This island makes you work a little before revealing its best and most beautiful features. There aren’t miles and miles of sandy beaches. The entry for this morning’s swim was a black sand beach at Kahaluu, but you can’t just take the Nestea plunge here. you have to get on your hands and knees, crawl a little, then scull a little on your belly. The water is crystal clear, but it feels like you are wearing the wrong prescription goggles, everything looks wavy and out of focus. This is due to fresh water mixing in with the salty sea water. This fresh water has traveled for miles and over years from high up in the mountains through lava tubes and then wells up at the shore. It’s slightly colder and gives you a nice rinse on the way out.
Guide Ryan led the group on his SUP (stand up paddle board), and took us through the shallow reef heading north. Most of this swim is in about 20 feet of water, and the coral is vibrant, green, thriving. Triggerfish greeted us. Guest Ken spotted the elusive octopus, a rare sighting. Guest Paul kept the pace up front and was first to hit the beach at Magic sands, where the sand is bright white, and just 1.5 miles or so from the black sand beach we just left. The waves are lively here, and we played in the surf for a bit before breaking out some snacks. The vibe of this group is relaxed.
Back and Hale Kohola Kai, Clare rolled in with a very big and delicious salad for lunch. I could bathe in the peanut sauce. The grounds here are big and well appointed with lots of different ways to relax. Our guests spread out on chaise lounges, cushioned chairs, and hammocks. The sound of crashing waves fills the yard and settles our minds. It sets an easy tone.
Our evening swim was combined with an activity, a paddle on an outrigger canoe. We split the group in two as teams of 5 of us took a guided paddle tour of the bay while learning some Hawaiian history. The first group paddled upon a pod of spinner dolphins who were just waking up. They were doing their own thing. The other group of swimmers hit the ironman course at the pier for a mile or so, then switched with the paddlers. I love the scene at the pier in the late afternoon, school kids come down for their canoe practice just like little league practice back home. Little brothers and sisters play on the small beach.
Dinner began with an amazing stacked salad of beets, avocado, and lomi tomatoes, paired beautifully by Wahine Lisa with a rosé. Chef Dan was inspired by a dish he and Clare had in Italy, and served us his Ligurian style deepwater snapper with potatoes and olives. Sublime. Green tea ice cream with strawberries. Uncle! zzzzz.