Saturday, September 19, 2009

Turtle watching in Kailua

Green Sea Turtles are often seen frolicking in the gentle waves of Kailua Bay. Turtles have swum right by us when we go swimming at Kailua Beach Park. If you don't see any turtles in the main area of Kailua Beach Park, here are a few places you can go turtle watching.

Beyond the Kailua Boat Ramp - at the very far end of Kailua Beach Park by the rocks. Grab a mask and snorkel and swim around the rocks and you should be able to spot a few turtles.

Lanikai Beach - more toward the north end where the beach begins (beach access at Kaelepulu and Mokulua Drive).

Take a kayak out to Flat Island or the Mokuluas and keep an eye out for turtles. They will swim right underneath your kayak!

Finally, the best kept secret is Turtle Beach a.k.a. Secret Beach o (see photos below) in Kaimalino. The area where Kawanui canal goes into Kailua Bay is a turtle breeding area. You can access Turtle Beach, a tiny beach at low tide, from the small beach access on Kaimalino Street. Wade into the ocean there and start counting the turtles. As an added bonus, the view from this beach is amazing.

Please kokua do not touch, ride or feed these gentle creatures in any way. Keep your distance and give them their space. If you see a turtle that is hurt or stranded, please report it to the NOAA Sea Turtle Program.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Obama Family to spend Christmas in Kailua!

President-elect Barack Obama and his family are expected to arrive in Hawaii today to spend the Holidays in beautiful Kailua (Oahu). It's Saturday morning and the sky is grey. Let's hope the weather clears up for the Obama visit. During their last vacation, the family stayed at a Kailua beachfront home near Castle's. They enjoyed shave ice from our favorite shave ice store, Island Snow in Kailua. Perhaps this time, they will have breakfast at Boot's and Kimo's or Cinnamon's and enjoy a meal at Buzz's. Whatever your plans, Mr. Obama, get some rest and have a good time! We are counting on you to make the world a better place come 2009. With aloha, Kailua Family.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sweet Stop Kailua for the best desserts and wedding cakes

Got a sweet tooth? Then head to the Sweet Stop in Kailua, Oahu. Sweet Stop is a little difficult to find; it is hidden in the back of Kailua Beach Center (130 Kailua Rd. #106A). But once you find it, you will be in heaven. Pastry chef extraordinaire Joslyn Benn uses only the finest ingredients to create her beautiful wedding cakes, favors and exotic desserts. Fridays from 5 pm to 8pm, Sweet Stop hosts Exotic Dessert Night. You can also catch them sometimes at the Kailua Farmer's Market (will blog on this soon!) on Thursday evenings at the Longs Drugstore garage. When you visit Sweet Stop, try the chocolate decadence torte, lilikoi tartlets, coconut haupia cake or the mac nut torte. One bite and you'll be in heaven!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fourth (4th) of July Parade in Kailua

Palm trees and patriotism at the 62nd Fourth of July Parade in Kailua, Oahu.

From bagpipes ...

to Korean drums ...

Two Kailuans against development on the North Shore.

Kailuan Wally Amos hands out coupons for his famous cookies.

Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman gets a group hug from Kailua High cheerleaders.

God Bless America.

Happy Fourth!

Gov. Linda Lingle and Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona

Beach Access is a hot issue in Kailua with private lanes gating access to Kailua Beach. This little boy got it right: "Da beach is my playground. No Gate 'Em."

Kailua High cheerleaders show their stuff.

Staying cool atop a float.

Obama for President!

Stop Rail Now activists encouraging people to download the petition to get the issue on the ballot. They have until July 10 to collect the required number signatures.

Panos, a University of Hawaii professor and an outspoken critic of the Mayor's rail proposal, has thrown his hat into the mayoral race. Bill Brennan (in red shirt), Mayor Mufi Hanneman's spokesperson, looks on.

Member of the Royal Hawaiian Band.

More sights of the parade ...

Monday, March 17, 2008

Kawai nui Marsh: A Hawaii Treasure

At one time, Kawainui Marsh was part of the Kailua ahupua'a or the area between the mountains and the ocean where the inhabitants lived a sustainable and self sufficient life. Today, it is the largest remaining wetland in Hawaii, and it is home to at least four species of endangered waterfowl: Hawaiian stilt, Hawaiian coot, the Hawaiian moorhen (gallinule) and the Hawaiian duck (koloa). The marsh is also a sacred place with several heiau or Hawaiian burial sites including the large Ulupo heiau (Look for an entry on this in the future).

The Army Corp of Engineers built a mile-long levee alongside the marsh to prevent flooding. Today, this levee is a popular place to take a walk in the early morning and evening. It is also a good place to spot birds and the other inhabitants of the marsh. Surrounded by the Koolau mountains, this lovely green space offers serenity and wonderful views of Mt. Olomana.

You can enter the levee from Kaha Park, at the end of Kaha Street, or from Kailua Road. Numerous ducks, including mallards, muscovies and Hawaiian ducks, hang out at Kaha Park, as they have got used to being fed. We don't encourage this, but I must admit that children do enjoy feeding the ducks.

Several community groups such as Ahahui Malama I Ka Lokahi work to protect the marsh. They organize service learning projects and educational hikes and seminars. Presently, a master plan is being developed to protect this natural, cultural and historical treasure. An article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 2007 provides more information on the plan.

Hamakua marsh, an offshoot of Kawainui Marsh, is another good place to spot birds. Hamakua Marsh runs alongside Hamakua Road in Kailua.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Lanikai Bunkers/Pillboxes Hike

The short hike up to the pillboxes (also known as Lanikai bunkers) on Ka'iwa Ridge offers one of the most breathtaking views of the windward coast of Oahu. The first part of the hike is steep and very slippery due to the dry dusty ground. There is nothing to hold onto other than tall grass and a few bushes, so wear hiking shoes or be prepared to end up on your bum a couple of times on your way down. There is no shade on this hike - that is, until you reach the pillboxes, of course. Go early or wear lots of sunscreen and a hat (but hold on to it once you get to the ridge).

The two pillboxes were built by the military during World War II. Even before you get to the first pillbox, the view of Kailua Bay and the Mokulua Islands off Lanikai, is amazing. Once you reach the second pillbox, you can see all the way to Chinaman's Hat. We hiked up on an overcast day, but even then the view was stunning.

The trailhead is opposite Mid-Pacific Country Club on Kaelepulu Drive (off of Mokulua Drive in Lanikai). About 65 yards beyond the MPCC entrance is Blue Stone, a gated townhouse complex. On the left of Kaelepulu, just before the turnaround circle fronting the Blue Stone, a private driveway ascends the hillside. At the point where the driveway veers left, a trail that initially follows a fence leads to the top of Ka'iwa ridge. The trailhead is located in a residential area, so please be respectful of the residents.