Love & Light and everything bright...

23 Jan 2011

Updated Dec 25, 2009...

Christmas Spectaculars at Jaws...

...and other places on Maui's north shore


Christmas Spectaculars at Jaws...

...and at other places on Maui's north shore

HAIKU, Maui, Dec 25 - First, Merry Christmas, everybody!  Mele Kalikimaka! 

Second, forget the Christmas Spectacular at New York's Radio City Music Hall.  Sure enough, it was a marvelous show that Elizabeth and I were fortunate enough to see earlier this month (right).  But it pales in comparison to the performance we saw today.  What you're about to see is a Christmas Spectacular that only Mother Nature can put on - the Hawaiian-style White Christmas.

It all started yesterday.  While driving around to put some air into our Jeep's tires, I had an impulse, call it divine guidance if you will, that we should go to Jaws on Christmas Day (Jaws is the famous surfing spot where the world record in surfing was set in 2001 with a 75 ft-wave - see The Jaws Happening (Dec 7).  At the time I said that, the ocean was unusually calm, looking almost like a mirror.  So I thought of it more as a nice Christmas Day outing.

After doing a small fire ceremony at the Upper Rainbow Shower and puttering around the house with various small chores, I told Elizabeth, "let's go." 

"Go where?"

"To Jaws."

She immediately dropped what she was doing, beaming a smile ear to ear.  "Jaws, what fun!" I could see it written all over her face.  In a few minutes, she was ready to go.

When we got to the road that leads to Jaws a little after 2PM today, the place was packed with people and cars.  It was reminiscent of this year's Pearl Harbor Day when 40-ft waves were reported there (see The Jaws Happening, Dec 7). 

The Jaws Christmas Spectacular

"Something's up at Jaws," both Elizabeth and I concluded.  Since we donít watch TV, we had no idea what it was about.  "Maybe it's a Maui tradition to go to Jaws on Christmas Day?" I opined.

Jaws is about four miles down the hill from the Rainbow Shower.  Two miles is down East Kuiaha Rd off of which our property lies. Another two miles is a dirt road full of ruts.  So having a 4WD Jeep was a bonus.  The closer we got to Jaws, the more crowds appeared.  At one point, I asked a young man who was walking back to the road what the surf was like today. 

"Twenty" is all he said. 

Translated into mainland English, that meant the swells were about 20 feet high.


Actually, perhaps the smallest of the waves we saw this afternoon at Jaws were about 20 feet.  The rest were between 30 and 40 feet, an estimate that a north shore lifeguard also confirmed later on when Elizabeth talked to him at Hookipa Point.  We counted nine windsurfers out at sea and four jet sky rescue drivers (two left shots).  Most of the windsurfers were mostly just lolling around, waiting for the "perfect" wave for them.  The one in the middle right shot caught a big one and rode it all the way, gracefully exited to the left of its powerful, crushing white crest (two right shots). You can also see a spectacular rainbow that a blowing foam from the crest of the wave sometimes creates (middle right).

If you click on the video clip below, you can also take in for a few minutes Mother Nature's 2009 Christmas Spectacular...

  Christmas at Jaws (Maui, Hawaii) - Filmed by Bob Djurdjevic (3:15 mins)

We spent about half an hour watching the waves and the surfers. So did two helicopters, a fixed-wing aircraft, a jetliner from mainland and several hundred Maui residents or visitors.

At one point, one of the windsurfers was actually clobbered by about a 35-footer.  its foaming crest exploded on top of the surfer engulfing him in white foam like a fish in a cauldron.  Two rescue jet skiers rushed in to help recover the poor guy.  The surfer appeared okay.  But his gear did not survive the crash.  Both the sail and the mast and the surf board were smashed to pieces.  As an exclamation point, Mama Kocha (Mother Ocean) ground them up against the black rocks on the shore before the a jet ski rescuer could grab them.  In fact, at point he (or she) had to literally outrun a big wave to save himself, before about a 40-footer crashed with thunderous roar behind him.

And then there were eight... (windsurfers). 

We watched the Jaws Christmas Spectacular for about 20 minutes before heading back.  I chose a different circular route back hoping to avoid the crowds and oncoming traffic.  The strategy worked.  We only saw two or three trucks going the same way.

The Jawsette Christmas Spectacular II

And then, the higher power intervened once again.  Something told me that there was a gulch and another cove to our right.  I could not see anything through the thick jungle.  I just felt it.  So I asked Elizabeth to keep an eye on it while I was navigating around the ruts. She said she could not see anything.  Then suddenly there was a short widening in a one lane dirt road.  As if guided by a divine hand, I turned the steering wheel to the right and wedged the Jeep into the opening.

