Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Weekend and Captain Andy's

Well, I’m fried.  There are positives and negatives to this. 

Positives: It will turn to tan overnight and won’t peel for about a week, which means I should be able to survive the weekend (and more importantly, Julie’s wedding) without looking like I have a skin disease.

Negatives:  I have massive burn lines that will DEFINITELY show with the bridesmaids dress.  Fail.  Looks like I’ll be using large amounts of makeup to cover them up—unless someone has a better idea. 

So how did I get so burned?  Mostly from my adventure yesterday (Monday), but I’ll start from where I left off and recap my weekend.

Saturday I went shopping in Hanalei (the largest town on the North Shore), which had a cute little shopping village with a live reggae band performing in the center court.  I randomly ran into my friend Dylan, so we walked to Hanalei Pier to admire the view.  We watched a bunch of local kids doing flips off the pier and had an interesting chat with a very talkative guy who had inadvertently moved to Kauai from Maryland (angrily quit his job on a cruise ship and got dropped off on the island)… he had a lot of tips to offer about how to catch fish, how to avoid getting beat up by locals, and where to find the best weed (he used to be a drug dealer.)  He reminded me of a slightly less creepy Steve what’s-his-face… the guy who graduated from West Branch and got arrested on a California Army base with a truck full of guns and a diary detailing how he was going to murder everyone.  He used to come into Scrapbooking by Lisa (where I worked, at the time) and talk nonsense.  He always called my Lieutenant.  Not sure why.  Anyway.  Here are some pictures of where I shopped in Hanalei—there were some beautiful murals—and of the view from the pier.  The last picture is a shot of some people paddle-boarding, which is a popular activity in Kauai. 

I gave Dylan a ride to Tunnels Beach, where he was headed to spend the night (when I found him he was shirtless and shoeless with a folded tent and a backpack full of food.)  I then drove into Kapaa to do some more shopping at Coconut Marketplace, just another of the ten dozen touristy shopping plazas.  I ate at Aloha Kauai Pizza—ordered the Big Man, which was loaded with Canadian bacon, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, black olives, onions, peppers, and more toppings that I’m probably forgetting.  Oh, and a purple flower.   

Sunday was a lazy day.  Attendance was low at church because the memorial service for Andy Irons was being held in Hanalei.  For those of you who don’t know (I didn’t), Irons was a very famous professional surfer (won three world titles) who lived on Kauai until he died (possibly of dengue fever—still being investigated) a few weeks ago.  From what I hear, all of the Kauai hotels and flights were completely booked for this weekend, and they closed the roads in Hanalei because of all the commotion accompanying the memorial service, paddle-out, and scattering of ashes by Irons’ pregnant wife.  I took a long nap after church, then went to Anini beach for a few hours.  It was slightly chilly, especially when the sun was behind the clouds, so I just laid out on my towel and zoned out to my iPod.

Sunday night, my employer commended me on being dependable and efficient, and told me that he’d like to give me a gift for being such a hard worker—he booked me a spot on a snorkeling tour of the Na Pali Coast with the sailing charter Captain Andy’s. :)  So yesterday I woke up at 4:45 a.m. and made the one and a quarter hour drive to Port Allen Harbor in Ele’ele.  I checked in for the tour and was disappointed to learn that the swell was too high to sail the Na Pali Coast, but the tour was rerouted to sail the southern shore of the island, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. 

The tour was beautiful.  I wish that I had dozens of impressive, colorful, majestic pictures to share… but I spent the first half of the tour determined to enjoy the views without a camera in my face and the second half of the tour too seasick to focus through a lens.  More on that later.     

The sailing tour started off grandly—breakfast of fresh fruit and gourmet breads, the crew hoisting the massive red and white striped sail, and tropical music blaring from the speakers.  We had just motored out of the arena when the captain came on the intercom to apologized for the rerouting and for the fact that whale season was still a couple of months away, and less than thirty seconds later a humpback whale breached about a mile away.  We sped up to follow it, and for a good twenty minutes we followed the path of it and another young whale who each breached every few minutes—a few times they leapt entirely out of the water, once simultaneously.  According to the captain, they were “teenage” whales who had gotten ahead of the herd and were practicing their jumps for mating season.  Though the rest of the tour was wonderful, the whales were definitely a difficult act to follow.

