Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cover Photo for Jersey Shore's "Boardwalk Journal"

          What comes to mind when I mention "Jersey Shore"?  The television show?  I hope not because the real Jersey Shore, 130 miles of ocean coastline dotted with resort towns and attractions, offers vacationers of all ages endless opportunities for summer fun.

          The following picture, taken by my sister Diane Wechter in Ocean City, NJ and featured in my blog post "Summer Fun in Ocean City, New Jersey", is July's cover photo on Atlantic City's "Boardwalk Journal" magazine.

           If you're one of the 37 million people living within 100 miles of the Jersey Shore, what are you waiting for?  Grab your beach towel and plan your trip today by visiting this website:

View photos from Ocean City by visiting my August 2011 blog post, highlighted above.

Read The Boardwalk Journal online to discover the Best of the Boardwalk 2012.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Along the Coastal Bike Path in Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii

          Looking for a unique Kaua‘i experience?  Tim and I discovered a day’s worth of activities to fill the 6 hours between check-out from our Kaua‘i Vacation Rental home on the island’s northern shore, and check-in at Lihue International Airport.
         Located between Hanalei and Lihue, the east coast town of Kapaa beckoned after we spied “Chicken in a Barrel” barbeque.  The succulent chicken, slow-cooked in 55 gallon barrels, provided the perfect lunch for our last day in Kaua‘i.  After finishing our meal we noticed a bike rental business next door, steps away from a paved bike path.  A tandem bicycle, setting on the asphalt, called our name.  

In the mood for tasty chicken barbeque?  Stop here.

Posing with our one-speed tandem on the Kapaa bike path.

            We rented the bike for an hour and began pedaling north.  The path—Ke Ala Hele Makalae—meaning “The Path that Goes by the Coast”, follows the eastern shore with its blue-green water, brilliant white waves and sparkling sand.  Picnic tables placed along the path offer expansive views across the Pacific. 

View north of Kehalia State Park, a popular surfing spot.

This scene greets picnickers along the trail.

The bike path also curves above a cove sheltering the protected and extremely rare Hawaiian Monk Seal.  A “Monk Seal Protection Agency” volunteer, stationed atop the rocks with binoculars in hand, pointed to a black shadow among the waves: a monk seal, swimming through the pounding surf.  He surfaced near a group of exposed rocks and climbed from the water to sun himself.  We watched and photographed while the volunteer informed us of this special sighting.  The Hawaiian Monk Seal is critically endangered and on its way to extinction.  We felt both fortunate to have seen this seal, and sad for his plight.  

This scene may soon be gone from the earth forever.
A critically endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal (lower right)
suns himself on the rocks.

Whether you’re on your way to the airport or just arriving in Kaua‘i—chicken barbeque, biking the coastal path and the possibility of spotting an endangered monk seal are three excellent reasons to make a stop in Kapaa.
The friendly staff at Coconut Coasters will outfit you with a bike for a rewarding ride on the Kapaa path.
Read more about “Ke Ala Hele Makalae” on this website:
Information about Hawaiian Monk Seals may be found on this site:

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Snorkeling the Hawaiian Island of Kaua‘i

        “When you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean—it’s like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.” 
—Dave Barry

The view from Kaua‘i's North Shore.

         Entertaining yourself in Kaua‘i is easy.  You can choose to hike, horseback ride, golf, sunbathe, birdwatch, fish–recreational opportunities are numerous.  But for the ultimate Hawaiian experience I agree with humorist Dave Barry; why travel to an island in the middle of the pacific if you’re not going to get into the ocean?
Snorkeling is the perfect, non-technical way to immerse yourself in Kaua‘i’s underwater paradise.
Tim and I recently spent a week in Hawai‘i and snorkeled on the south shore at Lawai Beach in Koloa, and on the north shore at Tunnels and Ke‘e Beach near the town of Hanalei.   Tim used an Olympus Stylus Tough digital camera with attached underwater slave flash to capture the following underwater photos.  Enjoy!
         Click on any photo to enlarge it.

I'm preparing to snorkel Tunnels Beach.
The waters off Kaua‘i's coast are surprisingly chilly.
A wetsuit or shirt comes in handy.

The Moorish Idol.

Raccoon Butterflyfish.

The Milletseed Butterflyfish.

The Christmas Wrasse.

Ringtail Surgeonfish.

Hawai‘i's unofficial state fish, the humuhumu-nukunuku-a-pua'a.
Trouble pronouncing the name?  It's also known as
The Reef Triggerfish.

           Whether you choose to snorkel, scuba dive, paddleboard, kite surf, wind surf or traditional surf Kaua‘i's waters you'll find a wealth of information on this website:

           The book Snorkel Kaua‘i,  written by Judy and Mel Malinowski, is an excellent resource for anyone wishing to snorkel The Garden Isle.  

Undersea Life.