A recap... I have a little less than a week break from my cooking job at the Arctic research station, Toolik. Last week I had the sudden drive to go kayak the Na Pali Coast in Kauai, Hawaii to get that sun juice to finish up the summer season in the Arctic and embark on another summer season in the Antarctic at WAIS Divide Field Camp. I am looking to explore and get a real taste of Hawaii. Last post I left off in a roach coach trailer park motel room packin my bags. Here's the beautiful morning after in Anchorage, AK before heading to airport to catch the plane to Hawaii.
Taxi ride to the port.
All of Alaska's airport shops have two things in common: smoked salmon and,
gun magazines (for all those monster bear).
You'll be sure to find lox and bagel on most menus in the port's restaurants too.
5 hours later I arrived in Honolulu. My dry, caking hands and lips were drenched with moisture and the heat got my heart beating harder. Instantaneous acclimation.
From Honolulu I took a short plane ride to Kauai's LIH airport. I rented a jeep and drove northbound to the North Shore. With no place to crash I slept at Ha'ena Beach State Park, but only for a few hours since I arranged to pick-up a kayak in Waimea before daybreak. The ghost hours of Waimea.
Where's the real thing at?
May this journey be in peace and insightful.
6 AM. Got the kayak. Heading southbound on 50 to Polihale State Park. Cock-a-doodle-doos everywhere.
A good road marker that signals you're getting close to Polihale are the signs for the Pacific Missile Range.
Once you turn towards Polihale you hit an 'unimproved road'. Countless stories of flat tires on rentals, so caution.
This is where I parked the jeep, threw a sticker on the back window to make it look local and prepped the kayak.
4 miles north of Polihale beach is Miloli'i beach and that's were I have a wilderness park permit to camp at. Bad news, the trade winds and Pacific current were against me the whole way. What would take an hour on a good day took me more than three with non-stop paddling and saltwater in the eyes.
Here's a map from Kauai Kayak from one of their expeditions years ago. The blue marker is where I set up base camp at on Miloli'i and the green dot is the furthest I kayaked to in order to get a panoramic of the Na Pali Coast. The yellow dot is my entry and exit points for the Pacific Ocean at Polihale.
I found a fishing pole one mile south of Miloli'i. It looked really fresh, and found out it was, a camper at Miloli'i beach from Brazil lost the pole doing the same route I was doing.
My camera gives 5% justice to the true color and magnitude of these rigid cliffs. Let me also add, that my camera battery only lasts 3 hours... so all the filming and photo taking I did was less than 5% of the total time spent on Miloli'i. This journey is something that must be done in person.
Sea tortugas everywhere. In fact, I got flipped over by one. No joke. Shortly after I took the above pic I turned around and faced my camera towards the rudder at another giant tortuga. It was at least 4-feet long. Halfway under my boat I saw it slowly move up, back against my boat. And from there it either turned over or pushed up real quick because for just a second before flipping over I saw the stern pop up with the tortuga moving beneath it which gave the kayak enough imbalance and there I went... in water with the sea turtle. Never knew that sea tortugas know about leveraging. Somehow I managed to keep the camera above the water the whole time and still get back on.
Miloli'i Beach. Looks like something out of Jurrasic Park.
A Jesus paddler at sea.
Landfall. Hammock. Dig it.
A darkness accompanied by waves, half moon and shooting stars.
Next morning. Mission to explore more.
Into the cliffs.
There's kinda a trail originating from the southern tip of Miloli'i Beach. You can't go wrong if you snake along the creek.
Ruins from Kauai's ancestors.
After a half hour hike you come to a blue-green pool and have to scale up the side walls to continue.
Higher and higher I went .
Once I hit the big watefall there was no where else to go, except down. Down I went and a fresh water stream I found to quench my thirst.
It was blistering hot when I got back to the beach and put up a shade addition to my tent. I hardly used the tent, sleeping on the beach was more comfortable. The softest sand I've ever slept on.
For hours I daydreamt and meditated. Hours of thinking about days and months of living turned to wind and waves. No obligations, no worries, in no hurry, my mind was 100% open. Life be good.
This was the last photo I got before the camera battery died.
12 hours later I was in Kapa'a at a killer resort editing all my material, eating Ahi Poke and seaweed salad.
The resort desk told me to check out this small market that sells local foods.
Journey completed and I got my taste of Hawaii. Sitting in Starbucks right now blowing time til I got to head back to the airport. This time tomorrow I will be 3000 miles north of here in freezing temps. and Arctic tundra land. Mucho Mahalo Kauai!