Photographer's Note

On 28 October, 2014 we boarded the Crystal Symphony for a two week repositioning cruise in the Pacific Ocean, sailing first from San Diego, California to Honolulu, Hawaii, and then from Honolulu to Auckland, NZ. Reaching Hawaii five days after leaving San Diego, the elegant ship remained in port for the next twenty-four hours. This gave us a chance to drive with Hawaiian friends to Waimea Beach on the North Shore, famous for its colossal waves and the culture of competitive surfing.

During December, Waimea Beach can become the site of waves 10-15 m (30-45 ft), beckoning competitive surfers from around the world. But that day in early November, it was serene and enormously disappointing for me. (I had bought along my Nikon D200, replete with a sharp 200mm lens and a tripod.) But it had to be even more disappointing to the surfers, there was no opportunity to get their adrenaline highs. But then, I spotted a handful of young locals, gathering on a nearby cliff top, to hurl their bodies into the Pacific Ocean about 15 m below. Most likely these were seasoned locals, completely at home with the elements. And no one, I would imagine, would have jumped off the cliff had the waves been cresting near the top of the cliff itself. To get a better idea of the setting, please take a look at the workshop.

A few days ago we received news from our Hawaiian friends that the 10-15 m waves are back — whipped up by a typhoon that struck Japan, thousands of miles away... so are the competitive surfers and the bumper-to-bumper traffic.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6774 W: 470 N: 12149] (41261)
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