We had some excitement yesterday, Dave called & woke us at 5:30 am saying that there was a tsunami on its way to Hawaii. We immediately turned on the news and found out that sirens would be going off at 6:00am & the tsunami would arrive at just after 11:00 am, there were no details about how large it would be.

View of Kaulia Beach, Oahu

  • 5:30 am – I turned on the TV & the coffee pot (I always have it setup so I just need to hit the on button in the morning). The TV news people did not have much on details, just spouted info about how to evacuate from low laying regions & to make sure residents had food & water for 7 days.
  • I checked the white pages & found out we were outside the low laying areas. We are right beside the Marina & elevated some.
  • 6:00 am -  the sirens started sounding, the hotel staff came on the intercom & informed us it was just a warning & no action needed to be taken, we would be updated.
  • 6:00 – 6:30am Colleen & I decided to go on a hike to see Manoa Falls.  The Manoa Falls trail on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii, is one of the most popular hikes in the Honolulu area, it is a short drive out of Waikiki up the  Manoa Valley. 15 minutes out of the city and you are surrounded by  tropical bamboo and rain forest, the highlight is the 150-foot waterfall. The waterfall is bigger if it has recently rained but it was a dribble yesterday, but the trail was nice & dry.
  • 6:30 am -  Hotel alarms sounded & another announcement. We were not in the immediate danger area & as long as we were on the 3rd floor or above we would not be in danger. The news channels did not have any new info another update at 7:00 am  – we would have to wait until 8:00 or 9:00am when the waves hit some deep water buoys to find out possible wave heights.
  • 6:30-7:00 am – We had coffee, breakfast, packed up the cooler with food, water  & packed most of our suitcases ( as we were flying out the next day & might not be able to return to the hotel).
  • 7:00 am – We left the hotel before any possible evacuation as we did not want to be caught in traffic. An announcement was made for Low lying areas to be evacuated.
  • 7:00-8:00am. – We made our way up to the trail parking lot. On the way we saw lines at MacDonald’s,  at all of the small convenience stores & at all of the gas stations. The radio announcers said there were long lines at the grocery stores as well & there were announcements that stores were out of water & gas stations were running out of fuel.
  • The Manoa Falls hike is pretty short – about 2 miles return so after speaking with another hiker we decided to continue on the trail system that would take us to the top of the mountain & we would have an extraordinary  view of the Island & ocean. We loaded up our backpacks & we were off. The hike was amazing & we met hikers that had blackberries or radios so we got updates along the way.
  • 11:15am – We made it to the top & were sitting with about 8 hikers, 3 who were on their blackberries, 2 who were on cell phones with family, 1 with a radio & we still did not know what was happening but the wave was almost on Hilo. When the wave did hit Hilo – reports were conflicting but the consensus was that it wasn’t that bad. We sat on the mountain top for about an hour, resting, enjoying the scenery, Colleen doing her homework & waiting to see if we can see any wave action – though we are up really high – we can see both coasts from our perch.
  • Owners of the larger boats have been instructed to take their boats out to sea. 1/2 mile is good but 1 mile is better so we can see many boats off in the distance.
  • 12:15pm – The tsunami is a non event – thank goodness & we start the hike back down the mountain. The hike is amazing, bamboo forest, rain forest with enormous trees, tropical birds, incredibly beautiful. We took tons of pictures & hiked a total of 8 mountain miles.
  • 1:40 pm – The tsunami warning was canceled.
  • 2:30 pm – We head back to Waikiki beach, there is no traffic & the streets & beaches are populated with people like nothing ever happened.

    Oahu Bamboo Forest

Saturday, February 27th, 2010 can be marked as Surreal. We moved about in a deliberate & calm manner. The trail we hiked has been in a number of movies & Lost has been filmed here. As a matter of fact when we arrived at the trail parking lot, a film crew was packing up from filming the night before (one of the hikers thought it might be the final season episode of Lost). As we hiked this trail that looked so familiar, clips of movies kept filling my head; Jurassic Park, (Lost World was filmed here), Deep Impact  – people running for their lives, moving through Jungle or higher ground in order to survive.

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