Tuesday, October 8, 2013

September 25

Day 12

We need to be at the St. Regis at 7:30 this morning for a snorkel tour so we can't have our normal breakfast as it's way to early when we need to leave.

When we were at the lighthouse a couple of days ago I remember seeing a sign for a bakery so I figure if time is on our side we'll swing in there for breakfast.

Sure enough we make good time driving north and we stop in at the Kilauea Bakery and pick up a couple of bacon, egg, and cheese breakfast pastries. they are yummy and they ensure we won't have any hunger pains while snorkeling.

Now I have never in all my trips to Kauai even made the right hand turn towards the Princeville resorts. I just have visions of people dressed like Mr. Peanut with full top hat and monocle walking along the hallowed halls of the St. Regis with their designer dogs dressed to match their owners, or worse dressed in patchwork sweaters and wearing little wool golf caps. Part of the reason I've never made this right hand turn is I always considered myself quite a bit younger than the clientele of the St. Regis.

I've only seen the St. Regis from across the bay where it looks like a concrete monolith free of style or soul with no regard for the coastline it assaults. I'm certain that the resort is not hideous from the inside but from the outside it's less than charming.

I make the right hand turn and soon my fears are heightened as I see two people walking along the road that look like they pre-date electricity. Still we press on and eventually we see people that appear to be born after 1940. We eventually make it to the St. Regis and we have to valet park. No problem, we exit the car grab our snorkel gear, we spot our guide and join the group. We enter the lobby of the St. Regis and it has a gorgeous view of the bay but the lobby feels like a true meat locker. I'm not sure if they are actually hanging meat somewhere in here or they are trying to extend the life of their clientele?
At this hour there isn't much activity in the lobby area so we walk through and take the elevator down to the pool where we are given a sort of class on what types of marine life we will encounter.

It is really good information and it does help us to spot and identify the fish we see later on. during our class the skies really open up. Mother nature is sure throwing us a curve ball. I don't care about the rain as such since we are going to get wet anyway but the visibility is greatly reduced when there is no sunshine.  The hard rain only lasts about ten minutes and then there are brief showers after that. The skies remain grey as we head to the beach to start the tour. We have a small group of six.  I have a new prescription diving mask that i just got before this trip and I first tried it on the snorkel that was part of the Napali trip and it greatly improved my ability to enjoy the underwater word.
Shortly after we enter the water one of our group has a bit of a panic issue. This happens to some people they just kind of freak out when they go underwater. This forces the guide to have to tow the person around while they hang onto a raft. No big deal as we really didn't need the guide to show us around.

We swim with one turtle that doesn't seem to mind us being around but we get the stink eye from one turtle resting on a rock ledge. Photos are kind of dark without the nice sunshine.

This guy was not too interested in us, he or she just went about their business as if we were not even there.

 This turtle didn't want to be bothered  since they were resting so we didn't get any closer.

To this point on the trip I had my phone in a waterproof pouch and I learned on this snorkel trip that the touchpad won't sense your fingers if you are actually underwater. So I don't have any pictures from my phone.  The waterproof bag has worked very well to keep my phone high and dry during all our activities so this one issue is no big deal.

We soon leave the oppulence of The St. Regis behind us and we head south to Kapaa to rent some cruiser bikes and ride the path. Please don't mistake my characterization of the St. Regis and the folks that might be staying there as having any malice, it's all just tongue in cheek.
We use Coconut coasters and rent standard cruisers. It would have been great to rent mountain bikes so that we could continue on the dirt trail to the north after the pavement ends but we don't really have the time for that today.
This is a great ride I only wish it were longer.
This is what remains of an old rail spur used by pineapple producers to dump unused product and waste product into the pacific. The bike/walking trail is built over the old rail bed.
 Nice views at every turn and you can take a short walk to the waters edge grab yourself a stretch of beach and have a nice picnic.
After we finish our ride we are looking for some lunch and decide to hit Dukes at the Kauai Marriott. We snag a pretty good table right out front and have a great view of the bay while we wait for our food.
We feast on coconut shrimp, Kalau pork sandwich & fish chips. All super tasty in a great setting. After some hula pie we are on our way home to visit with our turtle pals.

Don't these guys have such wise faces? This one is actually resting his head on the shell of another turtle. I find myself wondering how old they might be and how far they might have traveled in their lives. I wonder if they are looking back at me with curiosity or disdain? I hope that they know I mean them no harm and I feel remorse over the fact that so many of these magnificent creatures have been killed by man over the centuries.

We have a 7:00pm dinner reservation at Tidepools so we walk over to the Beachouse to look at the sunset before driving to the Hyatt.
Been a long time since I lasted visited Tidepools. The setting while artificial is still lovely as is the Hyatt atmosphere in general.

The presentation here is great as is our service. Just the right amount of contact. We have a table that is by the waterfall and we share some of our table bread with the Koi.

 During dinner we discuss our last excursion of this vacation, tomorrow we have ocean kayaking. We have never done this together and the only time I have done this was in the calm waters off the Yucatan so this is going to be different. We don't want to talk about the fact that we've only got two days left before we have to fly home.
 Dessert is fabulous and the right ending to a nice dinner. Afterward we go for a brief stroll around the Hyatt before we end our evening.

Meet time is 7:00am tomorrow so it's off to bed.

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