Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sand in my hair, and everywhere else for that matter.

Hubs and I love the North Shore of O'ahu. It is calm and peaceful in the summer months. The water is clear and the ocean floor is soft sand. It was for this reason that we went to the North Shore on our last day in Hawai'i.

Waimea Bay has some of the largest waves in the winter months. We had only seen it calm and peaceful, though. So calm, that we were able to do some rock jumping on our previous trip. Planning to enjoy the crystal clear water, we knew it would be a great way to say "good-bye" to the beautiful island.

When we got there, the waves were like this:

Signs were being posted around the beach alerting us that there was a short shore-break and being in the water was pretty dangerous. People still ventured on in, though, and soon we did too. 

I preferred being out past where the waves were breaking. It was safer and I still got a thrill floating up and down with the rocking of the sea. But, it was getting back to shore that was the hard part. As hard as you swam back, the ocean kept pulling you back further. It took a long time and so we decided to stay closer to the shore where you could dive through the waves as they broke. 

Getting out of the water was hard and when I was finally ready to chill on the beach, I started the process. The under current was very strong and it pulls back all the sand and water it can from the shore to build up behind the wave and then turns over and crashes on the ocean floor like in the picture above. Timing is everything. And, unfortunately, I decided to get out at the wrong time.

I was pulled back with the water and sand and waited a second to long to dive through the building wave. Instead, I was pulled up into the wave and thrown back against the hard sand floor. Head spinning, and back aching, I struggled to try and crawl to get away. I searched for Hubs and it was too late. I was being pulled into another wave and I surrendered to its power, praying that I would not get too disoriented in the toss and that I would not land on my neck. 

Once I could breathe again, I rushed to be free from the punishment. I could feel my hair was everywhere, but I was shaky uncontrollably. I saw Hubs tackling the waves to try and get to me. I was pretty sure I wasn't hurt, just shaken.

As Hubs came up, he evaluated the situation and noticed that not only my hair was a mangled mess, but my swimsuit as well. In fact, the entire beach was getting to witness more of me than I normally would allow. As he adjusted for me, I calmed down and heard the lifeguard come over the loud speaker with an announcement: 

Good morning folks. Welcome to Waimea Bay. As you can see, we have a very short shore break today and so it is pretty dangerous to be in the water, especially for little people. If you have any doubts, please stay out of the water as you could get serious neck and back injuries. And remember folks, this is NOT a nude beach.

Okay, that last part was just in my imagination as I was completely horrified at this point. Sand was everywhere - in my hair, my swimsuit, my ears. I was a disaster and everyone on the beach knew it. 

So, our last day on the beach wasn't the calm, peaceful experience we hoped for. But, it was an experience we both will remember; and one I hope the rest of the beach-goers have forgotten!


Audrey said...

"especially for little people" lol little people, big ocean...
I felt like I was reading a segment out of new moon.

Leah said...

scary story! People really get hurt when the waves are like that! Hey, hope you are good and settled in Kansas. Im glad you got a hold of holly. Ive been wondering what she's doing lately. email me ...keep me posted on how everything is goin.

ps. I started reading the twilight series again because you just finished reading them and I was jealous :) MY 3RD Time through! Im on the last book. not my favorite.

Laura said...

aahh! i'm sure everyone forgot. i bet that happens more often than we think! i'm glad you had a good time in hawaii and are getting used to prairie life. :)

jnet said...

oh heather! you get into some pretty funny situations!!!! glad you are okay! way to rescue her richard!