Powerless

posted by / News / December 6, 2007

The North Shore has an amazing ability to make you feel powerless. Huge surf. Incredible currents. And, most recently, a massive storm that left the entire North Shore, well, powerless. We don’t know much details, basically because we’ve been cut off from the world for nearly two days now. What we do know is that on Tuesday night, shortly after the Makua Kai Rothman won the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach, winds of up to 50 knots blew through the Hawaiian Islands, knocking down trees, downing powerlines, and churning the ocean into a wild mess of whitewater chaos. Next thing we knew, we were trying to make coffee on the barbecue. Showering in our pool. And lining up at Turtle Bay Resort — the only place around with a generator — to try to score some lunch buffet. Literally, every store on the entire North Shore, from Haleiwa to Laie, was closed. {{{Relay}}} stations were down, so phones weren’t working either. Can’t surf. Can’t watch TV or surf the net. It’s the 1950s all over again, except that our current technological dependency has us all crippled. Sunny Garcia split for town right away. “I’m not coming back till the power does,” he said. But most of the rest of us figured, “It’ll be back on any minute, right? Right? Right? Annnnyyyy minute now…”

As of Thursday morning, they started letting the caffeine junkies into a generator-powered Starbucks for fear of rioting. They’re walking people one at a time through Foodland and there’s a line out front that wraps around the building. And the power is still out from Waimea to {{{Rocky}}} Point. Surf websites are going contentless. Editors are making up stories based on a series of loose observations. Photographers are cursing the digital age. And young pro surfers are reverting to magazine-based pornography. It’s starting to get weird over here. But when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. When asked if he was leaving, a stoked Danny Fuller just laughed. “Screw that,” he said, “we’re camping!”

And so we are.

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