Hawaii Trip Part 9: Kauai Coast and Beaches

Hawaiian Swimmers

We were at the Grand Lounge at 6:30am when breakfast opened.  Daily breakfast consisted of two rotating hot dishes and then a standard array of breakfast breads, cereals, smoked salmon, spreads and pastries. There’s an espresso machine for lattes etc. as well.  Almost everything was served by the friendly lounge attendants (rather than buffet style) at that time due to Covid.  There’s also some outdoor seating which was a nice place to eat breakfast and be serenaded by the birds (who also were pretty aggressive in seeking out your leftovers if you got up for some more coffee).

Breakfast companion

We had a morning tour booked with Captain Andy’s out of nearby Port Allen.  We drove over to the port for the 7:15am meeting time. After signing waivers and getting our safety briefing, we walked over to the boat.

The cruise was a great opportunity to see the stunning Na’Pali coast on the north side of Kauai. We motored around the island to the Na’Pali coast and also went under sail for a while. Some dolphins swam alongside us for part of the journey.

Swimming alongside the boat
Sails out!

Unfortunately, our boat lost power in one engine so we didn’t have time to snorkel.  We did get a partial refund proactively for that unfortunate issue.  As my wife  said, “better that our boat lost an engine than our plane.”  She also felt pretty queasy through most of the ride despite taking Bonine before we left. 

When we returned to shore, we made a quick stop at nearby Glass Beach.  It’s a manmade curiosity where recycled glass bottles were dumped on a beach and over the years were broken down into smooth pebbles. Most of the glass has been picked up by now, but my wife enjoyed looking for free souvenirs. 

Glass Beach

To make up for the queasy boat ride, I told her she could pick our afternoon activity.  She asked to drive up to Larsen’s Beach, supposedly one of the best shelling beaches on Kauai.  It was about an hour away, almost at Princeville, but not quite that far.  We hit some traffic through Kapa’a, but we found the turnoff pretty easily.  Then it was 3 miles down a dirt road before we parked.  We walked toward the sound of the beach but couldn’t see anything.  Then we realized it was a hike down a pretty rough trail to the beach.  Well, we’ve made it this far!  It was quite a rocky and steep hike down, but we made it and she was very happy with the shell selection.  There was also a sleeping monk seal right on the beach.

Larsen’s Beach
Let sleeping seals lie

As we were getting ready to head back up, a naked dude walked right past us.  Turns out Larsen’s is also a nude beach, but the shelling website neglected to mention this. 

After our exertions, we headed back down to the Hyatt pool to relax for a few hours. We had dinner that night at Stevenson’s sushi restaurant in the hotel.  The sushi was good (not the best ever), but the cocktails were excellent.  As I wasn’t driving, I definitely had more than one.

Smoky cocktail

Next up: A more relaxing day at the Grand Hyatt

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