Ugh, I’m tired and my legs feels heavy today. For our weekly trip we decided to do something different and instead of traversing the entire North Shore on Monday we decided to wait till Tuesday (because of the MLK, Jr. holiday traffic) and specifically visit the western most point of the island (Ka’ena Point). It was overcast and voggy with no trades, but since we were heading to the point, I assumed (correctly) that we were going to get some wind. So with all that in mind, we took the walk/hike (3 – 4 miles out) to the Ka’ena Point Costal Reserve (3 miles in length). This point is quite special in Hawaiian lore for being the spot where the recently departed and their ancestors met. After death, the spirits of the deceased jumped from this point of Oahu into their afterlife.
I love the North Shore and this passage to Ka’ena Point, past Mokule’ia and Camp Erdman, is a favorite spot of mine. I always feel like there is closure to our trip as we hit the end of the paved road with only a dirt road to continue on by either foot or 4-wheel drive, and I admit to feeling the fullness and vastness of the ocean and lil’ old me. (The panoramic pictures are taken with my Nikon Coolpix S9100 – it was on easy mode and all I had to do was press the button and pan the camera from one end to the other. I could take either 180 or 360 degree photos.).
This is the second time that we’ve taken this walk. The first time was more painful because of two reasons. 1) I miscalculated the length of the walk (I thought it was shorter) and the heat. 2) I was wearing my regular shoes after only wearing my toe shoes for months. I had blisters between my toes!
Thankfully this time I wore my toe shoes and we broke up the scenery a little by taking pictures and we walked as much as we could over the reef versus the dirt path.
It took us about two hours to get to the Coastal Reserve but it was beautiful and here are some of the pics along the way.
I was messing around a little (experimenting with the panoramic feature) and this picture was one of my favorites, so I thought I’d share it here too.
The pics in this next series I thought did a good job of showing how different the shore looked depending on where you were in the three miles it took to get to the Reserve.
I still can’t decide whether or not it was a good idea to go along the shore instead of keep to the dirt path. The main pro was obviously the view but a huge con was that it was harder and more rugged, so there were certain points where you had to find your way back to the dirt path because it wasn’t possible to cross otherwise, unless you wanted to swim, which I would not recommend in this area at all.
If you decide to try this hike, there are things worth keeping your eyes open for, one is this house up on the hill. It is obviously a state building but it’s high enough up and far enough in that it gives you hope that your trip to the reserve is almost within site.
A little after the house, if you are closer to the beach, you can see the reserve’s enclosure and the place that the 4-wheel drive vehicles park before they, too, have to walk to get into the reserve.
Once you get past the vehicles and before you enter the enclosure, there are signs giving you the low down of the rules and some information on the Reserve (first pic of post). Unfortunately I was having some problems with my Coolpix (boo) and I switched to my D80, the D80 ISO was set high so I could get better water pictures but added a graininess to the rest of my pics that I’m not too happy with.
As soon as we went through the gate, I looked up and saw over a dozen birds flying above us. (The last picture you might need to click on to get a better view of the birds. They are small.)
I admit I was slightly worried, “The Birds” came to mind. Then we saw one nesting. It looked so unusual, I love the eyes.
They are big and so beautiful in the sky.
At this point we were there a little over an hour and I was getting worried that I was not going to see any marine wildlife. But I was not to be disappointed. Further off, where the waves shouldn’t have been breaking, I thought I saw some whitewash. I wasn’t sure what was in it exactly because it was pretty far off and I thought there was something black inside of it. I was thinking monk seal, dolphin, shark . . . but it turned out to be this instead.
Whale(s)! I was so excited. I’d never seen one before and didn’t quite know what it was but we did see a lot of it’s tail flip-flopping out there so we didn’t have any doubts. Plus, he brought friends, there were three or four spouts and we saw a black and white tail in the water and two black tails.
I could have stayed there too long watching the whales but it was getting late, we didn’t have a flashlight, and I still wanted to visit my favorite turtle beach so we had to leave, but it was great. As we walked back I saw the spouting whales off in the distance. It was almost like they followed us back to our car. So awesome.
And I’m happy to report that I got to see a turtle at my favorite turtle-watching spot, so I wasn’t disappointed on any of my travels. So I admit to be sore and tired but it’s definitely a good, sore and tired.