Bonzai Pipeline!@

Oahu Travel Blog

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Dave, only -slightly- hungover

Chris, Dave and I got up and got ready for our big trip to the North Shore. We made ramen for breakfast (I shudder to remember) and somewhere Chris had found coffee and was brewing a pot. I borrowed Chris' extra pair of swim trunks because there was no way I could suffer a repeat of what happened last time (read chapter 3: Waikiki and walking wet). I called up Steel. He and Dorsh were running late as usual and so we told them we were going to walk to 7-11 to buy some travel munchies and to pick us up at the park down Kalakaua street when they were ready.

At the 7-11, Chris and Dave got some Chinese sticky buns... curry flavor. Ugh, a little rough on the tummy before noon in my opinion. I found an 8-pack of those Keebler peanut butter crackers on sale for a buck.

My love!
Man, ramen for breakfast and peanut butter crackers for lunch. I was starting to feel like I was in college again. We walked down to the park and grabbed a nice patch of grass. Chris and Dave started wrestling as they are so apt to do (they both wrestled in high school). Chris yelled UNCLE and suddenly Dave ran off in the direction of a giant tree. I knew what he was going to do, so I grabbed his camera and followed him. I directed him in some artsy-fartsy shots and told him to pose. He yelled at me: "What's my motivation?"

"Getting lost in your lover's hair!"

"Like this?" he asked and made a ridiculous pose that looked more like he was getting lost in spaghetti.

"Oh yes!" I yelled. "Make love to the tree!" and snapped a few more.

Eventually Steel and DORSH drove up in their rental car.

A little morning action (You're never too old to climb a tree)
We heard them before we saw them. They were blasting reggae as loud as the poor stock speakers could stand. Chris was still kind of sick, so we gave him one of the window seats. Dave and I did a couple rounds of rock, paper, scissors for bitch... and Dave lost. I told him I'd take bitch on the way home. We got in and we were off.

Steel was driving and DORSH was shotgun. As we were driving through Honolulu, DORSH would lean over and honk the horn at every woman under 60 he saw walking on the street. It was funny the first couple of times. After all, we were boys and boys will be boys. I mean, all guys have a built in feature called the momentum of testosterone that tends to carry us away at times.

Ah, Hawaii
It's kinda like drafting in the NASCAR. But after about the 20th time I was beginning to hate DORSH more than I usually do. That and the fact that the radio was so absurdly loud that we gave up trying to talk to each other made me wonder if I shouldn't have just taken a bus out to the North Shore.

But once we left the city, all was just fine. The radio was blasting sweet Hawaiian reggae that totally made sense in the lush Hawaiian landscape. Green, green, green. Open rolling fields of green. About half way through we realized that radio station was playing one particular song every half hour. It went:

"oooOOOOooooooooooooooooooooo sugar. Can I call you sugar?

"oooOOOOooooooooooooooooooooo honey. Can I call you honey?"

By the time we got to the North Shore we had those lyrics down pat.

Waimea
Our first stop was Waimea Bay. The actual sandy bay was a little crowded so we drove a mile up and stopped off at a rocky point where the waves were really crashing. We got out and walked out onto the rocks. Down a ways a group of locals and their dog were smoking a joint. Steel and DORSH teased Dave to go over there and ask them for some and I had to restrain him to keep him from doing it. I broke into my PB crackers and passed them around. We snapped a few shots and got back into the car.

We drove north along the coast. Pretty soon cars were lining the sides of the little road and we knew we were getting close to Pipeline. I told Steel to grab the first spot he could find and amazingly we found one pretty close to the entrance cove. We stumbled up the street dodging cars and we almost lost DORSH who decided to follow a group of teenage girls into the residential area.

That's Bonzai Pipeline out there
We turned in from the street into some trees and not surprisingly there were a bunch of old white folks gathered around a table selling Pipeline t-shirts. We bypassed the small crowd and came out onto the beach proper and there before us was....

