Leeward Oahu waves: not that big, but very brown - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Leeward Oahu waves: not that big, but very brown

Christina Keaulana Christina Keaulana
Albert Kamaka Albert Kamaka

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

LEEWARD OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A big westerly swell that forecasters thought could cause damage to Leeward Oahu wasn't as big as advertised, but still churned up mud from last week's flooding. But that didn't stop many surfers who braved the brown water to ride the waves.

At Yokohama Bay, there was one lone surfer, but a lot of onlookers. There were more surfers at Makaha, even though the waves had diminished by mid-morning.

"It was pretty big, probably the second-biggest swell of the season," said Christina Keaulana.

Ha`a Keaulana spent about an hour riding the waves at Makaha. "Fun, really fun," she said. "Some big sets here and there. Inconsistent, but still fun."

A closer look showed signs of last week's storm, including debris on the beach, and water not quite as blue as its supposed to be, which kept some tourists and surfers out, including Christina Keaulana. "Probably not today, no, looks kinda dirty. And a little big," she said.

"I don't like it when the water's too murky. I like nice, clean water," said Cat Tarbassian, who was visiting from Denver. She enjoyed the view of the waves safely from the shore at Yokohama Bay.

The forecasts had predicted the possibility of waves washing over Farrington Highway and more coastal inundation. But officials say problems were minor, even at the highway's intersection with Makaha Valley Road, where the Cornet store used to be. The area is prone to waves washing up on the highway, which happened only briefly this morning.

While there was virtually no damage, surfers believed the waves stirred up the mud from floodwaters that had settled to the bottom.

At the surf spot known as "Tracks," there was a small sign warning surfers and swimmers to stay out of the water because of contamination. The sign was ignored by dozens who couldn't resist riding the unusually good waves for the area, even if the water was brownish-green.

Albert Kamaka and his family watched from the shore. He had considered going home to get his board, but he was under orders to stay out of the water. "That's what my wife told me. 'You ain't going out,'" Kamaka said.

He did have some advice for those who went into the water. "They better have a bar of soap and something to take out all that bacteria when they come in," he said.

Even though the surf wasn't huge, lifeguards on Oahu were still busy, making two rescues, assisting three surfers or swimmers, and issuing a thousand warnings to people in or near the water.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Watch our video for the full story.

Powered by Frankly