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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Phoenix, Arizona to Lihue, Kauai

Michael and I are off to the Hawaiian Island of Kauai.

We are on a company trip since Michael and Jake made their yearly goal. Going to “Club” is a perk some computer companies reward those whom surpass their sales goals or make significant contributions during the year. In past years, Qumulo had their “club” in Mexico but this year, it is in Kauai from the 13th to the 16th. Michael decided to add on a few extra days.

American Airlines flies nonstop from Phoenix to Lihue in 6 hours and 44 minutes.

Said goodbye to Camelback Mountain as the plane started to gain altitude.

Downtown Phoenix gets smaller and smaller as we climb.

If you are a baseball fan, you will recognize Chase Field where the Arizona Diamondback’s baseball team plays. The roof is closed today so you can not see the playing field.

The Footprint Center is where the Sun’s basketball stadium is located.

So many homes being built around Luke Air Force Base.

"The Central Arizona Project, CAP, is Arizona's single largest resource for renewable water supplies. CAP delivers Colorado River water to Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties, serving more than 5 million people, or more than 80% of the state’s population. CAP carries water from Lake Havasu near Parker to the southern boundary of the San Xavier Indian Reservation southwest of Tucson. It is a 336-mile long system of aqueducts, tunnels, pumping plants and pipelines and is the largest single resource of renewable water supplies in Arizona.

In 1971, the state legislature authorized a special taxing district, the Central Arizona Water Conservation District (CAWCD), governed by a 15-member, non-partisan board that is publicly elected by the voters of Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties, to contract with the Secretary of the Interior for the delivery of the CAP water and to repay CAP construction costs that were reimbursable by the state of Arizona. Construction of the CAP system began in 1973 and was completed 20 years later at a cost of more than $4 billion. The result is an engineering marvel.

The water CAP delivers is important to communities and industries. CAP typically has more than 60 water users that fall into three user groups: municipal and industrial, agricultural and Native American Tribes. The water serves more than 80% of the state’s population, including irrigated farmland, and is the single largest provider of water to tribal communities in the Colorado River system.

The water CAP delivers is important to our economy. Few natural resources are as precious as water, and with CAP providing reliable, renewable Colorado River water, the Arizona economy is stronger and residents can enjoy a higher quality of life.

CAP continues to focus on reliably delivering water. By collaborating with federal and state agencies and water users, CAP is dedicated to managing and sustaining this water supply for future generations.

The CAP system is an engineering marvel that stretches 336 miles, lifts the water nearly 3,000 feet in elevation over the course of the system and includes 14 pumping plants, one hydroelectric pump/generating plant at New Waddell Dam, Lake Pleasant storage reservoir, 39 radial gate structures to control the flow of water and more than 50 turnouts to deliver water.

The CAP system has 14 pumping plants that lift water so it can flow by gravity to the next plant. The lift at each plant varies - the shortest lift is 67 feet at Twin Peaks Pumping Plant; the greatest lift is 824 feet at Mark Wilmer Pumping Plant.

Mark Wilmer Pumping Plant, the first and largest pumping plant in CAP’s system, features six 66,000 horsepower pumps that lift water more than 800 vertical feet into the seven-mile long Buckskin Mountain Tunnel. It then flows into the open canal where it continues its journey across the state.

Before construction, engineers identified that the CAP canal could create a man-made barrier to wildlife corridors, potentially altering migration patterns, segregating populations and restricting access to natural waters. As a result, wildlife crossings were constructed to maintain wildlife migration corridors and wildlife watering tanks were installed outside CAP’s security fence to ensure access to fresh water.

There are four tunnels in the CAP system that are used to move water through mountainous terrain.

Burnt Mountain Tunnel is located in Maricopa County, about 60 miles west of Phoenix. It has a diameter of 19.5 feet, is 0.6 miles long and is horseshoe shaped.

New Waddell Dam is an earthen fill dam that is nearly 5,000 feet long and forms Lake Pleasant, CAP’s largest reservoir. The lake serves two purposes. It stores more than 800,000 acre-feet of water and is also a recreational destination for more than 750,000 people each year.

