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About Our Blog

Planning a visit to Kauai? We regularly add news and information about events, activities, and places to see on The Garden Isle.

About The Author

Sheila Heathcote has lived in Hawaii since 1986. She's a published author on the topic of Kauai and the owner of Hale O Nanakai Bed & Breakfast.

Kauai's Sights, Activities, & Events


The best massage on Kauai (808) 634-5441

Ingrid Levy gave me one of the best massages I have ever experienced in my 22 years of living on Kauai.

This gentle Colombian native, a former flight attendant for Avianca airlines (the official airline of Colombia) has honed her skills by specializing in lomi-lomi. But, that's not all. Ingrid's peaceful and picturesque studio in a shady neighborhood in Poipu, allows total relaxation, while birds chirp and palm trees sway outside the screen doors. 

After being well oiled and manipulated by skillful hands, Ingrid applied aroma therapy to my nose and upper lip, delighting the olfactory senses, and she clears the air with the heavenly sounds of tinkling chimes.

This is a full body massage, no doubt about it. Not to mention, this massage also benefits the mind and the 5 senses! Combining the essence of sound, smell and physical sensations, the client emerges refreshed, peaceful and totally relaxed. 

"Lomi-lomi massage is a traditional Polynesian technique that works gently, yet deeply into the muscles, using loving hands and a loving heart," Ingrid explains.

"The Hawaiians view all aspects of the body as one, and believe that the physical-mental-emotional and spiritual are all part of the "whole" self. When healing is affected on one level, all levels are affected. The ALOHA spirit refers to the attitude of friendliness and acceptance throughout the massage with the joyful sharing of life energy, or "mana" in the present moment".

For an appointment, call Ingrid at (808) 634-5441


Hale O Nanakai featured in Adventure World Magazine!

by Jerry Farrar
Kauai is aptly called “The Garden Island.” Although small, Kauai is more tropical and less developed than the other islands. After the short flight from Honolulu to the city of Lihu’e, we headed to the Hale O Nanakai B&B.
Hale O Nanakai B&B
Sheila Heathcote is the gracious owner of the Hale O Nanakai B&B. The premises are gorgeous and the view from
the lanai is breathtaking. Sheila, an accomplished writer on Kauai and its culture, was a delight and she provided a wealth of information on places to visit while on the island.
Po’ipu Beach Park
Po’ipu Beach Park is one of the best snorkeling areas on Kauai. Po’ipu Beach Park is located on the south coast below Koloa and is loaded with a variety of fish. Be sure and visit the nearby Spouting Horn, where water from the surf channels into a natural lava tube and spouts high into the air.

Captain Andy’s Sunset Cruise
Leaving out of Port Allen, Captain Andy’s large catamarans are the absolute best and most pleasurable way to see the spectacular Napali coast. The majestic mountains, covered with green and gold vegetation and the beautiful blue water and white sand beaches are unbelievable. In addition to this, whale and dolphin sightings are common. The crew cooks a steak and shrimp dinner to perfection, and right on cue, another Pacific sunset!
Article reprinted from the FALL 2014 issue #23 of Adventure World Magazine. 

The Hokulea sets sail on Voyage of Discovery



Hokulea, Hawaii’s traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe, has set sail on a three year worldwide expedition covering 47,000 nautical miles, 85 ports, and 26 countries. Crew members, continuing their ancestor’s voyaging traditions, will only use the stars, waves, wind, and birds for assistance to map their way on this incredible journey. Enroute, Hokulea will spread the contemporary message Malama Honua or caring for our island earth, which has historically been part of Polynesian and Hawaiian culture. For more information on the Hokulea or to track its voyage, visit Hokulea.com.

 Visitors to the Aloha State can find their own inspiration, channeling the wayfinding spirit and learning the ropes of the trade at attractions and activities across the islands.

