Thursday, May 10, 2007

Aloha, Jimmy

Update: a goodbye celebration will be held Sunday, May 20, starting at the Haleiwa harbor and ending up at Stef and Jimmy's place. See comments for more details.

Our famous friend Jimmy Hall was killed yesterday in a base-jumping accident on Baffin Island. Please join us in wishing Stefanie and Jimmy's family our deepest sympathy. The paraglider pilots of Hawaii will miss Jimmy's wild spirit and his incredible talents as a pilot and photographer and filmmaker. Many of us were privileged to know him and fly with him over the years, and we followed his world travels and adventures proudly.

A friend of Jimmy's has created a tribute website for him at

As soon as we have any details of services or memorials we will post them here. Feel free to post your condolences and memories as comments to this article. I have moved over the initial comments from the chatterbox.


Anonymous said...

I just want to pass on the news I got from Stephanie, that Jimmy Hall, my good friend and super action hero, died while basejumping at Baffin Island. I don't know any details yet. He went doing what he loveed. Aloha, we'll miss you Jimmy!

Jimmy was a pioneer, We'll All Miss your Adventure. He was on Baffin Island, in the Arctic Circle with Matt Gerdes

I am very sorry to hear the news about Jimmy. I hope Stef knows she can call on us if she needs anything. We were lucky to know him and share the sky with such a bright star.

Brazilian Ray
Sorry to hear about Jimmy Hall... I'll never forget his smile and cool attitude. He'll be missed! ALOHA JIMMY

Sorry about Jimmy!!! Never met him but I would have loved to go on the shark encounter.

Vaya con Dios Jimmie. The world will never be the same without you Bro. Jimmie was also my Super hero. Till we meet again Jimmie!

Our prayers and aloha are with Stefanie at this most difficult time. We all know what an extraordinary life Jimmy lived as an Adventurer's adventurer. We will all miss Jimmy's zest for life.

JeffMC very, very sad. Conolences to his family and many friends. Aloha Jimmy - Hawaii's own daredevil.

Jimmy and Stefanie were the first paraglider pilots I met here. While his life was cut tragically short, he has lived more than a lifetime of adventure! A solemn toast to Jimmy!

He was an incredible human. So capable, so driven. Stefanie, I'm terribly sorry for your loss.

Chris R
I am so sorry to hear this. Jimmy was the kind of adventurer that I wanted to be when I grew up.

I remember Jimmy helping me launch for the first time from Lazyman before the lookout was constructed, I got pulled back fell down, and he said keep flying the wing, he was an enormous figure always ready to help a new guy, Thank Jimmy, I have some video of him launching Steph and pushing her helment down covering her eyes, she launched blind, what a trooper, I will miss him. Thank you Jimmy. Whenever he was flying and had altitude we all stopped to look up and said, Hey watch Jimmy, we were never disappointed.

Jimmy was larger-than-life. He was always friendly and enthusiastic whenever I saw him: our world is sadly diminished by his passing. We were lucky to have known him. My deepest condolences, Stephanie.

Brazilian Ray said...

Anonymous said...

New news:

Jimmy is now in the hands of the authorities in Canada and should be transferred to Toronto by Monday for the Autopsy and investigation.

Jimmy will then be transferred to a Funeral home and be cremated as per Stephanie's wishes. Then the Hawaii funeral director and the Canadian director will make the necessary arrangements to have Jimmy's remains returned to Hawaii, maybe next week?

Jake and Matt are heading here and should arrive on Wednesday. This is not confirmed due to the fact that they have to make new reservations.

There are so many friends and family that want to attend his memorial, and so many memorials being planned that it is already overwhelming. The plans so far are: on the boat, skydiving, paragliding, surfing, kiteboarding, etc. So please be patient and we will keep everybody informed via this web link as to when, and where Jimmy's memorial will take place.

Pete Michelmore

firedave said...

Hey Gang,
Here is an e-mail from Stephanie that seh wanted passed along:
To everyone,

Stefanie here with an update.

