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Kaua’i Day 2

Big Wave SetupThis morning we open our eyes to even bigger waves. Soon we are watching the first jet ski pulling a big wave surfer into these monsters. It is fascinating to watch how the surfer is shooting off across the 30 feet walls of water while the jet ski tries to quickly get behind the wave before it breaks. The waves are so big that the jet ski can’t see the surfer and has to guess which direction the surfer is going. We wince every time a surfer gets caught in the churning white of the breaking wave and hope that the jet ski manages to pick him up quickly. Big surfers seem to use foot straps and no leash. More than once we watch the jet ski first picking up the surfer and then carefully retrieving the board near the reef.

Big Wave Pull-InBig Wave Cut LooseBig Wave RushBig Wave Collect

The bay directly in front of our house entices us to explore its snorkeling potential. Eric and I follow a steep and muddy path down the cliff but only find sharp volcanic rocks that make it difficult to get into the water. We quickly discover that the calm looking water can turn into a raging river as soon as the remnants of a particularly large set of waves make it across the reef.

Octopus Hiding in CaveLater we check out Anini Beach a mile east of our place. Probably one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. This is where also the jet ski for the big surfers start out. Snorkeling is great, especially after I discover a medium-sized octopus. I manage to shoot a little movie while it is hiding in its cave but the strong currents are making this difficult. As soon as I turn my back it emerges from its cave. It is so well camouflaged that it looks like a plant that slowly emerges from the rocks. We play cat and mouse for a while and I catch a few more movies and photos.

Our last snorkeling spot today is in front of the Princeville Hotel. The sky is cloudy and it is late in the afternoon but the visibility is still excellent. We watch a turtle that doesn’t seem to be bothered by us at all. We can hear the crunching sounds when it scrapes food off the corals with its beak-shaped mouth. I’m so mesmerized that I forget to take pictures.

We celebrate Christmas Eve at Eric and Robin’s place and eat and drink way too much. Jonnu invites one of the neighbors over who turns out to be a neighbor of Johnny Rotten and Pink. We proceed to have a very fun evening playing four-card Golf and various variations of Poker. The latter is complicated by the fact that we don’t have enough coins (or cash for that matter) so we use almonds. It doesn’t take very long until we steal each other’s almonds and eat them.

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