Visitors looking for a first-hand experience can travel the open ocean in a traditional sailing canoe. Island Sails Kauai offer visitors a unique and intimate adventure learning about the history and tradition of Polynesian navigation and exploring the pristine waters and marine creatures of the Hawaiian Islands.

For more information on the Hawaiian Islands, visit GoHawaii.com.


Monk seals thrive on Larsen's Beach

 There are currently three mother seals and three pups on the North Shore of Kauai.

The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the rarest marine mammals in the world. Part of the "true seal" family (Phocidae), they are one of only two remaining monk seal species. The other is the Mediterranean monk seal. A third monk seal species--theCaribbean monk seal--is extinct.

Isolated from their closest relative 15 million years ago, Hawaiian monk seals are considered a "living fossil" because of their distinct evolutionary lineage.

Females generally mature around age 5; it is unknown when males mature. Monk seals are promiscuous and mate underwater. Given male-dominated sex ratios at some breeding colonies, group mobbing of "estrus" females is known to occur, sometimes causing serious injury or even death to the female.

The gestation period is 10-11 months. Birthing rates vary with a range of 30-70% of adult females birthing in a given year. While most births occur in late March and early April, birthing has been recorded year round. Newborns are black, and then molt near the end of their nursing period.

Nursing occurs for about 1 month, during which time the mother fasts and remains on land. After this period, the mother abandons her pup and returns to sea. Although they are generally solitary animals, females have been observed fostering others' offspring. The pup takes its entire nutrition from the mother's milk. As the pup grows larger, themother gets skinnier!

 Monk seals are primarily "benthic" foragers, feeding on a variety of prey including fish, cephalopods, and crustaceans. Their diet varies by location, sex, and age. Adults are generally nocturnal hunters while juveniles spend more time hunting species that hide in the sand or under rocks during the day. Monk seals generally hunt for food outside of the immediate shoreline areas in waters 60-300 feet (18-90 m) deep. Monk seals are also known to forage deeper than 1,000 feet (330 m), where they prey on eels and other benthic organisms.

NMFS has developed a video, "Good Neighbors: How to Share Hawaii's Beaches with Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals," to enhance understanding of human-seal interactions and the direct impact that has on the population and recovery of the monk seal species:

link to Good Neighbors video
Video: How to Share Hawaii's Beaches with Endangered Monk Seals
Credit: NMFS Pacific Islands Regional Office


June Art & Culture Calendar for Kauai

 Sunday, June 1, 11:30 am

Taste of Hawaii 2014

The Rotary Club of Kapaa

Smith's Tropical Paradise, Wailua

Tickets available online


Friday, June 6, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

NTBG invites you to watercolor workshop by artist Marian Berger

Manu (Hawaiian Birds) Watercolor WS "From Illustration to abstract"

Class fee:  $150 per person, including lunch

Sign up:  http://ntbg.org/manu

Registration deadline:  Friday, May 30 or until class is filled

No walk-in participants/ class size is limited

Questions:  (808) 332-7374, ext, 253; <education@ntbg.org>


Friday, June 6

Kauai Music Festival presents

Up Close and Personal with HAPA

Farm to Table Seaside Dinner & Concert

Courtyard Marriott Kauai, 650 Aleka Loop, Kapaa

$125 per person; limited seating

Call Resort for Details & Reservation: (808) 320-3681


Saturday, June 7; 7:00 pm

Kauai Music Festival presents

Beachside Concert -- HAPA with Special Guest Tarvin Makia

Courtyard Marriott Kauai, 650 Aleka Loop, Kapaa

$25 Advance; $30 day of concert and at the door

Online Tickets at www.kauaimusicfestival.com

Outlets:  Magic Dragon, Hawaiian Music Kiosk (PV & Coconut Marketplace);

Kauai Music & Sound; Scotty's Music, Island Soap & Candleworks



Saturday, June 7, Doors Open 5:00 pm; Hoike 6:00 pm

Na Hula O Kaohikukapulani

Hula Hoike 2014

Grand Hyatt Resort Kaua'i; Poipu

Tickets:  $20 in advance; $25 at door

Ticket Info: Call 335-6466


In celebration of NTBG's 50th Anniversary

NTBG presents Living Endemic Birds of Hawaii by Marian Berger

Monday, June 9, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Meet Marian Berger on opening day of exhibit

