G. Niblock on the L41 TipSUP Noserider. Photo: J. Chandler

Friday, August 31, 2007

Hawaii - Days Nine, Ten and Eleven

August 29, 2007 - Wednesday

Snorkeled with M and G in the AM and toured the “Passages” area and out the “Back Door.” Saw a tremendous number of fish as that part of the reef is full of holes, nooks and crannies. Two large hono emerged out of one of the holes surprising me. G saw a huge Morey that he swam over. After our snork it rained on us and as we were done for the day we headed back to South Shore.

Surf was indeed up today but nothing like I was hoping for. Waves were in the two to six foot range. Surfed for three hours straight, starting out at Paradise where it was inconsistent (normal for there) but fun until a boatload of surfers showed up. I couldn’t believe that these guys paid for a boat to take them where everyone else paddles to. Anyway they made the place too crowded for conditions so I paddled over to

Threes which was a good move anyway. On my way over a guy got nicely covered on one of the ripping rights.

It was pretty crowded there too but at least there were six to eight wave sets on a consistent basis. Lot’s of weaseling going on though. I got about 20 waves at Threes and of the ten really good waves I got, five had people taking off in front of me. No big deal though, the whole vibe is still mellow…besides who’s gonna beef with a local? Not me.

Five to six wave sets were still rolling through at Publics, Pops and Threes into the evening. With the full moon folks are paddling in and out of the water and surfing in the dark, by moonlight.

Waikiki has so many tourists and people surfing who are there for only a few days that I haven’t really run into an “localism” which is rampant in Santa Cruz. It is much nicer surfing in a crowd at Waikiki than in the Cruz. It isn’t difficult to strike up a conversation and talk story with one of the local surfers. So far everyone is friendly.

The waves are supposed to stick around until we leave (two back-to-back south swells running through late Sunday) so I’ll probably maximize that as much as possible. So far the body is holding up OK. Lots of stretching goin’ on. Man, it’s going to be hard to leave.

August 30, 2007 - Thursday

M and I were both “tired” this morning so we skipped Haunama and slept in. I did qigong and some stretching before eating a light breakfast and paddling out to Paradise at 9:30A. I kept seeing nice sets with no one out. Picked up two nice waves right away. In the next hour there were two sets and I got one wave each set. And that was it. I waited 20 minutes in warm tropical water with a billion dollar view of Waikiki before paddling over to Threes. Again, (like yesterday) another good move.

Threes was a little smaller today and less crowded. It was, however, very consistent. I picked up too many waves to count and surfed for another two hours. My shoulders and neck are tired but I’m a very happy camper. Lots of good waves in warm tropical water. What a great vacation!

The swell has dropped a little today (as forecast) but waves continue to roll in to all the places. From my condo I can probably see at least a dozen different spots, with guys out at each spot. I used to think the long paddles to the surf spots were tedious but I don’t anymore. You may feel like you’re out in the middle of the ocean but the waves break on a reef that acts just like the shore. After a while you don’t feel like you’re way out there, and it’s amazing to be surrounded by so much beautiful ocean. And Waikiki isn’t like Ehukai in winter. Although not covered with sand, the exposed reefs are relatively deep. I haven’t bounced off one yet.

Got treated to a pod of spinner dolphins that put on a regular show for us. For the grand finale they swam in to within 50 yards of everyone in the line-up, cavorting and playing and acting joyous.

August 31, 2007 - Friday

I gotta admit that this swell (these last two swells I should say) aren’t that bad. In my mind I guess I was seeing “high surf advisory” six to eight foot mackers marching into Paradise offering up lazy overhead takeoffs into long, loping walls groomed by the ever present offshore trade winds. While it didn’t happen exactly that way, the waves have been consistent, well shaped, clean and most of all…fun.

Paddled out to Threes this morning for another three hour surf (is that why it’s called Threes? Hah-hah…) Surf again was three to six and somewhat inconsistent but fun with lots of rides nevertheless. Always meeting nice people in the line-up. Met a 60 year old woman today who has lived in the Isalnds for 15 years. Former champion paddler and Makaha resident who moved to town after two good friends (Rell Sunn being one) passed away from cancer. She surfed pretty well for an “old lady.” I enjoyed the fact that there were two 60-year-olds “kids” out…me and her. She said that in the Islands being 60 and still surfing isn’t unusual. Sounds good to me

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