June 21-June 27, 2020

June 21, 2020

Father’s Day. 

Today was wonderful. Slow. Quiet, mostly. We got up, had coffee, eggs, and cinnamon rolls, courtesy of Erin. The girls gave me cards and presents, poems, surf shorts, an enameled dutch oven in the shape of a loaf of bread, and sunglasses. We left for Hanalei Bay around 8:30, Erin having planned and packed everything. 

We spent most of the day, 9:15ish until well past 2:30 or 3:00, hanging out at the pier, surfing, swimming, flying a kite, jumping off the pier, marveling at the hundreds of tiny oama washed up on shore. The waves were smaller than the last time I took the girls up here, but we walked down to a little sandbar closer to the pavilion and found some sweet little waves. Later we surfed the sandbar on the river side of the pier, but by then the water was crowded. Violet and Evora both did well, surfing through the crowds and still having fun.

Evora paddling back out at Hanalei.

Before the third rain squall came in, we packed up and headed home. 

June 26, 2020

The moon is waxing now, but still a while away from half full. High tide topped out at 0.66 feet just after 8:30 this morning and a south swell is supposed to be filling in. Our family surf day at Hanalei got scrapped at the last minute because Erin has found a mini Aussie for us to buy and we need to meet the puppy and mama in Kalaheo at 11:30. I decided to leave early to get in a surf before the meeting of the dog, but then Erin and the girls decided to make it a Waiohai day, so we all hurried to eat breakfast and load up the truck.

I drop them off at Poʻipū beach park and head towards Mahaʻulepu, knowing from my glimpse of the east side and south side that the swells arenʻt really here yet. At the last second, I decide to check Keoneloa Bay instead. The water is beautiful, blues and greens, and the breeze is almost off shore. The crowd is light, just one bodyboarder, a big guy on a small soft top, and a woman on a shortboard. I can tell that the swell isnʻt here either, but I know Mahaʻulepu will not be better, so I paddle out into the morning water.

I want to set up deep, over in front of the lava rock point, but the three people already out are floating in my way. The waves are slow in coming through, and when a set does show up, a few waves close out across the middle, one breaks deep by the rocks, and maybe one comes in just right. Eventually, I find a rhythm, and I think the waves improved over the two hours I was out. I found a series of three waves in a row, all head high and hollow, one with a strange bending section on the end. I ducked under the lip of another, made it out, then pulled into a beautiful and bright close out barrel, all the water around me lit up blue and white, silent in that one second, blinding. 

There were a few other fun waves today, many barrels of incandescent colors, and one sketchy late drop. I was set up deep in front of the rocks, finally the others out of the way, and a perfect set wave came in. I scratched to the edge and got slightly hung up in the lip as the bottom sucked up. I felt too far forward over my front leg as I dropped in, my fins releasing from the face, but somehow I made it and sped off down the line, too surprised to do much of anything except smile. 

There was almost no one on the beach today, either, an ongoing side effect of this virus. One older guy was sitting in the middle of the beach, two young women were sunbathing down near the cliffs, and two other young women walked out and sat right in front of the surf break. The older guy was actually alternating between watching the water and swimming out to body surf. The two girls closest to us were a bit of an odd couple, one in a lavender thong, the other in a baggy black t-shirt and jean shorts. As I walked up the steep sandy shore, I noticed that girl laughing and then I recognized her as was my student, S–. I waved and said “Hi, S–,” without pausing or veering towards them, not wanting to be that creepy teacher that invades the lives of students out in the world. But also, was she laughing at a joke, at seeing me, at realizing the surfer in the water was her teacher?

Later, I put the fin plugs in my wooden board while the kids played with a friend and Erin was writing.

“itʻs always ourselves we find in the sea…” My chambered board with the fins installed.

June 27, 2020

M– had to reschedule, so I ended up at Mahaʻulepu alone this morning. The waters were clear and green and the waves were mushy, soft, and a weird backwash was rushing across the reef out into the inside sections. The tide was high by the time I made it to the water, somewhere after 8:00, but I still found some fun rides, like dirt bike tracks unfolding on the fly.

Today, I was surrounded by fish, blues and silvers and greens. At one point, the huge shadow of a turtle or seal floated through the face of the wave in front of me, surprising in size and also its subsequent disappearance. I hoped to see the little head of a turtle pop up for breath, to convince me that I did not see a shark, but all I saw were triangles of light across the tops of the swell.

I headed in after a few hours, and made my way home, after a stop at the hardware store for lumber.

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