High Water Mark - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

December 17, 2008

High Water Mark

The high surf that frequents Oahu's north shore and other big wave magnet spots in the winter time is beautiful, awe-inspiring, and even ferocious at times.  Nature, turning things over and over, and then peacefully settling onto the shoreline, only to be repeated again and again.  It's poetry in motion; it's cathartic; it's mesmerizing.  It is also incredibly treacherous and alluring. Na├»ve rookies, visitors, weak swimmers and unprepared surfers- everyone who goes beyond the reefs risks serious injury or worse.

Even life-long water veterans can sometimes be thrown for more than just a loop.  So before you walk up and wade into the water, before that friend of yours tries to get one more great picture from too close to the rock ledge, before your cousin visiting from Colorado goes in a bit too far, make sure that you show the ocean the absolute respect it deserves.  Hopefully, you were taught as a youngster to respect the ocean, not to fear it, but to understand its power.

Be aware of currents that lurk below the surface, know your escape plans should something unforeseen take place if you decide to "plummet headlong into the raging surf", to quote quintessential local comedian, Rap Reiplinger...  The ocean is our friend, and we should always treat our friends with respect.  Think about it... 

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