Thursday, 26 March 2009

Wave watching

In "Fruitless pursuits" I mentioned that I was going to continue trying to whale-watch for the next month, but I think I'm going to give it up. I tried once more today but it was hopeless - the strong trade winds coupled with high surf has made it impossible, at least where I live! The whales typically leave the island around this time of year although they can sometimes be seen throughout April and sometimes into May, but they become harder to find, especially in these waters.

Normally I scan the ocean looking for the tell-tale "blow" when the whales breach. That's easy to do when the ocean is calm but difficult when the water is choppy as it seems to have been for weeks now. Maybe I'll pop down to the cliffs a couple more times, but I don't remember the last time I saw a whale around here at this time of year.

The high surf advisory for the east shores of the Hawaiian islands continues. There were certainly some big waves today! They don't compare to the massive waves the north shores of the northern islands get during the winter though. They're famous for that of course, the north shore of Oahu is one of the best, if not the best, professional surfing spot in the world, wave-heights of 20-30 feet are common during the winter, sometimes the waves are over 40-feet. I've been there once when they had massive surf and can tell you it's one of the most spectacular and unforgettable sights you can witness.

So, the waves here are just 10-feet high or so at best although I've seen a few higher sets. The pictures above show how spectacular waves that small can be on this coastline. I'd love to live on a house on the cliffs with an ocean view, but I don't think I'd enjoy a day like today. The windows at the very least would need to be washed continuously and dinner on the lanai would taste very salty!

Finally, for Protege, who wondered whether jungle would shield a house from big waves in "Jungle sale": the jungle just doesn't extend to the cliffs! A hundred yards back from the cliffs the jungle can be quite thick but it disappears quickly as you approach the ocean because all there is on the ground is hard lava rock. Ironwood trees can grow on that, but they don't offer a lot of shelter as I realised today!

This picture shows the ocean side of the $250,000 lot in "Jungle sale". It was taken a few weeks ago when the ocean was much calmer. Nice view, especially of the sunrise, but you wouldn't want to take a walk out in the yard during high surf. I wandered around the potential back yard today and got absolutely drenched by sea spray.

1 comment:

Protege said...

Stunning pictures as always!
And thank you for clearing that one up, I guess I can forget about buying that lot then.;)
Is it allowed to built houses way above the "cliff level"? Perhaps a good architect could design a property that would be "raised up"; shielding the house from the waves and offering splendid views.;))
Just a thought.;))