Final batch from my penultimate day in Kauai last year. To start things off, a look at some of those gorgeous colors in the water:
A couple of humpback whales on the horizon:
A surfer making his way out to some bigger waves:
I really hadn't planned on taking that many photos at the beach, considering how many I'd already accumulated over the course of the day. But then the friends we were sitting with spotted a dark shape making its way through the water, swimming parallel to the beach...
Yup, that would be a Hawaiian monk seal giving me the side-eye. An extremely large seal at that:
We eventually lost sight of the seal after it ducked underwater, and we figured that was the end of that. However, a short while later we noticed a number of folks gathered around checking out something lying on the sand—a sleeping seal. Dad and I hot-footed it up the beach (pun intended), camera in hand. It was too small, and too dry, to be the one we'd seen earlier, but I was still delighted for the chance to get some close-up photos:
Such a cute face:
Very reluctantly lifting its head...
As it was apparently time to flip over:
Gotta scratch that back:
Love the curlicues at the end of some of its whiskers:
I never noticed before this pic that the seals have nails on their flippers:
Gotta get the chest scratched as well:
Just when I was about to call it good, Dad noticed some activity further up the beach—our swimmer decided it was time to make landfall:
It was most definitely not easy for this one to get itself up onto dry land.
Given how it was nearly twice as wide as the other seal—and, indeed, bigger than any other seal I've ever seen sunning itself—I have to wonder if this one wasn't a pregnant female:
Is she giving me the stinkeye?
Oh yeah, most definitely giving me the stinkeye:
But I guess even that seemed too much like work:
One of my favorite pics of this seal:
I didn't spot any tags on this seal, but I'm pretty sure those are numbers on her side:
Then, I guess she got a bit camera shy:
Up for air:
Guess that water was a bit colder than she expected:
A better look at her gorgeous brown eyes:
Just. So. Adorable.
This was the only shot I was able to get with both seals in the frame; the other one is in the upper right corner, by the two signs in yellow and white. Those are the markers that folks put up around any seal that comes up on the beach to remind everyone to keep a minimum distance away—both for the protection of the seals, which are an endangered species, and for any humans stupid enough to tick one off:
One last look at our sleeping beauty:
As we made our way back up the beach, seal number one apparently decided the tide was getting a bit too close:
Clearly, the effort of moving those few feet was quite exhausting:
And finally, one last bit of cuteness for the road: