Thursday, May 29, 2008

He mau haiku

I'm trying my hand at haiku as a way to practice ka `ölelo. So expect to see a verse now and then over there on the side of the page. Translations will probably be inexact because I'm trying to keep the structure in both languages.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ua nui ke nalu!

"What was the largest wave you ever rode?"

When someone finds out that you're a surfer, especially one from Hawai`i, that is a common question. I think that they are usually expecting a very short answer, preferably expressed in feet. But we surfers know that the only true answer to that question is a story, told over a beer, and measurements enter into it only tangentially. So crack open a cold one, pull up a chair, and I'll tell you a story...

In the late 80s, Ron, Tim, and I were surfing the North Shore a fair amount. Hale`iwa and Kammieland occasionally, but more often a break between Chun's and Waimea. We never knew it's name; Ron and Tim called it "Ron and Tims", I preferred the name "Turtles". It was a nice peak with short rights breaking into a paddling channel and long lefts that occasionally closed out.

One bright and clear Saturday morning we arrived for a dawn patrol session. We had been out the day before and the waves had been mediocre, at best, with a side wind and a sizable crowd. On this morning the National Weather Service had issued a high surf advisory and was calling for a growing swell; but the conditions were perfect, and the lineup was empty. It didn't look that big from the shore, but then, it never does.

We paddled out into big, but not huge, surf. We were a little tentative at first, but the waves were very clean and there was no one out. Pretty soon we were having one of those magic sessions that you knew you would be talking about for days. So clean and so empty.

Ron and Tim were both finishing up rides on the inside and were paddling out when I saw the set coming. It was bending the horizon and I knew it was bigger than anything we had seen that day. I started paddling. As we approached each other my heart started pounding, it really was huge. I cleared it and was staring at its big brother. Keep paddling. Clear the second and paddle, the third is coming. As I paddled over the top of the third I spared a glance back towards shore. Ron and Tim had made it past the first wave but the second was about to eat them for lunch.

I approached the fourth wave, and in one of those decisions you can only recognize in hindsight, I spun my board to catch it. I was in a great position and it only took a few strokes before my board started to drop. Up to my feet and turning left, hoping it wouldn't close out. Down to the bottom and racing back up the face of a two-story wall that seemed to stretch all the way to Waimea Bay. Time seemed to slow as I turned at the top and took another roller coaster drop. Two more swooping turns followed before the wave closed out and I bounced my way to shore in front of the whitewater.

So, what was the largest wave I ever rode? If you're a surfer, you know.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I ka wä u`i

Chris has just posted some pictures on his website from the glory days at Fort Leahi. As Clay pointed out, they seem to be capturing Bob's going away party.

A bottle of Crown Royal on the table, The Beamer Brothers playing Honolulu City Lights in the background, and some Haole wearing his shoes in da house. It's a scene that's been repeated on the islands for as long as people have been stupid enough to leave.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Local Grindz Quiz

Bruddah Clay sent this very cool quiz on local foods to me a while back and I've been meaning to post it here for everyone. Take the quiz (no cheating) and post your score. High score gets a napple.

BTW - it's in the form of a spreadsheet so you'll need a program that can read that (I recommend Open Office).

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Caution: Objects in calendar are closer than they appear.

Two months to go and I don't know if I'm much closer to being ready than I was at the three month mark. I have been hitting the gym 2-3 times per week which I guess is a good thing, but I don't know if I'm ready to paddle out into anything big. I'll get there.

Today I rode my bike to work as part of a regional Bike-to-Work month promotion. Normally I haul my bike off of the plateau and ride from there, but today I started right from the house. Now, mind you, the trip to Redmond is mostly downhill and steeply downhill at that; I still need to get home. We'll have to see how that goes.
(CODA: Went golfing with Sue after work instead, and she gave me and the bike a ride home)

We've already had a couple of High Surf Advisory days on the south shore. I'm hoping that this augurs well for this summer. I'd love to see a steady background of 4 foot days with weekly spikes to, say, 10 feet. That's not too much to ask for is it?

BTW - Hawai`i Surf Session Report (link at left) has some good footage of the latest swell.

Two months, gang.