Plantation: Harbor

The redesign of Nawiliwili Bay as a harbor was completed in 1930. In this section, we follow the amazing process of turning Nawilwili Bay into a harbor.
Harbor would not have been possible without the assistance of Chris Cook pointing to the photographic resources.
Nawiliwili Bay in 1905. X marks the surf spot "ammonias". It was a long left - before the jetty was built. The shape of the two bays side by side gave Kalapaki (double yoked egg) its name.
photo courtesy of the Kaua'i Historical Society



Map of Nawiliwili Harbor made in 1881.
Courtesy Kaua'i Historical Society

Close up of Kalapaki Bay, with the twin reefs.
Courtesy Kaua'i Historical Society
Before the harbor was built, this was the landing at Nawiliwili. Ships would anchor outside and the cargo would be offloaded onto smaller boats. It was located in front of today's Pine Tree Inn.
From this angle we can see Nawiliwili stream flowing under the bridge. Notice the hillside with no beach. This is where Duke's restaurant sits today.
Kaua'i's finest on the landing at Kalapaki
photo courtesy of the Kaua'i Historical Society
First they built the breakwater.
Notice the bridge connecting Niumalu to the Ha'upu side of the bay. Only machines made this breakwater possible.

Hobey speaks about the effects of the breakwater on Kalapaki Bay: "About 1928, they started building the breakwater. And when they got the breakwater out, the currents changed and started to eat away all of the beach. And so my grandfather had some rock walls built -they came in from the Ninini Point side stream and then cut all the way across almost to Mokuweo, just above that where the other stream came in.."
No controversy in those days about the sea walls visible in this old Kalapaki photo's background. Hobey says these walls are still there, buried by the sand.
Then they built the jetty. Notice how small the beach was at Kalapaki before the jetty was finished
photo courtesy of the Kaua'i Historical Society
Hobey talks about the effects of the jetty: "After they finished the breakwater, where Duke's is today was ocean. The waves were breaking there. After they finished the jetty, the beach filled up. Little by little, accretion built up, built up, built up, built up." In the photo at right, we can see the change in the size of Kalapaki's beach. When we alter a natural design, there are always effects.
They dredged the bottom and used it as fill.
photo courtesy of the Kaua'i Historical Society
In 1956, this coral promontory (land that sticks out into a body of water) was built with fill from the deepened harbor. photo courtesy of the Kaua'i Historical Society

It was new land.
photo courtesy of the Kaua'i Historical Society
Nawiliwili had a harbor. The small boat harbor in the above picture was built in 1973, over the protests of Niumalu residents that it would affect the estuary.
Cheryl says this about the effect of the small boat harbor on Niumalu:
" I get kaumaha (depressed) about the Menehune Fishpond cause building the small boat harbor. I was gone, then I came back. Dredging the coral pile. I look - plenty tilapia. All the earthworms came out. Terrible. That stops the flow, the good flow. That fishpond could be restored, but cause of the breakwater. The small boat harbor, you look at the white water, its very shallow - the sediment from the Hule'ia river, can walk across. Now its really stagnant, not the kind of flow that should be going into here. Then you have the mangrove, terrible, collecting sediment."
Photo by David Boynton, Casey Riemer of Jack Harter Helicopters, pilot

So, Nawiliwili had a harbor. But what about the surf? What about the fish? In - You like fish? - two of Nawiliwili's own talk about the ones they caught.
photo by David Boynton
Created June 2001