Hard to imagine really—the water looks so benign. But this is a huge mass of water, the closest land probably being San Francisco at a mere 3700 or so kilometres across the ocean. The sign, on Coconut Beach, Kauai, looks like it’s been warning swimmers for quite a few years, but I was too busy looking out for whales and watching the tropical fish in the shallows to be tempted to wade in more than ankle deep.

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