Big Surf

While the weather news back home is about snow, the news in Hawaii is about big ocean swells caused by winter storms in the North Atlantic.  Between December 1 and the last day in February, the storms create swells which translates into large waves on Hawaii's North Shore which translates to "Surf's Up" to the local surfers.

If the swells get large enough and the conditions are just right, a surfing competition  is held in Wiamea Bay.  This competition is the Quicksilver Big Wave Invitational known as "The Eddie."  The competition is in memory of Eddie Aikau, the first lifeguard at Wiamea Bay and also a legend at surfing the big waves.  Check out the Wikipedia entry about Eddie Aikau and the Quicksilver completion on links at the end of this post.

Monday 2/22/2016 we traveled to Oahu's North Shore to check out the surf.  At Wiamea Bay the surf was crashing into the shore.  No one was allowed to surf as the conditions were just too dangerous.

This image was from the area known as Pipeline and the lens does not do justice to the size of the wave.  

This image was from the area known as Pipeline and the lens does not do justice to the size of the wave.

 

  The brown in the wave is the sand being churned up from the beach.  Tonight on the news they showed pictures of the beach as it normally is and it is a wide and beautiful beach, but after the surf of the last few days, much of the sand is gone and the black lava rocks are exposed.

 

The brown in the wave is the sand being churned up from the beach.  Tonight on the news they showed pictures of the beach as it normally is and it is a wide and beautiful beach, but after the surf of the last few days, much of the sand is gone and the black lava rocks are exposed.

  These two images were taken at Wiamea Bay and you can see and feel the power.  While I was taking these images, a surfer climbed over the tape signifying the beach was closed and immediately the lifeguards were there making him leave the beach.  I asked him how big these swells were and he estimated them at about 30 feet.

 

These two images were taken at Wiamea Bay and you can see and feel the power.  While I was taking these images, a surfer climbed over the tape signifying the beach was closed and immediately the lifeguards were there making him leave the beach.  I asked him how big these swells were and he estimated them at about 30 feet.

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  Turning the camera the other direction I was able to catch the waves as they battered into the rocks.  I was able at one point to get so close to the edge that spray and salty mist hit me as the waves crashed into the shore.  I did grab a little video, but even it does not capture the full force of these waves.

 

Turning the camera the other direction I was able to catch the waves as they battered into the rocks.  I was able at one point to get so close to the edge that spray and salty mist hit me as the waves crashed into the shore.  I did grab a little video, but even it does not capture the full force of these waves.

As I write this blog post, The Eddie has the green light pending the official determination at 8 am.  The forecast is for waves of 35-55 feet!  People are already camping out hoping to see some big waves and great competition.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiksilver_Big_Wave_Invitational

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Aikau