By: Dana Perkins
During the Christmas holiday we had some out our best friends from Canada spend the season with us here on the Big Island. As per our tradition whenever we get together we always go out and adventure every day; try to find new uncharted territory, surf secret sports…things like that. Well, while adventuring one day we found…let’s put it this way…a beach where you could see all the phases of the moon. That’s right. We had stumbled upon Kahena Beach which is well known for being a Nude Beach.
We had driven along the eastern coast of the island and spotted a bunch of cars puled off to the side of the road. Naturally, curiosity got the better of us and we scrambled out of the truck and started to hike down to the water. There were so many people going up and down this slightly treacherous trail, I figured “there has got to be something amazing at the end of this!” My heart started to pump a little bit more the closer we got and excitement began to well up inside me. Until we reached the bottom.
There to greet us was a cobble cake of the most, um.. free spirited people I had every seen. Ranging in all shapes and sizes, aged young and very old, we had stumbled upon the nude beach; there as no mistaking that. The center of the beach had been taken over by a drum circle where the members were obviously protesting not only clothing but showers as well and scattered along the sand were men donning nothing but a snorkel and mask frolicking their way into the ocean while women basked in the last rays of sunlight for the day.
After the initial shock of what we had found wore off, we started to wander around the beach trying not too hard to stare at the inhabitants. Everyone was quite polite and happy looking. There wasn’t any raving lunatic running around, no wild orgy happening so we just imagined everyone with swimsuits on and enjoyed our first time at a nude beach. With our swim suits on I should add.
Kahena Beach is very unique and gorgeous. The Big Island of Hawaii is known for its gorgeous black sand beaches and this one surely did not disappoint. The sand juts up to a sheer lava rock wall that meets up with the road above so when down on the waters edge you feel like you’re in a little secret grotto. Vines and palm trees cover the rock wall and driftwood litters the shore as you walk along. The surf is a bit strong at this particular spot as the current moves quickly and sucks you out fast if you are not used to swimming in the ocean. It is still very relaxing and refreshing to jump in though.
After we had thoroughly investigated all the beaches beauty, we looked off to the end of the sand and saw something that made us double over with laughter. There, standing on a cliff stood an elderly man proudly displaying his birthday suit for the whole beach to see. He stood there resembling Tom Hanks’ character in Castaway, his crazy mane of hair and beard unkempt and flowing freely in the wind. We believe he had deemed himself proud protector and king of nude beach. He stayed there until the sun dipped below the surface and then wandered off to who knows where.
Needless to say, this adventure was one that we will never forget and included things we can definitely never “unsee”. I have to admit though, the inhabitants of Kahena Beach were some of the happiest looking people I had ever met. Whatever does it for you I guess! As for me, I’ll keep my bathing suit on and continue to happily enjoy life one adventure at a time.