Mayflower Society House

Saturday (December 7, 2013) – I attended a MeetUp with the Plymouth Digital Photographers Club at the Mayflower Society House in Plymouth. The downstairs was was decked out a la 1940s Christmas and the upstairs was decorated with the standard 18th century period furnishings that regularly fill the Mayflower House Museum. we were very lucky to have a member that organized a private viewing and photography session before the museum was opened to the public for the afternoon reception and tours.

After our hour and a half in the Museum, I wandered down to the park where the Mayflower II is docked and along the shore. I also made a stop on my way out of town at the Jenney Grist Mill.

Below are my favorite shots of the afternoon. Enjoy!

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The Sun Sets on Our Last Day on Kauai

Wednesday (August 28, 2013) – We took the scenic route back from Waimea, stopping along the way several times. First stop was the Russian Fort Elizabeth. The Fort dates back to 1817 when the Russians came to Hawaii. After the Russians were forced to leave later that year, the fort fell under the command of the Kingdom of Hawaii. It was abandoned in 1853 and eventually dismantled about a decade later.

We had passed these huge fields of bushes several times and finally had a chance to stop and see what they were. COFFEE BEANS!!

As we continued along the winding coast road, we happened upon an area of Koloa where there were lots of people sitting along the wall by the water. We stopped to check it out and were rewarded with the best sunset yet.

Below are my favorite shots of the evening. Enjoy!

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Waimea Landing State Recreation Pier

Wednesday (August 28, 2013) – After our visit to Spouting Horn, we headed back up to the Waimea area. We had been told that there was a black sand beach in the area and we were determined to find it. After Cook “discovered” Hawaii in 1778, Waimea became important to the Pacific trade routes. A wharf was built at Waimea Landing in 1865, followed by a railway route in 1898 that  connected all the sugar and rice plantations between there and Polihale to the shore. The original pier has since been replaced with a smaller version now only used for fishing and other recreational activities.

The sand was not as black as I imagined. The fine grit of the ground up black lava is mixed with the yellow/tan of the regular sand of the area, creating more of a grey-toned sand. It was very soft and warm.

Below are some shots from our visit to our first black sand beach of Hawaii. Enjoy!

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Red-crested Cardinal (Paroaria coronata)
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Ke’e Beach

Tuesday (August 27, 2013) – One of the great things about Hawaii is that all beaches on all of the Islands are public and access cannot be restricted. Even if there is beachfront private property, there must be public shoreline access somewhere along the property. However, there is no guarantee of public parking. In fact, there is limited parking at most. People park along the road leading to Ke’e Beach, many walking up to a mile to get to the beach once they have parked. However, the parking gods were looking down on us and there was someone leaving just as we arrived, so we were able to secure a spot close to the front. Ke’e Beach is in a cove, perfect for wading and snorkeling, nestled at the foot of the northernmost point of the Na Pali Coast. The water is crystal clear and blue as the sky. There are these really cool trees along the shoreline. The sand around their roots has been washed away over time and their roots stand free supporting the trees.

There a are also a lot of chickens.

Below are my favorite photographs from Ke’e Beach. Enjoy!

Looking towards the Na Pali Coast.
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360 degree view of the beach from the water
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The Windward Coast of Kauai

Tuesday (August 27, 2013) – Because of the geography of the island, one cannot drive completely around Kauai. The most northwest corner of the island has never been and never will be developed. Monday, we did the leeward side and today was dedicated to driving up the windward side of the island. The areas around Lihue, Kapa’a and Princeville are more developed than the rustic area that surrounds Waimea that we explored yesterday. We drove up Kuhio Highway which hugs the coast for most of its length. We headed to the furthest point along the route, where the highway ends, at Ke’e beach, literally less than 100 yards from the Pacific Ocean.

After a relaxing lunch of PBJs and pretzels on the beach, we moved on, retracing our steps back down the Kuhio Highway. This time, we stopped often to admire the sights along the way. Some of our stops will be their own post. There was just so much to see and take pictures of that there is too much to include in one single post.

Below are my favorite shots from our travels along Kuhio Highway. Enjoy!

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Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge
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On the horizon, to the far right, are Mount Kawaikini (the highest point on Kauai – farthest peak to the right) and Mount Waialeale (the original volcano that created the island – flat peak just to the left of Kawaikini)
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Kealia Beach
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Looking down to Hanalei Bay from Princeville area
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Polihale Beach, Kauai

Monday (August 26, 2013) – We were told the best place to see a sunset on Kauai was at Polihale State Park. So after descending down from Waimea Canyon, we headed down the 4.5 mile dirt road to the Polihale Beach. This is the first beach that we have been to since arriving in Hawaii. The sand was so soft! The water was like bath water!

We sat on the hill and watched the sun descend into the horizon. It was spectacular.

Below are a few selection from my sunset at the beach. Enjoy!

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Looking down Polihale Beach towards the Na Pali Coast.
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Can you see Niihau Island in the distance to the left of the clouds?
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Welcome to The Point at Poipu

Monday (August 26, 2013) – We arrived in Kauai late Sunday night and were disappointed that Mr. Rourke and Tattoo were not there to present us with our leis. After settling in at the resort we all collapsed from the sheer exhaustion. It had been 18+ hours since I had left my house that morning. Unfortunately, after only about 3 1/2 hours of sleep, my brain woke up at 4:30 am. Convinced that it was actually 10:30 am and I should be sitting at my desk at that time, it refused to let me go back to sleep.

What’s a girl to do? Well, this girl grabbed her camera to go see what she could see. Without the congestion and lights of a big city, the constant ambient light that exists at home doesn’t exist here. The darkness is incredible. Without the flashlight on my phone, I wouldn’t have been able to see where I was going.

In a “holy bajeezus, what the heck is that?!?!” moment, I nearly stepped on a toad in the grass. Also, despite my declaration in a previous post, I was out there to see the sunrise. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!! (Also, I am in HAWAII!!) I encountered another couple of creatures on my way back to the room.

The resort is absolutely spectacular. It is right on the coast and the grounds are filled with tropical plants with a group of terraced fish ponds that descend down into the pool area. They are filled with HUNDREDS of Koi.

Here are some shots from the morning sunrises I was up to early enough to enjoy during our stay at the Point at Poipu as well as the sights and various creatures that I encountered around the grounds. Enjoy!

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Garden snail
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You may not realize how big this thing is until you see it in perspective.
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I was out on the rocks taking pictures of the waves. I was so intent on capturing their power as they struck the rocks that I completely missed the fact that they were crashing progressively higher and closer. This is the one that ended up getting me. As I pressed the shutter, I uttered “Oh crap!” and turned just in time to protect my cameras from getting soaked as well.
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