In addition to a reliable supply of Colorado River water, the CAP system affords another benefit to the state of Arizona -- a long distance, non-motorized, multi-use recreational trail corridor known as the CAP Trail. The trail runs along the CAP canal traversing Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties. The trail is planned for multiple recreational uses (i.e. walking, jogging equestrian use and bicycling).

Check gates are structures along the canal with two remotely operated radial gates that can be raised or lowered. The gates manage water within the CAP system to allow for immediate water delivery to CAP water users.

Check Gate 22 is one of 39 check structures along the canal.

Through coordinated operation, the CAP-SRP interconnect facility (CSIF) allows CAP water users to receive their CAP water via the SRP delivery system.

There are more than 50 turnouts throughout the CAP system that are used to deliver raw Colorado River water, typically to more than 60 users, including municipalities, agricultural users and Tribal communities.

Santa Rosa Turnout is the largest on CAP’s system.

Recharge is a long-established and effective water management tool that allows renewable surface water supplies to be stored underground now for recovery later during periods of reduced water supply. CAP has developed seven recharge projects to store Colorado River water and currently own six and operate five.

Pima Mine Road Recharge Project provides underground water storage in Pima County, roughly 15 miles south of Tucson. It was developed in cooperation with the City of Tucson. Full-scale operations began in 2000 and it has an annual permitted volume of 30,000 acre-feet of water. "

Notice the Colorado River separating Arizona and California. Crops are grown all year long in this area.

Sand and mountains as far as you can see.

Clouds start appearing the closer we get to the coast of California.

California coastline


Islands off the coast of California. I think this is San Clemente Island but I'm not sure.

Michael upgraded us to first class since it is long flight and we will be taking the redeye on the evening of the 16th.

The seats in first are quite nice. There is a holder for your phone or IPad. There is also a USB port.

There are 20 people in first class and only one flight attendant. Michael and I are sitting in 2 D and F. By the time the flight attendant took our order, the only thing left was pasta so it was take it or leave it. For those of you from New England, did you recognize the Ken’s dressing? Ken’s is headquartered in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

Some of the sights for our long journey: clouds and water. I did see one large ship but the picture came out blurry.

Each person traveling alone or one person representing the family must fill out an agricultural declaration form.

Kauai is an island in the Central Pacific, part of the Hawaiian archipelago. It's nicknamed "the Garden Isle" thanks to the tropical rain forest covering much of its surface. The dramatic cliffs and pinnacles of its Na Pali Coast have served as a backdrop for major Hollywood films, while 10-mile-long Waimea Canyon and the Nounou Trails traversing the Sleeping Giant mountain ridge are hiking destinations.

Highest elevation: 5,243 ft (1598.1 m)

Highest point: Kswaikini

Population: 73,298 (2020)

Flower: Mokihana (Melicope anisata)

Island group: Hawaiian Islands

Perhaps more than any of the other islands, Kauai is known for its natural beauty and its dramatic, beautiful sites. These include Waimea Canyon State Park, the Coconut Coast and much more. You'll find gorgeous mountains and waterfalls, white sand beaches, sugarcane fields, and beachside cliffs such as those on the Na Pali Coast State Park.

Kaua’i, anglicized as Kauai, is geologically the second-oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands (after Ni’ihau). With an area of 562.3 square miles (1,456.4 km2), it is the fourth-largest of these islands and the 21st largest island in the United States. Known also as the "Garden Isle", Kauaʻi lies 73 miles (117 km) across the Kaua’i Channel northwest of O’ahu.

Hawaiian narrative locates the name's origin in the legend of Hawai’iloa, the Polynesian navigator credited with discovery of the Hawaiian Islands. The story relates how he named the island of Kauaʻi after a favorite son; a possible translation of Kauaʻi is "place around the neck", describing how a father would carry a favorite child. Another possible translation is "food season".

