Waves at Shipwreck Beach

Rock ’n’ Rolling Waves

Shipwreck Beach at the island of Kaua’i in Hawai’i

When we checked in at our hotel on the island of Kauaʻi in Hawaiʻi, we knew that one of the places we wanted to check out was the beach at the hotel. We could see it from the hotel lobby when we arrived to check in, and we thought it looked inviting.

When we walked out to the beach after getting our things in our room, we saw the waves crashing in on the shore. That looked great, even though it did not look like it would be a perfect swimming beach. Fortunately, the hotel had that part covered with its pools.

Instead of swimming there, we enjoyed the beach for a place to walk and to watch the waves crash into the shore. Right next to our hotel was a public park at the beach, and we soon learned that that stretch of sand and rocks is known as Shipwreck Beach. How cool! As long as you are not trying to sail a ship, of course.

We went out that way a few times because to me it is always interesting to just watch the waves roll in. We are used to the long stretches at Cocoa Beach, Florida, where the waves just roll up on the sand. But here at Shipwreck Beach, and along much of the coast of Kauaʻi, the waves crash against rocks. Some of them are smaller rocks, such as what you see in the foreground, and then some of them are much larger rocks. The proper term would probably be cliffs, perhaps.

It is easy to imagine a ship in the days of long ago trying to get to the shore to drop its anchor, but the waves keep trying to push it into the rocks of the shallow water or into the cliffs just beyond the beach. I would guess more than one ship did not successfully anchor here, which could be how the beach got its name.

I was definitely glad to be on the land side looking out at the water instead of being in the water and trying to figure out how to get to the shore. But for us, it was a great sight to see!

See more from our trip in the 2018 Kauaʻi trip archive.


Coming from a landlocked area, waves always fascinate me. They just keep coming. Over and over again. No one turns them off at night. Sometimes they are smaller, and sometimes they are bigger. Sometimes the tide is going out, and sometimes the tide is coming in.

But the waves keep rolling. Sun or rain. Summer or winter. Morning or night. The waves are constant.

As I mentioned above, that could be a bad thing, depending on where you are in the waves. You could be trying to get somewhere and they keep pushing you in another direction. And I can see how that would be bad. 

But I like to think of the waves as being dependable. They are strong, and they can be difficult if you are trying to work against them. But they are always there, always going. 

That reminds me of God’s power. He is always there, always working, always dependable. Things are difficult if you are trying to work against him. But if you trust Him, he will take you where He wants you to go. For the waves, that may be to the rocks. And God may take you to a place that you are not expecting to go, but maybe unlike the waves, He will get you through it if you just trust in him.

And that is a constant.

Bible Verse

And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and the one who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. - 1 John 4:16

About the Photo

Although it might look like we were all alone here, there were in fact quite a few people around. After doing so much shooting with the fisheye lens over the past few years, it was nice to be reminded that with a different lens you can sometimes zoom in between people to get them out of the frame. You can’t do that very easily with a fisheye lens that captures almost everything from one of your elbows to the other.

And yes, I turned up the processing on this one just a bit. I liked the bold look for this one, as it goes along with the bold power of the waves and the rocks. I liked the different shades of blue in the water, as well as the greens of the vegetation growing in the rocks of the cliff, so I increased the color saturation a bit here as well, while keeping the white caps of the waves visible, too. Hopefully, it is not apparent, but I did mix in three different exposures from the original Raw file here to get everything to look like I wanted it to look. It was worth the extra effort, I think.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Olympus M.Zukio 25mm f1.8
Date: July 7, 2018
Location: Poʻipū, Kauaʻi, Hawaiʻi