HI Surf Advisory


Buoys, Ehukai and the Fair -- 3/30-4/2/96

Bad buoy may be bagged

"Buoy #1 is still out of service..."

That's the message I get whenever I call the National Weather Service buoy reports. This buoy has been instrumental in forecasting North Shore surf, along with alarming us of potential incoming tsunamis. I've heard rumblings that the National Weather Service may not fix it, and may even cut funding for all buoys around Hawaiian waters.

That would be a big blow to surfers and fishermen who rely on this information to get the current ocean conditions. It would also endanger the state by giving us one less warning device for inclement weather or disasters.

Write your congressmen and show them that it's important: for our recreation, our livelihood and our safety.

Weekend Warrior

I could only drool as I listened to the surf report throughout the spring break week. Ten feet on Monday, eight on Tuesday, six on Wednesday, five on Thursday and four on Friday.

Saturday (3/30/96) finally rolled around, and the surf was a measly one-to-three feet, with strong sideshores. Such is the life of a weekend warrior.

My only consolation was that the crowd was really light. Everyone must've been gorged on the big surf earlier in the week, and shined the early morning slop. Their loss was my gain.

As I wallowed in my despair, I managed to get a few decent rides. Did some fun little airs over the sandbar near Pupukea, and even got a couple of closeout barrels.

Saw Nelz Vellocido, who just came back from a month of snowboarding. He had some scabs on his face from a bad faceplant he did on the mountain the week before. He was out there, risking some UV scarring and slower healing for some junky waves (by NS standards). Hardcore.

By the time I had to leave, I realized that it was a pretty fun session. I guess in life, you have to make the most of what you get.

Aloha from (not always perfect) Paradise,

Fair Game

On Tuesday (4/2/96) I judged the Hawaii State Science Fair. It's my yearly contribution to education and an opportunity for me to encourage some kids in the sciences.

The top prize (IMNSHO) will probably go to this kid who built a robot from scratch. He designed it to follow a person using infrared sensors and even included a speech synthesizer and lcd display. He also wrote several thousand lines of assembly code. It would make a cool golf caddy.

Anyway, you may ask what the hell this has to do with alt.surfing. Well, there were several other projects in the Junior Display category that caught my attention.

One was titled Big Boomers Bomb Beach: The Power of Waves. A couple of North Shore girls nearly lost their homes during the big west swells in late December/early January, and they put together a display about the ordeal.

West swells take sand away from that area (Ke Nui Road). The problem was compounded because the swell coincided with the highest high tide of the year.

They had some great statistics, including the buoy readings and surf heights on the big days:

Date      Swell   Period   Wave Height
12/25/95  22'     30 s     21'
12/29/95  16'     20 s     25'
01/10/96  23'     20 s     25'

Didn't ask them if they surfed, but given the way they talked and their tan lines, I'm sure they did.

The other interesting project was Effects of Bottom Structures on Ocean Waves. This kid was a stoked bodyboarder from the Big Island who wanted to learn how bottom contours affected waves.

After talking to him, I noticed he had a BIM magazine on his desk. I picked it up and showed him an article I wrote in it. His face seemed to light up and he asked for my autograph! Embarrassed, I nonetheless obliged--made my day (and enlarged my already overinflated ego).

It's important to put back in life something that has helped get you where you are. Sometimes it's more rewarding than anything money can buy.

Aloha from Paradise,

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