Thursday, June 30, 2011
Queens Bath is a large and well known tide pool located right in Princeville, where we stayed our first couple days on Kauai. During the winter months massive waves slam into Kauai’s north shore making the Queens Bath area a great location to capture beautiful and often dramatic images. During the calm summer months there is far less drama and far more people hanging out and having fun, as was the case on this day.
The path down to Queens Bath, like many in Hawaii, isn’t marked and doesn’t look like much from the top. It is steep in spots and muddy too. It follows a small stream which eventually flows over a waterfall that was full of people both times we passed by. Not too much farther is the large black lava outcropping that contains Queens Bath. We knew we were in the right area when we reached a wooden sign with slash marks for each of the 29 people who have died at this location.
There are many interesting formations along this section of coast including a number of tide pools so it wasn’t immediately clear to us which one was Queens Bath. We were wandering at the edge of the ocean, observing a group of sea turtles, when we encountered this small pool. It wasn’t Queens Bath but it seemed like a perfect place to stop and play.
Looking at its olivine color it is easy to imagine that the pool’s bottom was slippery—maybe even a little bit slimy—but it was actually neither; it was luxuriously soft. This, along with the pleasantly warm water, made the pool a great place to sit and soak while Lewis stalked the small tropical fish which get washed into it by the occasional large wave that surges up over its edge. If you look closely at the final image, one such fish is swimming rather nonchalantly between Lewis’ hands and my S95 in its underwater housing.
We eventually did make our way to Queens Bath itself. I think it had more swimmers than water in it. More interesting was a nearby group of teenagers who were jumping from the lava cliffs down into the ocean. None of us felt the urge to join in but it was fun to watch them work up the courage to jump.
[Click on a thumbnail to view the entire image.]
©2011 Timothy Linn. All Rights Reserved.