Saturday, June 21, one day only, special weekend showing

11:00 am at NTBG Education Center in Kalaheo

Dr Lisa 'Cali' Crampton of Kauai Forest Bird Recovery Project - Lecture

Call before visiting:  (808) 332-7324,ext 227

Donations suggested


June 25 - 28, 2014

Red Clay Jazz Festival -- Jazz Around the Island

Wednesday, June 25, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Treysara -- at Common Grounds Garden Cafe,Kilauea

Mark Pulice Trio -- at Kukui'ula Shopping Center, Poipu

Thursday, June 26, 5:30 - 7:30 pm

Rumba de Fuego, 7-pc Latin Band, -- at Aloha Beach Resort Kuhio Lounge

Thursday, June 26, 5:00 - 7:00 pm

Hank Curtis Trio -- at Kauai Marriott Aupaka Bar

Friday, June 27

Jimmy Borges & Betty Look Taylor; Ken Emerson & Will Bernard

Kauai Beach Resort Jasmine Ballroom

$30 regular/$40 preferred

Saturday, June 28, 4:00 - 9:00 pm

Red Clay Jazz Festival Concert 

Featuring Diane Schuur, Mississippi Heat, Swing Shift

Kaua'i Lagoons Resort, overlooking Kalapaki Bay, Lihue

Tickets $40; Rain or Shine

Tickets $55 regular/$65 preferred for Friday & Saturday Special

Phone orders:  (808) 245-7464




How the Kauai locals live

Sustainability. GMO -free Zones. ""Smart" electrical meter-free Areas. Kauai is a grass-roots movement kind of island and many people take their stand vigorously. 

On only about an acre of land, a family of 5, along with co-operative caretakers and friends, make their home on a flowering garden of Eden at an undisclosed location on the North Shore of Kauai. 

Working the land for vegetables, duck eggs and brilliant flowers, this group includes a clothing designer, a master carpenter, a woodworker par excellence,  a concert pianist and an artist. 

Having come to Kauai from Europe many years ago, the family decided to adopt the rural lifestyle and make themselves a sustainable llifestyle, living off the land. 

And it works.

Ducks roam the garden and fertilize the crops. 


Communal cooking areas, an outdoor shower heated by solar and a Paloma when the sun doesn't shine, and a workshop full of recycled goods -- glass table tops to be made into circular windows, collected posts, planks and plywood, tin and tarps are the economical, environmental way to go in this locale.

Fruit trees, an artesian well and photovoltaeic panels keep the group mostly off the grid.

And they flourish.

Growing up in the Sixties, I heard about places like this. But I had never experienced one until I drove into this modern day "Shangri-La" with a friend.

TV is not an option. Music is made by musicians. Food is grown, washed and put in the kettle. No animals are sacrificed to feed this vegetarian family.

 Angels and Lilly ponds flow into waterfalls, and the pathway is made of hand mixed concrete hearts, adorned with patterns of tropical leaves and pieces of colorful, buffed glass.

All of this rests in front of a backdrop of brooding, verdant mountains, shrouded in gossamer mists. And the ocean, rivers and ponds are only minutes away.

If you have ever considered an alternative lifestyle, Kauai is the place to make that dream come true.

If were are serious about saving the planet, this is the way to do it!


Summer Special -- All Rooms 20% OFF through August

Summer for Weddings, Graduations and VACATION! For the month of June, 2014, Hale O Nanakai Bed & Breakfast has slashed room prices to fit the  discerning traveler's budget! 

Many airlines are offering "pre-Fourth of July" Specials and now is the time to visit and avoid the mid-summer crowds!

And with discounts like these, you can't go wrong!

Rent the entire upstairs (sleeps 5, full kitchen, Continental breakfast foods and Welcome Basket provided) for $245 per night!*

Laka's Garden, a two room apartment with Queen bed and pull out sofa bed, full kitchen and private entrance is reduced to $135 per night (for 2; each additional personaadd $20)

The Kahili Master Suite, has a king-sized Select Comfort Sleep Number bed, private bathroom and private entrance. Don't forget the HDTV WiFi and phone at no extra charge. Now priced at $115 per night!

Hina's Bed Chamber features a double, Select Comfort Sleep Number bed, HDTV WiFi and phone, and shares a bathroom for $89 per night.

The Maile Room is a perfect spot for the single traveler. The only room with A/C, it also shares the bath with Hina and is now priced at $65 per night! 

We are also proud to provide guests with Beach Towels, Robes, slippers, snorkeling gear, coolers, boogie boards, reef walkers and umbrellas or rain ponchos, island maps and hiking maps on loan.

There is  WiFi throughout the house, and rooms with landline phones offer local and US and Canada free long distance. We also have free parking on site.


* Offer good through Aug. 31. Does not include taxes and cleaning fees.  Call (808) 652-8071 or Book Now at www.nanakai.com/reservations


Hike and Learn about Kauai With and Expert Guide, Brock O'Sullivan

Kauai has a huge assortment of trails, hikes, walks and terrain – from exploring the largest limestone cave in Hawaii next to a spectacular beach, to the high forested woodlands of Koke’e State park, Waimea Canyon and the Kalalau Trail.

Even more importantly, learn the plants, trees, wildlife and history of this beautiful landscape while being guided by an expert!

Brock O’Sullivan’s “day job” (Monday – Thursday) is doing trail maintenance and eradicating non-native species from the Koke’e uplands with the Governor’s Award-Winning Koke’e Resource Conservation Project. He likes to hike after work, too and offers his guidance and outdoor skills to a variety of hiker’s levels on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 7AM – 5PM.

Let Brock help you find the right trail for your skill and experience.

“I love the forest. Before I started my internship with KRCP, I didn’t pay attention to trail details. Now I see – and can show you – it’s more about the native species and the watershed. Teaching sustainability is my goal.”

“I want to give visitors a chance to see what I’ve been able to see and learn about.”

An Expert Guide is always better than a guidebook.

There is no fee to hire Brock to take you to some of Kauai’s most stunning secret wonders. Donations, however, will help this 20-year-old intern with some living expenses and gas for taking visitors out on roads that require 4-wheel drive. 

(Suggested donation $25 - $50 depending on length and difficulty of trail).

In addition to seeing the scenery, these “interpretive hikes” are a way to really get to know the fragile beauty of the island.

Did you know that 75 percent of Kauai is inaccessible by car, bike or by foot? Take this opportunity to see the part where most tourist never go!

Trails include the Koke’e State Park system (roughly 20 trails on and off the map), the Waimea Canyon State Park (trails through the river valley and into Koaie and Po’omau Canyons), Kahili Mountain summit and Forest Glen, Coastal Hikes from Shipwreck’s Beach to Maha’u’lepu Beach and secret paths beyond the Bike Path and Donkey Beach. Hikes to the Makauwahi Cave near South Shore CJM Stables to see the largest limestone cave in Hawaii, Arboretum trails (upper Kapa’a), Sleeping Giant, North Shore treks and the Kalalau Trail (permits required for Kalalau) are only asampling of Kauai's hidden wonders.  

Cell phone: 808 212-7207  brock.osully@gmail.com



Kauai Orchid and Art Festival April 11 and 12 - Hanapepe

Friday, April 11th and Saturday, April 12th Spring Fantasy Orchid Show Presented by Garden Island Orchid Society at the Hanapēpē United Churc Friday 1 pm to 7 pm and Saturday 9 am to 4 pm

 Friday, April 11th and Saturday, April 12th Orchid Painting Workshop with Saim Caglaya At Hanapepe Artworks, 3876 Hanapepe Road. For detailed information see his website www.saimcaglayan.com

Friday, April 11th - Friday Art Night: 6 to 9 pm. Featuring special gallery displays for the Orchid and Art Festival. See individual galleries for details.

 Saturday, April 12th  10 am to 1 pm Watercolor Painting Workshop with Marionette At the Hawaiian Congregational Church in Hanapepe, 10 am to 1 pm. Registration required. Please contact Marionette directly to register at 808-631-9173 or click here to send email. 

Visit our Silent Auction! 11 am to 4:10 pm on Saturday, April 12th. Next to the stage at the Hanapepe Congregational Church Bidding for items begins at 11 am, and closes at 4 pm. Items are available to pay for and take at 4 pm. 

Saturday, April 12th -  - Children’s Musical & Gymnastics Activities  with Kindermusik - noon to 4 pm At the Hawaiian Congregational Church with Keiki Activities. Children of all ages explore a variety of musical instruments and participate in group and individual musical games. Kindermusik is located at the Keiki Klubhouse on the top floor of the Storybook Theatre. For more information contact Aysha Tenouri at 808-492-2372.

Saturday April 12th - Orchid & Art Festival Concert At the Hawaiian Congregational Church in Hanapepe 

10:45 am Opening Blessing by MCs Cabebe

11:00 am Joyful Noise Taiko Drummers

11:30 am Crowing Contest

12:00 pm  Musical and Gymnastics Performance by Keiki Klubhouse

12:15 pm Paul Togioka

1:15 pm Aowl Owen

2:00 pm Brittni Paiva

3:00 pm  FREE PERFORMANCE from Makana (CD signing after)

4:10 pm Silent Auction ends, pick up items

4:15 Joyful Noise Taiko Drummers

8th Annual Orchid & Art Festival,

Email us for more information.


Above: The wonderful Joyful Noise Taiko drummers start the Festival off with a boom!


Musical Legends in the Garden - A Concert Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the National Tropical Botanical Garden

Greats of Hawaiian music will come together in this one-of-a-kind concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the nonprofit National Tropical Botanical Garden.

Performances by Ledward Kaapana, Mike Kaawa, and Nathan Aweau. The Hawaiian Legends won the 2013 Nā Hōkū Hanahano award for Live Concert dvd. Each artist is also recognized individually for their mastery of island music.
Ledward has received numerous awards, including the NEA Heritage Fellowship, America's highest recognition for a traditional artist. Mike, known as “The Hawaiian Boy”, is a much-in-demand musician, singer, and composer, specializing in the 12-string guitar. Both an accomplished vocalist and composer, Nathan is the only male artist to have won the Nā Hōkū Hanohano award for Male Vocalist of the Year three times and has also been honored for composing the Hawaiian Song of the Year.

Jerry Douglas is a 13-time Grammy winner who is considered the world's leading dobro player. The dobro is a resonator guitar that is heard primarily in bluegrass music today but is derived from the Hawaiian lap steel guitar of the 1920s. Don't miss Jerry's first performance on Kaua‘i.

Jeff is recognized as one of Hawai`i’s most versatile guitarists, having provided the music for the blockbuster movie “The Descendants”. Benny is widely hailed by musicians as the world’s leading jazz ukulele master, known for his innovative techniques. The two will be joined by Hawaiian Legend Nathan Aweau.

With the popular Kaua‘i group THE HANALEI BAY TRIO
Ken Emerson, Pancho Graham, and Kirby Keough

The Hanalei Bay Trio's style reflects the Hawaiian guitar's grassroots origins of a century ago, completing a cultural circle from the first vaquero guitarists through jazz steel virtuoso Sol Hoopii and into new unexplored territories.