Kaua’i was known for its distinct dialect of the Hawaiian language; this survives on Ni’ihau. While the standard language today adopts the dialect of, Hawai’i island, which has the sound [k], the Kaua’i dialect was known for pronouncing this as [t]. In effect, Kaua’i dialect retained the old pan-Polynesian /t/, while "standard" Hawai’i dialect has changed it to the [k]. Therefore, the native name for Kaua’i was said as Taua’i, and the major settlement of Kapa’a would have been pronounced as Tapa’a.

Polynesian inhabitants settled on the island hundreds of years before the arrival of Europeans, as shown by excavations dating back to as early as 200 A.D. to 600 A.D. These first inhabitants, originally from the Marquesas Islands, lived undisturbed for around five centuries until a second wave of seafarers arrived by sea-canoe from Tahiti. Many Hawaiian traditions and belief structures are rooted in the religion and practices that arrived with these Tahitians.

In 1778, Captain James Cook arrived at Waimea Bay, the first European known to have reached the Hawaiian islands. He named the archipelago the "Sandwich Isles" after his patron, the 6th Earl of Sandwich, George Montagu.

During the reign of King Kamehameha, the islands of Kaua’i and Ni’ihau were the last Hawaiian Islands to join his Kingdom of Hawaii’i. Their ruler ,Kaumuali’I, resisted Kamehameha for years. King Kamehameha twice prepared a huge armada of ships and canoes to take the islands by force, and twice failed; once due to a storm, and once due to an epidemic. In the face of the threat of a further invasion, however, Kaumuali’i decided to join the kingdom without bloodshed, and became Kamehameha's vassal in 1810. He ceded the island to the Kingdom of Hawai’i upon his death in 1824.

The Schäffer affair was a controversial diplomatic incident caused by Georg Anton Schäffer, a German who attempted to seize the Kingdom of Hawaii for the Russian Empire. While on a trading expedition to the Kingdom, the Russian-American Company(RAC) vessel Bering ran aground during a storm at Waimea on Kauai in January 1815. The chieftain of the island, Kaumualii, seized the company goods on board. Schäffer was sent later that year from Russian America to recover the lost property, where he would spend the following two years courting native allies to overthrow Kamehameha I.

Mounting resistance of Native Hawaiians and American traders forced Schäffer to admit defeat and leave Hawaii in July 1817, before his triumphant reports from Kauai reached the Russian court. The Company recognized a loss of no less than 200,000 rubles but continued entertaining "the Hawaiian project" until 1821. The Company then sued Schäffer for damages, but after an inconclusive legal standoff found it easier to let him go back to Germany.

Kauaʻi's origins are volcanic, the island having been formed by the passage of the Pacific Plate over the Hawaii hotspot. At approximately five million years old, it is the oldest of the main islands. It consists of a large eroded shield volcano with a 9.3–12.4 mi (15.0–20.0 km) diameter summit caldea and two flank calderas. Rejuvination of the volcano 1.40–0.6 million years ago resulted in the eruption of lavas and cones over the eastern two-thirds of the island.

The highest peak on this mountainous island is Kawaikini at 5,243 ft (1,598 m). The second highest peak is Mount Wai’ale’ale near the center of the island, 5,148 ft (1,569 m) above sea level. One of the wettest spots on earth, with an annual average rainfall of 460 in (38.3 ft; 11.7 m), is located on the east side of Mount Waiʻaleʻale. The high annual rainfall has eroded deep valleys in the central mountains, carving out canyons with many scenic waterfalls. On the west side of the island, Waimea town is located at the mouth of the Waimea River, whose flow formed Waimea Canyon, one of the world's most scenic canyons, which is part of Waimea Canyon State Park. At three thousand ft (910 m) deep, Waimea Canyon is often referred to as "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific". Kokeo Point lies on the south side of the island. The Na Pali Coast is a center for recreation in a wild setting, including kayaking past the beaches, or hiking on the trail along the coastal cliffs. The headlands Kamala Point, Kawelikoa Point, Kahonu Point, and Molehu Point are on the south-east of the island, Makaokaha’i Point is at the south of the island.

