... lived by the sea, and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee. The author that penned the lyrics to this song by Peter, Paul and Mary says there is no connection whatever to Hanalei Bay on the northern shore of Kauai. That doesn't keep at least some of the locals from pointing out their own dragon lying peacefully along the valley, head in the water guarding the community. Once you see the dragon shape, it's impossible not to notice it each time you look up into the misty mountains. The whole image from the head all the way along an imaginary neck to the magnificent body, haunches and tail couldn't have been sculpted any more clearly.
Click to enlarge the dragon head as seen from Eliana lying in Hanalei Bay. The bare spot creating the eye has one just like it on the other side. Both have always been there as long as anyone can remember. The shadows are typical as rain clouds form over the mountains. The rest of the dragon is impossible to photograph without making a very long picture left to right! Hanalei Bay
It's easy to get lost in the magic of Hanalei valley, town, river and bay. Katie Ritto had spoken about Hanalei as she was trying to convince us to come to Hawaii. In her mind Hanalei was heaven on earth. Highly secluded on an already sparsely populated, Kauai, Hanalei would be what I might imagine the Garden of Eden being like. Lush, green, the perfect ratio of rainfall to sunshine. Fresh floral scents everywhere and an abundance of fruit growing wild. I didn't notice any mosquitos, no-see-ums, snakes or any other annoying critters. The water temperature is right at 80 degrees in the bay making summer swimming, surfing and boating ideal.
The mountain backdrop to the lush 19 square mile valley boasts the highest rainfall in the world creating hundreds of magnificent waterfalls and rivlets cascading 3,500 feet down the heavily vegetated face. The resulting river is the Hanalei River. A kayak trip up the river is like a peaceful, slow motion trip through a time warp fantasy of vegetation. Flowering shrubs renew their yellow blossoms daily.
Brilliant twin rainbows during morning showers. The close one was so bright it reflected in the water all the way to us.
A closer view clearly reveals each distinct color.
Artist painting near the mouth of the river.
Blossoms lining both sides of the river
A private foot bridge across one of the tributaries.
Sweet Charlotte at anchor in the river. The shallow water at right is where we wade ashore to town. I placed a sand stake with float in the shallow water so we can pull her back to the shallow when we get ready to go.About Town
The town of Hanalei is a pretty, unassuming community. Getting there by car means passing the Hanalei bridge, an old 15 ton, one lane structure that crosses the Hanalei river. The town population hovers between 400 and 500. The folks are a wide assortment of long time locals, itinerant surfers, new age types, celebrities, you name it. Many, many movies we all know were filmed here. The list is too long to even start naming, but notably "South Pacific" (1957). More recently "The Decendants" was made here.
The Hanalei sport of favor is competitive paddling. No surprise. All of Hawaii is nuts about paddling, but Hanalei is on paddling steroids. We found that with patience and understanding, paddlers and boaters can coexist in the same water. Eliana being anchored in the bay became a favorite pylon for training. But our spot was perfect on race day because we got a front row seat as literally hundreds of paddlers of all ages compete.
Unassuming "Tahiti Nui" where locals and visitors alike come to eat, drink and listen to traditional Hawaiian music nightly. Many a movie scene has been shot at this place.
Or how about some home cooked, traditional Balinese dishes, right at the river landing?
Saturday canoe races while Eliana looks on.
Canoe racing is an all-ages sport. This heat looks like middle schoolers, and they are very serious.
Of course the pros are very good and go very fast.SCUBA
Since being in Hawaii, I have taken up SCUBA. I love it. I'm finding life below the surface fascinating. So far, I've logged 22 dives and have gotten my Advanced Open Water certification with specialties in deep diving, wrecks and nitrox. More recently, I started learning underwater photography. I hope to be able to get better so I'll have something to share with my readers.
Now that I'm diving, I've taken up cleaning Eliana's bottom. Little by little, I'm figuring out how to do it and the experience is invaluable. Nothing like inspecting your own bottom! I love jumping in to check Eliana's zincs or wipe off the water line quickly.
I am also providing a 1:37 minute underwater video showing Eliana's running gear, her propellers and rudder. The small propeller on the starboard side of the main is normally in a closed position, but opens automatically when I engage the wing engine. Part of my bottom maintenance duties is to keep the gears of the wing propeller clear and moving freely.
One of my first underwater pictures of a coral growth on some boat wreckage.
Mike, my photography instructor at 100' depth is difficult to get the white balance correct.
Eliana's wing propeller folded.
Eliana's wing propeller deployed.
Underwater video of Eliana's propellers (1:37)Before Signing Off
Thank you for following Eliana's Journal. I encourage you to visit this posting on our website. The advantage of looking at it on your web browser is I think it shows the photos better. Plus if you widen your browser window, it allows the enlarged photos to get larger which is the best way to see them. You can go to the journal entry directly by clicking on the link below. There you can also leave a message for us or ask questions.
Lying: Ko Olina, Kapolei, HI
Mileage: 11,589 Miles