Stormy surf brought a bunch of onlookers out to Sandy Beach this morning shortly after daybreak today.
The parking lot at the East Oahu beach park was filled with about 25 cars by 7 a.m.
Broken yellow “police line” tape, which on Thursday blocked the main entrance, was flapping in the strong tradewinds as tropical storm-force winds — or greater — were forecast to arrive on Oahu later today.
Jamie Sickel of Aina Haina checked out the scene with her husband, Aaron, and took photographs at the Halona Blowhole Lookout.
“It’s pretty awesome,” she said. “We just came out to see how high the waves are getting since it wasn’t raining.”
Stacey Delmonte, an Oahu native who a year ago was in the middle of Hurricane Harvey in Houston where her neighborhood flooded and neighbors had to be rescued by boat, was at Sandy’s to see the high surf but also prepared well at home with her 10-year-old son Matthew Kaminer and fiancee Andy Alers.
“This is our second in a year,” she said about the hurricane situation. “It’s beautiful. Mother Nature at work.”
Delmonte said she and her family have paid close attention to Lane forecasts, which earlier this morning put the Category 2 hurricane about 180 miles south of Honolulu, and that they are well prepared to hunker down in their Hawaii Kai home.
“We have our respect (for the storm),” she said. “We’ve been in it with no electricity and stores are out of food.”
Delmonte said a year ago in Houston she was stranded for two weeks at home, and so for Lane, she and her family are much more well prepared to be without electricity and at home for a couple weeks.
Herb Knudsen, a retiree, brought his metal detector out to Sandy’s this morning because big surf had taken out a lot of sand from the typical high-water wash area. He was hoping to find a big diamond ring.
“Why not, right?” he said.
Soon after, he was joined by two other treasure hunters.
Joe and Elise Johnson, who live near Sandy Beach and regularly jog in the morning, were also out for their usual run with their dog Angel.
“We were definitely going to do it,” Joe Johnson said.
“Unless it was pouring torrential rain,” Elise Johnson added. “Look at the waves. It’s beautiful.”
Shortly before 8 a.m., Honolulu Police Department officers pulled into the Sandy Beach parking lot and spent several minutes ordering Knudsen and two others sifting through the sand in shallow water to leave.
“Hey! Get out of the water,” one officer shouted.
The treasure hunters, after some delay, complied. And police went about shooing everyone else out of the parking lot.