Wake up! After a semi-comatose first 10 days here at North Shore Live, we finally saw some seismic activity along everyone's favorite stretch of beach (and it wasn't just the 5.0 aftershock). With the swell-squashing high pressure finally dying a slow, painful death, we're now open for business. And when the first hints of west swell in at least three weeks starting hitting Backdoor and Off the Wall on Thanksgiving afternoon and pumped on through Sunday, we saw a handful of Americans and every Aussie saying grace from the lineup. Dean Morrison, Fanning, Jamie O'Brien, Josh Kerr among others flew out of flash-filled pits until the wee hours. While sand-buildup and backwash is still making every tube a clam-shell crapshoot, we've seen a few barrels that are at least vaguely reminiscent of a normal year. The best one so far? Believe it or not, last year's instant tube guru, Laurie "Hamilton" Towner, bagged another one on Friday morning – and ace SURFING photog Jeff Flindt was in there with him. Stay tuned to SURFING's April issue to see how it turned out.

What else happened this week? The Ninth Annual Todd Chesser Thanksgiving Memorial went down at the Hill House, with Shane Dorian, Jeannie Chesser, Doug Silva, Matty Liu, Brock Little, Chris Billy, Keoni Watson, Cody Graham, Taylor Steele, Rizal and the Bali Boys, Matt George, Kahea Hart and – of course—the Hill family (Senior, Cory, Racquel and Ronald) cracked open the Guinness, talked story and remembered their fallen friend on his favorite holiday. Dorian rightfully won this year's photo slut award, and Gavin Gillette took out the vets in the surf comp. You can bet Number 10 will go super-size.

Over on the Westside, the 31st annual Rell Sunn Menehune Contest went down in big enough Makaha to make it look like a mini-Eddie for the youngest competitors. Solid, 4-foot slingshots ran across the inside bowl sending the half-pints flying every time they hit a backwash. Kauai's Koa Smith brought it back down to size, though, and dominated the 10-12 boys division. Seth Moniz, Tony's son, had another solid showing and won the 7 to 9 boys.

After scorching through another Hawaiian event and taking one step closer to a fourth consecutive {{{Vans}}} Triple Crown title, Andy Irons celebrated in fine fashion at the Billabong house last Tuesday night. Kaiborg manned the grill, and Hawaiian pride glowed all night long. Andy then took off back to Kauai for the holiday, and probably won't be seen until his heat at Sunset. The cool thing about Andy's competitive strategy: he doesn't just get mad; he gets even.

Speaking of getting even, eight-time world champ Kelly Slater has yet to make his victory lap on the North Shore this year, opting to spend Thanksgiving at home with newlywed Mom and family. He also just got an invite to the prestigious Pebble Beach Pro Am, where he'll be teeing off alongside dudes like Tiger and Fred Couples. The entry fee for the event? A cool, 25Gs. Kelly should be arriving here by Wednesday, with hopes of slipping into the one event he's yet to conquer: the O'Neill World Cup at Sunset Beach. Freddy P premiered his Interrogation signature film on Saturday night, and Jack Johnson played a benefit concert at Waimea Falls. And the big buzz is a private Pearl Jam concert on the night of the Eddie ceremony, but we can't say where.

If you didn't feel like dealing with the Backdoor backwash, {{{Rocky}}} Point has been the belle of the ball the last few days. Big enough to keep it interesting but small enough for big combo hacks, you hear a lot of digitized photographers whispering "Rockies is back!"So is the North Shore. Keep those quivers dialed: a change for the better is in the air.

[Rental cars provided by Tradewinds U Drive. 808-834-1465. www.tradewindsudrive.com.]