Once again, I don't even know how to start this letter.
Some of you received my note on the 9th, but a lot of you didn't. I have lost track because I was in a real panic and didn't keep track of what I was doing.
So if this repetitive, please bear with me.

For those of you that haven't heard from me directly, I am sorry it took so long.

As most of you know by now, Jimmy had a fatal BASE jumping accident on 9 May. I know it's unbelievable, but Jimmy is gone and nothing will ever be the same.

It happened during a fun trip with his friends to Baffin Island above the arctic circle. An icy place with some of the tallest sea cliffs in the world.
I had talked to him the day before and he was as excited and happy about being there as he gets. Talking a mile a minute and telling me everything as fast as possible since he was on a satellite phone and the reception was poor. It was all about how incredible the place was, how freezing cold it was, how much fun they had kiting and playing on the ice and of course jumping off magnificent rock cliffs. Somewhere in there was something about a polar bear and awesome ice and unbelievable cold and .... you all know how he gets when he is so thrilled about something.
The next day I received a call again, but this time it wasn't from him, but from Jake, his best friend, who had to tell me that Jimmy had died during a jump. I won't get into the details. All I can say is that Jimmy was doing what he loves doing until the very last second of his life. And he left us probably exactly the way he would have chosen to. Just much too soon, for all of us that are left behind.

I don't need to tell you how devastated I am. I have lucid moments where I can function and write emails and talk on the phone. The next moment everything falls apart.
However, it just doesn't feel real yet, and it hasn't truly sunk in. The weeks ahead may be better or more likely, much worse. I know many of you guys, his best friends, fell the same.
All of us used to joke about his "9 lives" and the fact that he would use them up, but deep down all of us thought he would be around forever. Or at least longer than any of us.... just because.
There just seemed way too much of Jimmy. It seemed like an impossibility to have such a force just go away at a moments notice.
So all of us were blind-sided by this sudden twist of fate... or bad luck... or whatever this could possibly be.

I am so moved to have seen how many people were affected by Jimmy. Every day, since the minute I received the phone call, friends from all over the world have been calling and offering their help and sharing their grief with me. Friends from the North shore have been streaming in and been keeping me company every day, making sure nothing bad could cave in on me. Everyone is trying so much to protect me and help me, it is hard to grasp the magnitude and sometimes I don't know why I am receiving it. They have literally surrounded me with a cocoon of care. That's the only way I can describe it. And for those of you that know me well, you will understand that I don't use those words lightly. I have never experienced such an outpouring of shared grief and sadness in one place ever before.
Like I have said to many over the last few days... I have never seen so many big, tough guys crying in one place... ever! And it means a lot to me.

For myself, being a very private person most of the time, it has been unfamiliar territory to be surrounded by so many people. But you have no idea how unreal and good this has been for me. It's hard to express to each one personally, so I wanted to let you know in this letter. All of you that have been visiting and staying at the house and calling me from far away and checking on me and bringing me food, offering to take care of animals, checking on my horses... it's overwhelming to even think about it. It has truly saved me from going into the depth of despair and panic.

For those of you that haven't been able to call or visit, please know that I know how hard it is to pick up the phone. It is so hard to know what to say. Frankly, most of the time I don't know what to say either, because there is nothing that can make this better or explain why it happened. For once, even I can't find a silver lining. And I usually always try to.
Please feel free to come by any time or call anytime. You will not make me feel uncomfortable and it will not add to my grief, even though we always break down and cry first of all.
Unfortunately, that's something we can't get around.

I know everyone wants to help and do something. I will be calling on your help a lot in the weeks to come.
There are so many letters and emails to me. Cards, letters, beautiful flowers... I will save them all.

We are starting to plan a memorial day, or better yet lets call it a day of celebration to say good bye to Jimmy.
It is planned for next Sunday the 20th of May, here on the North shore. I will send details and confirm the date, location etc. in the next few days. Please let me know if you are heading this way and will need help with accommodations etc. Lots of people have offered to house friends and make rooms available.
It will be a huge day. I believe hundreds of people will attend.

