October 19-October 25, 2020

October 23, 2020

The moon is half full, just a quarter of its monthly journey as seen from earth. The tide was rising all morning, topping out at 1.9 feet around 10:30. The winds were still light and the east side was super glassy but generally devoid of swell. The next NW swell isnʻt arriving until Sunday or Monday and we are well past the season for south swell. I decided to paddle out at Makaʻiwa in front of the restaurant on my way into work and I was in the water around 7:15, paddling into translucent greens and early morning light. The water looked like if you somehow colored glass with the liquid youʻd get if you crushed all the naupaka leaves into a tea.

The tide was already too high and the swell too small for anything significant. No ledges, no big drops today, just mellow, playful, waist to chest high waves. I did manage to find one big, bright green barrel, a closeout, and just before I paddled in, I took off behind the peak of a little right, ducking under the lip, and shooting out the other side of a perfect little tube.

Early morning sunlight and saltwater quiet.

Every session, one wave is the wave of the day, as I have said. One is always the last, as well. One day, one of those waves will be my last wave on earth. And I wonder if Iʻll recognize it while Iʻm on it.

October 24, 2020

A day later, the moon is slightly larger and the tide has shifted with the moon, topping out around 1.9 feet at 11:30. Still no real swell around but yesterday at Makaʻiwa turned out to be so fun, I decided to head back there. The conditions were even better than yesterday, glassier, smoother waves, and the tide was just a touch lower, giving the waves a bit more shape. I paddled out into the early morning sun on my 7ʻ single fin, hoping the extra length would allow me to catch even more.

The first 20 minutes or so were frustrating and slow but things picked up, still waist to chest high, but so much smoother than yesterday, and the single fin allowed me to get in early and switch to a more mellow glide.

Makaʻiwa in the morning

I found one or two of those big sea foam green close out barrels, one on a right hander behind that bending bowl section. As I dropped into the pit there, watching the oncoming left wedge up, the wave just tipped over me and I found myself in a room of green and white for a split second before I popped out the back of the wave. 

Those close out barrels were just an appetizer, though. I eventually found a handful of sweet rights with long walled faces. On each, I popped up as the wave swept over the ledge, put my hand on the crystal green face, and just leaned in close, tucked under the curling lip for a few seconds, before coming out into the flats for a turn or two.

An old white bald guy in a speedo and goggles came swimming out to body surf, but he didn’t stick around long. Another old white guy paddled out, too, but on a board. The state has been opened to tourists for 9 days now. Lanaʻi has had 65 positive cases in the past four days, passing the 7 month total for Kauaʻi, and now everywhere I look, I feel crowded by visitors and disease. The planes are in the skies again and I just want them all to leave.

October 25, 2020

I took Evora and her friend to Kealia today while Erin was off hiking Alakai with Violet and the other Erin. Again, the day was beautiful, clear, calm, bright, and blue mostly.

The waters down near Landings were swimming pool clear except for the sandy foam after each wave crashed along the shore. We all three swam for a long while, enjoying the thrill of diving under the surprisingly large set waves. The girls played and swam and even bodysurfed a few and I enjoyed the clear water and the salt and the cool. I took advantage of the larger waves rolling in to bodysurf a bit, finding big, bright barrels over and over again. A short glide, right arm out front, then the whole wave tipping over me and for a second or two or three, Iʻm alone in there with the ocean all around, and then everything explodes and I spin onto the sand under the wave and swim back for another.

Kealia in the fall

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