A lil’ meme for the Hawai’i tourist, who doesn’t always comprehend the intense environment here. Who thinks when the hurricane or tropical storm warning has ended or been cancelled, you’re in the clear. Who doesn’t pay attention to high surf or those pretty signs that line the beach warning you not to go in. Who think they can handle the waves here, because they’ve surfed before. Who go to the shoreline to get that perfect selfie, only to get washed away. Who think (or don’t think) it’s okay to be oblivious because you’re on vacation! Problem is, tourists die here every year, because they’re not paying attention. If you’re “that guy” (or girl) this one’s for you!
When storms are named and media starts click baiting the looming disaster, there’s an expectation of a certain level of death and destruction, accompanied by adequate catastrophic imagery. If the gratification goes unfulfilled, unsatiated social media fiends hijack the threads and call everyone out for “crying wolf.”
This often happens with Hawai’i, whether it be for potential tsunamis or hurricanes. The tsunami comes in at a few feet with no Fukushima kine drama. The hurricane doesn’t impact land or turns into a tropical storm along the way (which is typical because of the effects of the massive mountain volcanos Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea), and it’s like someone let all the air outta the balloon.
Follow-up headlines will proclaim “Tsunami hits… Little Damage”, as they did after the Honshu Tsunami in 2011, even though there was actually over $30 million in damages. There was no Japan-horror footage, people getting swept out to sea (though a few ignoring warnings did in Cali), but the impacts were still profound for our lil’ isles. Boats, docks, businesses destroyed; Kona Village still hasn’t reopened five years later.
When in 2014 Hurricane Iselle didn’t seem to pack enough punch, social media was rife with complaints. And the follow-up news reports barely covered the effects on Puna, which left many with damaged homes, trapped by fallen trees, without power for almost a month. Though it was a let-down in terms of action / drama, damage across the islands was about $80 million, making it the third-costliest to ever hit the state.
Reality is, in Hawai’i we don’t need a direct impact to feel the repercussions. A little river can quickly turn into a massive flood zone with heavy rains (everything flows rapidly off the mountains / volcanos to the sea). These storms dumping over 15″ in a day is not unusual, and can easily result in flash floods (which have been known to wash oblivious tourists out to sea). Many low-lying areas, from Hanalei to Waikiki to Hilo, have a bad habit of flooding (Oahu was a temporary shit-storm just last month from Hurricane Darby). There are many who live beach front, who only need an storm swell and a high tide to be at risk. As far as the winds, we have too many invasive albizia, which do not need hurricane force to break or completely topple – as we saw with Iselle crushing homes and taking down the tree tunnel Pahoa.
This slideshow from a random 2012 storm that got little buzz: two weeks of rain, 50″ in a week, the highway blocked, towns flooded, crossing ragin’ rivers with ropes to get home….
Those who lived through the tsunamis of the ’40s, ’60s, or Hurricane Iniki in ’92 – or heard the tales – probably don’t mind precautionary warnings. Better safe than sorry. Sure we’re used to natural disaster events being downgraded after lots of hoopla. You simply can’t be certain of the worst-case scenario (aka a hurricane AND an Obama visit). In this case, hopefully the side-effects of Madeline and Lester won’t be too bad. If they don’t live up to the hype, we’re really really okay with that!
*All posteed videos are from Hurricane Madeline; sources shown.
Check Hawaii Weather / Storm Updates Here:
Still a dream unfulfilled to visit (and surf) Israel. In the meantime, we enjoy fun vids like this. Australian paddler Trevor Tunnington exploring Israel, hummus, and SUPing the dead sea! (Courtesy of Zazik). #Jealous
Ever obsessed with ocean flicks, we’ve recently been catching up on sailing docs: Maiden Trip, Five Lost at Sea, Morning Light… and finally a chance to check out 2006’s Deep Water. The true story of the first solo, non-stop, round-the-world yacht race 1960s, and the psychological toll it took on the competitors, specifically dark horse Donald Crowhurst.
An excerpt from Crowhurst’s logbook:
The explanation of our troubles is that cosmic beings are playing games with us. During his lifetime, each man plays cosmic chess against the devil. G-d is playing with one set of rules, and the devil with other exactly opposite set of rules. The shameful secret of G-d, the trick he used, because the truth would hurt too much, is there is no good or evil. There is only truth.
Well, he certainly got that right. Watch it here
* James Marsh is directing Rachel Weisz and Colin Firth in a biopic on Donald Crowhurst called The Mercy due out January 2017.
Hawaii is now home to the most fascist gun laws in the nation. Hawaii Governor Ige signed a bill making it the first state to place all of its law-abiding gun owners in a federal criminal record “Rap Back” database and monitor them for possible wrongdoing anywhere in the country. Let’s repeat that one more time for clarity sake: LEGAL gun owners in Hawaii are now in a CRIMINAL database.
Thank goodness, because consistently being a state with the lowest gun death rates certainly made it a crisis issue! Being a state that already required you to jump through excessive hoops to acquire a gun, we definitely needed more restrictions.
Some wacko gun rights advocates might think the real crisis in Hawaii is the huge increase in violent crimes and robberies. Or a crisis might be the near-impossibility to obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon, which has surely put many-a-woman at risk.
Heck, Hawaii politicians must really dislike women who want to protect themselves, as they also make sure to restrict them from carrying mace. On Kauai for example, obtaining pepper spray legally includes restrictions similar to gun ownership, with fingerprinting and 14 day waiting periods. And actually, MACE is illegal; only pepper spray with less potent OC ingredients, and only 1/2 ounce max. If you’re caught using pepper spray without a permit the fine is $2,000. If you use wasp spray against a predator there are even larger fines and you will be jailed (if you’re broke, might be easier to let yourself get raped or robbed). Don’t worry, you’re not allowed to have a stun gun either. And if you don’t have thousands of dollars to hire a lawyer to go to court to assist you in acquiring an order of protection from a stalker or someone who has sexually assaulted or threatened you, we have personal experience that judges here prefer to deny the P.O. But hey, that’s a whole other story.
