Archive for March, 2010

Soon it will be time to say, good-bye, Kauai

March 26, 2010

Back-yard bird. I don't know what kind.

Only about 2 more weeks until this wonderful adventure in Kauai will be just a memory.   What great memories  I’ll have from this budget trip of a lifetime.  I’m living proof that anyone can do this.

monk seal rests at the salt pond park

6 months of sun, sand and adventure.  Playing golf 2 or 3 times every week.  Enjoying the ultimate scenery for photo opportunities.

just got wet

Seeing and experiencing the wild-life.

Getting ready to go for a swim.

last one in is a rotten egg

swimming away

say good-bye

Going on great hikes.  Eating and experiencing new foods.

suyo, chinese cucumber from my garden

The coconut sprout.

The coconut sprout.

Not working.  Hunting down the next bargain and the next adventure.

I'll miss the java sparrow.

Right now I’m expecting visitors from the mainland as my time here grows short.  So a little entertaining is in order.  I found some boogie boards and a skim board each for one dollar.  Found some water shoes for my guests to protect their feet from the reefs at 50 cents each.  Planned quick meals for 5 at budget prices.

Wild pig eats avocado.

Turned our 2 room ohana house into one with a second bedroom by converting a storage room into a sleeping area with a 10 yard bolt of 2 dollar material and white king sized hotel sheets for 1 dollar and strategically placed thumb tacks.

Storage room converted to island abode, cost 4 dollars plus tacks.

I'll miss you Kauai.

All it takes is imagination.  I’ll surely miss this adventure when it’s over, but I’m planning the next one already.


The Gatherers

March 20, 2010

The Gatherer

Gathering of food is a frugal endeavor.  I gather fruit.  If I was more knowledgable I would gather other foods as well.  I need a local mentor to take me under their wing and show me the way.  Any volunteers out there?

This morning the tide was low exposing pools for the sea to give up it's offerings.

A low tide exposing rock, perfect for collecting limu and 'opihi.

When I questioned the gatherers I was told they were hunting for limu, the Hawaiian word for algae or seaweed and ‘opihi. They are Hawaiian limpets with a dome-shaped shell.  They suck down and hold onto the rocks tightly so they can deflect pounding waves powerful enough to sweep an unwary collector out to sea.

The tide was low but the waves were never really far away.

I took the risk and scrambled along the rocks to gather photos of what life can be found between the rocks now exposed. This is the place to find limu.

‘Opihi are a prized delicacy in the islands, and collecting enough for a meal can be a dangerous task.  Sure footing, a good grip, a sharp knife and vigilance with a constant eye on the waves are essential while gathering ‘opihi.

She gathers limu and 'opihi.

‘Opihi are eaten both raw or cooked.  I had some trouble finding out how to cook them as most are eaten raw and many right on the spot.  When the locals congregate at the beach they park in a line of pickup trucks wheels in the sand, tail gates tipped down toward the ocean, canopies set  for shade,  ready for fun, food and social activities.  Kind of a combo tailgate party/luau.  The men often go out into the water with snorkels and spears, while the women chat and children frolic in the water.  After they leave I often find piles of ‘opihi shells scattered about gleaming with mother of pearl, remnants of what seems a delicious good time.

Urchin lunches on limu.

I have never collected my own limu but I do eat seaweed both the nori for my sushi and this stuff called ocean salad that we pick up at the grocery store.  We eat the bright green ocean salad with rice, I don’t know if that’s proper way, but it sure is good. We also eat some ahi poke that has seaweed in it and like it very much.  And most of the Furikake (japanese rice seasoning) we use contains seaweed as well.  I read some articles about it that say it’s chock full or iron, and antioxidants and some believe it has extraordinary health benefits.  The following links have more information about seaweed for those who just need to know more.

Tire tracks in the sand.



More limu and fish too.

This blog segment contains frugal and free things to do when travelling to Kauai.  The location was near Salt Pond County Park by the Port Allen Airfield.

People are asking, what kind of camera are you using to take your Kauai photos

March 13, 2010

The Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z2 4MP Digital Camera

I’ve had this camera for several years now and I’ve been very pleased with its reliable performance.  Originally I chose this model because it was the most optical zoom I could buy in a digital camera without using separate lenses.  I wanted a camera that was easy to use but gave me lots of options.   I desired a high optical zoom for wildlife photography and the DiMage Z2 has delivered.  This camera is a good buy at $220.00.  Great camera for the creative hobbyist.

Flying high over Port Allen

Mauka Hanapepe

Misty morning makai side Kekaha

Wig out

Private swimming pool

Rainbow end to end

Red rocks at the Salt Pond County Park

View from the Port Allen Airport toward Hanapepe and beyond.

Waves carve the rocks.

The glow of rainbow light. I see a version of this almost everyday from our deck.

The tide pools in from under rocks.

Brace yourself for landing.

The good old fashioned swimming hole, in Kauai

March 8, 2010

Twenty feet of rock rises up from a clear inviting pool, while water cascades over the rock to continually replenish it.  Tourists and locals alike enjoy this hidden treasure, that can be found by travelling a dead-end road toward the mountains and a 5 minute trail through high grass that runs along  Huleia Stream.

Please click and double click on photos for the best viewing,  Mahalo.

Tourist vie for the best photo ops.

Multiple rope swings of varying heights are tied to nearby trees and the brave leap from the rocks above into the pool. You can climb out of the water using tree roots or use the ladder placed for just this purpose.

Getting ready to take the rope.

The scene is reminiscent of an old-fashioned swimming hole, with people gathered and having fun.

Swimming at Kipu.

I like this spot for a picnic, dappled sunlight, refreshing water and local entertainment.  Who could ask for more.

There are many small falls at Kipu.

Rocks can be slippery, unseen objects can be below the water’s surface, rope swings and ladders deteriorate, rocks as well as water can come over the falls, common sense keeps your adventure safe and remember no diving.

More small waterfalls.

Take Highway 50 west from Lihue. One mile past Puhi, at Mile Marker #3, turn left on Kipu Road.  Park your car before the bridge and follow the trail on the left that runs along the stream.  Don’t  leave valuables in the car and carry out whatever you bring in.

The trail to kipu.

Flower along the trail to Kipu Falls.


This is one of the best things to do in Kauai.   Now I’m writing for Kauai tourism and not just for the frugal.

Wave watching, a free daily activity in Kauai

March 8, 2010

I watch waves almost everyday.  Sometimes the seas are rough and wild, sometimes calm but the sights along the ocean are always spectacular.  There are times I find the sight and sound of the waves breathtaking, but I find it difficult to capture the feeling with the camera.  Todays blog is a photographic study of waves.

All of the photos can be clicked and double clicked to enlarge, please do so to view.

The thought in this photo was to include a boat in the photo to help illustrate the roughness and size of the wave. I like how the boat image is bathed in mist.

Can you see the wind?

Misty wave. Is a small sliver of sky and earth enough.

Rock, sea, and sky. I wonder if the feeling of the wave is better expressed in the photo that contains water, earth and sky.

Sky meets sea. This photo gives the sky more prominence.

Rocks along the shore capture water from the waves.

Study of waves.


It's a double.

Rocks and waves.

More waves.

Small waves course rocks and reef.

White foam.

Wave good-bye.

Kauai filled with wonderful things to do.  I’d say Hawaii’s best beaches are in Kauai.  What to see, what to do, go to the beach and catch a wave.

Rain doesn’t dampen my spirit, it makes the garden grow.

March 7, 2010

Today was semi-dry,

Rain glistens on a sidewalk stained with red dirt in Kauai.

different from the previous several windy wet days that kept us away from the beach but not off the golf course.  We find the 30 mph gusts and soaking rain a special kind of golf challenge, our goal is fun so rain or shine we can’t stay away.

The rainbow, a Hawaiian gift between the raindrops.

Still rainy early this morning, I slept-in a while and was out to the garage sales late.  There were still a few good finds, a round platter for 25 cents, a nice white plate for a dime, and a dehydrator for $5.00.  I bought the dehydrator as I’m anticipating  abundance from the garden and I know my daughter will like it when she gets here.

The first luscious mango of the season, delightfully sweet, juicy, and delicious

The rain really made the garden explode.  Today  I harvested some tomatoes, red sails and oak leaf lettuce, and daikon radish.

Fresh salad everyday, oak leaf and red sails lettuce.

The daikon radish is delicious grated, with a drizzle of soy sauce.  It gives quite a kick to a bowl of noodles or rice.  Daikon have tasty, nutritious leaves, that can be prepared as any other greens,  I like them stir-fried or chopped in a noodle soup like Saimin.

Daikon fresh from my Kalaheo garden.

Saimin (sigh-min) is the uniquely Hawaiian version of Japanese ramen and Chinese mein,  chewy fresh egg noodles in a light clear broth with a mind-boggling variety of toppings reflecting saimin’s plantation origins.  I love trying all kinds of topping and flavors.  Maybe next I’ll try making  kiriboshi daikon, (shredded and dried daikon)  or maybe sundried tomatoes or when the next figs ripen, chewy dried figs. Yummy.

Our first tomatoes, small but wonderful. Hopefully many more to come.

Lowest tide I’ve seen in Kauai

March 1, 2010

An extremely low tide allows out of water photography of the reef.

It was so nice to swim in the ocean the day after waiting for the pending tsunami.  Most things along the shore seemed back to normal with the exception of the lowest tide I’ve experienced here since my arrival.  I donned my tabis and took to the exposed reefs with my camera.

Life on the reef.

This was the first time I was able to get this close without the threat of crashing waves.

urchin and hermit crab

I wondered if the post tsunami currents, the earthquake after shocks in Chile, or the full moon were the reason for the extreme low.

Possibly the full moon and the tsunami affect the tides for an extreme low.

Whatever the reason, I enjoyed exploring.

Sea urchin photo, pleasantly distorted by the movement of the sea.

It had been about 10 days since our banana harvest started ripening.  Then a few mornings ago when I went out to gather my breakfast bananas, to my surprise about 30 were at their peak of ripeness.  What was I to do with all of these bananas.  My internet research netted me many options.  I chose to freeze about a dozen for either daiquiris or smoothies and to dehydrate the rest.  I found my car to be an excellent dehydrator.

Dehydrated bananas from the Acura brand dehydrator.

I took only perfectly ripe bananas.  Sliced them.  Dipped them in lemon juice, to protect their color. Then placed them in a single layer on waxed paper in a shallow cardboard box.  This box I placed in the back window of the Acura, in the sun with the windows closed.  Within the first hour the banana slices started dehydrating and scented the car pleasantly.  The process took 3 days.  I like the taste of them but they are not like banana chips, they came out slightly leathery and chewy, like a dehydrated apple.  I found some things I would do differently next time.  A cookie sheet may have been a better surface as the slices stuck a bit to the wax paper and I think if the days had been sunnier the drying time could have been shortened.  Free dehydrated bananas, life is good.

Kauai’s beaches are the best place to go.  Exploring the beaches.  Kauai tourism at it’s best.