September 14-September 20, 2020

September 14, 2020

The girls came to school with me today. We planned to leave at lunch time so we could have a beach day down at Waiohai, but meetings popped up and Evora decided she couldn’t skip her hula class. So, we left at 1:20 instead of 12:00, but no problem.

We got out to the beach just before 2:00, close to high tide. The girls carried the snack bag and towels while I lugged out the wavestorm. There were very few people around, the winds were light, and the skies and water were brilliant, blues and greens and silvers. A handful of people paddled around out at the main break, picking off little rights and longer lefts, nothing over shoulder high, but clean and fun looking. I played with the girls in the water, then took the wavestorm over to the inside corner to catch one of those sketchy rights over the dry rocks. 

Looking West at Waiohai

Later, I paddled Violet out to Left Lefts. I asked her where she wanted to go, and she pointed and said “Out there,” so we went. When she noticed how long the paddle was, she started to pretend to be worried and asked to turn around. “We have to catch a wave,” I said. I paddled us around the shallows way out at the break, looking through the clear water at the greens and browns and blues, Violet smiling and talking about being scared of the turtles and sharks. Eventually, I paddled us into a nice little runner and Violet laughed the whole time, then yelled “We need to get another one!” So we did.

After I dropped Violet off on the inside and played with the girls for a while longer, they decided to bury each other in the sand. I took this opportunity to head back out to Left Lefts by myself. I stayed out long enough to catch three or four waves, most just waist high runners, but one proper bomb came through. It stood up off the rock pile so that I assumed I would be dumped over. Somehow I managed the weird escalator drop, turning the huge wavestorm down the line, past the close out section. I cut it back and was able to run out to the nose and glide back to the right over the shallows until the wave faded back into water being calm over a reef.

Back on shore, Evora, Violet, and I sat in the shade of a palm tree, drinking water and snacking, looking at what there was to see of the world. Water, sky, light.

September 19, 2020

I headed for Mahaʻulepu this morning, not expecting much apart from quiet time in the water. The forecast showed 1 foot swells all around the island with a background South and background East filling in over night, maybe Sunday. The tide was also high just before sunrise, so I aimed for an 8:00 a.m. arrival hopping the tide would be low enough for something to break. I even left the wavestorm in the back of the truck in case things were that tiny. Despite all that, when I arrived at the cliff, I saw consistent head high+ sets, light winds, and no one out. I grabbed my Seaside and headed down the hill.

As I walked across the first pocket of sand, I saw the largest cowrie shell I have ever seen, smooth and shiny on the bottom, lined and carved by other animals on the top. I put it in my bag so I could show Violet, who has been into examining and thinking about shells lately.

Palm sized Cowrie Shell

The waves were breaking outside, making for long rides and lots of open face. I tested that length too much on my first ride, dropping into a head high right. I made my bottom turn, cut back hard, turned, cut back again, turned, pumped into the inside section, cut back, turned, then tried to run through that last section just a few inches deep. I did not quite make it out to the hole on the other side of the ledge and the lip dropped me hard, full speed, from five or six feet up, slamming me straight down on my right ass cheek on what felt like dry reef. I rolled over, breathless with pain radiating up and down my right side and managed to find my board and slide out to deeper waters. My first instinct was to head in and call it a day but I decided to finish my session. The initial shock wore off but the pain never went away and I had no real power in my back leg for the rest of the session. Bottom turns proved especially challenging. Despite that, as I said, the waves were extremely fun. Head high all morning with almost no current. Though I had less pop in my turns, keeping me water bound, I did manage to find one beautiful wide open barrel.

Before I headed in, I paddled over to the rock pile to catch one of those sketchy rights over the ledge. I found a decent sized wave that dropped out like normal but had a second bowling section out in front of me, beautiful greens and blues curling over my back as I ducked past.

Once on shore, I noticed a few more injuries from the initial impact. Some scratches on my hands, my right hip bone was tender, and my chest had a decent cut. I also noticed that bending, sitting, or standing up from a seated position was problematic. This pain will linger all week, I think.

Scratches from the reef

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