Monday, March 14, 2011

Tsunami Days

ALOHA Dear Friend!

The "Morning After"
Friday 11 March 2011


During times of peril, adrenalin flows.
It is in the hours and days afterwards
that feelings creep (or SWEEP!) back in.

In comparison with what
the Japanese people have endured
and continue to face
we here in Hawaii are remarkably lucky.
Our hearts cry for them.

Of course, grabbing everything you need
and abandoning your home while sirens wail
(especially three times in a year: Feb 2010 Chile Quake/Tsunami Warning,
our boat suddenly taking on water
at 3am a couple of months ago,
and now this. . . )
takes it's toll.

Immediately afterwards, one is thrilled to be alive
and intact.
Gratitude is overwhelming!
My Hawaii, my dear island, is still here!
Beautiful mundane life!

The stuff we all worry about takes a holiday 
as we count our blessings
and send our Aloha to our Japanese friends.

Hawaii wouldn't be the Hawaii we know
without the Japanese people and their culture.
They are our neighbors, a big chunk of our "local" food and culture,
and they make up a large portion of our visitors. 
Many local people work, or regularly visit Japan,
and we are beginning to hear from those still there:
our business people, hula dancers,
and entertainers, are OK.
But for us this is no "far away thing."

It is beyond gut wrenching to watch.

Meanwhile, here in the islands,
the Coast Guard reports 10 boats sunk
Several of our harbors have lost docks,
boats are strewn about like toys,
and a home, washed into Kealakekua Bay 
(on the Big Island of Hawaii)
floated about,
and has sunk beneath the waves.
Further up that coast, sidewalks washed away in Kailua-Kona
and at least two hotels there remain closed.

It is the aftershocks that are worrying.
What if we must run again?

The original warning was issued at 9:30pm last Thursday evening.
Waves were predicted for Hawaii starting at 3am. 
Off shore were a thousand points of light:
boats riding out the threat.
It was something I've never seen before.
(As reported in my previous post, 
we were in a hotel nearby.)

That was a sleepless night for the whole state,
and many of us are still a bit zombie-fied. 
Waking on Friday morning after 2 hours sleep,
we were thrilled to see masts in the (intact) harbor below our hotel window,
and the sea still swimming with dozens
and dozens of boats
remaining off shore.

Tsunami effects lingered in Waikiki on Friday.
Several times over the course of an hour,
the water would recede FAR out, exposing sea bed,
then rush back in.
Our famous reef provides some protection from the sea,
but even here in the Ala Wai Harbor,
the water eddied, swirled and ran strangely,
kicking up dirt that has since settled on all the rocks.
Several times, our boat, and all the others,
went down down DOWN
(lower than low tide) then back up - 
all in a matter of moments.
Our deck was wedged under the dock as the waters rose,
and we might have "flipped"
but the rubber "bumper" bolted to the dock
bent and released us

AT&T claims the cell phone (mobile) system was oft overwhelmed
Thursday evening, but never "down."

It is difficult to return to "normal."
Especially as the situation remains unresolved in Japan,
and another major quake could occur at any time.

I still remember the howls of hurricane Iniki's winds ('92)
it's waters rushing over the streets,
and fish swimming through them,
while the palms shrieked and rattled side-ways. 

The tsunami's effects 
are now part of my life-memory too.

It seems difficult to take normal activities seriously,
I think most of us are still in some shock,
especially as news continues to come in.

With the nuclear threat, this thing is not over,
and another tsunami could be generated.
There were over 20 aftershocks over Richter 5
today in Japan! 

So I'm keeping it together.
Normal is still down the road a bit.

Thank YOU for looking in, and for your concern.
It means a lot. . .

       Bless us every one! cloudia