Background checks weren’t enough to protect us from the danger of legal gun ownership (most of the legal guns here being hunting rifles). Watch, in five years they’re going to claim Hawaii has the lowest gun death rate because of this law. Perhaps, as with many areas that impose gun restrictions, we’ll also see an increase in violent crimes.
Of course, for this to all make sense we will need to pretend criminals won’t be able to acquire guns, and that making it harder for people to protect themselves will keep our gun murder rates even lower.
In conjunction to this bill, Ing signed another reassuring us that those who have any mental disability or depression (let’s say vets who ever suffered from PTSD; anyone who took Prozac once; perhaps even a mom who had postpartum depression…) can be denied the right to own a gun. Reality check: with these kinds of laws in place, it really is best that if you ever are depressed you never tell anyone and you do not seek help, because any record of your depression may impair your ability to acquire a gun or maintain possession of your gun. If you were ever treated for depression, you can be denied your 2nd amendment rights.
Luckily there will be little complaint in Hawaii, as the guns most people here care about are the ones that shoot barrels of big waves. (Nah, just kidding, usually after initiatives like this, even in Hawaii we see an increase in people applying for guns). But it is why they initiate these types of legislations in Democrat-dominated states, usually with a populous who seem less conscious or concerned about giving away their rights, particularly the right to bear arms. A large portion of liberals have had their minds mushed to the point they are begging the government to take that right away from them – how is that?! And yet again, no matter the reasoning, these restrictions have little to nothing to do with terrorists, mass shootings, automatic weapons… they’re about gun control for law abiding citizens.
Anyway, we prefer to stay optimistic. Maybe with this out of the way, Governor Ing and friends can focus on a quintessential ban more representative of reality – a ban of fists, feet and knives – since these “weapons” actually equate to almost 90% of the murders in Hawaii (murders of people who aren’t defending themselves properly, with guns, mace, stun guns, etc.). Heck, maybe these Hawaii politicians will have time to join the Facebook Page “Stolen Stuff Hawaii” so they can keep up on the increasing number of thefts and assaults going on, under their watch. Good thing is, these kinds of bills that restrict legal gun ownership do complement a system that consistently works against lawful citizens e.g. in Hawaii you do not have a right to shoot an intruder who enters your home.
Some common core logic: Legal gun ownership restrictions up + violent crimes up (+ number of Iceheads per capita, definitely up) = Do the math! Hawaii is setting us all up to be victims. Good to see Hawaii politicians have their priorities in order.
Want to own a gun in Hawaii? Try these:
Contact the Governor: Governor Ige
Sometimes DIY and low-budget surf collide to create something that wouldn’t pan out on Pinterest but does bring a bit of mirth in a way-too-serious surf scene. Cummon, who wouldn’t like kickstart a new brand of metal chain locking surf straps? Who wouldn’t like chains wrapped around their surfboard and banging on the roof of the car as they drive? While surfboard theft isn’t as common on Kauai compared to the other islands, have a feeling this won’t catch on Maui, Big Island or Oahu either (well, correction, we can kinda imagine this being a hit in Puna lol).
Dr. Beach names Haunama Bay the #1 beach in this year’s Dr Beach Top 10 Beaches in America. What is unfortunate is that the corals at Haunama are dead. While in Mexico marine reserves restrict toxic sunscreens that damage corals, in Hawaii there are no such restrictions (shocking considering Haunama is touted as a “Nature Preserve”). There is a serious die-off of corals occurring right now in Hawaii that correlates specifically to sunscreen usage. Exposés like this encourage an increase of tourists to specific areas and will stress the environment even more.
Dr. Beach (self-proclaimed as “America’s Foremost Beach Expert) should use the health of the waters, corals, sea life as part of his criteria to rating the health of beaches before sand softness and smoking. [Read his criteria here] If there’s no testing for toxins, carcinogens, hormone disruptors like oxybenzone, octocrylene, octinoxate, avobenzone on the sand and in the water, these beach sand and water quality tests are not really complete.
We can rarely go to Hawai’i beaches during the summer (or winter or spring break for that matter) without getting bombarded by tourists gooping and spraying these chemicals. How can a beach be “the best beach” when they are now crowded with tourists blasting atomized carcinogens into the lungs of everyone in the vicinity. If you don’t breath this stuff in, you’re likely swimming in it, as most formulations come right off in the water (that nice rainbow sheen) and the kids are playing in it while building their sandcastles.
It’s been shown that these chemicals don’t just kill the corals, but they create an environment antithetical to their existence. That’s because they destroy DNA and affect hormones (yes, they do similar things to you and your children). Studies have shown that if the water conditions are overwhelmed by these chemicals (which doesn’t take a lot – about one drop per Olympic-sized swimming pool), baby corals can not grow. So whether the coral died because of the chemicals or because these beaches are now overwhelmed with tourists trampling and manhandling the corals, efforts to regrow or transplant them often fail.
Dr. Beach, we love that you appreciate Hawai’i beaches (two in fact made the list this year), but you should balance these announcements by using your platform to help educate about eco safe / reef safe sunscreen. We need to change our approach to UV protection, and use products that are safe for us and the environment. If beach-lovers don’t wake up, their going to inundate these amazing places with their toxic sunscreens and tax the ecosystems to their limits. As far as we’re concerned, that doesn’t make for a nice beach.