Jeff Haigh gives a different look at annual sand sculpture

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Larry Diedrich of South Carolina does a selfie with Jeff Haigh’s New Year sand sculpture, Thursday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Ayu Ishii of California does a selfie with the New Year sand sculpture created Thursday by Jeff Haigh, a guest at the Kaua‘i Marriott Beach Club.

NAWILIWILI — You need to look in the mirror to get the right side rendition of Jeff Haigh’s New Year sand sculpture.

“It’s a selfie,” Haigh, a visitor from California said, Thursday. “If you do a selfie with the sculpture, everything will come out correctly.”

Haigh visits Kaua‘i each year and creates commemorative sand sculptures at Kalapaki Beach for key holidays and celebrations.

His efforts are creating a Christmas, or Mele Kalikimaka, piece were frustrated by many feet who loved to trample the growing pile of sand, estimated at about a ton in weight.

“It took several tries,” Haigh said. “At least three times during the week, the pile would be leveled and I had to start, again.”

The fourth attempt was successful, but short of all the details he wanted in the piece. That project was short-lived as the wind and rain made short work of the Mele Kalikimaka.

“Normally, I work with Santa who arrives by double outrigger canoe,” Haigh said. “There would be a lot of people around here. But because of the COVID-19, there’s hardly anyone around. I’m not used to that. It’s almost spooky, there’s so few people around.”

Undaunted, Haigh tried again for Hauoli makahiki hou, or Happy New Year.

“Eight tons of sand, and a ton of water,” Haigh said. “This was the fastest I’ve ever cut a piece. And when it was done, and I looked at it, it looked like a giant ‘SOS,’ not 2020. That led to the ‘Better in the rear view,’ and I even added the Day/Night tab.

“But this is hard work, and I’m not getting any younger,” he said. “I might add a few more details like some flowers and stuff, but I’m winded, already. If you at the piece it’ll come out right, or better still, take a selfie with it — it’ll come out right.”

Happy New Year — Hauoli makahiki hou!

Haigh, who is scheduled to leave in February, said he’s still trying to figure out what he’s going to do for the Chinese lunar new year — the Year of the Ox — that takes place, Feb. 12.

“I’m still working on it,” Haigh said. “You missed the Year of the Rat. People really loved that one, and it lasted for a while.”

  1. I saw a Vampire once January 1, 2021 12:31 am Reply

    Sand casting. Nice day in the sun. This is in Nawiliwili. Past Lihue. Any airplanes flying by that can be seen from the beach? They used to fly right above. And it used to be called Kaua’i Surf hotel.

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