Habitat for Humanity Kauai Trip- Day 5

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Day 5
I was glad to have a day off.  We’d only been working for a few days but I was already really sore!  My back and shoulder blades ached so bad I could barely open the fridge to get out breakfast this morning.  For a day off we sure didn’t get to sleep in.  Today we had some of our cultural events planned so we drove all over the Island.
First, we went to visit the Pacific Missile Rim Facility.  This facility is a U.S. Naval facility and airport that serves as the world’s largest instrumented, testing and training missile range.  U.S. military can test missile tracking technology on submarines, ships and aircrafts.  They also have boats that will go out onto the ocean and act as dummies so that testing can be done on moving targets.  It was all really cool.  If you aren’t interested in the military stuff then you’d still love this base because it has one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen called Barking Sands.  You can only get to it if you buy a special pass or are with military personnel so it’s stayed really pristine and isn’t overrun with people.  The beach also has a really good view of Ni’ihau, the forbidden island.  I’m sure you’re waiting for me to tell you why the beach is called Barking Sands.  Well, here’s the legend:
“There was an old native fisherman, who lived in a hut nearby and had nine dogs.  During his fishing trips, he would tie his dogs to stakes in the sand (three to each of three stakes).  He would then get in his canoe and go fishing.  One day while he was at sea and the dogs were tied as usual, he got caught in a very bad storm.  For hours he battled with the heavy seas until he was finally able to return to land.  He was so tired that he forgot to untie his dogs.  When he woke the next morning and went outside, the dogs were nowhere in sight.  All he saw were three small mounds of sand.  As he stepped on one of the mounds, he heard a low bark.  Another step brought another bark.  Still he couldn’t find the dogs.  Believing the dogs had been buried in the sand because of the storm the day before, he began to dig; as each shovelful was removed, more took its place.  He finally gave up and every day after that, when he crossed the mounds, he could hear the low barking.  The dogs were never found and to this day, the sands of Mana have been known as Barking Sands.”
We walked all over and didn’t hear any barking but our tour guide assured us that he’s heard it, it just wasn’t the right conditions that day.

After that we loaded back into the van and stopped in Waimea for lunch at a delicious little taco stand.  That afternoon we were supposed to go on a Catamaran dinner cruise around the north side of the island so we could see the Na’ Pali coast.  Unfortunately the winds were really strong that day and the surf was too rough for us to go north so instead we went around the south side of the island.  We had already seen all of this during our hikes and our drive to work every day but seeing it from the water made it look completely different.  I love boats.  I get a bit sea sick but I still love boats, nothing a little Dramamine and Bonine can’t cure.  Most of the rest of the group spent the boat ride walking around and going up to the top deck but I had found myself a nice spot at the back of the boat so I perched there the whole trip.  It was so serene and beautiful!  We saw whales and dolphins and quite possibly the most beautiful sunset that there has ever been. 
Beautiful rainbow we caught from the boat
It was such a clear, cool night that we decided we should all go to the beach for a bonfire when the boat docked.  I’ve been to a lot of bonfires before but none of them on the beach!  So. Much. Fun.  The smoke definitely irritated my allergies but it was totally worth the scratchy throat.  After a few hours we went back home and hung out in the living room.  I tried my best to stay up late but being the grandma that I am, I think I was still in bed by 10pm. 

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve so we are only working a half day.  Pretty crazy to be ringing in the new year in Hawaii.  I can’t think of a better way to start a new year than being on a Habitat trip helping a family build a home.


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