Of course there has been a lot of media coverage. The news are all over the internet, magazines, newspaper etc. The main page to go to is It will lead you to many other videos, news casts and articles that have come out and will be published in the next few days and weeks.

Also, I would love it if you could send me your memories of Jimmy. Anything. Funny stories, pictures, anecdotes, how you met, how he affected your life.... anything you want to share.
Fax it (808 637-9757) or email to this address or mail it to P.O. Box 400 Haleiwa, Hi 96712.

Please feel free to forward this anyone that doesn't know by now.

Please stay in touch

Anonymous said...

Aloha All,

Jimmie's Super big party is Officially on Sunday May 20th (this coming Sunday).

Kicking Off the events will be a Boat trip to the Haliewa Boat Harbor bouy at 8:30 am with kayaks, surfboards, paddleboards, boats, jet-ski's, whatever you wanna jump into or bring, into a circle of friends.

Then the party will continue back at the docks / park, while a few will attend the scattering of ashes to Jimmie's shark friends.

The Grand Finale party then will be at Jimmie & Stephanie's house in Haleiwa. Live bands, food, bar and a huge gathering of all of Jimmie's friends and family. (This could an all-nighter so bring a tent)

For further info call me or Fireman Dave.

Reaper 808-753-1027

Anonymous said...

Ok, Here's Jimmy's party plans:

Meet at Haleiwa Harbor Boat ramp at 8:00 on Sunday May 20th for the Circle of friends out at the buoy.

Bring whatever water vehicle you want or maybe (space available) jump on a boat.

Afterwards we will all be heading to Stephanie's house in Haleiwa for the party. The house is straight down Haleiwa road towards Waialua after the Haleiwa beach park, then just over the bridge, right before Waialua road. So, basically its on the corner of Haleiwa road and Waialua road. Just follow the signs from Haleiwa. Stephanie's address is 66-800 Haleiwa road. Just Google map it.

I hope to see ALL the paragliders there.


firedave said...

Memorial Service for Jimmy Hall

Sunday May 20, 2007 in Haleiwa

Location: Alii Beach Park + Outside Buoy + Party at “Compound”

9 am Beach service*
10 am Ash Scattering offshore **
5 pm Party at Jimmy and Stef’s compound ***

If you want to volunteer any labor, equipment, food, supplies or have ideas please call Celia at 351-9373 or email

* Beach service at Alii Beach Park:
9 am service will start on time!
We have to board lots of boats to get out to the Ash scattering afterwards. Allow plenty of time to find parking etc and to get to the beach around 8:30.
If you live in Haleiwa, maybe take a bike or walk or be dropped off. We expect a large crowd.

**Ash scattering:
Between 9:30 and 10:00 boats will assemble near the outside buoy for the ash scattering ceremony. Everyone is welcome to paddle out, take a kayak or jetski and join us. We have lots of boats going, but the remaining spaces on the boats are very limited.
If you are planning on going out with your boat and have more spots available to take additional friends call Mike Germain at 479-0285.
The whole spectacle will also be fun to watch from the beach as there are helicopters and skydivers involved.

Our compound consists of our workshop, the boat, some containers, the main house and a huge field. The party will take place there. Parking will be nuts. There will be people pointing you in the direction of available parking. If you want to avoid a tight squeeze or possibly being parked in, park before you get to the compound, somewhere along the road.
We have food, drinks, a band, a screen for Jimmy’s movies and more… I am sure it will be a night to be remembered.

Alii Beach Park:
Go to Haleiwa Small Boat Harbor. Facing the ocean and the harbor, Alii Beach park is the big park on the left (West side). If you don’t know how to get to Haleiwa Beach park, go to and click on directions.
There will be a tent on the beach with a table and a book to sign. There will also be a box where you can leave notes, cards and messages if you would like. There will be special Jimmy t-shirts and other info for you.
Somebody will be at the tent until at least 11am.

