(Great find, Chosha!)
ps & speaking of interesting finds...
Is it just me or is Kermit sounding...uh...a bit cynical?
Perhaps it's not good for frogs to live in big cities for too long. What happened to the wistful optimism of "It Ain't Easy Being Green?"
Nice river view though. Thanks, Mr.
updating a few minutes later - oh heck, as long as I am all link-happy - OMG, is this not the freakiest, scariest, most malevolent-looking wave you've ever seen?
later still and speaking of big waves (but not so freaky looking) - wow, very cool, big surf on Oahu's north shore! Looking kinda good for the Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Surfing Contest.
I am still SO glad I got to watch the last one. Pure good luck, my dad & I knew we were watching something pretty special, but we had no idea what a lucky break (ha ha) we got until we got home afterwards & turned on the news.
The way the contest works is there is a period of time every winter where all the invitees travel to Hawaii. And then - they wait. If you think surfers are just adrenaline addicts, and couldn't possibly be good at waiting, you'd be wrong -- I took a board surfing lesson one time & the biggest surprise was just how much patience it required - if you didn't wait for the right waves, you just wear yourself out paddling after waves you can't catch. The right waves for these surfers are 20' or over, but not too much over (beyond a certain height it just gets too dangerous). The surfers & the contest organizers watch the swell, and when (and if) everything's just right - it goes.
If they don't have that day where everything's right - they just don't do it. Simple. See you next year.
So anyways - this is how my dad & I just happened to see this the last time everything was just right:
It was the winter of 04/05. My sister & I were visiting for the holidays; we had a beautiful day, I think we'd heard that the surf was pretty awesome, maybe we'd even heard something about a surfing contest on the radio. My mom had piano students in or something, but my sister & my dad & I decided to drive out to the north shore to see what we could see (and what did we see, we saw the sea!).
My sister had some specific thing she wanted to do on the way, and my dad & I were more interested in getting on out there, so we took separate cars. We were going to try to meet up at some point, but a ways out of Haleiwa, heading for Waimea Bay, my dad & I found ourselves in this insane traffic jam, miles long, absolutely crawling (the Kamehameha Highway is a two-lane road ou there). It was really confusing - that's the quiet side of the island. 3 cars at a stoplight is a traffic jam. What the heck was this?
We're a strange family in that none of us carry cell phones. We realized before too long that there was no way we were going to be able to meet up with my sister at the appointed time (it had been a sort of tentative plan anyways).
As Waimea Bay came into view, the cause of the traffic jam became instantly clear. This was not some little fun meet - this was serious. We didn't know just how major an event it was, but we saw the stands & the sound equipment towers. The bay was full of safety & media jet-skis, and waaaay out, there were all the surfers, looking out to sea at the enormous swells that moved towards them, waiting waiting waiting for just the right one - then you'd see a big set moving in, and a few of the surfers would start paddling, and the swells would hit the bottom & start to steepen, then crest, and then they'd catch up to the hard-paddling surfers & then oh MY, you'd see something!
Looked like something seriously worth watching, and since the plan where we met my sister was long since out the window, we didn't need to go meet up with her first. So we were free to give it a shot. Nowhere to park by the bay, but I think we decided to drive on into town, and if we could find a parking place, we'd walk back & join the spectators on the beach. We weren't terribly hopeful - but lo & behold, JUST as we got to the first place in town where there was parking, somebody was pulling out and WE were the ones who were in the perfect place to get it!
And that's how I got to see the last "Eddie". We were so lucky.