea. Months passed. Finally, Joanne made reservations and asked everyone to RSVP. Lots of lame excuses later, it came down to Mary, Bob and Joanne's extended family. Joanne continued to make reservations and before we knew it, everything was arranged. Thanks to Joanne, the rest of us slugs went on a great vacation.

After getting 7 people and all their luggage (including boogie boards) to Oakland International Airport (thanks Sharron!) 90 minutes before our flight we waited. we couldn't get 7 seats together near the gate, so here's Gary, Jeremy, and Mary sitting outside the men's room door.
waiting for a plane
Finally on the plane: Ariel, Joanne, and Allison.
     to the right: Unknown guy, Gary, and Jeremy

Ariel, Joanne, Allison

Gary's niece (Julie) met us at Lihue Airport. We had too much luggage to fit all of it in the 2 cars with all the humans, so we left Gary and Julie at the airport. Joanne went back to get them at about the same time that I noticed I didn't have a credit card or driver's license. (the ID turned out to be in one of the many pockets in my cargo shorts. I learned this after driving back to the airport looking for them) After checking into the Garden Island Inn in Lihue (and a couple of small fire drills) everyone else walked across Rice street to Kalapaki beach.

 I drove over to Po'ipu to check out Seasport Dive shop. Then we all went out for sushi at Kintano in Kaapa. That's Mary, my shorts, Joanne, and Julie at Kintano.
Mary, Bob (clothing only), Julie

Here's the view of the park next to Kalapaki beach looking out the balcony of our room at the Garden Island Inn.
a park with palm trees

The next morning, we wandered out to Kuki'i point. There's a golf course and hotel bankrupt complex that is being torn down (finishing what Hurricane Iniki started) and rebuilt. We walked out to the little lighthouse (lamp post, more like).

We stocked up on food and Mary drove me over to the dive shop for my 2-tank boat dive.

Unfortunately, when I arrived at the dive shop, they had canceled the boat dive (with some lame excuse about a strong current in the area) but they sent me and another couple (also from San Jose - it is a small world) out on a shore dive at Koloa landing. Here's Bob between dives. He's happy. I don't know how much better the boat dive would have been, but I saw dozens of different marine life: eels (a moray and another one) a sea turtle, several kinds of corals, schools of fish so thick you can't see through them, well, you get the idea. Luke, the Dive Master spent the whole time (when he wasn't checking to see that we were OK and how much air we had left) showing us all his friends in each of their hiding places. We would all hover (often upside down, to keep from stirring up the sand with our fins) around a coral or a rock while he would gentle tease a fish or a hermit crab or an eel out where would could see it.

I didn't bring the camera underwater - sorry.
Bob between dives

After the dive, Laura and Joe (the other divers) dropped me off at Po'ipu beach to meet up with the rest of the gang. We drove around for a while, stopping at the Spouting Horn (click on the picture to see a 6M byte movie) and a botanical garden. That night, we made a grand meal of green salad, potatoes and weenies back at the Garden Island Inn.
water spray

The next morning we got in a quick hour of boogie boarding before loading up the car with even more stuff (food) but one fewer human (Julie) and one duffle bag (to be brought up later by Julie) we got on the road to Waimea Canyon and Camp Sloggett.
much luggage
We stopped in Hanapeppe for lunch and a walk across the "swinging bridge". There really isn't anything on the other side except a T-shirt store and more houses. But we got these photos of the bridge:
bridge sign
No Diving Off bridge,

Mary walking "no hands"

Everyone walking no hands

Then we stopped at Fort Elisabeth near Waimea before driving up the canyon. The fort was built by the russians trying to horn in on the sandalwood trade (of all things). The U.S. chased them out before they had even finished the fort. Not much has been done to preserve it until recently, so it's just a pile of rocks in a vaguely star pattern.

We stopped at both the overlooks along the edge of the canyon. We found this trash can at one of them that was too hard to resist. Pretty much everyone wanted to pose next to the butt can.

We stopped at both the Napali coast overlooks too.

That's a topo map of this part of the island at the bottom of this photo.
I had everyone pose for the golf ball pic here. Little did I know that the theme would recur...

There are two antenna farms up there: one is for NASA, the other (the golf ball) is a national guard radar.

Click on the golf ball to play a quicktime movie from the Napali coast overlook. WARNING: people acting goofy.
play movie at your own risk.
You have been warned.

Evenings in the Skoggett lodge were often spent working a jigsaw puzzle or playing cards. Early in the puzzling, it became clear that many pieces are missing. Even after finding some pieces under the furniture, the puzzle would have huge, gaping holes. This didn't stop anyone from working on it.... night after night.

Our first good snorkeling day was spent at Salt Pond beach in Hanapepe. The lava formations on the right were surrounded by fabulous varieties of fish. Despite the somewhat murky conditions (~15 foot visibility) it was a spectacular day. We spent nearly 4 hours in the water, stopping just long enough to shove sandwiches into our faces for lunch.


Falling coconuts are everywhere.

The puzzle, as seen just before we decided to burn it.

We drove down to Poipu  to take the guided tour of the Allerton Gardens. The tour was fascinating, but my battery ran out not long after we started. (note to self: always bring the spare battery).

Here's a picture of our tour guide (John) standing next to an example of the cool garden sculpture that the Allertons found in their travels (as in this case) or commissioned.

John really knew his plants.

His droll humor went right past many of the people on the tour.

We hiked around the rim of a huge bowl on the Napali coast and on into the Akalai swamp. The fog shrouded swamp was damp and a little spooky. The fog and the diffuse light prevented any good photos, but if you click on this photo (fingers of fog reaching into the swamp) you'll see a movie I took at the overlook on the far end of the swamp.

Most of the trail looked like this - planks suspended above the actual swamp


s we finished the swamp hike, I noticed a guy preparing to tee off into the Napali coast. I couldn't tell if alcohol was involved.

There's more, but I haven't processesed the photos, yet... stay tuned...


This is the trail map around camp Sloggett (Kokee park)