The Compound:
From Haleiwa go towards the harbor (left turn after 76 Station, before you go over rainbow bridge). Stay on Haleiwa Rd. for about 2 miles. Go over “long” bridge.
Right after long bridge (before you get to Waialua Rd.) there is a dirt road on the left.
That’s were the compound is located.
There will be signs.

!! Parking will be tough because there are a lot of people coming. Please try to car pool and park further away if you see a traffic jam going into the dirt road !

For updates, videos, news and magazine coverage, directions etc. see

If you have any questions or input please don’t hesitate to call me (808) 778-6740 (at a decent hour Hawaii time) or email back to this address.

If you would like to send anything the addresses are:
P.O. Box 400
Haleiwa, HI 96712

Street address:
66-800 Haleiwa Rd.
Haleiwa, HI 96712

Thank you so much and hope to see you on Sunday


firedave said...

From Stephanie.
Yesman (; Jose Zarich (; Marigold Zoll (
Dear Friends, First of all Thank You so so much again for all your help. So many people did so many special things for me in the last weeks. It's overwhelming.The ten days between Jimmy's accident and the memorial service were some of the most emotional and intense days I have ever experienced. The day of the service was phenomenal! The whole day was special and perfect. It couldn't have gone any other way. It turned out to be one of the best and most appropriate send offs I have ever been part of.For those of you that weren't there:It started with a service at Alii Beach Park in Haleiwa, were Butch Helemano, a Hawaiian Kahu, gathered the family in a small circle, surrounded by all the friends in a large circle on the outside for a Hawaiian ceremony. It was very touching, simple and private. So many people were so sad, yet it was nice to see them all.Then we all went to sea and met near the outside buoy of the Harbor.It was an incredible sight to see so many boats, jet skis, paddlers, kayaks and canoes slowly stream out to this one point in the ocean.I had goose bumps seeing it from the top deck of the Kainani and knew that Jimmy was around and watching this spectacle. And I could almost hear him say "This is so AWESOME!" To me it seemed there were about 35 boats? Maybe more? They formed a huge circle that spun slowly in a clock wise direction, around our boat in the middle.Paddlers on the inside with us. The energy was incredible.Then the small plane came buzzing overhead and Jake jumped out, smoke bombs drawing a trail behind him as he came carving down from the sky. I had asked him to deliver Jimmy's ashes to us, jumping from a plane, to keep with the tradition of a "Grand Entrance" that Jimmy was pretty famous for.The plane circled and let thousands of plumeria pedals rain over our heads.Jake came swooping right in the middle of the circle and brought me the ashes in a dry bag.An outrigger canoe then picked up Linda (mom), Ann (sister) and myself to bring us to the center of the circle. We spread a trail of red rose pedals as we paddled through the middle, then stopped and started spreading some of the ashes. Everybody in the circle started to hoot and holler and clap... and then all of us jumped into the water.It was incredible. We were hitting the water and splashing and making as much noise at we could. There was a lot of primal screaming going on. People were diving and laughing and crying and nearly drowning each other while hugging and embracing.For me hitting the water was the best moment of the whole day. For the first time in 10 days I lost that heaviness and pressure that was wrapped around my soul. I think it was the same for all of us. That much release of energy in one place was really something else. I will never forget it.I dove down and watched the ashes drift deeper and spread in the ocean and for that moment everything seemed perfect and right. Later, a smaller group of family and friends came with us to the shark bouy to release the rest of Jimmy's ashes and swim with the sharks. We had talked about this many times before. Jimmy wanted his ashes to be mixed into a bucket of chum.For most people this would be a shocker. If you knew Jimmy, this is no surprise.For some people this was a wonderful moment. For me it was pure sadness. I don't know why it was so hard for me, since I had expected that to be a great moment of letting go.There were only a few small sharks, which was great because it allowed everyone to swim in the open. Some jumped into the cage. I took off and swam into the blue to be alone.Barry the Barracuda accompanied me most of the time, but no sharks came my way. It was calm and strange and very lonely.I tried to stay until I felt better, watching the boats and friends and sharks from a distance, but that moment of it feeling right didn't come. I only realized that being out here is never going to be the same and it made me miss Jimmy terribly. As we left the site and drove home I couldn't stop looking out to sea. For the first time I felt like I had to tear myself away from the place and I had a sense that I was literally leaving him out there.Good bye's are never easy. And this one was the worst ever. Later, we all came together again for a party in the field in front of our house. There was a giant screen and we watched slideshows and videos of Jimmy's travels, his shark fame and his Baffin island trip. It was emotional for many, but a great way to celebrate his life and his overwhelming energy and excitement.Friends would step up to the microphone and tell Jimmy stories. As you can imagine, there was no shortage of those.There were so many people, I don't think I was able to say hello to everyone.I am sorry if I didn't see you or greet you. It's all a blurr to me at this time. For the small group of friends that stayed until midnight, I don't apologize for starting a most awesome, messy, out of control cake fight, since I ended up being bombarded with most of the pie anyways. It's amazing how a group of adults, within a split second, can revert into a screaming bunch of mud slinging Kindergardeners, except with the accuracy and throwing power of a grown up!It was the perfect way to end the day! If you have photos and video of the day I would love to have copies. Now we are back to reality. "One day at a time" is a lot easier said than done.Being strong and "making it" is not a question. I know life will go on. But Jimmy and I were a "pair" in every aspect of our lives and every day in the past, present and future revolved around our plans together. I am now realizing that redefining myself without him will mean changing Everything.A major re direction of my life. And finding that direction will be a bigger task than I have ever faced before. Change is usually a good thing. I just have to make it that. Thank you all,Stefanie