Bonzai Pipeline. One of the world's most perfect waves, swells breaking into perfect circular barrels a mere 50 feet from where you stand on the shore... so close that you can feel the crash in your feet as you're squishing the weird sand between your toes. Today the waves were between ten and fifteen feet, some even closing in on twenty feet tall. By far, the largest waves I have ever seen with my naked eye. There were a group of about twenty surfers gathered in the "money spot," that invisible place in the tide that neither pulls you out or pushes you in, waiting for the perfect wave to come to them.

The warning signs at Pipeline

We walked down to the shore. The sea was calm at the moment. There was a strange quiet along the beach. People were scattered here and there and a few cameramen were sitting near the warning signs at the edge of the dry sand. All eyes were on the ocean. Everyone sort of talked in hushed tones, as if afraid to spoil the reverence for the sacred battle going on out in the water. Everyone knew this was the real thing. Surfers were taking a chance with their lives surfing the pipeline. I was mesmerized watching. Finally a wave came. It looked to be about 15 feet. The whole group of surfers ducked under it but two frantically paddled toward the shore. They both caught the wave, but the guy on the right ate shit as soon as he stood up and down he went, lost in the white.

Mesmerized...
I heard gasps from everywhere on the beach. The other guy stood up and immediately swung out to the right, finding a hole in the barrel as the wave closed around him, disappearing for a brief second before shooting out to cheers everywhere on the beach, riding the tamed wave for a few more second of glory before bailing out and returning to the pack. I turned to Chris standing next to me and grinned. I think a cheer had uncontrollably escaped my lips as well.

We ripped our eyes away from the ocean just long enough to find a nice little spot up the beach next to some bikini girls. Behind us houses filled the gaps in the tree line and music wafted down from what looked to be a small cafe of sorts. I wondered aloud how much this property must cost.

Some fool / brave surfer attempting to body surf Pipeline without fins
We all agreed it had probably long since been bought out by corporate investers. We watched more surfers catch some waves or take their lumps trying. At one point, I watched a man without a board or flippers swim out and catch a wave, and all on the beach who saw him cheered.. that is until we saw him try to come back in, swimming against the manic tide til he was a good 100 yards (about 90 meters) down the shore before he finally managed to make it out. Such force!

Fortunately most surfers caught their waves, only a few wiped out, always followed by a collective gasp from the people on the beach. Everytime a set produced a monster wave (20 feet plus), the beach cheered in unison. One such particularly huge wave destroyed the surfer attempting to ride it and lifeguards rushed out to haul him in.

Shark tears
But that was the only incident of the day.

We spent an hour or so like this, futzing around in the sand and watching the beauty of Bonzai Pipeline. Sitting in the sand I found these micro disk-shaped shells scattered around that I dubbed Shark's Tears because they were about that size. They were smooth on top but if you turned them over there was a tiny spiral - the only evidence that these tiny disks had originally come from spiral shells. I collected as many as I could find and tucked them away in my backpack for safe keeping.

 

 

 

ted332 says:
Cool blog!
Posted on: Mar 28, 2008
Eric says:
Great description, would love to watch the surfers here sometime.
Posted on: Mar 28, 2008
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Dave, only -slightly- hungover
Dave, only -slightly- hungover
My love!
My love!
A little morning action (Youre ne…
A little morning action (You're n…
Ah, Hawaii
Ah, Hawaii
Waimea
Waimea
Thats Bonzai Pipeline out there
That's Bonzai Pipeline out there
The warning signs at Pipeline
The warning signs at Pipeline
Mesmerized...
Mesmerized...
Some fool / brave surfer attemptin…
Some fool / brave surfer attempti…
Shark tears
Shark tears
So sexy..
So sexy..
Chris says I only took this pictur…
Chris says I only took this pictu…
Rainbow 2
Rainbow 2
Rainbow 3
Rainbow 3
Rainbow 4
Rainbow 4
Rainbow 5
Rainbow 5
Kua Aina Burgers! (again)
Kua Aina Burgers! (again)
Oahu
photo by: five11d