At the End of Kealia

Kealia is a long beach just north of Kapaa on Kauai’s east side. The Kapaa stream begins in the Makaleha mountains and reaches the ocean here. The bay is fairly large and has good swells for surfing. At the far north end of the beach is a rocky point that shelters a calm and usually safe swimming area. I’m not sure whether this rocky point is natural or a sort of man-made jetty (update: I now know it is man-made, probably as a sort of breakwater to provide somewhat sheltered anchoring long ago–but I can’t remember where I read about it) . Here is a quickly stitched panorama looking south and inland from those rocks. It would look better in the morning light:

The arc of the shallow bay formed by Kealia beach, with mountains in the hazy background, from left to right, Haupu, Sleeping Giant, Waialeale in the clouds, and Makaleha

It was also at this end of the beach that I met Kyle, who has a talent for balancing rocks. He also has an eye for picking out the interestingly shaped ones and making temporary sculptures out of them. He doesn’t use any sand between the rocks, just adjusts them until they stand up on their own:

Kyle throwing a shaka in front of his double balancing rocks

Update: Similarly, I once saw dozens of balanced rocks further up the Kapaa stream, on the Hoopii hike. It’s a mesmerizing scene to walk through the forest and see such subtle man-made “art” in an otherwise natural setting.

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