Also performing: The children's choir of Ke Kula Ni‘ihau O Kekaha

Set in the beautiful open-air setting of National Tropical Botanical Garden's Southshore Visitors Center in Po`ipū on the island of Kaua`i, the concert is the kickoff celebration of NTBG's 50th anniversary. NTBG was chartered by the United States Congress in 1964 as a nonprofit institution to serve the great public need of saving tropical plants from extinction.

GATES OPEN: 11:30 a.m.; CONCERT 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
FOOD & BEVERAGE will be available for purchase; no coolers please

ADMISSION FOR CHILDREN 5 YRS. AND UNDER: Free general admission if accompanied by adult

Purchase tickets http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/549685
Use password provided. Contact members@ntbg.org if you have not received your password.
Bring low-backed beach chair or mat (lawn seating)
Offsite Parking and Shuttle to Event (starting 11 a.m.)
Parking area located at:
3000 Po‘ipū Road, Kōloa
(.8 mi. from Kōloa Road; .5 mi. from Traffic Circle)


Katie Cassel honored for preserving Koke'e Wilderness

I met Katie up at Koke'e just after Hurricane Iniki when we were both  temporary residents enticed into the uplands by the extreme damage to habitable spaces on the rest of the island. What we found up there was the most incredibly beautiful, natural forest being invaded by introduced non-native plants and invasive, destructive alien plant and tree species.

We spent many days hiking the trails, learning the plants, and listening to lectures Katie organized through the Koke'e Museum by noted ornithologists, invasive species experts, geologists, fern experts, wildlife photographers and even historical legend writers. It was an amazing time on the mountain.  While I returned to my former occupations, nursing and and journalism, Katie went even deeper into the forest. In a few short years, she developed the Koke'e Conservation Resource Project in 1996 and the rest has been history and a far better chance of survival for native species on Kauai. Congratulations and Thank You to Katie Cassel and all her dedicated volunteers   --Sheila


2nd Annual Kickoff Event Recognizes Statewide Heroes – Volunteer opportunities held across the state

HONOLULU—On Monday March 3rd, Governor Neil Abercrombie kicked off Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness week with a proclamation and special recognition of this year’s Hawaii Invasive Species Council Award Recipients. Declaring that “invasive species pose the single greatest threat to Hawaii’s health, environment, economy, and people” the Governor praised the award recipients for their dedication to protecting Hawaii and encouraged all to continue leading the fight. State Representatives and Senators were on hand to present the awards which included 2013 Community Hero, 2013 Hottest Hotline Report to 643-PEST, 2013 Business Leader, Greatest Hit of 2013 and MVPS’s from each county in the state.

Kauai MVP 2014, presented by Representative Derek S.K. Kawakami, Representative James Tokioka, and Representative Dee Morikawa: Katie Cassel arrived in Kauai to help with the clean up after hurricane Iniki, and began the Kokee Resource Conservation Program (KRCP), when she recognized the need for a dedicated, volunteer-based program to help control invasive species in Kokee State Park to help protect the pristine forests that had already been devastated by destructive winds. She has been working tirelessly to involve not only the local community but also inspiring volunteers from all over the world to participate in conservation efforts on Kauai. Katie’s determination has allowed KRCP to lead over 27,000 volunteers resulting in the removal of over 10 million individual invasive plants in selected areas of Kokee State Park and Waimea Canyon State Park. Many of the people working in conservation on Kauai got their experience working under Katie and now hold positions at DLNR- DOFAW, KISC, the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG), and many other groups helping to preserve Kauai’s natural resources. Katie has also formed many strong partnerships on Kauai through collaborative projects.

 Article courtesy of Hawaii State Department of Land and Natural Resources  dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/news/hisaw2014kickoff/


Flying high over Kauai

Story and photos by Emily Arbut

I've hiked many a trail on Kauai, it's my favorite pastime, but even my adventurous feet have a healthy respect for the Kalalau Trail.  An 11-mile, ever-muddy and eroded trail, the Kalalau starts at Kee Beach, crosses five different valleys and ends at secluded Kalalau Beach. It can be treacherous, but it's the only way to traverse the ruggedly magnificent, emerald green Napali Coast, the fabeled Northwest quadrant of Kauai.  The Napali Coast tops the picturesque list of Kauai, but, these days, with all the rain on the North shore, the Kalalau Trail is closed for all foot traffic.  