We boated by motor for a while, sailed for a while, then tried to round the corner of the southern tip—but the swells were monstrous.  Those of us who had taken our places on the trampolines in the front of the boat got drenched by 10-20 foot waves.  We turned back and sailed the way we had come.  We came across a pod of dolphins and sailed alongside them for several minutes, watching them leap in and out of the water—four or five at a time in perfect synchronization—while a baby dolphin performed acrobatics.      

After sailing a while longer, we anchored in a cove to snorkel above a tropical reef.  The reef was magical… all sorts of colorful, twisting corals and exotic fish.  But evidently I’m a wuss, because I only lasted about twenty minutes before looking down into the water and floating over the rolling swells made me completely seasick.  So while the rest of the tourists (20-30) finished snorkeling, ate a catered brunch, and sunned on the deck, I knelt on the cobbled deck prepared to puke off the side of the boat. :)  And when I finally sat back, I discovered that the cobbled concrete had dug into my knees and sent currents of  blood gushing from my knees to my ankles.  Haha.  

The (attractive and young) captain was making rounds right about then, and he’s evidently dealt with his share of seasick passengers… so he brought me some Sierra Mist and soda crackers.  He gave me all sorts of tips like “don’t look down or at the water” (I had been staring straight down into the waves) and made conversation to try to get my mind off being queasy.  At one point, I was so preoccupied with trying to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth that I wasn’t even really paying attention to the fact that he was cleaning out my knees with rubbing alcohol and applying bandages, which I was completely capable of doing on my own.  What a nice guy.  Haha.  After that, I laid down and let my body sway with the motion of the boat.  By then, everyone was doing their own thing—snorkeling, eating, sunning on the deck… I’m hoping I passed as “sunning on the deck.”  At that point, in case you're wondering, is when I managed to become fried.  

From then on all was good.  We sailed back to the arena, gathered out things, and I left the boat without having taken a single picture.  Whales and dolphins would ordinarily be of top photographical priority… but hey, I live in Kauai… I’m sure I’ll see more. :)

On my way back, I stopped in the historic district of Hanapepe, which is a cute little art town that resembles the old west (reminded me a bit of Jerome, Arizona.)  I browsed through the galleries and specialty shops, and found my absolute favorite place on the island—a used bookstore WITH CATS!  I spent quite a while sifting through the shelves and petting the kitties, then had a nice conversation with the owner while I made my purchases.  I snapped a couple shots of the town on the walk back to my car.

After Hanapepe, I stopped at Harbor Mall (yet another shopping plaza) in Lihue, then walked across the street to eat at JJ’s Broiler, where I scored outside seating with a great view of Kalapaki Bay.  As I was waiting for my food, I realized that I hadn’t eaten anything since the pineapple breakfast and the two bites of soda cracker I’d had for lunch, so when my salmon and cheesy potatoes arrived, I scarfed them.  And they were delicious. 

I was supposed to go surfing with Mark today, but after a full day of activities yesterday, I needed to stay in and work.  We’re going to try to surf tomorrow, possibly, but I have a lot to do tomorrow and Thursday to get things squared away before I come home.  I’ll be working remotely throughout my return to Ohio, but there’s a few things to wrap up before my flight on Thursday.  I’m looking forward to seeing you all and spending some time at home. :)  Aloha!  

Friday, November 12, 2010

Late Night Visit

Last night, I was laying in bed, flat on my back, listening to “Transatlanticism” by Death Cab for Cutie, the song that will be the closing death scene in the indie rock tribute musical I started writing two years ago… I'm going to mash it up with the chorus of “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance, which is the song around which the entire musical is based… why am I sharing this?   I guess to say that I was completely zoned out in thoughts of choreography and costume design, just reaching the brink of “half-asleep,” when something dropped lightly onto my shoulder.  

Immediately, I scrambled frantically out of bed, tore my headphones out of my ears, ripped off my pajamas (in my panic, it seemed logical that I would be safer if I were naked… clothes provide too many folds and footholds for creepy-crawlers), and pawed the wall looking for the light switch.  Eventually I found the switch and the room lit up… but I saw nothing on my bed other than tangled blankets and an ear bud that had somehow detached from my headphones during my battle with the sheets.  With my heart pounding, I shook out my pajamas and put them back on.  Slowly, trembling, I crept over to my bed and mustered the courage to quickly rustle the twisted sheets, then cowered in the corner.  

