Welcome back to National Parks & other public lands with T! If you are seeing this on Twitter or Facebook, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking the link.
Our tour guide brought us to Fuji Beach for a quick stop because he’d heard there was a monk seal sighting. Fuji Beach in Kapa’a is also known as Baby Beach because it’s a great place for kids to swim with a protective reef keeping the waters near the shore calmer.
There was indeed an endangered Hawaiian Monk seal in residence…they hunt in the oceans at night and rest on the shore during the day. A volunteer from Kauai Monk Seal Conservation Hui had cordoned off a safe perimeter so that ‘RF30’ could rest undisturbed. She was happy to answer our questions about the seal and let us take pictures from a distance.
Hawaiian Monk Seals are critically endangered, with only about 1400 left in the wild. When the Polynesian settlers first migrated to the islands, the seals laying prone on the beach during their rest cycle were easy game. In modern times, threats to their existence include entanglement in plastic, swallowing fish hooks and unleashed dogs on the beach.
When RF30 was younger, she’d ingested a hook and was rescued by Kauai Monk Seal Conservation Hui, treated and then released back into the wild. She was five years old when we saw her in April 2019. We were grateful to have seen this precious survivor and to the volunteer organization that faithfully guards them while they sleep and tends to them when they are sick.
- Wailua Falls
- Lihue Plantation Hanama‘ulu Ditch
- ʻŌpaekaʻa Falls
- Wailua River State Park
- Mount Waiʻaleʻale
- Fuji Beach
- Moloa’a Beach
- Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge
- Kīlauea Lighthouse
- Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge
- Wai’oli Hui’ia Church
- NININI POINT LIGHTHOUSE
- Waimea Canyon State Park: Red Dirt Falls
- Waimea Canyon State Park: Waimea Canyon Lookout
- Waimea Canyon State Park: Waipo’o Falls
- Kōkeʻe State Park: Kalalau Lookout
- Kōkeʻe State Park: Pu’u O Kila Lookout
- Russian Fort Elizabeth State Historical Park
- Hanapepe Swinging Bridge
- Koloa Heritage Trail: Spouting Horn
- Koloa Heritage Trail: Keoneloa Bay
- Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park
Location: Moanakai Rd, Kapaʻa, HI 96746
Designation: Public Beach
Date of my visit: April 18, 2019