Everyone’s talking about these three things right now in Hawaii:
1. The big swell that’s kicked off winter’s surf season. We’re talking 25- and 30-foot waves. I went to Polihale to see it. The waves were rolling in one right after another with water running up the beach in whirlpools. I was drawn to the mountain end, the start of Napali Coast and the place according to Hawaiian tradition that is the jumping off spot for spirits leaving this world. I went with a friend visiting from Seattle. We watched wandering tattlers scurrying along the waterline, snagging microscopic crustaceans and other snacks. We admired the mad skills of someone who had magically entranced three groups of rocks to stand in gravity-defying ways. We picked up a melting ham-and-cheese sandwich still in its Ziploc bag and an unopened plastic water bottle and debated whether it came off a boat or was left behind by a beach-goer. Speaking of marine debris, a 12-foot by 20-foot large chunk of metal, possibly from the 2011 Japan tsunami, washed ashore off Hawaii (Big) Island.
2. The strong, strange winds from the south that dragged a bunch of vog across the Hawaiian Island chain, wrapping itself around mountain peaks and hovering above the sea erasing the horizon.
3. The drought. My yard is brown. Hillsides are drying up. Even the pigs are streaming down the mountains in search of water and food. I know. I saw two groups noshing on the side of the road on my drive home from Polihale. And my dogs smell them in the dead of night, barking and running for the window before their eyelids open.
Oh, I admit, there are a few other things being discussed in Hawaii right now, as well. Like, you know, politics. But weather always trumps any conversation the world over, doesn’t it?