Laysan Albatross Flyby

One morning – this was probably back in the late 90’s – Dina and I were hiking back from the tip of the Kaena Point when our path descended into a small depression about neck high. Suddenly to my left I noticed a Laysan Albatross with a 6ft + wingspan gliding my way and had a premonition. Something about the way he was flying told me he wasn’t going to veer away and keep his distance like they usually do. Because I was standing in a gully, I wasn’t at normal human height. Maybe I looked like a stump. Instinctively I raised my camera – a cheap 35mm with no zoom – and squeezed off 3 shots…

 

When we lived in Hawaii, Dina and I loved going out to Kaena Point, a desolate arrow-shaped beach jutting into the turbulent north shore surf. Its amazing to stand there. It feels like it’s the edge of the world. The ancient Hawaiians believed that this beautiful place was a sacred “jumping off” point where the souls of the dead went to leap from this world to the next.

Laysan Albatrosses nested there and we often saw them riding the winds.