Sunday, May 14, 2017

Spring Break - Kauai

We were extremely fortunate this year to be able to go back to Kauai.  We stayed on the north shore again and had the most amazing time. 

The weather was absolutely spectacular this year, almost no rain, sunny and low 80's everyday! 

With such great weather there were numerous opportunities for some fun photography.  This star trails shot was actually about 75 shots that were 30 seconds long each.

This kids are always finding interesting critters on Kauai, it didn't take Andrew long to find this enormous slug.

Amelia was a little fish this year and loved being in the water.

With the weather as spectacular as it was most days were spend either snorkeling at Anini Beach in the morning and Surfing in Hanalei in the afternoon or vise versa.
The Snorkeling this year was fantastic, we saw several turtles each day and the kids really did a great job growing more independent and more comfortable in the water.

We lost count of how many of these Elizabeth caught, but they provided a lot of entertainment for her everywhere we went.

The waves were here HUGE this year and were spectacular to watch.  

Hanalei Bay Sunrise

I had been wanting to try stand up paddle boarding in the surf for a few years now but struggled to find some time to do it without neglecting Kate and the kids.  This year I rented a board and gave it a go.  I had a great time out there, I did a lot more falling than surfing, but I did manage to catch a few waves which was fun.

Ahhh look and nice wave coming in, in a great position to catch it... Paddle!!!!

Crash!!!  Maybe next time.

While I was out Surfing the kids had a great time on the boogie boards out on the sand bar.

Amelia is a pretty tough one to get a decent photo of, unless of course she gets in the right mood... this was one of those occasions.  Of course those photogenic moods have no correlation with being properly clothed.

This is our little slice of paradise!!!  It doesn't get any better than a clear sunny day on Hanalei Bay!!!

The kids did an AMAZING job surfing this year, both learned how to paddle out, figure out the timing of the incoming waves, start paddling, and catch a wave all by themselves!!! AWESOME!!!

Elizabeth and I headed down to Secret Beach one evening to get a little hike in and to get some sunset photos.

The whole family also did a hike out to Queens Bath on one of the calmer days when the swell was on the smaller side.

It turns out sunset surfing and boogie boarding is a TON of fun and extremely beautiful!

On Anini beach we made this mangrove tree our little base camp each day.  Great shade and plenty of climbing and exploring opportunities for the kids.

This is a ton of fun!!!

This cave called the "Blue Room" is right off the main road near the NaPali Coast parking areas, but as with everything in Hawaii the dense foliage hides everything!  This cave was AMAZING!  It was even featured in Pirates of the Caribbean:  That purple and pink blur is actually Elizabeth (this cave is HUGE)

Elizabeth and I wanted to change it up a bit and took advantage of the clear weather to go hike the Kalalau Trail.  We really enjoyed it and with the dryer weather the trail was in great shape (not a mud bog).  It made of a fantastic hike!

The views along the trail are incredible

We made it to the first beach about 2 miles in where we ate some lunch, took a few photos, and explored the area.

We also headed down to the south side of the island to do a little exploring.  We had read that Kawailoa Bay was a particularly good snorkling spot so we set out down the dirt roads past Poipu and found the little bay.  Fortunately we had a car up for the challenge (Ford Explorer) and after toughing it out we were rewarded with a great little beach and a TON of sun.

Unfortunately the snorkling was a little challenging as the swell was up and driving large waves into the bay.  If you could make it out to the semi protected reef you were treated with some new and exciting things to see however it was a TON of work with fight the currents and the waves just to get to the reef.

We ended up having a great lunch at a beach bar in Poipu with a nice view of the ocean and then headed over to a fun surf shop next door where we stocked up on some t-shirts.

While I was out doing some photography one morning I went out to the Hanalei Pier to try to get some photos of the foil surfers out on the break in front of the St Regis hotel.  I had a particularly long lens on the camera that drew a lot of comments when carrying it around.  One guy asked if I was out trying to get photos of Lair Hamilton...  Laird who I asked????  Turns out I did get some photos of Laird, then I looked him up - if you don't know who he is I recommend you look him up - pretty interesting person on many levels!  Here he is stand up paddle boarding with a hydrofoil!

Milo, the Surfing Pomeranian was out strutting his stuff!  Dang dog is out there making it look easy and making me look bad in the process

Another one of Elizabeth's friends - Its a good thing they don't let you bring these things home... out house would be overrun...

One of the last days we were in Kauai there was a particularly high surf day.  I watched this guy catching a tow in off of a jet ski on a number of waves.  This was one of his better ones!  These guys are crazy!  It does look like fun but I just can't imagine wiping out and being pounded by one of these waves...

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