Napali is not-to-be-missed, so for explorers who know, there is only one alternative option: to see this beautiful coastline by air.  Nothing against boat tours, this mode of transportation is ideal for those looking to get some snorkeling in, and will be covered in an upcoming blog.  But, when it comes to stunning island panoramas, nothing can beat the window seat of a plane.  In an hours ride, the view is ever-changing, from coastline, to canyon, from swamp, to mountain top. Kauai landscape is breathtakingly diverse, and the water falls dotting the countryside never fail to illicit squeels of delight and camera clicks.  

Flying high over Kauai provides a greater appreciation for the luscious landscape of, "the Garden Island". Spanning the distance from East to West, South to North, the natural patchwork of the island pieces together to form one beautiful masterpiece.


Editor's Note: Article and Photos by Emily Arbut

Air transport provided by Wings Over Kauai Air Tours (808) 635-0815



Excerpt from the 

Story by By Gregg K. Kakesako Honolulu Advertiser


The peak of the largest swell in a decade began hitting the North Shore of Oahu this afternoon and could continue through the night, prolonging anxiety for some shoreline residents and building excitement for throngs of big-wave watchers.

The National Weather Service predicted 40- to 50-foot surf for north- and west-facing shores of Niihau and Kauai; and north-facing shores of Oahu, Molokai and Maui. 

As of 1 p.m., surf rolling into Waimea Bay was recorded at 22 feet, according to the National Weather Service.

However, the largest of the swells still hasn't hit Kauai and Oahu's North Shore.

A buoy located more than 200 miles northwest of Oahu continues to record swells, said Bob Burke, National Weather Service meteorologist.

"This will occur into the overnight hours and decrease tomorrow," Burke said.

State and civil defense officials reported no major damage from the waves this morning.

Roads on all islands remain open with sand and surf lapping on to a few shore-front roads on Kauai and Oahu.

John Cummings, spokesman for the city Emergency Management Department, said volunteers began canvassing the shoreline on Oahu's North Shore this morning. State Civil Defense said there were no reports of damage on Kauai or Oahu today.  

However, city Ocean Safety lifeguards put up yellow tape on North Shore beaches from Alii Beach near Haleiwa to Sunset Beach, warning people to stay out of the water.

"Nobody has any business in the ocean," said Ocean Safety Lt. John Hoogsteden.

Even experienced surfers stayed out of the water as strong winds made the surf choppy and unrideable.

"Giant breaking surf" and dangerous currents will make it extremely hazardous to approach the shoreline, according to officials at the National Weather Service.

The gates to the Waimea Bay parking lot and nearby grassy area were closed this morning after surf started rolling into the parking lot. The state closed the beach park Tuesday night in anticipation of today's high surf and is expected to keep it closed through Thursday.

Cars lined the road to the parking lot early this morning causing major traffic headaches for motorists. Police had the cars towed.

At Alii Beach Park, Wailua resident Dora Doroha, 55, said: "This is awesome to watch. We haven't had big surf like this in a long time.

"It's cool watching this from a distance," said Doroha, who spent the morning taking photos of the big surf to send to her grandchildren in Oregon.

City officials reported sand and water running on to the highway at low spots fronting Haleiwa Harbor.

At Haleiwa Boat Harbor, Ryan Bruner, 34, a charter fishing boat employee, said: "Everybody pretty much tied up their boats as well as possible. Nobody's going out."

He said boat owners were using reinforcement lines and extra floats. Mariners were also helping each other out to protect their property.

"It's almost like a tsunami surge, but for a long period of time," he said. 

Roads remain open on Kauai, however, state civil defense officials said there were reports of waves washing over Weke Road on Kauai's north shore near Hanalei.

