Waimea Bay and Waimea Valley is one of my most favorite places in the world!`Located in the Moku of Waialua, it is the only complete Ahupua’a on the island of Oahu that is preserved. An ahupua’a is the name Hawaiians use to describe a track of land, but it’s much more then that, it also represents a style of land management that follows the flow of the water from the mountains to the sea.
Waimea Bay’s beautiful white sand beach is one of the largest and deepest beaches in the Hawaiian Islands and a great place to swim and snorkel in the Summer months. It is also a Marine Life Conservation District. On the West end of the bay the famous Jump Rock which you can jump off of if your brave! There is also a hole at the base that you can swim through.
In the Winter months when the surf is up Waimea Bay features one of the most dangerous and deadly rip currents in the world. So much so that Jump Rock name is changed to Death Rock ! If you must go in the water during the Winter months talk to the North Shore Lifeguards first. Waimea Bay is also one of the most famous big wave surfing spots in the world. Long before tow-in surfing heroic men and a few women paddled into huge waves with only the power of their arms and fins in the case of bodyboarders. It’s hard to describe what it feels like to paddle into a wave that is thick as a school bus and taller then a telephone pole, but one thing is for sure Anna Marie in the movie Blue Crush did not have the commitment to pull it off! Sorry, I’m digressing into the one weak point of Blue Crush’s script. Waimea Bay is also host to the Quicksliver Eddie Aikau Surfing Competition which only runs when the bay calls the day. Here’s an interview by Mark Healey that talks about what a dream it is to compete in the Eddie. If your lucky and on the North Shore from December 1st – through February 28th, you may luck out and get to see the contest.
Waimea Bay is also amazing when you see it underwater – I remember the first time I saw it with a mask I literally ran out of the water, OK so I was a really little girl at that time, but I remember vidily that I was shocked with how deep and big it was! As mesmerizing as the Bay is, one must take the time to hike up to the falls in the West side of Waimea Valley, which is thankfully managed by Hawaiian’s again. Waimea Bay was also the first place Europeans stopped on Oahu and was filled with thousands of native Hawaiian’s before the population was decimated by disease. The mana (power) of the Bay is only matched by the deep feeling of peace a person feels when standing between the valley walls and breathing in the air of one of the most important botanical collections in the world. Saving Waimea valley was a renaissance of power to the people. You see Waimea was condemned by Honolulu’s Mayor Harris in early 2000 for the sum of $5,00,000 dollars – I remember the process well as I advocated to allow swimming at the falls. A few years later a back room political deal almost gave away 2/3’s of the valley, but the people prevailed and all is pono (right) now. In any case when you come to the North Shore a visit to the water fall is a must do.