Thursday, May 15, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014 – Nawiliwili, Kauai – Mostly Sunny – 76F

The seas were smooth but…

Brief Local Information.  Mt. Waialeale, in the center of the island is the wettest spot on the planet with an average rainfall in excess of 400 inches.  Kauai is known as the “Garden Island” because it is a complete blanket of green due to rainfall. Waimea Canyon is one of the spectacular sites on this island – Even Mark Twain was impressed when he visited here.  The canyon, with a depth of 3500 feet, is the largest canyon in the Pacific.

Breakfast in the Horizon Court – standard OPCSMSJB breakfast.  Brought lox, cream cheese, roll, and watermelon back to the room for Ellen.

We are both going on the “Waimea Canyon Tour” today, but our departure time is a workable 11:05 AM and we are meeting on the pier and not in the Theater.

Our bus is comfortable and our guide, Don, is very amusing.  Cinematographer by training (UCSB) but tour guide in retirement.  This was also the first tour I can remember where the guide was also the driver of a standard size bus (I didn’t even realize this until the tour was almost over).

Just a little ways from the pier, the town of Nawiliwili sports all the stores we see back on the mainland – there are major malls and fast food places.  You can’t tell that from the port.

Our first stop today is the town of Po’ipu, home of the “Spouting Horn”.  Legend has it that a giant reptile of some kind got sucked into the blowhole and it groans every time the water shoots out.  It does groan but I’m pretty sure it’s not Godzilla Jr.  When the waves are just right, the spout can reach a height of 50 feet.

The sequence below shows the dragon pre, during, and post groan. 

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20140505_ Spouting Horn poipu 4 (Small)   20140505_Spouting Horn poipu (Small)

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Spouting Horn doing its stuff

There is not a lot of sand at the Horn but the volcanic formations and the greenery make for a very beautiful combination.

20140505_po'ipu (Small) 

Best part of all, we found a passenger with a steady hand to take our picture with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop.  As you can see, I am wearing my official escort shirt.

20140505_h & e Po'ipu Spouting Horn (Small) 

There are a lot of golf courses on the islands and we passed one of them on Kauai –the Po’ipu Golf Course.

20140505_po'ipu gc (Small)

Our next stop is a photo op at the Hanapepe Lookout (“Pepe” means cattle or beef in Hawaiian so I am thinking that this name has something to do with moos).  It is a kind of mini-preview of the Waimea Canyon yet to come.

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Hanapepe Lookout

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Ellen at the Hanapepe Lookout

The next stop is the main attraction – Waimea Canyon. 

20140505_ et waimea canyon lookout (Small)

The Canyon is a State Park.  You can’t get to the edge of the canyon (seems like a smart set up) but there are fenced lookouts that give you access for photographs. 

The sky was hazy today so the far side of the canyon was a bit fuzzy – the cloudiness was supposed to bring out the many colors of the canyon but I think it just made everything look a bit washed out.  The canyon was cut by a river (now gone) and the colors are due to the combination of foliage, volcanic soil, and iron rich soil (the red hues).  The combination looks a bit like Neapolitan Ice Cream.

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20140505_ waimea canyon 9 (Small)

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Waimea Canyon – Above Sequence

Besides providing some spectacular scenery, the park also provides targets for hunters looking to improve their shooting skills.  This is evidenced by the park signs riddled with bullets of various caliber.  We don’t see this back home.

 20140505_ waimea canyon bullet sign (Small) 20140505_ waimea canyon more bullet holes (Small)

Bullets over Waimea Canyon

We got back early enough to spent some time on the deck taking in the perfect weather.  The deck offered some great views of Nawiliwili

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Nawiliwili from the Grand Princess

It’s an early sail away – regulations require a daylight exit from this port due to the serpentine nature of the harbor.

Dinner tonight was in the Pizzeria – we always check the Dining Room menu a day ahead to see where we are going to have dinner the next day (Horizon Court or Pizzeria).

The Entertainer tonight is someone we have never seen – Christina Bianco.  She has been in “Forbidden Broadway” off-Broadway and has a terrific singing voice but also does impressions.  I think she should stay with her own voice because it is fantastic – I rate her up there with our two other songbirds – Lindsay Hamilton and Karen Grainger.

It as a fantastic show – unfortunately, she is only here for the one day and one show.  Too bad – she is terrific and wonderful with the audience.  I was surprised that they didn’t react more positively to her. 

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Christina Bianco

The Grand Princess Singers and Dancers put on a five minute preview of their upcoming production show - “British Invasion” – in the Piazza.

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Beatles Tribute – Singers and Dancers

Tomorrow we are in Maui…

Interisland seas are smooth…

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