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Monk Seal at Poipu Beach

We spent only a week in Kauai, HI, but I have way more than a week’s worth of posts – even though they are not written yet.  I’ll post this one, the I’ll take a break from HI so I don’t bore you too much.  This was our first visit to the local beach.  We didn’t have a sandy beach outside our resort, and the one within walking distance wasn’t guarded.  So each day we drove five minutes to Poipu Beach where there was a life guard, picnic tables, and a guarded section of the beach that was like a wading pool.  This was Day #1  Before we could even hop in the ocean, the lifeguard tower blasted out a warning.  “Get out of the water.  A monk seal is approaching.  Get out of the water!”

Rumor is that she’s dangerous.  I think she’s just hormonal.  Anyway she cleared the protected beach at Poipu, Kauai, HI.  She approached lazily, and no one moved very quickly to get out of the water in response to the lifeguard’s microphone’s voice warning swimmers of her approach.  There are only 1,500 left and they live here in Kauai, so they get their way.

Everyone out of the water!  Give her room!  She is dangerous.

Everyone out of the water! Give her room! She is dangerous.

My pictures of her turned out blurry.  Soon she sped up and swam to the protected shallow waters where kids played protected from the surf by a ledge of unapproachable lava rocks.  She lounged on her back soaking up some rays, then dipped under to get cool while the multitudes warmed their heels in the sand.

Nobody minded getting out of the water, and everyone ran to grab their cameras.

Nobody minded getting out of the water, and everyone ran to grab their cameras.

Day #2  I should have known to take my camera today when we went out for a cup of coffee.  I mean we were only going to grab a cup and bring it back to our Diamond Resort home away from home.  Right?  Of course, WRONG!

After we grabbed our coffee, the car turned towards the beach at Poipu Point again, and there she was.  Charming the tourists she flapped her way over to give them a little kiss and a playful tap with her flippers.  The life guards ran frantically out of their tower like ants swarming a piece of peanut brittle on the cement.  They shooed back the squatting onlookers trying to get a good picture and a chance to rub her tummy.  They spent a bit of time penning her in because she moved, then flopped, moved, flopped.  They gave her a large playpen with multiple warning stakes with “keep out” ropes marking a perimeter all around her.

Day #3 The next day she was sunning herself when we got to the beach.  After enjoying a brief float, I joined the large group of onlookers, and clicked pictures at every angle.

Our Monk Sea Lion is pregnant.

Day #4  By our last visit to Poipu Beach Monk Seals were old news, so I didn’t take any more pictures.  She was just sleeping.  She did move her flippers much like fingers, and sort of scratch herself.  She was laying on her back this time, so I don’t thing that her tracking device bothered her too much.

If you can read and remember all this, you get a gold star!  :)

If you can read and remember all this, you get a gold star! 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this brief vacation to Hawaii.  I know we did.  But it is good to be home, too.  Our puppy girl, Kalev, was very glad that finally got back.  She was jealous that Manny got to go and she didn’t.  I hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend.  🙂

29 replies »

  1. The euphoria imbibing of this was insurmountable! HEAVEN!!

    “I should have known to take my camera today when we went out for a cup of coffee. I mean we were only going to grab a cup and bring it back to our Diamond Resort home away from home. Right? Of course, WRONG!” Ahem ALWAYS how it goes! Har har har!

    Those photos are FABULOUS and the captions are TOO groovy! I felt such a stab of prideful joy over the tracking device, darling little, er…rather invasive…scientists tracking the silvery monk sealy it’s just too wonderful. I always get all teary over man’s curiosity in and will to conserve other species. We have our failings, and then, things like that, I find infinite beauty in. Right, enough blubbering now, I’m off!




          • You would have awakened the poor pregnant seal if you had roared. She wouldn’t have known whether a lion was about to eat her or a killer whale! My bet would be on the killer whale! I’d like to see those plastic streamer keep out signs keep out a killer whale that really wanted to get Momma Monk Seal. I guess Monk seals aren’t celibate. I wonder what you call a baby Monk? A Monklet? Monkie Poo, Righteous Youth. Just wondering…


          • At it with the attempted murder again dear lass. I am….dying…

            I have wanted to see that in real life, that grand phenomenon, the orcas gliding in a wave to pluck a poor unsuspecting baby sealy right out of the shallows, into those crushing jaws of death, OH yes, toooooo groovy!!!

            Now I must provide a youtube link to this cute natural event-

            And another wee link from “Frozen Planet”, which Sir and I have begun watching.

            Hope the links come up, it is groovy. I just adore those toothy cetaceans! Sealies are fabulous too of course.


    • Thank you Mary. I have a question. Do the lines they have marked off run into the ocean. There were people swimming across the lines, and I wanted to, but wasn’t sure if I should. 🙂


      • If there are lines, for whatever reason, I wouldn’t swim across them until I found out why they are there. Could be many reasons. Sometimes swimming areas are roped off to keep people from swimming into areas where the current is too strong and unsafe. If someone went through the trouble to rope off an area, there is a reason. Ask a lifeguard.


        • Thanks Mary. The waters weren’t roped off at all when we were there. There weren’t any instructions really, but the seal was sleeping peacefully. I went around her. She didn’t seem to mind either way. What a privilege to get to be so close to one and observe her! 🙂


    • It was amazing to see her! Who ever knew that an animal would agree to wear such a thing on its back! 🙂 She seemed very comfortable around all of us. 🙂


      • You’ve surely heard of Shamu – the killer whale? He lived at Sea World. One of my co-workers (years ago) had a stuffed Shamu, and whenever she sent samples out to customers, she would send Shamu along. They would take pictures of him in the new city and send him back. It was such a hoot! He mostly stayed in the states, but twice he made it out of the country. So, I can see Manny hitching a ride to England. 🙂


        • I actually can see it happen, Maddie. I almost boxed him up and sent him before Vince every said anything! But now Vince is telling me I should send him. Manny is jumping up and down on the book case!!! 🙂 I’m not sure if Ute would be up to a character like Manny popping in on her! 🙂


  2. Marsha, is the sand covered thing with a “hair” coming out of it on her back a transmitter? She is very cute. But I think the lifeguards were protecting her more than the swimmers.


    • I totally agree with that. As well they should, too! I think that was just a polite way of saying, “Leave her alone tourists, or you will be toast!” 🙂


  3. Lucky you! I always feel so blessed when we see wildlife that we don’t expect to see. Don’t worry about boring your readers– never enough about Hawaii– gorgeous, fascinating place.


    • I don’t have anything written for today, and I just finished the book, The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived The Great American Dust Bowl by Timothy Egan. You would enjoy (poor choice of words) reading this one. It is non-fiction, but reads like a fiction. Have a great weekend, Lisa! 🙂


  4. What a treat to see the Monk Seal, Marsha. And what a wonderfully relaxed mum-to-be. I suppose the life guards have a job to do but this lady looks very calm and contented, not the least bit dangerous. A real beauty.


    • She was SO calm. Fast asleep with tons of people staring at her. She didn’t mind a bit. I think she would have flippered her way to the lady who was crouched calling her. She probably would have been happy to get tummy rubs! It was a lot of fun. Even without the camera I spent a lot of time just watching her. 🙂





Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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