ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian has posted the following account of his recent trip to Hawaii via the online poker blog community Blog.UB.com:
"My wife Pearl and I just got back from Hawaii. We went on a 'babymoon.' Basically, our last trip just the two of us for a long time. It was a great vacation, super relaxing, doing nothing but hanging on the beach, and oh yeah, there was a tsunami. It sounds a lot worse than it was.
"If you've seen the footage from Japan you've seen what a big tsunami is capable of.
"We were at dinner with friends when one of them got a text saying there was a tsunami warning because of the earthquake in Japan. This was at 10 p.m. By the time we left dinner at 11:30 p.m., traffic was insane with people trying to get out of Waikiki and it suddenly hit home that this could be serious. We hadn't seen the Japanese footage at this point, so at least we didn't have that to scare the shit out of us. Our friends offered for us to follow them to a house inland, but we decided to head back to our hotel on the North Shore, an hour drive from where we were. The tsunami was not expected until 3 a.m. so I figured we'd make it. The only issue was if they closed the road to our hotel that runs along the ocean for 10 miles or so we'd be fucked. We gambled. Turns out our hotel (Turtle Bay Resort) is a safety zone for the North Shore so we were heading to the right place.
"We made it back around 12:30 a.m. and turned on the TV and saw the devastation in Japan. Unbelievable. These images are still burned into my brain and my thoughts are with you my friends.
"After seeing this, we did start to worry. Would it really be safe here? Are we high enough up (fourth floor), etc. etc. I called the desk half a dozen times asking these questions and telling them I had a pregnant wife with me and they reassured me each time that we'd be OK. Hey, I'm a kid from New York City and I just saw Japan get demolished like Godzilla came through. What do I know about tsunamis?
"The TV news was tracking it as it made its way past the Midway Islands and the reports were varying from a four-foot wave to a 12-foot wave. We just kept watching the ocean from our room — we had a great view. At around 2 a.m. the hotel security announced over the PA that we had to leave our rooms and close our balcony doors and shutters and move into the hallway. We decided to stay in our room. If something was coming, I wanted to see it. The hallway was packed with people from the lower floors. People had moved chairs and pillows with them to sleep on. Pearl and I watched and waited. At 3:15 a.m. reports came in that Kauai got hit and that the wave was only three feet but that it could get bigger. We had about 10 minutes until it hit. At this point I was really questioning whether we should've just gotten in the car and drove up the hill. Then we watched the ocean completely suck out dry about 500 feet out. It was nuts, dry as a bone, all the reef exposed. The water was just gone. We stood on the balcony waiting to see a huge wave ripping towards the shore line and then there it was, tiny little waves, one on top of another, moving really fast but small came pouring back into the empty space. Once it seemed like it had peaked the reports came in that the first wave was three feet and that the next wave could be 12 feet. OK, I was starting to see a pattern here. I guess they have to scare the shit out of you in case it is bad so you take it seriously. Meanwhile at this point we're on the balcony shooting video of the ocean sucking out again and the small waves ripping back in.
"That's what happened over and over again for the next two hours and at 5:45 a.m. we finally went to bed even though they were still saying 'the big one' could come. Bottom line, I am really happy it didn't.
"Woke up the next day and found out there was some damage on the big island and some damage to boats in some of the harbors but all in all a non-event, especially when compared to Japan. If it was a wave like that, I'd be typing this from my mattress 20 miles out at sea somewhere."