Cruise cancellation and results of vacation rentals date changes...New amazing photos...

This chick was sitting close to the road wondering what I was doing.
As a result of next year's cruise being cancelled and the necessity of booking a different cruise with two day's difference in arrival and departure dates we waited anxiously to hear back from the owners.

When he realized I was no threat she relaxed a little.
Would they have availability for us to stay four days longer in New Zealand and arrive two days later to Bali, extending an extra two days at the end to compensate?

With the substantial time differences between New Zealand and Bali, 22 hours and 18 hours respectively, we didn't expect to hear back for a few days.  First, we heard back from the owners of the New Zealand property with a positive problem on staying four days longer than our contract. For Bali, arriving two days later and staying two day longer is also a yes from the owner, neither of which scenarios resulted in any additional costs.

As he moved, we were able to see more of the white and black feathers which will soon replace all of the fluff.
We're grateful for the availability and the kindness of the owners of both properties for their cooperation.  Problem solved.  We had a back up plan ready to implement in the event either of these didn't work out which included additional costs and monies lost.  We've found that there's always a solution.  The question becomes, does one want to pay for that solution which is often the case?

Yesterday afternoon, a sunny day, we drove over to the neighborhood to check out the growth of the Laysan Albatross chicks.  Being able to watch them morph from fat fluffy balls of inactivity and to actually see their new mature feathers was a sight we'd never expected to see in person.

This parent wandered from the chick for a walk.  Note the feathers on an adult as opposed to the fluff and feathers on the growing chicks.
As we slowly drove through the neighborhood, we spotted one chick after another in varying stages of molting their fluff.  Its crazy how they aren't disturbed as we stop the car and I get out to take photos.  We may be only 15 or 20 feet from them but they are as fearless of humans as the adults. 

They've been so loved and respected by the locals, they've had no reason to be afraid.  Yesterday we watched a homeowner working in his yard with a chick and two parents only three feet away.  Neither the human nor the birds paid any attention to one another as they each went about their usual activities.

Check out the chick's huge beak!
Here's a quote from National Geographic:

"On the Wings of the Albatross
By Carl Safina
An albatross is the grandest living flying machine on Earth. An albatross is bone, feathers, muscle, and the wind. An albatross is its own taut longbow, the breeze its bowstring, propelling its projectile body. An albatross is an art deco bird, striking of pattern, clean of line, epic in travels, heroically faithful. A parent albatross may fly more than 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometers) to deliver one meal to its chick. Wielding the longest wings in nature—up to eleven and a half feet (3.5 meters)—albatrosses can glide hundreds of miles without flapping, crossing ocean basins, circumnavigating the globe. A 50-year-old albatross has flown, at least, 3.7 million miles (6 million kilometers)."

One of the main highlights of our long stay in Kauai has been watching the life cycle of the albatross from the parents sitting on the nest when we arrived on January 15th, to the chicks hatching in early February and now the chicks maturing with only a month or more from the time they'll fledge from the nest. 

Suddenly, she stood up giving me a great shot of the white feathers growing on her underbelly.
Although we won't be here to witness them fledge which only occurs over a very short period as they run to the edge of the cliff and dive off to soar into the air, we'll keep an eye out on the live video feed we've been watching many times each day at this link.  By watching this live feed with two chicks about 100 feet apart its possible to see the permanent feathers coming in and the fluff molting away.

This was our intent when we stopped by yesterday.  We'd hoped to take photos of the gradual change in their appearance and were pleased to be able to do so with ease.

When the chicks sit on their back end, their weight causes their huge feet to lift off the ground.
Before we leave Princeville in 20 days, we hope to be able to follow Cathy, the Laysan Albatross expert and docent, on one more of her two daily rounds as  she documents the progress of the chicks, twice each day.  She does this for seven days a week over seven months each year when the albatross return to the same neighborhood for the life cycle to begin again, year after year.

After returning home I prepared our pu pu for last night's Full Moon Party.  After attending four of these enjoyable monthly parties (last night was our final party), orchestrated by friend Richard, we've found these parties to be highly instrumental in enhancing our social lives. 

We couldn't stop laughing when we shot these huge paddle like webbed feet lifting off the ground as she leaned back on her butt.
Holding the party at the Makai Golf Club's pool was especially fun last night.  Although the crowd was slightly smaller than usual with about 20 in attendance, we had a marvelous time, again meeting new people.

Back at home by 8:30, we had a late dinner when I'd left a full meal ready for our return.  Popping our precooked (earlier in the day) tasty well seasoned chicken wings into microwave (sans sauce), adding a salad and green beans we sat down at the little table to dine and watch prerecorded videos of "Shark Tank" and the new "Beyond the Tank. " Once again we had an excellent day and evening.

Months ago, the chicks slept most of the day.  Now, they are alert and awake waiting for the parents to return with more food.  They don't interact with the other chicks although other parents may stop by for a visit.
Today, we'll take a walk in the neighborhood, watch some golf, prepare Sunday dinner and play with Birdie and his friends, who as usual stopped by this morning as soon as we opened the blinds and the door. 

Have a satisfying Sunday!

Photo from one year ago today, May 3, 2014:

This broken egg was outside our bedroom door when we awake that morning a year ago.  With the riad's open to the sky center courtyard we imagined that an egg fell from a nest somewhere in the house.  How peculiar.  For details from that date, please click here.



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