Kauaʻi's climate is tropical, with generally humid and stable conditions year-round, although weather phenomena and infrequent storms have caused instances of extreme weather. At the lower elevations, the annual precipitation varies from an average of about 50 in (130 cm) on the windward (northeastern) shore to less than 20 in (51 cm) on the (southwestern) leeward side of the island. The average temperature in Lihu'e, the county seat, ranges from 78 °F (26 °C) in February to 85 °F (29 °C) in August and September. Kaua’i's mountainous regions offer cooler temperatures and provide a pleasant contrast to the warm coastal areas. At the Kōke’e state park, 3,200–4,200 ft (980–1,280 m) ASL, day temperatures vary from an average of 45 °F (7 °C) in January to 68 °F (20 °C) in July. In the winter, temperatures have been known to drop down to the 30s and 40s at Kōke’e state park, which holds an unofficial record low of 29 °F (−2 °C) recorded in February 1986 at Kanaloahuluhulu Meadow.

Precipitation in Kauaʻi's mountainous regions averages 50–100 in (1,300–2,500 mm) annually. Situated about ten mi (16 km) southeast of Kōke’e state park at an elevation of 5,075 ft (1,547 m), is the Mt. Wai’ale’ale rain gauge. Mt. Wai’ale’ale is often cited in literature as being the wettest spot on earth, although this has been disputed. Based on data for the period from 1931 through 1960, the average yearly precipitation was 460 in (11,700 mm) (U.S. Environmental Science Services Administration, 1968). Between 1949 and 2004, the average yearly precipitation at Mt. Wai’ale’ale was 374 in (9,500 mm).

Not only does Kaua’i hold a record in average yearly precipitation, it also holds a record in hourly precipitation. During a storm on January 24–25, 1956, a rain gauge at Kaua’i's former Kilauea Sugar Plantation recorded a record twelve in (305 mm) of precipitation in just 60 minutes. The value for one hour is an underestimate, since the rain gauge overflowed, which may have resulted in an error by as much as 1 in (25 mm). An accurate measurement may have exceeded Holt, Missouri’s world-record rainfall of 12 in (300 mm) in 42 minutes on June 22, 1947.

Hawaii Standard Time (UTC-10:00 is observed on Kaua’i year-round. When most states are on daylight saving time for example, the time on Kauaʻi is three hours behind the West Coast of the United States and six hours behind the East Coast.

For the first part of the trip we are staying at the Sheraton Coconut Beach Resort.

We have an ocean front room. We are at the corner left on the first floor.

Wonder what made this hole. Do I actually want to know?

Michael and I walked along the beach to Bull Shed where we had dinner.

We started with fresh baked warm bread, a salad and a Starburst (Tito's handmade vodka, lemonade, and strawberry puree.)

We both had the baked potato and the monchong fish with a cilantro dressing. Delicious!

Monchong has a highly transparent, clear, white flesh with pinkish tones. It is firm in texture and moderate in flavor. It has a high oil content and good shelf life.

Monchong are landed and marketed fresh, sold at the Honolulu fish auction. Restaurants are the primary customers for monchong in Hawaii and the rest of the U.S.

Usually caught in deep waters (greater than 900 feet), often in the vicinity of seamounts. Monchong can range from about 4 pounds to over 25 pounds, but the prime market sizes are fish over 12 pounds.

All Hawaii monchong are line-caught. Longline boats harvest most of the monchong catch in Hawaii. However, some monchong are also caught by deepwater handline gear with power reels.

Monchong - sickle pomfret(Taractichthys steindachneriMonchongis the name usedin Hawaii for two species of deep sea pomfret. These are harvested in small quantities by the tuna long-line and bottomfish handline fisheries. The predominant species is Taractichthys steindachneri, known as the sicklepomfret,becaus of the forked shape of its fins and large scales. The large black scales covering the entire body of this species distinguish it from Eumegistus llustris,or lustrouspomfret, which has bronze skin color, larger eyes, and a thicker body. The lusrous pomfret accounts for less than

5% of monchonglandings in Hawaii.

Only small quantities of monchong are available because it is not usually targeted by fishermen. There

are no well-defined seasonal trends in availability. Monchong can range from about 4 pounds to over 25 pounds, but the prime market sizes are fish over 12 pounds.

Great start to a fun vacation!!!

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