Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tunnels Beach - a full day of sand, surf and sea turtles

Woke again to no water. This is insane! I called the water company myself this time, and was immediately patched through to the supervisor. I'm tellin' you, it's tough to get wound up on Kauai. Rather than blow me off or give me some sort of BS line, the supervisor answered honestly and just so mellowly, "I really don't understand what's happening." Then he explained it all to me, in brief. His crew had initially come out to replace a main valve a couple of days ago. To do so, they had to drain the tank. It appeared to be all in working order, but the tank just wouldn't fill. They'd checked their work yesterday and all seemed in order. Today, they would return to check each property's meter to find out if someone had a major leak. Meanwhile, "I'm sorry."

So, off we went for the day with no high hopes of running water upon our return.

We've been trying to get to the beach first thing in the morning ever since we arrived. Our memories of past trips involve early morning wake-ups, particularly those first mornings before we acclimated to the time change. But this time, between the very long trip out, the late arrival and The Shack's shaded, canyon location, we managed to adjust JUST FINE to the time change. So, we've quickly adopted an easy-morning wake-up call.

Today, however, we managed to hit the beach slightly earlier. We headed for Tunnels Beach, Kauai's storied snorkeling beach. The water was warm and the sand stretches on for what appears to be nearly a mile with 15-30 yards from the water's edge to the vegetation line - plenty of room for the ample supply of visitors exploring the reef here. But while Tunnels is protected by not one but two reefs, we arrived as the tide was coming in so found the going a bit rough. Still, we saw the greatest diversity of ocean life here including Nunu and convict tangs we've seen elsewhere, sea turtles, urchins, anemones, puffer fish, butterfly fish, trigger fish (the state fish: Humu humu nuku nuku apua'a), red uhu, blue uhu, a'ha (needlefish), eels, yellow-stripe goat fish, moa (trunk fish) and pufferfish, among others. V and I body surfed and "played dolphin" with each other for more than an hour straight. The girls collected shells and rocks and practiced their negotiating skills with shell exchanges.

Just after we ate our picnic lunch, Grandma Lynn and Grandpa Doug joined us. Grandma Lynn said earlier this week that she's not a "sit-on-the-beach-and-read-a-book" type of gal. But I know that the last few times we've been on the beach with her (elsewhere), she's seemed to have a fabulous time digging in the sand, flying kites, or otherwise playing along with us all. Today was no exception. It took Grandma perhaps 7 minutes to finish her lunch and get in the water with the girls. It was really fun to see her laughing with the girls and splashing in the wonderfully warm water that had calmed with the change of tide, or wind, or time.

For dinner, the girls, Mr. B and I stopped in Hanalei where we discovered Kalypso. I had a scrumptious dinner of coconut shrimp with a sweet-spicy Thai chili sauce and side of vegetables that hit the spot. We all gave E a helping hand with her more-than-ample macho nachos. V took home a bucket and shovel with her kids burger meal. And Mr. B gobbled up the fish and chips. All with pineapple juice in honor of Grandma Lynn's Kauai pineapple tradition.

Returned to The Shack to find our ample running water had returned! HOORAH! Turns out one of the properties down the hill had a broken valve. Apparently no one was home, and the water from the shared tank was draining completely down thataway. The water company guys got it all worked out! HUZZAH!

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