So far I have shared photos from O'ahu's famous North Shore (all the big wave photos) and South Shore (which includes Waikiki) and its not quite as famous but still famous East Shore. But up until about a week and a half ago, I had never been to the West Shore. I guess I had been to Kaena Point, the westernmost point on the island, but it is also the "corner" between the North Shore and the West Shore, and since I approached it from the North Shore side, that doesn't count.
The Housemate and I took a trip to the West Shore last week Sunday so he could find a good surf spot and I could lie on the beach and call family and friends (a good way to make them jealous). However, since the Housemate was unfamiliar with West Shore surf spots, the search for a suitable beach took us a long time. Some of the beaches on the West Shore have these sort of tent villages of homeless people, and a few have reputations for being inhospitable to non-locals. Most of it seems fine, though, kind of unspectacular coastline with a road that runs between the beach parks and modest residential areas, strip malls, and fast food chains. But one stop we made while searching for a surf spot deserves a little description.
So we've turned off the highway into an industrial park. Large buildings, warehouses, smokestacks are all around us. We pull off to a dead end road. On our right is a junkyard - some large excavators move around piles of rusted metal and heaps of rubber. Not the picturesque kind of spot from which I could call my friends and make them jealous.
"Oops, I think I took a wrong turn," says the Housemate.
Thank God, I think.
We turn around, take a left at the first intersection, and drive down the road until a small beach park appears on the left. "Here it is." We pull into the parking lot and get out. We are now simply on the other side of the junkyard--but this time, downwind, so we can smell the burning rubber.
"No," I say. "No."
"Uh, don't worry, we're not gonna stay here, I just want to check out the waves, and then we can leave."
"Come on, I just have to see the waves, so I'll know for next time. We won't stay"
We march on down to the beach. From there, he can't see around the point to the good surfing wave, so he has to walk down the beach to the point. He finally comes back, and we walk back to the car in silence, me with the most withering frown I can manage, emitting beams of misery in his general direction. What he didn't understand was that we did stay--the 15 minutes it took him to check out the waves was 15 minutes longer than I wanted to be there.
Anyway, after a few other stops and a lot of driving, we finally made it to the end of the line, the last beach before the road ends south of Kaena Point: Yokohama Bay. Because Kaena Point is a state park, the only buildings in sight were an observatory up on the ridge and the restrooms. The beach was beautiful.
All of my good photos of Yokohama came from the second trip we made there last Saturday because that time 1) we went at sunrise so the light was beautiful and 2) there were very few people around, 3) I was using the Housemate's camera instead of my old semi-broken one, and 4) we spent some time at a beautiful tide pool. I took so many photos, but here are some of the best...
(Click on them for a larger version...especially the panorama.)
Here's what it looked like when we first arrived.
We saw the beautiful tide pool down on the beach. Not a great photo but it gives you the context of the pool. This shot also has this sort of rocky ledge in the water (on the right) that would be revealed when the waves pulled back. I wish I got a better photo of that ledge itself.
Scoping out the tide pool.
When it was calm, the pool was like a mirror. I think this is my favorite of the bunch.
The sun rises over the ridge behind us to touch the algae on the rocks between the pool and the ocean. The algae was quite fuzzy and soft on the feet, not slimy at all.
Panorama with the sun coming over the ridge.
We left the tide pool to go to the part of the beach with good surfing. Here's the Housemate paddling out. What I like is how the clear face of the wave is like a window down to the rocks beneath the surface.
Once the Housemate came back in from surfing I was hot and wanted to go swimming. So we went back to the pool. It's pretty in the sunlight, too.
Water trickling over the rocks into the tide pool.
Water rushing over the rocks into the tide pool.