And out from my bedcovers crawled a gecko about the size of my middle finger.  I stared at it; it cocked its head and stared at me.  In relief, I flopped down on my bed and decided to make friends with the little guy.  He wandered around on my bed for awhile, always just barely escaping my fingers when I tried to catch him, craning his neck right then left, looking all around, flicking his tiny tongue.  Eventually I got tired enough that I shooed him off the bed and went to sleep, but it was fun to have a little visitor… even though he did scare me half to death.  

Luckily, I haven’t had any spider incidents since my employer killed the one in my office a couple weeks ago (knock on freaking wood.)  Neither have I seen any of the monstrous centipedes that every here seems to be so afraid of (evidently they like to hide in bedcovers.)  Oh, I’ve been meaning to share that Harry, the spider that had made it’s home in a web on my patio, has moved away.  The morning after Mark killed the cane spider in my office, I awoke to find that Harry had abandoned his web, which is still hanging where he left it.  I never felt threatened by Harry because he was so stationery… but his webwork was impressive and I respected him more than any spider I’ve ever met.  I was kind of disappointed that he left.  But!  He came back a few days ago… this time to a large potted plant just outside the front entrance hall.  Reasonably, it could be a different spider… but it has all the same markings as Harry, and the potted plant is just around the corner from my patio.  So I’m saying it’s Harry, and I’m welcoming him back.  I might be brave enough to take some close-up shots of his new web.  We’ll see.

As I was leaving the house a few days ago, I saw a huge brown beetle running up the garage door.  I summoned Mark (the landscaper, if you remember) and asked if it was a cockroach.  He looked at my out of the corner of his eye and said, “No… that’s just a plantation bug.”  I was a little relieved… I’ve never seen a cockroach, and although I don’t think I’d be particularly scared, I’m not sure I would be excited to come across one.  But as Mark walked away, he called out over his shoulder, “I mean, most people call them cockroaches… but ‘plantation bug’ doesn’t sound nearly as scary.”  So I encountered my first cockroach—thank God it was outside. 

Other than bugs, spiders, and geckos, the only other wildlife I’ve really come in contact with are the humongous toads.  Mark and his crew have been working to dig up all the weeds, put down layers of red dirt, and lay squares of grass.  Now that the grass is down, toads cover the lawn at night.  This evening I pulled into the driveway, turned on my handy-dandy iPhone flashlight app, shined it into a patch of grass—there were six softball-sized toads all sitting within inches of each other.  So cute. 

Tonight I walked around the (very few) shops in Kilauea before eating dinner at Lighthouse Bistro.  I got the grilled petite sirloin (marinated in soy sauce and pineapple juice), and for dessert I had bananas foster.  It was a pleasant atmosphere, and I have no problem traveling, dining, shopping, and living alone… but I’m ready to be not-alone.  Now that it’s less than a week before I fly home for Julie’s wedding and the holidays, I’m antsy to be home.  I should try to enjoy my last week of warm weather, ocean lullabies, and tropical sunrises… but eh… it will all still be here in January.  I’m ready to see my family… my friends… play with my band… play my recently-tuned piano… pet my cat!!!  I’m actually sort of looking forward to wearing sweaters and curling up under blankets.  I’ve never felt so much pure excitement for Thanksgiving… it’s borderline childhood Christmas Eve syndrome. 

I’ve been blessed with a life that is wonderful in every way.  It’s wonderful to be here in Hawaii.  It will be wonderful to go home.  It will be wonderful to come back to Hawaii in January.  And speaking of wonderful… I’ll leave you with a picture of the glorious sunset I stopped to admire on my way to Kilauea this evening.  Aloha. :)    


Monday, November 8, 2010

My Weekend

On Saturday I worked all day and then, feeling fidgety and restless, took a walk in the rain late afternoon.  It’s about a twenty-minute walk from my (employer’s) house to Lookout Point, so I grabbed my camera and set off down the road.  I turned back three times, once because I realized there was no memory card in my camera, and once to put shorts on (I’d been wearing pants in the house for the first time since moving here.  It seems like the people who live in Kauai are very sensitive to slight weather changes… I’m usually cold all the times, but there are days when I’ll be sitting in my office in a tank top and shorts, sweating even with the windows and the screen door open, and my employer will walk in wearing sweatpants and a long-sleeved fleece shirt.)    

