August 28, 2020
When I park, the moon, just over half full, is hanging in the sky blue sky over the sea green sea and the tide is rising to over 2 feet by 1:35. I left my classroom today, after a 504 meeting with a mom who kept saying her son didn’t know how to “viral in,” so she would make sure he could “viral in” to all his classes by Monday. I left by 12:30, that phrase echoing in my mind. It was the middle of the last day of this week, and though everyone I saw at school made the same tired “Glad itʻs Friday” comments, I canʻt seem to see the weeks as having beginnings or ends. Students are home again and I am talking into my computer screen, trying to stay in touch, to share some challenging ideas that might still grow. But today I left and paddled into the sea green ocean towards the eponymous anchor, the moon hiding its point under the drapes of the salt water.
The wind is light, the waves small, but once again they carry much more speed and power than might be expected out here across from the boat channel. I found fun rights and lefts in equal measure today, a few running for a long way, out across the shallows. I kept thinking about tides and that cliche that goes around education conferences and I wondered, while peopleʻs boats are being lifted by the tides, many students are drowning because they aren’t in the boats.
My mind didn’t quiet much in the water today. I surfed and paddled until my arms were tired, finding fun curves and bends, sliding the tail out a few times, stalling to get back into the pocket of a particularly nice left. On the way in, I made my usual pass near the other anchor then paddled back toward the breakwater where kids fish and swim. As I floated in the near shore shallows, taking off my leash and resting a bit, a woman walked out of the water in front of me, up the sand, her floral bottoms riding high between her cheeks and her yellow top barely holding her other curves. I self-consciously watched the sand as I walked past her to the car.
August 29, 2020
I planned to try Anchors again since the wind was still light, but no luck. By the time I made it to the parking lot, the breeze was blowing across the break, scrambling it up to the point that it wasn’t worth the paddle. I headed for Makaʻiwa, not thinking I’d find much, expecting more wind chop and tiny swell, but I could at least paddle around a bit, maybe sit and read.
I was surprised to see two people in the water when I walked up as the conditions matched my expectations; that is, the waves were no good. I immediately began to worry about the two guys in the water, one on a Wavestorm and the other floating nearby on a shortboard. First, they were way inside. Second, they were floating in front of the rocks below the heiau. Third, the Wavestorm guy should not have been anywhere near the water. He could barely paddle one arm in front of the other without tipping off of his board. When he did manage two or three strokes in a row, he made no forward progress. In fact, both of them were quickly drifting west, across the super shallow inside reef, in front of the rocks, towards Lae Nani.
I watched them closely and I followed as they drifted around the rocks to the other side. I took my board with me as I watched, hoping I didn’t have to paddle out to help, as I have done in the past. Eventually, the guy on the Wavestorm put his head down, too tired to paddle, and kept drifting. He got dumped by another wave and barely clambered back on his board. The other guy smiled and waved at me, trying to look casual, I think. They eventually made their way to sand and I headed back to my backpack, shaking my head.
By the time I paddled out, it was about 8:00, an hour after low tide. Makaʻiwa, here in front of the hotel, is a difficult wave, especially on a low tide, but it is also a fun wave, fast, ledgy, hollow, especially on a low tide. I figured I would find some fun little runners in between the chop, but I was surprised by a beautiful session. The water turned from translucent greens to opaque silvers and blues as the sun came out and the waves glassed off. That calming was just enough to coax out some beautiful shoulder high waves, with bright and wide open barrels. I was lucky enough to find a few, ducking under the lip at take off or ducking under the second section when the bottom drops again.
I surfed for almost three hours, until the wind picked back up and the tide lifted the water too far off the ledges. Before I paddled in, I was visited by a tiny green ray of light, hanging vertically in the water, just next to my right arm. It first looked like an inchworm, but still, hanging like a tiny green hook, and then it was a long thread of iridescent green light, then maybe a bright and glowing leaf or strand of limu. I reached out my hand and the green strand of light and water snapped horizontal and it was a tiny fish, maybe a just born wrasse with its greens and reds, and it swam away from me, this tiny thing, a half inch of twitching glowing muscle and nerve fighting against the rising tide and the swell and the current and it look to be standing still and moving faster than any wave at the same time.