|By Olaf Mitchell
From Paia, Maui, Hi,
Nov 2, 2012
|Oct 28, 2012 - 08:56pm PT
Following message is from my good friend Tracey Harrap to the New Zealand Windsurfing Association regarding the recent Tsunami Warning in Maui -
hi paul.... yeah some drama once again!
i got texted while leaving mana food with dinner supplies BUGGER there goes dinner plans...
These warning effect me as to where i live... as with many others. its very stressfull to deal with if this concerns you. First thing is text messages and phone calls of warning... they often drop out and not received due to overload on ph systems.. its still not officall on whats happening. I dont have a T.V so its hard to keep updated.. though local radio is very good.
Next thing is it REALLY going to hit you? Then the sirens start going off... thats a scary sound.... and its the first warning that is serious, and that evacuations are happening and reccomened... this follows by more sirens and airplanes flying over the effected coast areas... with flashing lights and also sounding a siren ... then the cops start driving up your street using a recorded message telling you to leave.
Neighbours group together questions of "Are you going? Are you staying? Are we on high enough ground? "How many times have we all packed and nothing happened? (this i belive is my 4th time) You think... "BUT is this diferent than other times?" Which direction is it coming from... straight on this time... yet the hight warnings are less then the Japan warnings, which left only a small amount of damage.
But like i said this is coming straight to you.. The Ocean is a mystery on what she could, or could not brew up, regardless of last time!!! Thoughts of the memorys of Japan cant help run through your mind again.
So you pack... what do you take? What dont you take. Yourself and family are at the top of the list, along with your furry friends
Its intresting in what do people hold of most value..... As the chance of watching your home disapear or damanaged is in warning.... and then wishing you had grabed something.. seeming you had time. Or do you just bail with a basic few back up clothes, passport laptop and credit cards.
For me its these basics i take and my bike... perhaps roads are damaged, and a bike could serve quite handy. Of course theres my dog. Its a strange feeling knowing everything else may or may not be there in less than an hour from now. Its an errie feeling hearing the sirens start up again.. after every so many minutes (I think was about every 15mins or so) The sirens rings increase as the countdown is getting closer. I bail its not worth it... its my choice... some neighbours stay.. thats their choice. Getting in a car driving to high ground is better than taking that 50/50 chance.
You go to a mates place and demand a cocktail and you crash on their floor or sofa... PJ party oh yeah!!!! hopefully they have T.V to stay updated. tomorrow is going to be new day... but it sure can have a new story!
So that basically what happens, yes im tired today, yes, I was allowed to go home this morning, and yes you can see the surge levels on the beachs.. not sure of any damage yet, planes and helicoptors are flying low around the coast levels...
Yes its a new day... and yes it could have been a different story.
You are welcome to share this on the N.Z.W.A page if you like.... just wanted to share my views as living here on Maui for 16 years. and you wanted news.
I also still think of all those people in the south island with all what they have gone through the last few years. EVERYONE stay safe and enjoy each day.. one never knows!
Mahalo Tracey Harrap N.Z.L -17
Photo: Olaf Mitchell
Nov 2, 2012
3-5' socal with Santa Ana's last week
|By Paul Hunnicutt
From Boulder, CO
Nov 5, 2012
|Thanks Olaf! I had a small taste and definitely want more. The next day I tried an 8'2" board (not a softtop) by myself. A lot harder! I was either too late or too early on almost every wave. Wish I had a month at the beach to get dialed in! Great fun just being in the water. A return trip is in the works for sure.
From Casa do Cacete
Nov 6, 2012
|Kelly Slater on the mic in Santa Cruz
P.S. Olaf, you might wanna change the all caps on the title, that's considered shouting in Internet speak
From Casa do Cacete
Nov 6, 2012
Olaf Mitchell wrote:
Christian,I never thought about it but it's done. Thanks for the link. It's always great to here from you here.
Lol, that picture is why I never bothered going to the North Shore..hehe
|By Olaf Mitchell
From Paia, Maui, Hi,
Nov 11, 2012
|We are in the middle of another an epic winter wave event here on the north shore of Maui.