Anyway, I walked to Lookout Point, taking some photographs and doing lots of philosophical, life-meaning thinking on the way.  I only spend a few minutes sitting on the hill and watching the ocean once I got to Lookout Point, then I walked home and got back to work.  The overhead clouds either spat rain or heavily sprinkled during the hour that I was out, and it made for a perfectly refreshing walk.  Here are a few pictures I snapped.

One of the chiseled bricks in the driveway:

The view of the mountains behind our gated community:

Colorful berries on some of the palms that line the dirt road leading back to the driveway.  They’re not typical palms—I’ll have to find out what they’re called.  You can see their structure (kind of) in the second picture… from the roots to the berries, the trunk is circled with dark rings of bark.  In the middle of the trunk is a horizontal wreath of green and red berries, and from there up the trunk is stripped, smooth, and white.   

Yesterday, Sunday, I decided to be a tourist and visit all of the attractions on the south side of the island.  I got in my car after church and drove the hour and a half to Waimea State Park to see the Waimea Canyon.  After driving many miles on a long, windy, dirt road, I came to a series of lookout points (complete with parking lots, guard rails, and information posts—so touristy) that provided beautiful views of the canyon.  The first stopping point reminded me very much of a small-scale Grand Canyon.  The south side of the island in general reminded me of Arizona—because the south side is so much dryer than the north side, there’s an abundance of rock and red dirt.  Here are a few shots of Waimea Canyon.  

The second stopping point was at a significantly higher elevation, and the view of the eye-level clouds was almost as breathtaking as the mountains and ocean below.

With the zoom, you can just make out a three-tiered waterfall on the side of the mountain—which must be pretty big for me to have been able to see it from such a distance.    

The treacherously potholed road crept further up the mountain and dead-ended at the last stopping point.  The raw beauty of the view almost took away my desire to photograph it.  If I didn’t have other places to go and other things to see, I would have spent the entire day on that mountaintop, perched on a rock overlooking the bay, pen and paper in my lap, alternating between writing and completely zoning out.  Up here, the red dirt was cool and damp, packed down hard.  I hiked a short ways down the trail (the trail goes miles into the mountains—definitely something I’ll be doing when I return in January) without shoes.  I can’t describe the pure bliss of the cool, hard dirt under my feet, the breeze whipping all around me, and triangular peaks and valleys spread out far below me.  Here are pictures. 

After the canyon, I intended to go shopping in Poipu, but instead I followed signs to Spouting Horn, another enjoyable tourist attraction.  I got a few good shots of the geyser in action—I’m sure it’s even more impressive when the waves are bigger.  

After photographing the geyser, I turned around to see the sun beginning to set on the ocean, which painted beautiful contrasting lights and darks on the rocks. 

I then went to Poipu Shopping Village, which is a classy outdoor shopping mall a bit like Legacy Village (in Ohio.)  There were several small art galleries that I ambled through, but I didn't spend much time there.  On my way home, I stopped at Trees Lounge in Kapaa, which I thought was going to be an upscale restaurant, but was more of a bar.  It was still a fun atmosphere—cozy armchairs, low coffee tables, and live music.  The menu was Hawaiian/Jamaican Fusion food served Pupu style (“pupus” are appetizers) on ceramic, triangle-shaped plates.  I had jerk chicken, and for dessert, New Orleans bread pudding.  I snapped a couple of artistic shots, watched the band (a jazzy, Carribbean style), and chatted with an island visitor named Alex, who informed me that the lead singer/guitarist of the band was a pro surfer. 

Aloha! :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Day in Kapaa

1. This post will primarily be about my day yesterday, but first I want to fast forward to this morning.  Today, for the first time in a week or so, I let myself sleep in and didn’t use my alarm.  I was shocked when I woke up to find that it was 10:00… when I don’t use an alarm, I usually wake up naturally between 6:30 and 7:30.  I guess I was sleep deprived?  And because I let myself wake up naturally, I remembered all of my crazy dreams from last night.  I haven’t remembered any dreams this week except one in which my Hawaii friend Dillon accidentally murdered a girl and then, out of fear of punishment, hid the evidence by chopping her into pieces and burying her in a sandy forest.  His twin somehow knew what had happened and kept taunting him by insinuating that he was going to hell, so finally Dillon confessed to the crime… but the police thought he was covering for his younger sister, whom they had arrested for the crime, so they wouldn’t accept his confession and justice was never served.  It was tragic.  There was a flying bamboo dragon in mixed in there somewhere, too.   

