No, we’re not completely nuts.
And yes, we did go down to our beach on Friday’s glorious spring morning in the company of about fifteen of our neighbors to watch the tsunami surges come in.
In defense of our decision to head towards the water when there was a tsunami warning for our area, please note: the warning was for a 3-4 foot wave during the low of low tide, and we were standing on a cliff 50 feet above the beach where the crows fly at eye level. Plus, it was a beautiful day, and Hwy 92 was completely jammed with the sane people who were “heading for higher ground,” so there would be no heading over the hill any time soon anyway. (There were still cars parked at the summit when I came home from work later on, leading one to the conclusion that there are some VERY nervous people out there.)
In addition, this was our second “potential tsunami with lots of warning” experience in just over a year, so I suppose we were a little more seasoned and calmer about the whole thing.
After all, we walk past this sign every day. It points to our house on the hill.
As the surge started, the water receded farther than we had ever seen it before at any low tide.
Within about three minutes, it had pushed into a decent high tide. We shot some video of one of the surges.
We’ve seen some pretty spectacular water down there in the past year.
But this, while not overly dramatic from an “Oh My! Look at those waves!” kind of way, was amazing to watch. The water just keep coming in, uncoupled from the usual “sets of seven” wave behavior. These weren’t merely waves: this was a tsunami.
We were watching incredibly pure, powerful and beautiful liquid energy pulsing across the empty, broad, beach.
This sand is accustomed to the pounding surge, and no one here was going to get hurt, which made our experience merely benignly fascinating. This, in stark contrast to the videos we watched of the horrific Sendai experience as it unfolded, made our privileged perch that much more profound and sobering.
Why do some people get to live in peace and safety while others don’t?