Sunday, March 13, 2011

Black Sand Beaches

We found a great beach around the corner from our Mauna Lani condo complex, gated but in true Hawaii fashion, public access cannot be denied.  In a sheltered bay of lava rocks, the sand was soft and sparkling black and golden.  The waves created a shelf about 20 feet into the water, with large lava boulders settling down, and a treasury of shells mixed in relatively shallow water.  Katie spent hours looking through her mask and then diving down to collect her favorites.  The boys competed in Hawaiian rock carrying, lifting the underwater boulders and transporting them by running up the slope to then lift them in shallow waters and toss them back down the bank.... great workout training that kept them busy trying to out-toss their dad.

The snorkeling in Hawaii is fabulous. The combination of the stable lava sands and hard corals make for the best visibility in shallow waters we have seen anywhere in the world.  Jaclyn loves swimming out to the rock outcroppings and spotting trigger fish, angelfish, needlefish, and hoards of others, all swimming in schools right around her.  No one feeds the fish at this beach, so they leave swimmers alone rather than swarming you begging for food.  She and I both hate that.  It is amazing to see the confidence in the water that all of the kids now have, and their swimming skills have grown by leaps after spending the last three months in the water.  I think they will all be able to challenge a few levels in Red Cross when we return, and be on their way to lifeguard status if they choose.

While sitting on the beach I got a beautiful picture of a whale breaching in the played there long enough for me to get the camera out and I got lucky on the timing with Travis' camera.  It seems if you stare at the horizon long enough you will spot a tail, or a blowhole spouting, or a big splash as they jump up to the surface.  The Humpbacks are in Hawaii January to April, and are a true delight to watch.  I think we are going to find a place in Kauai up at Princeville where we can watch the whales right from the lanai.  Can't beat that.

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