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!
Archive for the ‘kauai’ Category
Posted in Big Island, Hawaii, Hurricane, kauai, oahu, Tip of the Day, tagged Hawaii, Hawaii Tourism, Hawaii Tourist Death, Hurricane Lester, Hurricane Madeline, kauai, Maui, oahu on September 3, 2016 | Leave a Comment »
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:
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
Posted in Hawaii, kauai, tagged drowning, Drowning Kauai 2016, fatal silent snorkeling syndrome, Hawaii, Hawaii dorwning, kauai, Kauai Drowning, snorkeling, snorkelling on February 4, 2016 | 1 Comment »
Hawai’i is known as the drowning capital of the U.S. – and Kauai is known as the drowning capital of Hawai’i. It may be surprising to learn, but snorkeling is one of the leading causes of tourist deaths in Hawai’i.
Kauai’s first drowning of 2016 was a 75-year-old Oregon man, Harry Evans, who was found unresponsive whilst snorkeling off Poipu on Kauai, Hawaii.
The surf was small in the area, and the waters calm, so this ocean-related death would not have occurred due to large surf, swells, or strong currents.
Even though snorkeling is a relatively easy activity, people can panic, get stressed, fail to breathe properly once water gets in the mask and/or snorkel, especially when they aren’t used to snorkeling in ocean conditions. They may already have health issues, which put them at greater risk. Many tourists come to Hawai’i, rent a snorkel, and go directly into the ocean with very limited or no experience.
In one Australian study, it was shown the main causes of snorkeling deaths were due to 1) cardiac arrest 2) surface drowning 3) drowning after extended breath holding 4) trauma. The majority were cardiac causes (half of these had known cardiac conditions) and surface drownings. This most often occurred in sober, middle-aged to older males snorkeling in a supervised setting (tour group). “Fatal silent snorkeling syndrome” refers to people who have suffered a cardiac problem and are found floating silently in the water, often close to others.
In our study, people who died of cardiac causes were typically well males (median age, 65 years) who were noticed floating silently in the water, often close to others. We call this the “fatal silent snorkelling syndrome”. Cardiac causes of death defined at forensic autopsy include myocardial infarction, valve rupture, previously undiagnosed congenital valvular or coronary artery abnormalities, and unrecognized myocarditis.
People feel safe because they often go out in groups – whether it’s with tour companies or friends and family. Tour groups often have inadequate proportions of instructors to participants. It’s impossible for them to check in on you one-on-one. The problem with snorkeling, if someone is not directly checking in with you, you could be having issues without anyone knowing. You would still be floating above the water as if everything is fine. Friends and family unfortunately are focusing on their own experience first. They are also not necessarily trained in life-saving techniques. On top of that, there are endless beaches on Kauai, and limited life guards. If you are found unresponsive, it may take time before you get the proper medical attention.
If you have any health issues particularly of the heart, if you are not familiar snorkeling in the ocean, or if you are under the age of 15 or over the age of 60, it’s imperative you have a one-on-one snorkeling partner.
Snorkeling is a wonderful way to experience the ocean environment. Here are some tips to staying safe:
- Always train with snorkeling gear in a pool before snorkeling in the ocean.
- Learn snorkeling safety.
- If you are not the best swimmer or in top physical condition wear a buoyancy vest or emergency inflatable PFD vest or fanny pack.
- Stay in shallow waters.
- Always make sure to check ocean conditions before going out. Ask a lifeguard. When in doubt, don’t go out.
- Snorkel at lifeguarded beaches during hours when lifeguards are on duty (be cautious of going out close to dusk).
- Make sure if you go on a tour boat they have experienced guides with training in rescue techniques, life-saving certifications, as well as defibrillators on the boat.
- Always have a snorkeling partner and that you are consistently checking in with them.
When you’re a writer and need to get stuff off your chest, you have to write it down. Normally I don’t bother sharing much of the musings about so-called “famous” people, they deserve their privacy – plus shoots, in Hawaii you surf every day with someone who’s had some fleeting (or legendary) moment of fame via surf. But when that someone’s being a douche, they should be called out on it, regardless of who they are. And sure, every surfer has had their douche-y moments in the water (some are conscious of it, some not so much), but this incident was particularly entertaining. 2015 was the *gulp* 30th anniversary of the first time I ever went surfing. So to have Laird Hamilton gift me with this quote was pretty special. Here’s to purging for the new year!
“You never saw me on a short board?! Then you just started surfing!” –Laird
Surfing Hanalei Bay. It’s a pastime that some on Kauai only partake in on occasion, as it’s so often over-crowded and a bit agro. Today was one of those mellow days with fun-high surf, a relatively sparse crowd, and waves for all.
