Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kauai Kicks Our Butt... [Monday, February 7, 2011]

Or, time to say goodbye.

Monday was our last day in Kauai.  Our flight didn’t depart until 9:45pm, so we had the whole day to spend on Kauai.

I mentioned in an earlier post that our snorkeling cruise was canceled on Friday, so I rescheduled it for Monday.

I regret this, for a lot of reasons.  First of all, and not related to the actual cruise, this meant that, to be at the pier “on time at 7:30am” we had to pack up all our stuff and get everything out of our room before we left for the cruise because check-out was at 10am and, unfortunately, the inn keeper had another couple coming for our room that afternoon and she needed to clean it.  It would have been nice to be able to sleep in a little bit and pack our stuff up a little more leisurely than running around like crazed roosters at 6am!  Also, because we had to check out of our room before the cruise it meant that we didn’t have a bathroom (and, hence, a shower) to return to so we could clean up afterwards.

Unfortunately, things just got more annoying.  When we got to the pier at 7:30 to check in (for the 8am sail) there was nobody at the office.  I wondered if they didn’t cancel the tour on Monday too and fail to inform us, but when I called the number, the lady informed me that she was “about 5 minutes away.”  Hubs and I looked at each other.  This was not a good sign.  When the lady finally showed up to check us in, she told us that some other people signed up to go on the cruise were “running late.”  She checked us in and told us to go wait by some picnic tables and the “boat girl” would be by at about 8:15 to pick us up and take us to the boat.

8:15?????????  Then why did we bust our humps to get here at 7:30????? Grrrrr.

Another family showed up shortly after 8am and the “boat girl” finally strolled up around 8:30.

I understand about the Aloha spirit and island time and all that, I do.  And both hubs and I would have LOVED to sleep in 45-50 minutes longer.  Really. Grrrrrrrrr.

As with the last boat trip, I tried to be optimistic.  It was supposed to be a lovely day weather-wise and hopefully a great day for snorkeling.  It might be nice to just relax on the boat for a little while. Or not.  There was nowhere to relax on the boat.  And, there was nowhere dry on the boat.

Since I don’t want to spend the entire post complaining, I’ll try to hit the highlights.  We did get to snorkel.  It wasn’t as much as was promised (one location instead of 3), but at least we got to get in the water.  I saw porpoises (porposi?) and lots of sea turtles.  I saw more whales.  I could have done without the constant dampness and the 2 hours of just trolling the waters off the coast of the harbor.  But, at least I got to see some dolphins. Check.
I know i said "dolphins" above; it's just 'cause I'm having a devil of a time spelling porpous poirpose
porpoius??? let's just go with that...
porpoises, porpoisi??
more than one...
After we left the boat, we were a bit disappointed.  We had planned to return to Salt Pond Beach Park because we knew they had showers there where at least we could rinse off.  Since we still had our snorkeling gear in the trunk and there is a nice reef at Salt Pond beach, we decided to go snorkeling one last time.

We plopped our stuff down on the beach, just brining a minimum of the snorkeling gear, flip-flops, a bamboo mat and one beach towel; we left everything else in the car.  Hubs took the car keys and put them in a ziplock baggie and tied them to the inside of his shorts pocket.

The snorkeling was, not so great.  It was really murky and hard to see anything, probably because it had gotten a lot cloudier by the afternoon.  I decided to give up and go sit on the beach when hubs comes up to me and says “the day just got worse. The keys are gone.”

What? Does not compute.  It didn’t register for a moment and then he spells it out for me: “The rental car keys fell out of my pocket.”

Oh fuuuuuddddgggeee.  Except, I didn’t say fudge.

What do I do??? I will call AAA. I’ll call the rental car company.  I’m not calling anybody, ‘cause my phone is LOCKED IN THE CAR!!!!!

I’ll go ask the lifeguards for some help.  We can’t possibly be the first tourists to lose keys in the ocean.  Right????

So, I stroll over to the lifeguard station while hubs continues to search for the keys, in and out of the water.

First of all, I want to give a HUGE shout-out to the lifeguard at the Salt Pond Beach on Monday, February 7.  He was awesome and helpful.  He offered his cell phone and went out in the water to look for the keys too saying “I need to get in the water anyway.” J  He was kinda the human version of the turtle from “Finding Nemo”, which was awesome. 

While hubs was on the phone with the rental car people, I walked along the beach searching.  There is a rocky outcropping right off the right side of the beach and so I walked over to look and see if maybe, possibly the keys washed up in any of the rocks.  I could see hubs across the beach, talking on the phone, looking forlorn, and I could see the lifeguard snorkeling around the reef area looking too.  It had been about 30-35 minutes since I heard those words “the keys are gone.”  I walked over to the rocks for the 3rd time.  There was an older lady sitting in one of the tide pools on the rocks.

Out of the corner of my eye, wedged under a rock, I spotted a shimmer of pink and plastic.  I squealed.  I ran over (on the sharp volcanic rock) and reached down and…

TA-DA!!!!!!  Behold the ziplock baggie with the keys!!!!!!!

Actor dramatization of keys in baggie

The woman sitting in the tide pool asked if I lost a contact.  No honey, something much more important.  I informed her that we lost the car keys and that I had just found them.  Then I said (and, sadly, I am not making this up) “I don’t know who you are, but I’m going to hug you.”

(hangs head in embarrassment.)

I saw the lifeguard, told him I found the keys and thanked him and he said “That’s good.  Tell your husband he owes you a lobster dinner!”  then he went right back to snorkeling.  I guess he really did need to get in the water. J

I RAN across the ENTIRE beach (which, despite what Bo Derek might say, was really hard) to my husband and showed him my glorious find: the ziplock baggie containing the car keys!

At that point, I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

I did have one more pleasant surprise before we left.  Throughout my week in Hawaii, I was looking for animals I’d been told I’d see.  Whales? Check.  Dolphins? Check. Sea Turtles? Check.  But I hadn’t yet seen a Hawaiian Monk Seal.  Oh well, I thought.  And then, as I was rinsing out my hair under the outdoor shower, I looked up and what do I see?  A Hawaiian Monk Seal, sunbathing on the other side of the beach (on the other side of the rocks from where we were.)  Seal? Check.  It put a smile on my face.  (not as big a smile as finding the car keys did, but nonetheless…)

and we could even unlock it!!! YAY!!!!!

Aloha, Kauai.

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