What to Watch Out For in the Kauai Waters

Our spectacular Kauai is filled to the brim with amazing sights, inspiring adventures and unique out of the way locales for visitors to enjoy. Our island, being the soul of all the Hawaiian islands as well as the most remote, can unexpectantly put visitors in harms way.

girl tidepooltunnels beach

Last Sunday, while my family enjoyed the beautiful evening waves at our favorite Rock Quarry beach, a sudden commotion grabbbed my attention. A group of  frolicking children close by, spontaneously went from gleeful to a screaming mass of flailing arms and panic. I swam over quickly, knowing immediately what was occurring. I grabbed the loudest two, proceeded to peel off the string of stingers wrapped around their arms, focused on just getting them to shore. The other two were reacting to their sibblings despair and were not affected.  Once on shore, i informed the crazed parents that “Portugese man-o- wars” were the culprit. Man-o-wars are common during specific north wind events throughout the Hawaiiana islands. They float into shore with their translucent bubbles keeping their fish killing tentacles dangling below. As they are difficult to see in the similiar colored blue ocean, people are often stung. Locals always look on the shore before venturing out and know the wind patterns that bring them in.  I’ve been stung throughout my life as its simply a part of living in our ocean environment.  Locals also know how to instantly neutralize the “nematocyst”, the stinging cells within the tentacles. Any liguid with an acidic base such as apple cider vinegar or meat tenderizer will stop the cells from injecing further poison.  Folklore use to say to rub warm dry sand yet that simply spreads the cells deeper.  If no such household potion is on hand, urine is the best medicine. Uric acid is readily available yet there is always astonishment and nervous laughter when visitors are informed on the procedure. I’ve personally had to pee in my hand or found cup to apply on  a friend or guest, knowing the results outway the embarrassment.

Simply wisdom gained from a lifetime of living local. Your vacation with our experiences! We love to be of service…

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