Kauai's North Shore
Trip Start Feb 28, 2008
16Trip End Mar 16, 2008
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Where I stayed
We went to this lighthouse the last time we were here and saw the shearwaters nesting. They nest in holes in the ground along the path to the lighthouse. We could see the babies in the holes since they don't go that deep in the ground. Alas, this is the wrong season for the shearwaters. At this time of year the Laysan Albatross are nesting. They nest on a hill across from the lighthouse where they have room to get a running start to launch themselves for flight. You could actually see where they have warn out a path for their launch site. They had a camera set up so you could see some of the babies on the hillside, you aren't allowed to walk over there. You could see a number of the babies sitting around waiting to be fed
We also saw Red-footed Booby here. They have a nest site on the hillside on the other side of the lighthouse from where the albatross nest. This nest area is in trees growing along a cliff and their nests are in the trees. Quite different from the albatross. You could see the babies sitting in the trees.
We also saw an occasional shearwater, one great Frigate Bird, White-tailed Tropicbird and Red-tailed Tropicbird. All of these were flying overhead.
We bought a couple sushi rolls at the fish market in Hanalei and continued north to check out Tunnels beach. The last time we were here, this was our favorite place to snorkel and we wanted to see what the ocean was doing there. If the water is too ruff it can be hard to see anything, but we found that in the morning it was usually calm and the water is clear and teaming with life. There is a reef that goes quite a ways from the shore here and there are literally tunnels where people like to scuba dive. But the snorkeling is also really good
It was so crowded when we got to the beach that we had to park at the next beach over, Ha'ena. It's an easy walk on the beach because they are essentially the same long beach. After we had lunch we headed back to check out the Hideaways beach below the Princeville Hotel in Princeville. Princeville is this large community of houses and condos and huge hotels that reeks of upper-middle-class snobbery, but there are a number of good beaches in the area that have public access. We missed Hideaway beach the last time we were here and I had remembered my friend Tracy telling me that this was their favorite beach to snorkel because they tended to snorkel later in the day and Tunnels was too choppy by that time.
We found the small public parking lot for the beaches in this area, but we took the wrong trail to the left of the lot the first time and came to a beach sprawling with hotel guests lounging on hotel reclining beach chairs. We knew we were in the wrong place. We went back up to the car and found the correct trail between two fences one for the parking lot and the other for the tennis court with just enough room for one person to walk between the fences down to the beach. This trail was pretty sketchy and steep so we figured that meant we wouldn't see many people there