Friday, March 28, 2008

Kaua'i for Klutzes

Today we had a lovely visit to a botanical garden with an adorable cat. I got lots of good photos, which I'll post once we're home (probably Sunday or Monday).

We also went to Poipu Beach, supposedly "the best beach in America," which is also supposed to have even better snorkeling than Lydgate Park.

We didn't plan very well. We'd meant to rent snorkel equipment the minute we got here, but we never got around to it -- so instead of going to a big, well-stocked place like Snorkel Bob's, we wound up at a rental place right at the beach that caters mostly to surfers. They didn't have optical masks, which meant that snorkeling was right out for Gary. I decided that instead of full snorkel gear, I'd just get fins to go along with my optical swim goggles.

So I did that, and then I asked a bored lifeguard where the best snorkeling was. He pointed to a rocky, shallow area and said, "That's the safest. You can snorkel down the beach, too, but there's more current."

I opted for safety, although I was dubious about all those rocks. With good reason, it turned out: the water was so shallow that sometimes it was hard to avoid scraping my stomach on the rocks and coral, even though I was floating on the surface. (I also did quite the Charlie Chaplin routine trying to get into the water with my fins; I'm sure onlookers were giggling.) I did see pretty fish, but not nearly as many as at Lydgate. And when I was coming back in, the water knocked me down several times -- try balancing on slippery rocks in fins! -- and I hit my back on a rock fairly hard and got scraped over some coral.

I finally hauled myself back in. Gary told me I had a bleeding cut on my thigh (I couldn't see it), and proceeded to dress it with first-aid cream and a bandaid. My back was bruised, but the skin wasn't broken. I went up to the lifeguard again and asked if there was anything special I needed to worry about with coral scrapes. He yawned, peered at my thigh, and said, "No, you're fine. You need to worry if a piece is embedded in there."

If we come back to Kaua'i (which we might in two years), I'm definitely sticking to Lydgate Park. When I returned the fins, even the rental guy agreed that conditions are better there.

But there was one very cool thing at Poipu: a big seal sleeping on the beach. It had been roped off so people wouldn't go near it. Very sleek looking animal!

And now I have to pack, since we need to be out of here very early tomorrow. I'll probably be out of radio contact until Sunday morning. Be well, everyone.


  1. Ouch! Susan, I hope you won't have any left over aches and pains from your mishap on the rocks and coral. Seeing that seal sounds really cool. How large an area did they rope off? I've heard that seals can be very aggressive.

    This vacation has gone by so fast. It hardly seems like you've been away. Hope you and Gary have a safe trip home.


  2. Hi, Lee! I agree: it does hardly seem like I was away! And I do have some aches and pains, but they aren't too bad.

    They roped off about twenty feet on all sides of the seal. I'd been told it was dead, so I was very glad to learn that it was just sleeping!


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