Hapuna Beach, with its smooth (almost soft) white beaches, ample waves, and amenities (such as the 3 Frogs Cafe where they sell shave ice and delicious mango smoothies) is a favorite for body surfers, boogie boarders, sandcastle builders, sunbathers, and sunset gazers.
Several families of children at different times throughout the afternoon worked on one fort in the sand. There were few tools to reinforce the fantastic citadel they had in mind: one red cup and a large yogurt container were all they could rustle up. However, the shark builders down the beach came ready to carve the sand with a shovel, a rake, and a little sand bucket.
A man and his son were climbing the rocks behind us. The small boy had yellow, plastic, nunchucks tucked into his waistband. Both he and his father had a stick they held sort of like a knife. As they leapt onto the sand near our camp, I offered, “Pretty scary; two ninjas!” The boy, at first denied his ninja status until his father said, “He’s the ninja; I’m just the apprentice.”
It didn’t surprise me that there might be ninjas at the beach, we had already seen a sign that warned that the are was an old military training area and that unexploded ordnances might remain; the attention-grabbing sign features a grenade.
The park now has a $5 per car fee for out-of-state visitors, but there have been some improvements in the area, particularly at Beach 69 (aka 69s), off Old Puako Rd.