But last night my dreams were even more epic… my YWAM friends and I were in a bloody crash during a fall hayride, my friend Sam dressed up patriotically as Uncle Sam and gave me the nickname “Bubby,” and I had a secret, passionate fling with Sawyer (from Lost) while working as a security guard at a petting zoo full of mystical creatures.  Anyway—the point of talking about sleep was to say that I fly home in under two weeks, so starting tomorrow I’m going to try modifying my sleep schedule by going to bed early and waking up early in hopes that when I get home the time difference won’t affect me much.

2.  I have two exciting (for me) pieces of news.  I’ll backtrack to yesterday morning, when I played chauffeur for my employer during an errand-run in Lihue.  The car ride provided for a productive discussion in which he offered me a substantial raise effective in January.  Woot!  The second piece of exciting news will come shortly—I want to progress chronologically now that I’m finished blabbing about my weird dreams.   

3.  At midday I drove myself to historical Kapaa and ate at Ono Family Restaurant.  The restaurant got great reviews… so it was my own fault that I wasn’t crazy about my meal.  I somehow forgot that Ahi is tuna, which I only like when I’m in the mood.  So I ordered grilled Ahi with steamed veggies, fries, soup, and iced tea (but it wasn’t my fault that the iced tea was watery and tasted like koolaid.)  Regardless of my picky palate, it was a pleasant restaurant and I didn’t mind the tuna too much. 

4.  Then I shopped around downtown historical Kapaa.  There are all sorts of boutiques, eateries, and small art galleries.  I saw a couple empty storefronts that be perfect for small art studios/galleries.  One was in a corner nook of a second-story walkway, and the other was an octagon-shaped, two-story, completely-windowed building painted bold teal with black trimmings.  It sounds cheesy, but it was weathered just enough to look antiquated and charming.  The walls are ¾ windows overlooking downtown Kapaa… it would be a perfect place for a studio apartment loft and an art gallery below … maybe someday I’ll have the money to invest in something so blissful.  Here’s are a couple shots of the building (it’s the wing on the right in the second picture.)  

Also in downtown Kapaa, I found this beautiful mural painted by artist Robert Wyland, who is famous for his marine murals and conservation efforts. 

5. I Stopped back at Ono’s on the way back to my car for a treat at their outdoor Shaved Ice stand.  Shaved Ice is popular here… I was never very fond of it back home—but this stuff is amazing.  I ordered the Kauai Java (flavors: coffee, vanilla, and coconut.)  Inside all the shaved ice was a scoop of coffee ice cream, and top was drizzled a rich vanilla cream.  It was HUGE. 

6. I drove around for a bit and stopped at small park with a baseball field, basketball courts, and a small skate park… I think it was all on high school property.  I took a few pictures here and there… but really, I haven’t been all that motivated to photograph here.  Or rather, I haven’t been inspired… which is odd, considering all the beauty by which I’m surrounded.  I suppose it’s all just… too beautiful to photograph?  The glorious glimpses of nature I’ve experienced here are all pieces of art in and of themselves—brilliant masterpieces able to be documented, but not artistically reinterpreted.  Anyway, I had a nice chat with the school baseball coach—he’s a photographer in his spare time… he said that when he used to shoot portraits with film a decade ago, he would put grease and sugar on the lens to create a glittery effect that, quote, “made the subject look like he or she were in heaven.”  Either that tactic is as weird as it sounds or I know even less than I thought I did about photography.    

7.  On the way back to Kilauea, I stopped at an outdoor flea market.  There were tents filled with souvenirs and one small art gallery.  Here comes the second piece of good news.  I talked to the gallery manager for quite a while… he just finished writing a 700+ page novel that he’d like me to edit.  Lately, I’ve felt like good fortune just falls straight into my lap.  He’s a nice guy, and his novel does admittedly sound like a mainstream bestseller.  It would be a great freelance project on the side.