We have also had three separate shark encounters lately.
The ocean has been in a unique mood.
Friday morning I addressed work things for a while and then I did my morning surf check and found glassy well over head waves in my back yard. When I paddled out at about 8:00 am there were a few standup guys already out but it wasnít crowded. There was one dude that stood in the same line as me and just paddled for every wave. He was tall and very fit looking but he just kept missing waves that I could have caught.
I finally had to tell him that if he was going to paddle for waves he should make a point of getting them.
He was so close to my line that if I got a wave that he had already initiated and we both got it, I felt that we would be too close for safety.
I was still getting some great waves and the swell getting bigger and bigger.
After about an hour I was joined by my buddy Mark.
After two hours the waves were in the solid double overhead range and all the stand up guys had gone in except my buddy Mickey Eskimo.
With just the three of us out we cloud be selective and avoid the real bombs.
We had our pick of the sweet head and a half nuggets.
After three hours we had scored a bunch of waves and the sets were starting to get erratic and the frequency and size were impossible to calculate.
On one set, Mark took off on the first wave and I took the second. His held up all the way to the right channel while mine closed out after I made the drop and got one turn resulting in me being in a very bad place.
This set was one of the biggest of the session.
Mark got to see me take the next eight waves square on the head. All I could do is just take a breath and dive for the bottom and hope that my board made it.
We both agreed that we should paddle in soon but things settled down some and we kept getting waves and the wind was only just starting to pick up.
Most of the waves were silky smooth after the first wave of the set came through.
We paddled in after four solid hours and we were STOKED!
I walked back home and took an hour break and had lunch.
I was contemplating a second session but when I walked back over to the beach the waves had gotten a lot bigger and the sets were even more erratic. Iím talking ten foot Hawaiian thatís twenty foot plus faces and that just too big for me to paddle into.
The next day I checked the surf at my local break and it was just too big.
No one was out and except one team that was towing in at Noriegaís, my local break.
I loaded my board in the back of my truck and drove to Kanaha Beach Park where the scene was much mellower.
So I thought.
Kanaha breaks about a quarter mile off shore so it can be hard to judge the size from the beach even with binoculars.
I did notice that the left channel was occasionally closing out and that told me to use caution.
When I arrived at the line up every one had a sober look about them. I went about the business of surfing.
I wasnít having much luck.
Then I saw this set out on the horizon and I started paddling out as fast and far as I could but it just wasnít far enough. I made it over the first wave but the second was bigger I was paddling up a gigantic dead vertical wall water and as I got to the lip it broke!
I went over the falls and the force drove me straight to the reef. When I made it back to the surface by board was snapped but was still held together by the glass in top.
I took two more waves on the head and the pounding subsided. With razor sharp fiber glass still holding the two pieces together I made the long paddle back in.
I drove back home and got another board and drove back to Kanaha and paddled back out.
By the time I got back to the line up there were only three other surfers out and they were being very cautious.
I caught some really sweet left handerís that were in the double over head size and realistically that was the limit of my comfort zone. The only problem was that in order to get those I had to sit a bit deeper than I wanted.
Three of those a major sets rolled through and pounded the living s..t out of me.
I didnít feel like snapping another board that day so I paddled in and called it a day.
I spent the rest of the day watching the pros compete in the AWT wave sailing competition that was being held at Hookipa Beach Park right down the beach from my house.
There was soo much carnage and broken gear it was amazing. The best wave sailors in the world were getting creamed and washed on the rocks. What a show!
Quite a few of our gang gathered at my friend Tomís beach house for a while that evening until the tsunami warning sirens went off and the police came around telling us that we had to evacuate the north shore and get to high ground.
We all went our separate ways.
I went home and grilled some dinner and then drove up country to the old abandoned Maui High School where most of my neighbors were hanging out.
It was just like a big block party. Everyone had brought a cooler full of refreshments and the festivities went on into the a.m.
I was very tired the next morning so I had a leisurely morning and then went wave sailing with good wind and mast high waves till nearly dark.