This must be the most taken photo in Hanalei.  I grabbed my camera just after this squall came through thinking I had a great rainbow shot - then as Greg and I were looking through his old photos from Hanalei we noticed he seems to have the exact same photo...

One thing we've been neglectful about telling you about is Shave Ice.  Unfortunately we haven't taken pictures of the contenders, but we've been on the quest for the perfect Shave Ice since we've arrived in Hawaii.  I guess I should start by giving the background on when Greg did his trip here and discovered shave ice.  Now add that to my experience with snowballs in South Louisiana which is the same shaved ice (not those hard little kernels - actually shaved off of a big block) served over soft serve ice cream.  He LOVED them here and had one most every day, I LOVED them growing up - so naturally we would look forward to them - I know hard for you to imagine since most of you know us as hard bodies who live at the gym (NOT!!!!).

So, we've had mostly good shave ice with a really bad one thrown in and a really fabulous one (called Hawaiian Ice).  I'll start with the bad.  In Nawiliwili we noticed a place with a shave ice stand and a sign for internet wifi. We thought what could be better than sitting in an outdoor place eating shave ice surfing the net with our doggie by our side.  Well, it wasn't to be and our dreams were dashed when the internet costs $4/15 minutes (wwwwwwhat?????  we're definitely used to scooping up free wifi).  So, no internet, but we could always have shave ice - but that turned out to be another , ahhh shall I say, disappointment....  $5 gets you one very small little paper cone shaped cup with about 2 spoonfuls of ice-cream along with very slow service.  The slow part starts after you get the cone so you have to stand there and hold this cold bit of ice while you wait.  Yes I could eat it, but since Greg and I were splitting the very expensive small cone, I didn't think it was quite right of me to scarf it down while  waiting for the girl to figure out the money.  Somehow we got through that - and I do know that y'all who were working at the time aren't going to feel real pity for me as I stood around holding a small cold shave ice in Hawaii -- but it's all perspective...

Fortunately that was the lowest point, our best experience so far was at the botanical gardens where a man set up shop selling Hawaiian Ice - now this is a great idea - he takes real shredded fruit mixes it with flavored water, then freezes it all - then shaves it.  This is a very light and fluffy frozen treat.

We've also had a number of good shave ice thrown in along the way - a few on Ohau, but we have been waiting for Hanalei to really begin our studies.  There are 3 stores here - One is okay, another is kinda pricey, the third is the same place Greg found 9 years ago - the Wishing Well which is a truck on the main road as you come into Hanalei.  You can either take a left as you walk to the main road from the beach or take your dinghy all the way up the river and tie off at the Dolphin restaurant and walk right along the main road till the next parking lot.

The Wishing Well has their act together - and they have to for all the choices they have.  First off you need to understand the order in which you give you requests - first size, whether you want ice cream, then ice cream flavor, then syrup flavors then toppings you may want.  There are choices at every turn.  Our next recipe to try will be raspberry and lychee with mint chocolate chip ice cream....we'll have to let you know how it turns out.  Oh, they also have this option here where you can have beans instead of ice cream, Greg might order that one day - I can't imagine ordering it for myself.

   Greg and I with Hanalei Bay behind us...

We arrived in Hanalei on Saturday as part of a race along with about 15 other boats from the Nawiliwili YC.  We had a good time sailing with them and it ended with a potluck and BBQ in the Hanalei Pavilion.  

Earlier this week we took a hike to a place called 'Queen's Bath' which is a natural pool with colorful fish along the rocky shore.  It was beautiful - and refreshing.  Every once in a while waves would crash high enough for there to be little waterfalls running into the pool.  We brought our masks and snorkels and had a nice swim.

   One of the views on the way to 'Queen's Bath'.

   Queen's Bath - the shallow end in closest was deep enough to snorkel - the deeper end farther away was over my head, maybe 12 feet deep.

    Greg noticed these tadpoles waiting to be frogs.  By the way there are tons of frogs here - Matey loves the little roadie snacks (though we always tell her to drop it)

  And , of course, there are waterfalls here.  But we've only seen one so far from the anchorage - maybe within the next month there will be more...

Since we got here with so many other boats, it was a little crowded so we were anchored a little far out in about 40 feet of water.  A couple of days ago a little powerboat came to anchor a tad close as Greg watched him put out the anchor, drag....put out the anchor, drag....put out the anchor, and that's good enough (when you leave out that pesky backing down part of the anchoring process).  At least they weren't downwind of us.  So the next day when the wind came up, I looked around and started to feel better because that little powerboat wasn't so close anymore...whew...then I noticed they were a little bit farther away...hmmm....well, wait a minute - no one was aboard and they were slowly dragging down to the surf line!!!!!  So Greg and I jumped in 'Matey's Ride' and headed off for a little powerboat rescue.  After Greg let out more scope, the little boat was set, then we went back to Pacifica.

Of course the day they got back they upped anchor and came even closer to us....The next day - we thought what a great day to leave and go to Tunnels Beach and do some fishing.  We didn't have luck with the fishing, but Tunnels Beach was marvelous.  It's what we imagine a South pacific Atoll would look like (as long as we don't look at the beach.  Three sides are breaking waves on the reef and one side is the beach.  On one of the breaking waves side there is a small pass about 40 feet wide that you can get through to a space for about maybe 3 boats to anchor in.  It was a little rough when we went so we didn't spend the night, just a little swimming, lunch and internet surfing (that would be another difference between Tunnels and an atoll - I don't think an atoll would have wifi).

When we returned to Hanalei Bay, we decided to check out closer in and see if we can find space for us.  We managed to squeeze ourselves in up closer to shore in about 12 feet of water.  I love it when we can see the bottom!!!!

Other than that we've been spending our days walking around town, doing a few boat projects, swimming - that sort of thing.  Matey loves playing in the river - there's lot of fish here that she can chase.  

   Romping in the river in Hanalei....

   Click the camera to see a video of Matey romping with a local doggie in the river

  Roadside - Hanalei

   Hanalei Church

Evening time usually brings a squall or two which then brings rainbows.  Late afternoon sometimes we can see spinner dolphins doing their thing in the anchorage.  It's really amazing to see them leap and spin while doing flips.  While sailing out of the Bay I thought I would get some great pictures of them while we sailed through them, but as we approached they became regular dolphins and enjoyed playing in our bow wake.  We can also see lots of surfers - it's great to look over at the surf break and watch when they get a good ride.

  Finally I got the ever elusive turtle photo.  These guys are so cute - it feels like such a special gift when they come visit.  And if you see them out swimming, at least for me, my whole world stops and I have to watch them gracefully swim away.  They are truly beautiful.

   A spinner dolphin playing in our bow wake as we were heading to tunnels beach.

   Rainy Hanalei as we head to Tunnels

It's really great here and it's going to be very hard to get back to work life.  But we'll have a tough 3 weeks to transition and I'm guessing there will be many times during that crossing back to SF that I'll be wishing to already be back at work.

   So what do Hanaleians do at 9:30 am on Sat mornings?   Rush the farmers market as soon as the bell rings - of course.  I took this picture just after 9:30 - you can see the far side of the market is empty, people rush to their favorite vendor and vendors sell out quickly.  It was quite the madhouse but very  Hawaiian.  The government puts on farmers' markets - I'm not sure if this is government or private but we hear they work the same.  It's a great way to buy local produce.  But they also have a grocery here that is pretty well stocked.

Tomorrow we plan to be doing boat work all day - it's time to varnish (cetol) and we have a few projects to get done before the crossing.