At Shipwreck Beach

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She walked slowly, her thin shoes not completely shielding her feet from the hot sand. She was nervous and excited in the same breath. Shore waves, about three feet tall, crashed along the shoreline, and misty sea-spray made her aubern hair glisten.  She took a deep breath, tasting the briny Pacific ocean elixir on her lips.  She squinted. There wasn’t a shipwreck in sight.  But she could see her man, faced away from her, waiting for her. Her heart began to beat even faster.

Not that I really knew what was going on in the bride’s mind at that moment; I just guessed.  I had been hired to capture these moments on video.  It’s a typical scene experienced by thousands of wedding couples at this particular beach: Shipwrecks Beach. My mind drifted and I wondered how many ‘shipwreck beaches’ are there? I know that in Greece there’s a Shipwreck Beach that some call Smuggler’s Cove. And I’ve heard that Oregon has a Shipwrecks beach, as does Washington State. In Hawaii there are at least two that I know of, the one at Lanai, aptly named Shipwrecks because it really does have mangled sea vessels littering its shore, and the one that I was on at that very moment: Shipwreck Beach, Poipu, Kauai. But here you wont actually find a shipwreck, not anywhere along the beach or along the spectacular coast. You will, however, see the iconic rock face—Makawehi Point—a sandstone landmark which the bride was presently heading to, and where her groom was waiting. You might have heard about this particular beach for another reason: This is where locals (and some brave tourists) leap thirty-five feet off the rock into the turbulent Pacific. Notably, Harrison Ford and Anne Heche jumped from it for the movie, “6 Days and 7 Nights.”  It’s just a short walk along the sand from the Hyatt Regency and other Poipu resorts, which might also be why so many wedding couples choose this location.  Waves smash again the cliff and when it’s really hot, wedding couples can move twenty feet from the water’s edge and find shade under the canopy of lush ironwood trees. It’s idyllic for dramatic photography and videography. The image below is pulled directly from the video, filmed by me at Shipwreck’s on November 11th 2019.

A footnote:  there used to be an old weather-beaten boat lying at the water’s edge. It sat there for many years, and that’s where the name, I guess, came from.

If you know of another Shipwrecks Beach, I’d love to hear about it. Shoot me an email at davidm617@me.com  



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