December 20-December 26, 2020

December 22, 2020

The morning after Saturn and Jupiter seemed to pass each other in the evening sky dawned clear and cool and nearly windless. As soon as Erin returned from her sunrise walk, I headed down to check Anchors. I sent some texts to let C—, M—, and S— know that it was looking good, and then I paddled out into the still silver morning water, the tide high until this afternoon, which hardly matters out here.

The water was clear and almost glassy. Proper rights were coming in, as well big hollow lefts, just over head high. I enjoyed the world to myself for about an hour before I heard rumbling in the sky that seemed to circle all the way around me before I noticed the fighter jets tearing through the blue and the calm and the sunshine. C— showed up not long after. We talked about school a bit, the furloughs and the way we always get to be the ones to make society function. We talked about the lonely holidays looming at the end of the week and he asked about our plans for sabbatical but I can hardly think past Friday with time seeming to unspool into a puddle on the floor.

The waves were steady, shifting back and forth from solid rights to steep lefts. I found a few that impressed even C—, who said he wished he had a camera for one of my rights. We also talked about how different this wave is, more difficult than swell at places like Kalihiwai or Hanalei. “Those waves let you in,” he said.

I tend to agree. I have taken off on much bigger waves at places like that, even at Polihale, where the wave lets me stand up and set a line before I drop to the bottom. Anchors, though, pitches up, lunging towards the sky and shore at once, as the wave barrels quickly down the line, forcing a difficult drop even on the smallest of days. As if to prove the point of our conversation, I was lipped by the next right, then dipped the nose in on a big wave shortly after that one.

Tired and feeling the sun begin to burn, I caught a long left and headed in. I checked my phone in the truck and saw that four hours had passed, explaining my fatigued joyful muscles.

December 23, 2020

Still no wind. 
Still clear skies. 
Still the tide is six hours behind the moon, 
Over half full today.
We are salt water, mostly.
We have oceans inside us.
The moon pulls our tides, as well.

I paddled out to anchors again today, at 8:00. C— is busy with kids. S— is busy with his wife’s birthday. And M— is busy being sick, it turns out. My only visitors in the lineup today were the giant honu and the monarch butterfly, and the waves.

Yesterday out here was fun but everything about today was better. The waves were cleaner, the swell a bit larger, the wind totally gone. I think it is no use trying to describe things as singular as waves or the experience of riding ones like these. The water is almost invisible on days like today as the ocean rolls out underneath my board. The ride is intense, fluid, silent and loud at once, relaxing, instantaneous, but without time.

I do know that one wave every day is the wave of the day and one day there will be my last wave. Today I think I caught the best wave of the month, perhaps the best in months. A long left that started outside on the first peak. I faded right on the long drop to the bottom, then cut back left and saw a wall of water lining up beyond my sight. I pumped and tucked and set my line, feeling the lip curling and growling just behind my shoulders. I hit the top of the wave at each of its crazy bends, never quite stalling enough to get fully barreled, needing the speed to get all the way down the line to the flats, near the eponymous anchor, and that was it. And I can replay it again and again and I smile and paddle back.

Looking East past Kalihiwai and Kauapea

After my surf, three plus hours today, Erin and I take the girls and their friend Alana up to Tunnels for the afternoon. The day is still epic and the NW swell is rising and Tunnels is absolutely firing. If there ever was any doubt, remove it: I will not be surfing here.

We sit, we swim, we read. 

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