January 19, 2020
We were on Hawaiʻi island this long weekend, as a birthday present for the girls. I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to find time to really surf with how packed our days were, not to mention that I had no board. Nearly every time I looked at the sea, which was often, I saw waves to be surfed. On this day, we drove to Spencer Beach Park in Kohala, south of Kawaihae, to hike down the coast line to Mauna Kea beach, named for the hotel named for the mauna, erasing what this shoreline might have been called and why.
The walk was amazing, the trail taking us over crumbling lava fields, across a beautiful stream with water the color of clear breakfast tea, past countless tiny coves and crevices. There are a few proper beaches along the way, but we didn’t stop for long until Mauna Kea beach, fronting the resort. Along the way, mongoose dashed through the dust and dolphins danced just off the rocky shores.
The bay, our destination for midmorning, is spectacular despite the hotel and golf course. As we crested a small hill at the edge of the bay, I could see a right that wanted to break off a shallow reef near the north point, and there were little right hand peelers, knee high but perfect, on the inside. Across the middle a sand bar had set up and the swell, small as it was, broke there, sometimes in a nice a-frame. Further down the curve of the beach, where more of the energy was showing up, the waves were just dumping over, none of them big, but all of them fun looking.
With no board on me, I settled for a short bodysurfing session with my daughters. I pulled Violet into a few with me and then had fun watching her, under water, repeatedly dive under the larger waves as they crashed over her head. She is a natural under the water, as is Evora, who stuck around a bit longer to catch a few waves as well. Most of them were small, crumbly, and fun, but a few rose up and showed clean blue faces down the line.
Time was short, its temper is always to speed along, and we still had to hike back to the car, drive up for shave ice and lunch before heading up and around Kohala mountain, so I headed in, showered and enjoyed a snack with the family.