Jaws_Panorama2 1-22-15


When you live in or near a surfing community, big surf is a Happening, an event that brings everyone together – locals, tourists, young, old…

When the surf rises to 30-40 ft or bigger, you drop everything you’re doing, and you head down to Jaws and/or Ho’okipa Point on Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 7.33.54 PMthe north shore of Maui to part take in this nature’s spectacle.

This only happens about once or twice a year.  So nobody wants to miss the chance to see the few brave souls challenging ocean giants on their surfboards.

Hookipa Maui Co truckThat’s why people come from all over the island, or even the world.  Kids get taken out of school.   Moms pack picnic lunches instead of cooking a meal.  Tradesmen quit their jobs.  Golfers stop golfing and start walking and gawking, like everyone else.  Including the Maui County employees (see the truck – right).

That’s what Elizabeth and I did this morning – even before breakfast.

“I heard the surf crashing against the shore last night while I was in the spa (around midnight),” I told Elizabeth.

Just like I used to hear it at night when I lived in Western Australia near Yallingup. So I knew we had to go this morning.

We are blessed to live within 3.5 miles of one of the greatest surfing attractions on this planet – the Jaws.  Back in 2001, the then world record of surfing was set here when some crazy surfer who surfed a 75-foot wave and lived to talk about it (see Christmas Jaws Happening, Dec 2009).

IMG_4424 Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 11.52.58 AM IMG_4420 

By the time we rolled down our hill to Hana Hwy in our trusty El Jeepo, hundreds of cars were already parked everywhere.  Those with 4WD, like ourselves, continued on for another two down a dusty dirt “road”.  Hundreds of others hoofed it down the hill on foot… from small children to pensioners and everything in between.

IMG_4423 IMG_4422 IMG_4421

We knew a “secret” bypass which saved us he crowding and the dust raised by hundreds of 2WD vehicles for about 90% of the way to IMG_2693Eliz 1-2-15-1Jaws.  But the bypass was quite treacherous in places with ruts 3-4 feet deep and the dense bush and cane grass blocking the dirt track in places. We only came across one other car – also a Jeep, that attempted this route.

It was exciting, but we made it. And then we let the Jaws ocean spectacular begin…

Jaws_Panorama 1-22-15

Jaws_Panorama2 1-22-15… panorama

Jaws closeup 1-22-15… closeup

 * * *


After Jaws, we moved on to Ho’okipa Point, about 5.5 miles west of Jaws. The scenery there just as spectacular, only in a different ways.

First, we were able to get right down to the sea level to take some of the shots. At Jaws, unless you are a surfer, you can only observe the action from about half a mile away.

Second, at Ho’okipa the ocean is wide open. So the waves are longer and resemble the white mountains of foam and water crashing against the shore.


Hookipa_Panorama 2




Here’s also a short video I made at this magical spot…

* * *

And then just before leaving Ho’okipa Pt and heading back home for a hearty breakfast, I spotted a bent tree that provided a perfect photo-op for a Yin-Yang balanced Gemini… 🙂

YinYanBob Gemini Hookipa



* * *

UPDATE JAN 23, 2015


The Huffington Post  |  By Landess Kearns
Posted: 01/23/2015
Yesterday, Elizabeth and I brought you the surfing action at Jaws and Ho’okipa Point (see http://wp.me/p3R16m-1xr). Today, the big surf news went global after Huffington Post among others posted this story.  
“On Wednesday, the biggest swell of the winter season hit Hawaii’s north-facing shores, bringing waves of up to 40 feet to famed surf spots like Jaws, Pipeline, and big-wave surfing mecca, Waimea Bay.
It seems like everyone with an Instagram account or a video camera went up north to watch the daredevil surfers, so we rounded up some of our favorites. The images below will definitely get your heart racing — and you won’t even have to get your feet wet.”
Jaws closeup 1-21-15 Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 7.33.54 PM


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