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Electric Beach
27 October, 2012
Haunted Pumpkin Carving/Natural Disaster Preparednes

Dive 428:                Start 17:30, BT 53 min, End 18:23, Depth 16'

The Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest is a Halloween tradition across the scuba industry. I took part in my share on the mainland, where UPCC's are held in pools and the biggest worry is cleaning pumpkin guts out of the filters. But this was Oahu. Unlike those pansies on the mainland, we have our contests in the ocean. And not just any ocean, either, but the silty, surge-y, high-surf and low-visibility ocean of Electric Beach.

I met my buddies from Aloha Scuba. The plan was simple. We'd enter the water and carve our pumpkins, bring them out for judging, then take them out with us on the night dive. Arranged on the bottom with chemlights in them, they'd look all eerie and stuff. Oh, and in between dives was BBQ. Lots and lots of BBQ.

We carved our pumpkins in the billowing sand, swinging back and forth in the surge, while morays slithered, urchins bristled and fish ate the pumpkin scraps. By the time we got out the sun was going down and the waves had gotten a lot bigger. My buddy Stephanie got knocked down and buried up to her knees in sand; it took two of us to lift her out. My mask got broken off my face.

But the dive, and the BBQ, ended without incident, and after full dark we prepared to get back in. Just then one of the guys got a text message from his wife. A tsunami was coming. A tsunami was coming.

With no idea where or when it would hit, or how strong it was, we packed everything up with an efficiency born of stark terror. 15 minutes later we were speeding down the highway back to the shop. The shop sits high in the center of the island, about as safe as you can get. So we got the food back out and turned it into a tsunami party!

First thing everybody did was have a run on toilet paper.
Then everybody in Waikiki, instructed to stay in their hotels and climb above the 4th floor, got in their cars instead. Gridlock!
When the tsunami finally arrived, it was no big deal after all.
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