Winter fixture Laird Hamilton was out. It was early in the season and the first time I’d noticed him since his return from summering in the ‘Bu (yeah, I actually wrote that).
I was surprised to see he wasn’t on a SUP. He looked like a kid, sitting on a board he could actually sink, and I thought it refreshing (not to mention he’d be less able to hog all the waves). So when he paddled near me, after an aloha exchange, I mentioned, “I’ve never seen you on a short board.”
His mood altered split second. “Well then…”, he tisked, “you just started surfing.” He repeated it a little louder and a little more annoyed, “You never saw me on a short board?! Then you definitely just started surfing!”
Wait, um, huh… waht just happened? I waited for a crack of a smile. Nope. He wasn’t joking.
My thought process went something like: Is he thinking I think he’s never short-boarded? Does he think I never saw North Shore? LOL. Did I accidentally threaten him in some way? Is he really so cocky as to tell a chick that she must be new to surfing because she never saw him in the water on a short board. Is this the best example of inductive reasoning gone awry?! My mind was reeling with questions!
He actually repeated it a few more times. Then went on and on about himself but at that point I couldn’t make out what he was saying. I got all caught up in the energy of the incident… this massive ego… becoming palpable… expanding way beyond the sphere of mere mortals. Maybe someone drank a lil’ too much Laird Superfood Coffee that morning?
He paddled inside, caught a wave, and the vibe out in the water mellowed.
When he made it back out, he took the opportunity to engage a few of the local guys in the pack and went off on some tangent about people who were trying to put him down. He brought up some guys who did this when he was body surfing the other day. “I was going to go in and get my fins and a french fry box… and surf it better than them.” The guys in the water kissing his okole joined in: “Yeah, yeah!” “I would have paddled in and gotten an old door” “Yeah, and beveled down the edges” “Yeah, yeah” “That would show them!” “Yeah!!!”
It wasn’t as if Laird was directing this all at me, yet it was obvious my comment – tweaked in his head – inspired the loud discussion that I was supposed to overhear. Bulleh 101. All I could think was, Girlfriend, you know better, don’t you mess with the mind of a narcissist.
After his third wave, Laird paddled back out towards me, and at that point I had to laugh it off and said, “I dunno dude, I was just saying I’ve surfed out here with you like 100 times and I’ve never seen you on a short board. That’s all. Not sure where you decided to go with that…”.
He gave me a pondering stare. Started paddling away. Then turned, paused, and said, “Ohhh, it was a complement.”
I guess I was either with him or against him.
“Uh, well, basically” I replied.
And he smiled…
So, my special quote may not have been North Shore-worthy, but it was close. And whenever there’s a good excuse to include any reference to the flick you really shouldn’t pass on the opportunity: “Burkhart you bastard!”
Not ice blistering Alaska cold, but cold all the same.
Before you call us pussies, let me explain. In Hawai’i, most houses are semi-contained. Many places here have either no windows or some windows, and the rest is screened in. There’s no heat, and rarely air conditioning. So whatever the temperature is outside, is what the temperature is inside.
So while the rest of the world would have their thermostats moderating something around 65°, we’re getting nice moist chilled air swooping off the mountains below 50° nighttime through the early morning.
The past few days I’ve had to resort to toaster hand warming, running the oven and opening the door, using the still-hot saucepan (after making rice) on my belly and bones, hot showers, foot soaks, jogging in place, ThermaCare neck warmers taped on the back, wool socks and hoodies, and even stuffing my Malamute / Chow Chow under the covers, to no avail. In a few hours I’ll be in shorts and a t-shirt, and the rest of the freezing world will be jealous, but until then….
While we’re on the topic, every year on weather modification sites you will see posts about snow here. To be clear, before there were airplanes, there’s been snow on the tops of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. That doesn’t discount “geoengineering” by any means, nor does it discount the fact that even those not living near the tops of volcanos are shivering.
I might even have to bust out my long sleeve 2mil wet suit top today for our current brisk ocean temp of 75.7 – what, don’t laugh!
We don’t mean sex, drugs and surf babes (sorry, sorry, that’ll be a future post). We mean chicks, as in chickens. If you live Kauai, you gots. And when momma has babies and they make a home in your garden and you’re a bleeding’ heart who can’t help but fall in love with their chirpy poofy fluff, and you want them to stay so they don’t get eaten in the cruel harsh world by the feral cats, well, you need to supplement their diet so you still have some veggies left for yourself. These wild chicks realize they’re not supposed to be doing this, but are so excited about the hemp seeds they can’t help themselves.