picture: Mark Moquin
Death of a landmark
September 16th 2006 marked the end of an era for the Maui windsurfing community, when at 11:45 Rope Tree fell to its death.
Rope Tree has been a landmark at Camp One for as long as anyone can remember, sitting at the waters edge and providing the perfect platform for almost every photo-shoot ever held there. Kids aged 3-90, residents and visitors alike have loved the rope swing.
Summer 2006 has seen the highest levels of beach erosion at Camp One in a decade. Rope Tree was not the first to fall. It will probably not be the last. One thing is for sure; it will be the most missed.
Rope Tree served its final photo-shoot duty on September 11th 2006 to Matt and Kevin Pritchard. All the action was captured on mauiwindcam.com ( http://www.mauiwindcam.com ) together with a gut wrenching video of the tree’s final moments. (Definitely not for the faint of heart!)
Mauiwindcam.com has been beaming pictures from this famous beach for over 4 years. The web site features a live view updated every 5 seconds and a large photo gallery of selected shots taken since 2002. There is also a Movie Page showing daily time lapse movies of a whole day in about 2 minutes and a news page. For viewers outside of the Maui time frame a review of the previous day is shown during the dark hours. The site also includes a host of real time and forecast graphs of general weather, wind and tide information. Mauiwindcam.com recently received a Top Ten Cam award from earthcam.com. The only windsurf centric webcam ever to do so.
The mauiwindcam site is hosting a book of “condolences” at http://www.mauiwindcam.com/ropetree; stories and messages are being received from all over the world. American, Australian, British and Sardinian sailors, journalists, beach lovers and dogs (?!) are sending in their remembrances of the Rope Tree. Pietro Porcella, windsurfing journalist and part time resident of Maui suggests “’A Windsurfing Museum’ somewhere in Maui, we should rescue glorious “Rope Tree” and expose it at the entrance of the Museum. And decorate it with historical sails and boards donated by legendary windsurfers.”
The website also includes a pictorial memorial featuring some very stunning, humorous and even sad photographs of the tree and it’s many friends.
There’s hardly a Maui windsurfing shoot that hasn’t involved Rope Tree nor a Maui sailor who hasn’t used it as a reference point at some time. If ever an object can be termed a monument it surely was this old bare ironwood stump! If you have ever sailed Camp One or viewed any photos from there you should pay the site a visit and maybe leave a tribute.
The view from the mauiwindcam and Camp One beach will never be the same. Farewell old friend.