Spouting Horn in Kauaʻi / Expectations and Reality

Water Spout

Water gushes up through the rocks at Spouting Horn on the island of Kauaʻi in Hawaiʻi

Water gushes up through the rocks at Spouting Horn on the island of Kauaʻi in Hawaiʻi, as seen during our 2018 Kauaʻi Trip.

While we were in Kauaʻi, we kept seeing signs on the highway for Spouting Horn. That sounded interesting. And we had also seen it listed as something to see. Plus, it was not too far from our hotel. So one day while we were relatively close by, we decided to go for a visit.

As we parked and were walking along the concrete sidewalk to the overlook, we passed some people heading back to their car. They were saying, “That was rather disappointing. I was expecting more than that.” Their unflattering comments made me wonder slightly, but we were already there, so we pressed on.

When we reached the shoreline after our short walk, there it was, the Spouting Horn. Every minute or two, water would spout up out of a hole in the rocks, sometimes as high as 10 to 15 feet or more. Needless to say, we were suitably impressed. Of course, the science behind it was easy to figure out, as the water would come from the waves crashing in below the rocks, and the water would be forced up through the hole. Still, for us country folks, it was fun to see. We watched it for quite a while.

Plus, there was a little market of craft vendors set up along the walkway between the parking lot and the ocean, so we enjoyed looking through what they had to offer, too. It is nice to support the smaller vendors sometimes.

Expectations vs. Reality

Somehow, I donʻt think this is the kind of water spout that the Itsy Bitsy Spider climbed up, because there was nothing to climb. Instead, he would have been shot up into the sky without having to do any climbing at all. So he might not have been impressed by the Spouting Horn, just like those people we passed.

I would guess that those people had some sort of grand idea in their mind of what they expected to see. I donʻt know if it was based on something they had read or perhaps on somewhere else they had been. But the reality of Spouting Horn definitely was not up to their expectations. Maybe they were expecting a horn-like sound, taking the “horn” in the name to mean an instrument instead of a point of land. Who knows?

On the other hand, we did not know much of what to expect besides some water spouting up through the rocks. That was our expectation. However, the reality of it all actually exceeded our expectations, because in addition to that there were some outstanding views of the coast, which we both thoroughly enjoyed.

What’s the lesson here? Don’t set your expectations so high that there is no way they can be met. There is a reason that reality has the word “real” in it, because reality is definitely based on what is real. That is what the word means, after all. Don’t forget about what is real.

There is nothing at all wrong with being excited about something. I get that way all of the time, whether it is before a trip, before reading a new book, before watching a movie, or anything else that I might be looking forward to.

However, sometimes in our excitement, it is important to take a step back and see if our expectations might be set a little too high. Sometimes, I have even asked myself the question, “What if this doesn’t turn out to be as good as I think it might be?” Not to be too much of a downer, and not to say that you should expect to be disappointed, but it is good to remember to be realistic about things.

And besides, if you go in with average expectations, you might be pleasantly surprised when you have those expectations exceeded.

Before our Kauaʻi trip, our expectations were understandably high. After all, we had both seen nice things about Hawaiʻi on television all of our lives, and we had heard from several others about how much they enjoyed their trips to the Hawaiian islands. But we also knew to be realistic about things, not to over plan, not to over analyze, and to just enjoy things as they came to us during the trip. Needless to say, that trip was very much a resounding success, as you have no doubt seen in the various posts here.

It is good to have expectations, but it is also good to have them grounded in reality. That can make life more fun.

Bible Verse

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. - James 1:12

About the Photo

I lost count of how many photos I took while we were watching the Spouting Horn spout. Because of that large number, it was difficult to pick one to share here. But I finally found one that I liked, and so here it is.

When I ran this one through Aurora HDR for the processing, it made the water spout a bright white, and it slightly darkened the blue water behind it. That helps the water stand out better, but if you look at it long enough, it might appear slightly unnatural. So my recommendation might be not to stare at this one too long. However, it is quite fascinating, so I will understand if you look for at least a little while.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Aurora HDR. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Olympus 14-42mm IIR
Date: July 7, 2018
_Location: _ Spouting Horn, Poʻipū, Hawaiʻi

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.