Saturday around noon, I was on tsunami watch. After calling my sister, who lives along the ocean on the west side of Maui to see how she and her husband were faring in the tsunami warning blaring by siren across the Islands — they were taking up everything from the floors and moving up to higher ground — and then helping alert Sentinel photographers and reporters, I ended up at the Santa Cruz harbor. With my wife and one daughter, we waited patiently for the tsunami. I took photos on my iPhone camera, wondering if and when the killer wave arrived, my cell phone would survive even as we were washed away.
The harbor patrol was out in force, keeping a couple of surfers from paddling out in the big surf, and a crowd was gathered in front of the Crows Nest and along the harbor jetties, out to the lighthouse, to catch the action.
Most were probably disappointed. Around 1:30 the tide sucked out a bit, and a river-like flow of water surged into the harbor and then, just as quickly, streamed back out.
And in Hawaii, within an hour or two, tourists were back on the beaches and interest in the tsunami was fading fast. Still, experts say, the tsunami was a significant Pacific Ocean event.
As for me, I posted some photos on Facebook and went back to using my iPhone for the million other tasks I’ve entrusted to the device. At the same time, I’m not addicted to the iPhone, unlike some college students whose withdrawal from all human connections could soon be complete.