Winds were whipping across Hawaii all week. As we approached the North Shore, located on the windward side of Oahu, I wondered if the famed big surf tides that draws serious surfers (and their fans) from all over the world would put on a good display today. In December of each year, there is a world-famous surfing competition. Big kahunas pound the shoreline here in the winter months–waves can reach stupendous heights of 30-40 ft. At this time of year, it is impossible to find parking places and lodging. Today, it is well past the December-January months of big wave activity, but dedicated surfers were out in the ocean to try to catch the wave barrels as they formed.
We stopped at the Banzai Pipeline to be awed by the power of nature and to cool our heals in the rapidly advancing and retreating waters. There weren’t the crowds that clogged the beaches only a couple of months ago, but people were still standing on the sand, including photographers with huge telephoto lenses, admiring the few hardy souls out on their surfboards.