January 22-January 28, 2020

January 26, 2020

This has been a week of epic surf conditions but no time for surf, at least for me. Anchors was going off all week, but all I could do was glance makai as I drove by. The little lefts inside the rocky cove below the Kealia lookout were peeling like dream waves that I have still never seen ridden. If that spot was Oahu or Cali, it would be crowded daily.

This morning, after helping get some things ready for Evoraʻs Cupcake Wars party, I ran down the hill for a quick surf at Kealia, knowing the conditions were not great. The tide was a bit high, the sand was mostly gone, exposing the usually submerged ancient reef at the north end of the beach, the normal sandbars washed away for now. As I parked, I saw a decent but crumbly wave far out between the tower and the river, but there were a dozen fishing lines in the water there. I decided on the warbly lefts and rights running across those menacing rocks on the north side. As I was getting my board ready, I realized I had locked my key in my truck along with my cell. Nothing to do but paddle out anyway. I figured I could walk home or awkwardly borrow someone’s cell phone. As luck would have it, I saw A– and her family of boys out for a morning walk on the path. I paddled in and asked her to text Erin for me. With that worked out, I paddled back out for an hour or two.

The air was perfect, the water was clear, and no one was out, a rarity for Kealia. The lefts were pitching up nicely but then fading out fast, not making it to the inside section. The rights were faster, rushing out across those shallows, boils and dry rock poking up, as the wave lurched its way towards the inside. I found a few, tucked under the lip once or twice, and generally just enjoyed the blues and greens, the sky-blue mints of the undersides of the waves.

After Evoraʻs party, and the epic cupcake battle clean up (holy shit), we all went back down to Kealia so Erin could walk and watch whales and I could get the girls out in the water. They were not convinced at first but soon warmed up. I paddled them out on the wavestorm, way over to the far corner, an adventure in itself. We bobbed around over there, dodging rocks and enjoying the water. Eventually, we headed back towards the crowd and body surfed for a while. Evora and Violet love jumping over or diving under the swells. When they were worn out, I paddled the board the rest of the way back to the towels while they walked. I found one little bowling right, over those gnarly rocks, and had a last fun ride before being unceremoniously dismounted in the shallows and rolled across the flat stones.


Everything is under the moon

And behind it.

It drags us, I think,

Or we canʻt stop following it.

The tide is under the moon.

And the tide is everything.


January 27, 2020

S– suggested meeting at Kealia at 6:45 a.m., just before sunrise, for a quick surf before our work day at school. The tide peaked at about 5:30 this morning and it was still high when I parked in the barely-light of predawn. I could just make out the black water moving in disorganized lines. The conditions were a bit worse than yesterday, with just enough wind to mix everything up. The higher tide also helped the water slosh around quite a bit. After S– and I talked a bit about the conditions, we decided to head out to the main break, north of the tower.

As soon as I got in, I was struck by water and also by how much water was moving. The waves were bigger than I anticipated, though not actually big, just unruly in the dusky dawn light. I had decided to bring the sushi board, expecting very small, clean conditions. This was not the right board for today, but it is what I now had, no leash, no rails, all skatey bottoms and squirely turns. I lost my board on the first two waves, causing me to swim to shore and sprint back out to the line up. Eventually, I found a spot where the wave was bowling up, I settled into the weirdness of the swell and the board, and found a few fun rights and a left or two that connected to the inside closeout section.

All in all, this is the way to start a day. Salty, sandy, tired from paddling and trying to catch as many waves as possible in a short 40 minutes.

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