Tag Archives: Kawaihae

Spencer Beach Park beach

The beach at Spencer Beach Park, Hawaii

A few days ago, I posted about a heron encounter (here) when I didn’t have enough time to walk along the coast before going to work. I took this photo when I did have that time.

This is a view from Spencer Beach Park towards Kawaihae Harbor. The footprints are mine. There were no others. As a start to the day, it doesn’t get much better.

Big buoys

Two buoys and a net pen at Kawaihae Harbor

A while back, I went to take photos of a barge arriving in Kawaihae and saw these buoys on the beach. I don’t know what the net pen was for, but it was quite large, and looked similar to those I’ve seen used for farming fish out in the ocean. I presumed it was ashore here for some repairs

Regardless, the large yellow buoys caught my eye and made a good foreground for the barge being docked.

Fish for breakfast

A juvenile black-crowned night heron catches a fish

I was running early to work recently, so I decided to stop in Kawaihae, as I often do. With more time, I’d have gone for a walk along the coast, but I had only 15 minutes so I plumped for a visit to the south end of the harbor to see if there were any herons around.

I found two there, but one quickly disappeared. The other stood on a rock in shallow water, a popular fishing spot for them. I took a few photos and noticed the heron leaning forward. It had spotted something. An instant later, it plunged into the water and then emerged with a fish on its beak. It returned to the rock and paused. The fish appeared to be impaled on the heron’s beak, but extracting the beak risked losing the fish before it could be eaten.

A moment later, the heron hopped over to the small beach where I was. There, it popped the fish into the air and swallowed it in one slick movement. This whole sequence took less than three minutes. The heron stayed on the beach and I returned to my car and headed off to work, very glad that I’d stopped by.

The ins and outs of outrigger canoe racing

An outrigger canoe entering harbor in Hawaii
An outrigger canoe about to change paddlers in Hawaii
An outrigger canoe changing paddlers in Hawaii
An outrigger canoe changing paddlers in Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Afloat.’ See more responses here.

I had a different canoeing post lined up for this, but a couple of days ago I happened on this scene at Kawaihae harbor early in the morning. I noticed an outrigger canoe heading in and thought it might provide a photo opportunity, so I readied myself for the canoe’s arrival. While I waited, I heard voices. I looked around but didn’t see anyone. Then I realized the voices were coming from the water and there were three people not far from shore, only their heads visible above the water. They can just about be seen in the top photo, to the far right.

At first I thought they were taking an early morning dip, but when the canoe zipped into the small harbor, I thought they were probably there to help bring the canoe to shore. Sure enough, the canoe curled around to where they were and I snapped photos. But where I expected the canoe to slow to a halt, it didn’t. Instead it curved back out toward the harbor entrance and I was left wondering what just happened.

It wasn’t until I looked at my photos that I realized what I’d seen. What the canoeists were practicing was changing crew while still in motion. In the second photo, the moving boat comes alongside the three people in the water. The third photo shows three of the boat’s crew toppling into the water on the other side of the boat. Photo four shows the trio in the water climbing aboard to take the now empty seats. Finally, the bottom photo shows the canoe heading back out into open water with barely a break in speed.

The purpose of this exercise was practice for long-distance canoe racing. During a race, a support boat takes fresh crew ahead and drops them in the ocean. At a certain point the crew change will be made in the way I’d seen. According to Wikipedia, “Longer races involving the OC6 (Six-person outrigger canoes) often involve paddler replacements, which involve exit and entry to the canoe directly from the water while the canoe is underway (this is called a water change). Typically, nine paddlers form a crew, with six paddling the OC6 and the other three resting, drinking, and/or eating on an escort boat. Replacement typically occurs at 20 to 30 minute intervals; the escort boat drops the relief paddlers into the water ahead of the OC6, which is steered toward them. The relief paddlers climb in on the ama side as those they are replacing roll out into the water on the opposite side. The escort boat then picks up the paddlers in the water so that they can rest, drink, and/or eat before they, in turn, relieve some of the paddlers in the OC6.” Wikipedia has more information about outrigger canoes and canoe racing here.

I knew about this practice, but hadn’t seen it before. I think it says something about how smooth this crew had the exchange down, that I didn’t even notice it at the time!

An outrigger canoe leaving harbor in Hawaii

Spencer Beach Park

The beach at Spencer Beach Park, Hawaii

Lately, I’ve been enjoying Spencer Beach Park, near Kawaihae. It’s a sheltered spot for getting in the water, it’s a great place to picnic, and the sandy beach is backed by shade trees. What’s not to like?

Posted in response to Becky’s July Squares challenge theme of ‘Trees.’ See more responses here.

Sitting on the dock of the bay

Two fishermen at a dock in Kawaihae Harbor, Hawaii

This particular bay is Kawaihae Harbor and the dock is used by small boats for boarding and deboarding, but in the early morning, fishermen try their luck here. Despite this being the main port for the west side of the island, it’s quite tranquil at this time and also features several palm trees, which soften the otherwise industrial scene.

Posted in response to Becky’s July Squares challenge theme of ‘Trees.’ See more responses here.