April 11-April 17, 2020

April 11, 2020

We’ve been locked down for almost a month. Today I had to head in to Lihue for a bunch of errands, including supplies to build my chambered wooden surfboard, toilet paper, and some basics from Costco. I also needed to replenish our supply of lemons by visiting the tree near my classroom. Mrs. L– gave me the ok for that.

As I had these various things to do, I decided to jump in the water on my way. Makaʻiwa seemed to be the easiest, with the wind still down. Kealia probably would have worked well but I was hoping for another solo session and the crowds at Kealia have been too large for my comfort in these quarantine days. 

It was about 8:15 when I made it out to the shore at Makaʻiwa and I could tell that things had changed since yesterday. The sky was totally clear, no high thin clouds to obscure the sun. There were more sticks and logs floating through the lineup. The swell was down compared to yesterday, which meant knee high waves, maybe some waist high. And there were people here, to my surprise. I had seen R–, Ch–, and O– getting out of their car when I was pulling up, and out in the water was a guy I recognized with his two young daughters, one wearing water wings. To be honest, this was the perfect day out here for keiki, but to be even more honest, I did not relish the idea of surfing any where near people, even if one of those people was an attractive and magnetic woman I’ve never quite talked to.

I stayed out about an hour. Long enough to embarrass myself in front of R– and O–, feeling awkward and gangly in the water today. Long enough to talk story a bit with the other guy about surfing with little ones. Long enough to notice the same SUPs, flies buzzing around Flat Rock and even way out at the edge of the reef off Hukilau Lanai. I found some fun little peelers. Nothing amazing. Nothing even like yesterday. But fun, still.

I decided it was time to leave when I saw the surf lesson crew roll up with about 8 or 10 people. I canʻt understand why some are still not taking this seriously enough, but when I saw that crowd, I was out. I headed for my errands in Lihue, hoping to make it home with all that need to all that I need.

April 12, 2020

C– called this morning, when we were waiting for Jesus or the easter bunny or whatever this weekend is about. He decided to break quarantine and drop his kids with M– for a few hours and asked me to join him down at Anchors. The day was beautiful, again, but the trades were finally but barely back, extremely light today. High tide was about 6:35 this morning, though not very high at .5 feet, dropping to almost -.1 by noon, so as I paddled out behind C–, I could admire more of the anchor than I had ever seen.

The swell was small again, no surprise, but the session turned out to be super fun, bigger and more consistent than the last time Iʻd been out, just a few days ago. We both found plenty of fun lefts and rights. A few came in near chest high, with the bottom dropping way out, leaving a perfect face and wall to drive down. I even found a little barrel or two, and nearly found the reef on the inside section of a few rights.

That plane that buzzed me a few days ago flew over again, and we were also visited by a number of fishermen in kayaks and one or two solo canoe paddlers. After about two hours, I headed in, on two great lefts, to meet my family for our now near daily quarantine bike rides.

April 17, 2020

M– and I met at Mahaʻulepu at 9:10 this morning, about two hours after low tide. High tide peaked at 1:20 around .85 feet. The trades are back, moderately, coming in between 10 and 15 mph. With some south swell mixed in to the east wind swell, today promised to be a prime time for Mahaʻulepu.

The water was clear, the waves were solidly head-high, some sets coming in a bit extra, maybe. We walked down the hill and paddled out and I was on a wave in less than a minute; a nice, clean right with a decent drop and room for me to take it all the way to the inside. M– and I paddled against the current, chatted about distance learning pluses and mostly minuses, partners present and missing, children, boards, this crazy world we live in now, and in between, we surfed. 

Not long into the session, three doctors paddled out, two on rasta red gold and green soft tops, making my face itch and my quarantine-self bristle. They turned out to be fine, staying to themselves mostly but I still was bummed about the crowd.

What went well today: I hit some good, hard turns, some nice snaps, boosted a few airs, even landed one, and I found a nice little close out barrel on the end of a long wave. 

After M– left, I stayed a while longer as the swell continued to pour in, maybe even picking up. As I left, I paddled over to the rock pile in front of the house to check out the sketchy slabs I saw running through. I tested out a small one, found a few medium ones, then got sucked across the dry front of the dry rock at the outside edge. Nervous with the adrenaline from that close call, I paddled around, waiting for one more, trying to get on a decent size slab, sitting somewhat deep. A set came through, the first wave exploding off the dry rocks. The second coming in a bit wider. I paddled, made the drop, made it around the boil and the second section into the nothingness of the shoulder and then drifted off to calm waters.

M– left me two hands of bananas, from trees started from the keiki I gave him a few years ago. I stopped on my way home to pick 23 lemons from the tree behind my class. The sky is blue and white, like the waves.

A bowl of lemons

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