Planet Haolewood

A toolbox, a change of underwear, and a surfboard.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

We've Got a Jumper!

I think I have found my recreational soul mate. Have you ever traveled with someone who had different interests than you? You want to go to an art gallery and your companion is dying to play golf. Your traveling buddy has a keen interest in ancient Mayan ruins but you would rather go parasailing. It can be an awkward situation if time is short and there are only so many things you can do. Well imagine the opposite. You want to go surfing and your friend says “let’s go, dude.” You say you want to jump off cliffs into the ocean and he responds, “how high?” You suggest a 10 mile hike on an unmaintained trail through rain and mud so that you can wade through water filled tunnels with a headlamp to light your way and he tells you to lead the way. Well, I believe I have found such a kindred soul in a friend who I will call Neal-A.

Neal-A likes to jump off of things into water. So do I. Of course I’ve known him a long time so I was familiar with our shared interest. There’s a popular spot in Kauai known a Kipu Falls and the first time I visited it I thought to myself, “Neal-A would love this place.” I was not wrong. A tall tree towers over the deep pool at the base of Kipu Falls. A rope hanging from the tree makes for a great way to swing over the pool and jump in. It’s not for everyone but for those brave enough to try, it’s an exciting ride, thrilling enough for most. Neal-A, however, swung on the rope swing only once before he was climbing the tree from which the rope hung. While others were swinging and letting go of the rope so that they fell from the bottom of the rope into the water below, Neal-A was jumping from the TOP of the rope. We visited Kipu twice during his stay.

But what kind of “jumping tour” of Kauai would be complete with only freshwater locations? Afterall, Kauai is surrounded by ocean. So we headed off to Shipwrecks Beach where we played in the waves and contemplated the nearby cliffs where people are known to jump into the surf below. After talking to a jumper who we had seen take the plunge we were ready to try it ourselves. Neal-A went first. I think the picture says it all. After jumping a current carried us gently back toward the beach where our friends watched and we had only a short distance to swim and a few surfers to avoid before we were back on the dry land and ready to go again.


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