Surf began building rapidly just after midnight on Kauai and Niihau, and will remain above the warning level through Thursday night.

All north shore beaches, from Anahola to Kee Beach, on Kauai remained today closed until further notice.

 The same storm system causing the swell will also whip a cold front through the islands, bringing gusty

 southwest Kona winds, cloudy skies and locally heavy rainfall through Wednesday.

High winds caused several trees to fall closing a portion of Waialua Beach Road. Also, in the Wahiawa area, California Avenue is now closed in both directions between North Cane Street and Ihoiho Place due to downed power lines.


Home Sweet Hawaii

Story and photos by Emily Arbut

Etched in memory from my first trip to Kauai, more than 4 years ago, was this deck view from the beautiful Hale O' Nanakai.  It had been only a dream that I would one day return back to the lush tranquility of the garden island. Kauai is, simultaneously, a sanctuary where one can feel at peace, and a treasure trove of breath-taking sights at every turn.  One can't help but become engulfed in the hospitable embrace of both the natural environment, and the island populous.

Hale O' Nanakai owner, Sheila Heathcote, embodies this unique spirit of Kauai. Easy-going, yet an encyclopedia of adventure; she is the perfect hostess for just about anyone.  On my first visit, she went out of her way to make certain that I experienced the island from every angle, and for that, I would have done just about anything to repay her kindess.  Over the years, thanks to the wonders of Facebook, we managed to stay connected.  When she sent out an SOS for help during the holiday months, I knew wild horses couldn't keep me away.  I would finally have the chance to give back to the person and the island that had given me so much.From now thru the end of March, I am the luckiest of ladies, as I take on the role of jack-of-all trades at Hale O' Nanakai.  Duties include, but are not limited to: cleaning rooms, helping with breakfast, taking reservations and leveraging my social media skills on the blog and beyond.  

That being said, island living means a healthy balance between work and play, providing me with the opportunity to explore the island on afternoons and days-off.  If you are reading this, I hope that you will stay with us, and that I will have the privelege to share my Kauai experiences in-person.  If not, please feel free to follow this blog in the months to come.  I will share some of the adventures that one woman, and her '96 Honda Coupe "Hawaii car", can encounter on the island of Kauai.  Until then, ALOHA friends!


Moon Bow Magic Gifts, Hanapepe

On a recent trip to Hanapepe -- the little town where "art night" is held every Friday evening from 6 - 9 PM -- I ducked into Little Fish Coffee to check out the boutique that resides in the garden area behind. 

Surrounded by blossoming tropical flowers, Andrea King's adorable shop, called Moon Bow Magic" surprised me with the array and variety of affordable gifts, knick knacks, jewelry, art, fabric creations and sculpture -- to mention only a few. 

I found two last minute gifts that fit my budget perfectly and were highly appreciated by the recipients.

It might be a little hard to find-- the only indication being a sign that says "OPEN" on a red wooden fence  leading to an alley just before the Little Fish Coffee Company if you are walking east. If you don't see the sign, go in Little Fish's front door and go out the back door to Moon Bow Magic. 

Don't forget to stop and have a tasty Smoothie or delicious coffee while in transit. 

Andrea says she travels the world in search of unique gift items to ensure a variety that can't be found anywhere else on Kauai. "When I bring items into my store, they have to be more than unique; they have to be fun, sophisticated, elegant and sassy!"

"I love to connect with travelers from around the world and enjoy matching my items to individual tastes. You can be sure that your gift won’t be found in any tourist shop on the island. Filled with tropical plants, shade giving trees and water sculptures, my courtyard entrance is a relaxing way to sip a cup of tea and discuss any special orders you may have."

Check out the boutique in person, online at http://www.moonbowmagic.com/MoonbowMagic or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MoonBowMagicGiftGallery.

The shop is located at 3900 Hanapepe Road Courtyard Unit E, P.O. Box 955, Hanapepe, Hawaii 96716. Call (808) 335-5890 for more information.