February 29-March 6, 2020

March was the first month of the old Roman calendar, our first moments of coming spring, not yet the cruelest month, and October marked the end of the year set out for Mars, marching across the way we decided to divide time.

March: a borderland, the action of making measured steps, a footprint. What is between the fall and spring, besides the shortening days? 

A moʻo breathing in Poʻipu

March 4, 2020

The first few days of March have been marked by one thing: wind. Sunday and Monday were well past breezy, with gusts reaching beyond 40mph. Finally though, Tuesday morning dawned with no wind and crystal clear skies, but the seas still surging. The winds stayed light and variable all day, the swell down only a foot or two.

I checked Amonias after school and almost jumped in there after seeing a glassy chest high wave roll through but I thought Nukoliʻi (usually called Playgrounds despite the dearth of any play equipment near by) might be good in these conditions, my lack of experience with Amonias pushing me on down the road.

As I turned down the long drive to the parking lot at Nukoliʻi, I noticed the flags whipping a bit more than I expected, but the water was still calm. I watched the waves for a bit. No one was out yet, but there were sets peeling off the outside of the reef, much bigger than the last time I was out. A large set, combined with my limited time and the long paddle, convinced me to again move on and check Kitchens. The sand bar there wasn’t set up right and the waves were doubling up, pinching off too fast. The inside bar was much smaller than Nukoliʻi and the outside break was twice as far out as normal and crumbly. I moved on once more.

Five minutes up the coast and I parked at Wailua to check the sand bars out in the middle of the wide bay, where I spent much of my childhood before hurricane Iniki erased most of the shallow sandy bottom. The water wasn’t as brown as yesterday and I saw one guy out on the north corner of the sandbar catching a few fun waves, so I headed out, picking my way up the beach through a maze of tree trucks, logs, and sticks. The waves were much more fun than I expected, glassy, powerful, with bowling sections, barrels, large faces, and ramps on the inside. I set up a bit north, looking for the waves coming in wide, rushing off the bar like trains. Two long boarders joined us and posted up at the apex, a little south and much farther out, finding longer but softer rides. I stayed in the water for about 90 minutes, paddling against a surprising current the entire time. Eventually a grom came out, joining me at my spot, and a woman on a longboard paddled out past us all. She went left, south, and I lost track of her as I wondered about how people surf in such small thongs. 

As I paddled around, enjoying the straining of my muscles as much as the water and the waves, I was able to find a few head high rides along with many that were chest to shoulder high. Each wave grew bigger as they lunged up off the sandbar, the bottoms dropping out. The barrels let me in but never out, and were all still fun, especially in that slow moment in the silence that exists at the middle of a barreling wave just before it all explodes.

March: Borderland, footprint, spring.  

One thought on “February 29-March 6, 2020

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