8.  To end the day, I came home and worked hours before receiving a surprise phone call from my (former [sadly]) roommates Julie and Heidi.  We’re declaring December to be Roomie Month and will spend every available moment with each other.  AND… if everything works out, they might come visit me during Heidi’s Spring Break!!! (She’s in grad school—I’m so proud of her!)  I’m not sure anything could be as great as that.  Spending time with my besties IN PARADISE?!  I can’t wait to be reunited with them in a couple weeks for Julie’s wedding! :)

Aloha! :)   

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Long Day, Boring Post

This is just a straight-forward, "What I Did Today" post.  I'm exhausted from working all day (had to skip Bible Study), but I'll take the time to blog quickly just for the sake of documentation.

This afternoon I ran to Walmart in Lihue for my employer.  Afterwards, I decided to check out Kukui Grove Center--the Lihue shopping mall.  It was cute!  A little big like a (very) small-scale Aurora Farms.  There were no fun fountains or boardwalks or anything, but there were seating areas in the...

Hang on.  I'm having a complete mental block and can't think of the word I'm looking for.  What is a small outdoor space called that's only accessible through a building?  Malone University has one in the Johnson center--a grassy...  COURTYARD!!!  Nevermind!  Wow.  It literally took me ten minutes to come up with that.  I tried about twenty keywords on google and an online thesaurus, and it finally came to me as soon as I referenced Malone.  Whew, what a relief!

Anyway.  There were outdoor seating areas in the courtyard between buildings, and a removable stage for liver performances in the center of the courtyard.  There weren't many stores... Macy's, Sears, Kmart, Claire's, Deja Vu, Sunglass Hut, a few shoe stores, a few drugstores, a couple eateries and smoothie/ice cream shops.  I wandered around for a bit before getting dinner at a Mexican place called La Bamba.  It was still a little early for dinner, so I was one of the only ones there, but it was quiet and relaxing.  When I first sat down, the Spanish version of "You are Worthy of My Praise"(an old-school Christian worship song from, like, the 90s) was playing over the sound system.  On the way back to my car, I popped into Cold Stone and got a Dark Chocolate Peppermint cone.  It melted fast, but I ate it faster.

I snapped a couple shots (not great quality) with my iPhone while I was out.  Here's the view of the mountains from the Kukui Grove parking lot:

Here's Kukui Grove from the center courtyard:

The inside of La Bamba:

And here's a shot I took for JC while driving home (can you tell my windshield is dirty?)... haven't stopped in this store yet, but I have a day of shopping planned in Kapaa for tomorrow, so maybe I'll hit it up!

Aloha! :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Random Pictures

Because today was a long day of work and not much else, tonight is a good time for a Random Picture Post.  These are leftover shots that didn't make it into previous entries.  We'll go chronologically. :)

These are two shots of Hanakapi'ai Falls (the intense 8-mile hike from a couple weeks ago) taken on my iPhone.  I forgot they were on there until today... they're completely unedited and are better than the pictures I took with the D90! 

My employer is having some sort pipe system installed around the house (no idea what for), so on Saturday I spent a while taking establishing shots of where the pipes lie in relation to the house.  On the way back inside, I snapped this shot of the coconut tree that stands beside the driveway.  My employer has warned me more than once about the dangers of walking underneath one--a coconut to the head can kill you.  (I'm sure that's true, but I think he's being a little dramatic.  The chances of one not falling on my head are pretty good.)    

And before I left for the Fall Festival on Sunday, I spent a few minutes photographing a gaggle of Nene that had wandered into the front yard.

My employer recently bought a new point-and-shoot, but wanted me to play with it a bit to decide if it was worth keeping or if it should be returned.  I took a few random shots around the house: the first two are of the foyer/entranceway floor, and the second is of the hallway leading down to the garage (but the picture looks so much cooler if you imagine that the hallway leads to some super secret room full of treasure or an alternate universe or something equally exciting.  Maybe the Hall of Prophecy?  I'm getting excited for the first installment of Deathly Hallows in a few weeks!)  

The waves on the North Short were HUMUNGOUS today.  I kept looking over my shoulder at them as I worked on my computer all day, but at the suggestion of my employer, I did take a break to photograph them.  Usually the bay is calm and flat, but you can tell by the white froth how stirred up the water was.  (Photos taken from my office patio.) 

And last but not least, here's a short video clip I shot of a surfer catching one of the massive north shore winter waves.  Aloha!