October 28, 2017
After our success snorkeling in the safe Kailua harbor, we decided to move up to the “Children’s Beach”. This location is normally an easy place to enter and leave the ocean. Unfortunately, today was different. The effects of the storm a couple days ago were still present. Their was a rip tide and a strong cross current. We both struggled to find a safe way to cross the lava flows and get beyond the surf line. We were spectacularly unsuccessful. We both got bounced along the lava and I briefly lost my wedding ring. The life guard finally took pity on us and helped us extract ourselves from the untenable situation. We were both exhausted and done with snorkeling for the day.
It was around noon and we headed along the coast towards Kailua for a half mile to my Niece Coral and her husband, Adam’s house. They now spend their winter on two ocean front houses. They are perched on lava outcropping with their lanai on the ocean. The main house is well built. It is essentially a large one room open plan with the bedroom almost in the surf. Of course, their is a bath and kitchen but both are but steps from the bed area. It is a great place for two. The other house is built above a garage on the other lot. There is an elaborate pool under construction. There will be little need to ever go inside except to sleep and during storms. Very nice and congratulations for them.
Adam treated us to fish tacos at a place for locals in Kailua. The meal was casual and excellent. We had a chance to discuss family history and their immediate plans. They will return to Idaho in the spring after things thaw out and the boat business picks up.
It was early afternoon and we decided to look at sights. We drove on a mountainside highway to Waimea on the northern edge of the island. The north is dominated by the Parker Cattle ranch. A cowboy named Parker managed to marry the Hawaiian King’s daughter in the mid 19th Century. He started to accumulate land that would make a ranch surpassing the size of the King Ranch in Texas. The holdings and the cattle are still there. The land is scrubby and shallow atop the lava flows that are everywhere. I did not find the area particularly attractive. I did like our brief visit to Waimea. The setting was far removed from what you normally think of Hawaii being like. There was a row of churches adjoining a large grassy field perfect for soccer Saturday. There were families and not a tourist, except us, in sight.
We left Waimea and headed for the coastal route back to Kailua. We stopped at the Pu’ukohola Heiau to see the massive stone fortress built on the northern coast by the king. Quite a pile of rocks and site for a royal palace. We then continued to a placid Spencer Beach State Park where we should have started our snorkeling adventure. The beach was full of families enjoying the gentle surf.
We were still nursing our wounds and headed back to the B&B. Rick applied his Hawaiian poultices and I drank a MaiTai and a beer or two. We talked with the other guests as the sun went down and made plans for tomorrow.