January 29-January 31, 2020

January 30 2020

The crescent moon has been waxing all week, hanging low in the dusky sky, Venus shining brightly just below it. The second low tide today was shortly before 2:00 p.m. and bottomed out at .18 ft. We didn’t make it into the water until 3:00, riding the waves as we rode the other wave that is the rising tide.

C– and I planned to leave school at the bell and head to directly to Anchors, to take advantage of the still light winds and the surprising swell. A few things made this plan difficult. One is that I had to stop at home before I surfed so I could get Erin’s anniversary present out of the back of the truck. Hopefully she enjoys the newest appliance in her life, a compact clothes dryer. We do love to use the sun and salt wind to dry our clothes, but nothing is worse than clothes that don’t quite dry.

As I drove past Maka’iwa, I saw that the wind, absent all week, was back, putting Anchors in doubt. I waited for C– there, trying not to listen to the young mother yell at her kids on the bike path, while also trying not to listen to the impeachment trial. Once he arrived, we looked at the surf, the guy on the kite, the crossed up waves, and talked a bit but quickly headed for our back up plan, Kealia, which was a bit bumpy, not the glassy perfection of the days prior, but still all swimming pool greens and blues, with whales jumping out the back.

We paddled out for a distant, crumbly peak south of the tower. A kid asked me for wax on the way out and I dodged shore break while waiting for him to wax up. The waves were bigger than I thought, maybe 6 to 8 foot faces, the peak farther out than normal. I made it only halfway out at first, swinging around for a quick ride. The second paddle out took me all the way out the back just in time for a set. That wave was beefy, fast, but flat in the middle. I made it to the inside where the wave bowled up again and showed that classic Kealia sandy barrel. Seconds later, I was paddling out again. That was the session on repeat. A few lefts found their way in, lighting up silver in the setting sun, where the rights stayed translucent blue and green. One stands out, a bit bigger than the others, a great drop, a steep face the whole way in. I cut back just right as the wave made its double up on the inside and as I turned back again, a slab of backwash rolled up the face, redoubling the drop into the pocket, setting me under the lip of the sandy, yellow and white barrel. I could see the parking lot out the end, for a second, and then the wave swallowed me and slammed me down.

The last half hour of the session slowed down a bit as the tide kept rising off the sand bar, pushing the wave farther and farther south. A woman in a barely staying on bikini bailed her board as I rode by, nailing me in the side. No real damage. After one more decent right, I floated through the inside section for a last shore break closeout. I showered off near the tower as the woman with a wavestorm in the perfectly cut blue and yellow one-piece walked out of her own day in her own almanac, her black hair curly and still dripping sunshine.

January 31, 2020

Happy anniversary, Erin.

No surfing today, but Erin and I celebrated with a bike ride up and down the path, first into the wind and towering gray clouds, stopping to watch the whales. Then we rode into the blue and the sun, stopping again to watch whales. We had a drink and a snack at Oasis as the skies darkened and went to JO2 for a proper dinner. All of this was filled with the brilliant conversation and companionship of Erin.

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