firedave said...

From Stef:

Hi everybody,
Just wanted to let you know there is a bunch of Tribute stories coming up in Magazines and on TV.

First, check out Hawaiian Extreme TV this month. They are running a whole half hour about Jimmy. I know this, because I put it together.
They actually gave me their whole show this month, which I think is incredibly awesome.
I tried to capture what Jimmy was about and tell about some of the main chapters in his life. Pretty hard to do even in a half hour, but I think it came out pretty nice.
I think Jimmy would like it.
It shows some of his Hoku Pa'a times, Indonesia, Volcano eruptions, Over the Edge episodes, Peru paragliding, swooping, Great white shark, the shark business and
Base Jumping the Eiger.
Some of you are in it.

If you are on the other islands, you may have to figure out the air times. If you are not in Hawaii, let me know if you would like to have a DVD. It will take me a while to put it all together,
but eventually I will have it ready on DVD. (home made style). Please send me your address if you want one.
I will include the schedule for the show (for Oahu) below.

Also, the next issues of many magazines we contributed photos to, or that have written about Jimmy before, will be running tribute pages and articles. So look out for stuff in
Paragliding magazines, Sky Diving magazine, Free Surf, Shark Diver, Paraworld... I am sure I am forgetting somebody.
You can always check back with We will try to keep updating what's coming up.

Also, I will be making more "More like Jimmy " shirts and stickers. So don't be shy and ask us for more if you missed out. Somehow we will make them available on the website and use
the money for Shark Allies. That website, is under construction but will be up and running soon. So please consider supporting the organization in the future. That doesn't necessarily mean money. We will need experts, volunteers, advisors, educators and hands-on helpers and people with ideas and experience in all aspects of fund raising, project management etc. We can find a use for any talent!

By the way, sorry if you are receiving these emails and have absolutely no interest. I keep refining the group mailing lists, but haven't had time to really sort through it.

Here is the schedule

OC 16 Hawaiian Extreme – Tribute to Jimmy Hall

Mondays 4:30 AM and 3:00 PM

Tuesday 7:00 pm

Wednesday 8:00 AM and 5:30 PM

Thursday 6:30 AM and 1:30 PM
Friday 4:00 PM
Sunday 2:00 PM and 10:30 PM

Check it out