Tuesday, December 21, 2010

5. Kauai Island.

Kauai Island.
This island is, by far, our most favourite. There are several reasons, one being it's accessibility. On Big Island, Maui, Moloka'i there isn't much of a bus system. Honakahau Marina on Big Island is much to far from town for a comfortable walk to do your grocery and other shopping, there is no bus system outside of town (Kona) and so you are reduced to renting a car or hitch-hiking. Now to rent a car if you are a foreigner costs almost double that it does for a local, due to the cost of insurance, so to rent one just to do your grocery shopping is ludicrous. We would walk onto the road and stick out our thumbs, after many cars passed us one would stop, inevitably a pick-up truck and we would be
invited to climb into the back...even if there were empty seats in the back of the double cab. Coming back to the yacht loaded with groceries was even more challenging. Never once were we offered a seat inside of the vehicle. We did hire a car for a day, did a circumnavigation of Big Island, saw some interesting things. As for the other islands I mentioned, we just never left the towns and walked as far as we could to see things.
Puddytat Anchored in Hanalei Bay, Kauai Island.
After a refreshing shower of rain, Hanalei Bay, Kauai.
On Kauai, there is a really great bus system and you can get everywhere quite easily in comfortable buses. The Island is really beautiful with lovely coastal vistas and beautiful forested walks leading to waterfalls, gorgeous flowers and birds. We absolutely loved it. There are different trails you can take into their large mountainous area that is lovely and wild. There are guided tours that include canoe rides, boat rides and bus rides, along with swimming in waterfalls..

One of the waterfalls on Kauai.
The people are much friendlier than on Big Island.... once when David and I had done a grocery run, we came out onto the road and split up. I walked further on down the road with my pile of food. We'd found that if we hiked separately when we were loaded with stuff, we got a lift easier because it's easier to squeeze one person into the vehicle than two... :-) yes into the vehicle...on Kauai we were always offered seats inside the vehicle. Anyway this one time I was further on down the road and this car came barreling along, stepped on the brakes and stopped by me...whoohoo I thought, I'm gonna get back before David :-) the door popped open and the lady said, call that guy back there with his groceries, we'll take the both of you down to the bay. I yelled for David and he hurried to us. After we'd loaded everything and were on the move, they introduced themselves, Deb and Will, they asked us who we were and slowly the light dawned on them that David and I were actually together. They almost collapsed with laughter. They were great, taking us all the way down to our dinghy chatting about how they'd just moved here from the mainland.

Will and Deb on Puddytat in Kauai.
We invited them to join us on the boat the next evening for sundowners and snacks. David would collect them from the beach in our dinghy. We had a great time the next evening and we ended up spending a fair amount of time with them. They have a home with a stunning view and we were often invited to braai (barbecue) and party with them. Will had a very interesting story to tell, I'll write to him and ask permission to tell you all about it. It's hair raising stuff, he's a very lucky man.

We spent a few months at Kauai, Elvin arrived on Omache and we made friends with another couple on a cat called Light Wave, Garret and Carllie. They have a Woods 28 and they are very happy with her. We also met Scott Fuller on his yacht, Scoot.

We spent many a lazy day snorkeling with turtles and friends, sitting in the sun soaking up the peacefulness of life as it should be...simple, quiet, soothing and restful.

The view on the way to our snorkel spot.
Looking down the coast a bit.
Once, we decided to go on an adventure sail, to see if there was a way we could get to see the uninhabited part of the island from the coast. We sailed down the west side of Kauai, along the Napali coast and only then realised just how huge those mountain ranges were. I took a photo of a 40ft Catamaran anchored at the shore of one of these ranges, it looked like a toy .....We passed the Honopu Arch, located on the Napali Coast. It connects two beaches otherwise separated by rugged sea cliffs. The area is only accessible to hikers and by Zodiac inflatable raft. We sailed on down the side of the island till we found a little bay with a lovely stretch of beach. Dropped our anchor and spent a pleasant night there.
The Napali Coastline....

At the bottom of this mountain cliff is a cave,
in front of the cave is a white line...that's the 40ft cat.

A close-up of the Cat..it looks like a toy.
To stock up with food we needed to go to a supermarket, the closest one here was found at the top of a hill on the left side of Hanalei Bay, when you're looking at it from the boat.... you could shop for things in the little town along the beach but for a big shop we'd head to the cliff. Once the shopping was done we'd go to a restaurant / bar called "Tsunami Bar", Ron the barman has a phenominal memory, remembering us when we went back for another visit, even though it was a few weeks later. The drinks he could make! it was fun sitting there watching him. The bar food was always plentiful and tasty.....we tried the "Loaded Fries" Man oh Man what a perfectly 'fatteningly' scrumptious meal. It's a huge plate of fries loaded with melted cheese and topped with sour cream with the green part of green onion chopped into it. We had one each and I couldn't finish mine. David barely managed to finish his. The next time we were there Ron remembered us and asked if we wanted some more loaded fries....we told him "YES, but only one serving thanks :-)".

Eventually the new auto-pilot arrived and David fitted it. We test sailed it and were very chuffed. The time was approaching, July, as the best time to cross the Northern Pacific to Canada, and Scott was also taking off, (for Tonga I think he said) ...so we indulged in farewell dinners and such over a period of about a week, then disaster struck.

David and I were being taken to a very big supermarket to do our "crossing shop", by a very kind and generous Will, in his car. Earlier we'd had the propane cylinder refilled and a 5 gallon Jerry jug topped
up with Diesel. David had been doing a lot of those to get the tanks as full as possible before we took off. Anyway, we stopped at Will's home to drop the two things off and as David hefted them out of the car, one in each hand, he stepped into some water on the driveway, wearing worn out crocs, and his feet slipped out from under him...crash, down he went. He looked a bit stunned for a few seconds and then staggered to his feet. First thing out of Will's mouth was..."heck man are you OK?" and then ......"damn good show you're a Brit, you won't sue me....will you?" We just had to laugh, even David, who was in a lot of pain because he'd broken the forefinger knuckle on his right hand. There was no way we'd be leaving any time soon....

Garret and Carllie leaving on Light wave.
A few days later Elvin on Omache left, it was the 1st July....On the 5th July Garret and Carllie left...we waved them both good bye feeling that we should be out there too. They looked so excited, it was such a let down realising that our departure wouldn't be for at least two weeks, maybe longer....  All we could do was wait. Of course David's knuckle wasn't going to heal in two weeks but when that time had passed he said " I think if you help me and I'm careful we can leave now." Whoohoo a ripple of excitement ran through me, my hairs on my arms stood up, "Really? you're not just teasing me are you?"..he laughed, "No I'm not. Lets go ashore and stock up on fresh stuff and leave tomorrow morning".

Whoohoo!!!! The next day was the 10th July and we were finally off! Scott raced around Puddytat  on his dinghy, taking photo's as we sailed out of Hanalei Bay, promising to send them to us via email. Soon the island was a smudge on the horizon... We were on our way!!!

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