High Surf Advisory | Big Waves Hit Kauai

The first northerly swell of the 2012 winter season has arrived. Welcome relief to all the big wave riders that have seen a less than spectacular summer surf season on the southern shores of Kauai Hawaii. While calm ocean conditions are ideal for snorkelers and the majority of visitors to the island, it’s the big waves of Kauai that many local surfers pray for.

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Catching a Wave At Kalihiwai


Legendary surf spots with names like Hanalei Bay, Cannons and Dump Trucks, where exposed outside reefs see the largest waves, some in the 15-18 feet range today. Kalihiwai saw big waves generated from this North by North West swell too, an ocean surge that peaked early this morning and will gradually wane during the course of the week.

Not being a surfer I am keenly aware of when the big waves make their appearance on the North Shore. If I am lucky I will receive a text from my contractor announcing the big event, followed by, I can’t make it to work for the next couple of days.

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Ride the Wild Surf


Having lived here for quite a number of years I have learned to accept this job disruption. Coming to understand that for surfers, there are few events on Kauai that energize them to a level where they will forsake work to ride these mountains of rolling energy. Rugged individuals that have a different set of priorities in their lives, somewhat anomalous to my own.

I smile to myself recognizing that these surfers, professional beach boys, and sun worshipers give this island a panache that began in the early 1960′s and endures to this day. Free spirits that come to test their wave riding skills, and where conformity is as abhorrent as a corporate career.

Oft times I believe this disruption in my plans is a test. Am I learning to accept what can not be altered and treating it with equanimity? Yes. Well, a great number of times yes. However, I’m not entirely there yet but admittedly it is an lesson easier learned on Kauai than probably anywhere else in the world. Don’t forget! I remind myself. The very lack of conformity was one of the reasons you decided to stay more than 30 years ago.

About Joe Sylvester

Aloha! I have lived on Kauai for 33 years where I have worked as an Agronomist for 17 years, owned an art gallery for 11 years and own a vacation rental for 17 years in the town of Poipu. I am a former Peace Corps volunteer and have been married since 1985.
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