Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008 – The Tidal Pool, Chinaman’s Hat, and Shrimp on the Barby

My little patch of heaven in paradise -- on the wall at the tidal pool.

The gate to the estate, sand-covered stairs no longer visible in any form.

Larry expressed no interest in an early morning trip to the tidal pool (Philistine!!), so golf and I got up early to go by ourselves. We didn’t make it by sunrise, but it was shortly thereafter. At least it was low tide. Unfortunately, there were some locals around pole fishing, along with a couple of kids, who rather interrupted photo ops, but she worked around it as best she could.

Even though it was low tide, the beach was still only about 12-15 wide, and the sand was wet all the way up to the retaining wall and half-way up to the gate. Not much beach at all. So no one could sunbathe there now for any length of time or they would have to be willing to lie on wet sand under a towel or mat.

Even at low tide, the water is all the way up to the wall Magnum sneaked around to break into the gate on the beach and make the run to the Ferrari. "Work the lock. Don't look at the dogs."

From what golf could see of the tennis courts through the leaves, it looks as though no one has played tennis there for a long time – a lot of debris on the courts. The gates at the ramp to the boathouse look rather shabby, but the boathouse itself didn’t look that bad – wood doors or covers that she remembered as being broken or scattered or tilted in other pictures seemed to be intact and neat, at least, with the area around the base of the building cleaned up, though there were some cracks in the stucco (if that’s what it is).

(There is supposed to be a video here of the tennis courts, etc., but it's having a hard time loading. Check at the end of this post and see if it showed up there eventually.)

Try this:
See the discarded clothes on the boathouse ramp and the trash on the wall to the left?
I would kill to get up on that porch (but I'm too small to show up in a picture taken from here.)
In the long run, I doubt that we saw much of anything more than everyone has been able to see (or not see) at the estate due to the overgrown foliage. Golf did get up and walk along the top of the retaining wall in front of the boathouse, and she was appalled to notice all the trash along there where people had just left food wrappers or empty cans. She didn’t have a bag with her to carry the trash away or she would have cleaned it up. The wall has several substantial cracks.

The most excitement was right after the picture of her above was taken. Her back was toward the fence, to walk back to the camera she has left on the wall, when suddenly there was this rustling behind her and “Woof! Woof! Woof!” She nearly jumped out of her parrot shirt! She whipped around and there were two retrievers (best guess), a black one and a cream one. A voice called them back, and golf looked through the leaves to see a white-haired lady walking around to the side of the house. A hand went up in a sort of wave, that golf interpreted as, “There’s another Magnum nut . . . .”

Now, see, THIS was when golf should have called out, “Good morning, Ms. Anderson!” But the wimpy little doofus didn’t. She claimed she didn’t want to intrude, but those four words are hardly offensive, and Ms. A. might have stopped and spoken (she has been known to do so occasionally). Of course, if she HAD, golf wouldn’t have asked the right questions because she probably would have been too flustered. Dweeb . . . . Next time we go, I’m sticking a list of questions in her pocket or somewhere, write out a script for her – something!

I was going to try to get over the gate to chase Ms. A. down, but golf called me back and higher principles prevailed. In the meantime, the kids just would NOT stop playing on the concrete slab. Golf hadn’t particularly wanted to take pictures of me in front of a couple of kids (I can’t imagine why!), but she finally asked the kids if they would get off the slab so she could take pictures (they were putting gravel and sand on top of it – when asked why, they told her it was too slippery [with moss] to stand on so they were trying to get grit up there for traction [they didn’t use that word exactly]). When she put me up on the slab, the boys asked, “What is that?” She just responded that it was a Magnum action figure. Fortunately, the boys seemed to accept that without flinching noticeably (they probably didn’t know who Magnum was/is and were thinking “crazy haole”), but one found a big rock and put it up on the slab so it could be a chair for me to sit on while golf took a picture of me while I watched the sun rise.

Golf looked inside the slab to see if she could spot any way water or debris would be flowing into the tidal pool, but the “floor” inside the slab was totally sand – the drainage hole must have filled up with sand the way the stairs at the gate have been covered.

So we had a good time, but it would have been more fun to just be by ourselves.

Back at the ranch, Larry was up and about, so Larry and golf put on the swimsuits, went through Kailua and got golf a new snorkel mask and headed north, the long way, driving all around Kaneohe Bay on Kaneohe Bay Drive until it intersected with Kamehameha Highway, where they turned north. It was great, just driving along the coastline.

The first stop was Kualoa Regional Park (after passing the Kualoa Ranch, a filming location – do I see macaw feathers flying around? [“Oops!” (“Birdman of Budapest”)], which is the beach park off which Chinaman’s Hat (technically Mokoli’i Island) rests. A lot of locals were camping and cooking out here, but we got pictures, of course.

We sure couldn't see how you could walk out to the island at low tide! Hard to believe that long stretch of water is only 3-4 feet deep?

This is when we started noticing the haze over and around the mountains and the dark clouds. We later found out this haze is what is known locally as “vog” – volcano ash blowing over from the Big Island via the Kona winds and mixing with local fog to make vog. Mixed with the rain clouds and humidity, this was what was making so many areas seem so dreary and rainy/drizzly.
Right on the road north of the ranch entrance are the ruins shown below. We weren’t sure if these were from an early ranch house or what. Map says “Sugar mill ruins – in operation 1863-1871” but it doesn’t look like a very big sugar mill.

(Don't you hate how electric lines so frequently ruin a good picture in Hawaii?)

Back in the car, golf was reading off the map, looking for all the beach parks along the route, and id’ing them as we drove by. There were about a dozen or so that we could identify, and most were quite crowded with locals out camping for the weekend. Parking was at a premium. Went through Hau’ula and Laie, passing the Polynesian Cultural Center. Passed Kahuku (municipal) golf course, but never did figure out how to get to it, as it seems to merge with the golf courses at Turtle Bay (but golf and Larry weren’t planning on coming this far north just to play golf, with four courses close by the ranch). Finally past Sunset Beach Park (no available parking spaces), Ehukai Beach, then Pupukea Beach (no parking spaces).

We were able to get one as someone left at Ehukai Beach, and we believed the Shark’s Cove was to the right of where we parked. We walked down there, but the rock-enclosed area of the cove looked too shallow for snorkeling – there were parents and toddlers there. Beyond that was Shark’s Cove, but it didn’t look very inviting (with respect to golf's limited swimming skills [or lack thereof], and golf and Larry weren’t sure that was where they were supposed to find good snorkeling, so at this point, they weren’t going to try.

They went back to the car, got their towels and snorkel gear, and walked over to Pupukea Beach, where they did go in.

They found the snorkeling much better here than at Hanauma Bay, so they stayed in the water for about an hour. Due to the crowd, golf wouldn’t take any pictures of me here, but she did when they came back here on Tuesday, September 16.

Rather ungracefully, both golf and Larry shed their swimsuits behind car doors and beach towels in the parking lot, putting on their dry clothes for the long ride home, while I snickered at their antics because there were concrete block restrooms (where they could shower and change) 20 yards from where they were parked!

On the way back, they kept noticing all these roadside trailers selling shrimp. They thought it would be a good idea to stop and get some to take home and cook, but all of these were little restaurants (though that's rather complimentary as to the structures) and were serving the cooked meals, not selling raw shrimp. :-( So they just went to the Safeway in Kailua on the way home and got some fresh shrimp at the seafood section there and went home and had surf'n'turf in their outdoor dining room.

And, thus, the end of another day in paradise.

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