Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Riding The Big One

The big waves have come to town.

Winter in Hawaii means big waves on the North Shore. However, a storm out in the Pacific has created even bigger waves than normal. The local news is reporting that waves this large have not been seen here in ten years!

*Thanks to my friend Lia for these fabulous shots. She has a camera that looks like the Hubble Telescope and gets great close-ups!

The Billabong Pipeline Masters surfing competition was supposed to begin today, but the waves were too big.

However, this cleared the way for another famous surfing competition- "The Eddie" - in which the waves must be at least 20 feet high. This competition is in memory of local legend Eddie Aikau - a well-know surfer and life-guard with hundreds of saves to his credit.

In 1978, Eddie Aikau was on a 30-day sailing voyage when the double hulled canoe he was on developed a leak and capsized. After ten hours in the water, Aikau convinced the captain to let him paddle off on his surfboard to try to get help. Another ten hours later, the boat was spotted and the 15-member crew was rescued. Eddie Aikau was never seen again. You often see bumper stickers and signs here which read, "Eddie Would Go" - a reference that when no one else would brave going into dangerous water to help others, Eddie would go.

The traffic up around Waimea Bay was horrendous.

There were people everywhere and cars parked in every available space.Look at all those people and cars crammed along the guard rail looking down into the bay.

We went to a beach a little farther along where we were able to get out and watch the waves.

Then we headed up the closest mountain and headed down a trail where we could see the surfers from up high. It was really a fabulous experience to know that this was a rare event and we were getting to see it!

Now I'm home, watching close up shots on the web cam.

One lifeguard told us, "The only people out there now are the really good surfers and the stupid people."

I think that about sums it up.

1 comment:

  1. What an adventure! I am glad you are able to share with us. GG