"Do you see anything down there?" I asked Elizabeth.

"No, I don't.  Just the jungle.  And a steep vertical drop."

I got out of the car to check things out myself.  There seemed to be a path leading down to the bottom of the gulch.  Alas, we only had our Crocs on, no hiking or even running shoes.  I took a few steps down the hill.

"I think we can make it.  It's not too steep."

I went back to grab my wallet and the car key, and off to the gulch we went. The hike was wonderful.  We felt as if we were walking through an enchanted forest, several of which we are also blessed with around the Rainbow Shower.  We walked for about a quarter of a mile on a gently sloping downhill trail before we could actually start to hear the crashing waves.

"Bingo!" I said.  "Do you hear the waves?  Or is it another helicopter?"

"It's both," Elizabeth confirmed it.  "At first there was a helicopter, and now the waves."

We proceeded for another quarter of a mile with the noise of the crashing waves getting louder with our every step.  I felt the excitement building in anticipation of what we may find at the end of the jungle trail.  Suddenly, the path stopped. 

When I looked down, I was standing on top of a vertical precipice of at least 200 feet above the stone beach and the boiling ocean below (left).  Elizabeth took up a position a step or so behind me on a lower perch.  It was a cove right next to Jaws.  So we named it Jawsette. :-)  I got my camera out again and started filming again...

 Christmas at "Jawsette" (Maui, Hawaii) - Filmed by Bob Djurdjevic (2:53 mins)

We could also see the surfers at Jaws from this spot, though a bit farther away then when we were on the slopes of the bay next door.  Elizabeth counted only four now.  "And then there were four..."

Unlike Jaws, we were the ONLY ones here at Jawsette.  Both of us just stood there watching in awe Mama Kocha's (Mother Ocean's) Christmas Spectacular II.  Giant waves kept rolling in.  When I spotted a couple of "mountains," each probably in the 20-40 foot high and about half a mile wide, I decided to film one of them in successive frames.  So six of the above pictures depict the same giant wave crashing across the width of the Jawsette cove.

We could have spent the rest of the afternoon at this magical spot. But we also wanted to go to Hookipa point which we pass every time we go into town (Kahului) shopping or other errands.

On our climb back up the trail to where our Jeep was parked, we paused to take the above two shots at another magical spot in the jungle.  It felt as if Sun's rays were beaming the Creator's blessings on us.  After all, up until a few minutes earlier, we had no idea that this gulch, this jungle or the gem of a cove (Jawsette) even existed.  It was only through my third eye and the divine guidance that we ended up here.  I felt deep sense of gratitude.  I raised my hands toward the heavens and thanked the Creator, Pacha Mama (Mother Earth) and Mama Kocha (Mother Ocean) for loving us so much and guiding us so well.

The Hookipa Christmas Spectacular III

Once again, we ran into crowds here.  Since Hookipa Point is easily accessible both by tourists and the locals, it was packed.  But we found an unobstructed observation point from where the shots that follow were taken...

Snow covered blue mountains were rolling in here as well.  The local lifeguard estimated them at about 30 feet.  But to me, they looked every bit as big as those at Jaws.  Regardless of whether they were 30 or 40 footers, the were even more spectacular here because we had a wide, 180-degree view of the shoreline.  So check out Mother Ocean's Christmas Spectacular III...

We spent about 20 mins or so watching the Hookipa blue and white show.  The waves were quite long here, too, probably also half a mile wide or so.

So I decided to take another series of shots of the same wave as it crashed against the Hookipa shoreline.

But while hundreds of humans watched in awe the nature's display of beauty and power, a herd of cows grazing on the slopes against which the magnificent waves were crashing were unimpressed (left).  :-) They had more important things to do.  As we also did later on, when Elizabeth prepared and served a delicious Christmas dinner (that did not include any cows, nor any parts of thereof... :-) (middle). 

Earlier in the day, I saw a six-pointed red star flower on the slopes of our Orchard Rd.  It looked like a Christmas ornament.  I have never before seen anything like it anywhere around it.  I put my foot beside it when I took a picture with me cell phone camera to give you a sense of size and proportion.  I took it as another sign, another divine Christmas blessing, this time for our property, the Rainbow Shower. 


And that's all she wrote so far this last month of the year from the Rainbow Shower...

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