Saturday, January 31, 2009

pupukea lost

Something tells me we're on a different north shore
back home here on the range.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


One of the best things about going back to the same place twice is that you already know what you don't know. It's a good headstart. I also know what it is to be a PFA. I've been one before, and I'm one while on the North Shore. It keeps ya humble. I try not to be too obvious by running backwards in wet sand. As it turned out, the sand got me anyway but not until the very last day.

As you've read, we landed in Oahu about 18 hours before the storm did. I'm a sucker for storms anyway, but this one was absolutely amazing (ain't they all?). Sitting on our porch, I appreciate not having to guess what's coming over the mountain next. Nothing between me and the weather but some whales and the Pacific. I watched the storm and the rainbows gather (everything comes with rainbows in Hawaii) until it all began to hurl rain sideways. The waves off of Sunset Beach ran in four directions all at once. Come to think of it, they always do, which is why Sunset is world-class. But at least for these 2 days no one surfed. However, nothing stopped the kite nuts from hanging it out to dry. Insane.

The next couple of days were spent loving being back in the house again, gawking, riding bikes, saying hi to friends and dogs from last year, going to Foodland, playing gin, gawking, picking up the camera equipment at FedEx in Pearl City (damn near Honolulu), and blogging. Yes, suddenly I noticed I was BLOGGING in front of a view out the window to die for instead of looking out the window. Then a funny thing happened. The computer space bar (I am not making this up) broke. The computer was broken, and I was relegated to using own my paltry memory banks. Uh-oh... I went MIA. The good news is that the camera stuff is due back here in Boulder today so I can look at my pictures and maybe remember what happened next. How exciting! Stay tuned. Maybe the stars will align, and I'll actually be able to post some of those pictures.

Monday, January 19, 2009


They walk down to what they perceive to be the edge of the water. With hands on hips, the People From Away (PFAs) survey their ocean like they own the place. I can see it when what to do next comes to them; their shoulders set. Being human, they must conquer it all over again, because once is never enough. Brave determination sets in, and bending over, they begin to oh so carefully and neatly roll up their cuffs. This calls for a stunning combination of oceanography and fashion sense. Adjustments are made until the cuffs are judged to be dead on perfect.

A wave swells with pride. Irony rules (duh), and the PFAs start running backwards in wet sand. A movement doomed. The Pearl S. Buck Memorial Wave hits dead on perfect before they can stand up again. Come to find out, dry pants don't matter a squat even if they are dead on perfect.

getting to the Point

It's Jan. 19th, and the beach has finally been re-opened after 3 days of somber reverence for the mega storm. The storm proper lasted maybe 36 hours from Friday, with its killer waves and currents continuing on through the weekend. Today broke clear, the waves are standing at a 20-foot minimum, there are 50+ surfers and surfettes and the actual lineup on every break is at least ten death-wishers. So far, uncountable guys have busted their boards in half. Another one staggered past on the beach with his board in 3 pieces. Looked a little shocky. A Waring Blender comes to mind.

Yesterday, the 18th, I think I finally landed. Four things tell me this: I took a nap in the sunny hammock, rode bikes down past the Banzai Pipeline to Waimea Bay, did a face-plant in a heavenly, dead-ripe papaya, and wound up the day riding up to Sunset Point, where locals like to sit in silence, while they drink a sacramental beer and watch the glorious sunset. It's like church, so while I did wear my hat, I did not take my camera. I'll try not to make that mistake again.

As I look out through my knees, I see a swarm of eensy-weensy surfers way out there on the green green waves, looking eversomuch like sea lions to sharks. Meanwhile, no matter what the big dogs holler at him, a genuine sea lion is flopped out for a snooze on the warm sand over at the Point. I wonder if the sharks know the difference. Or care.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

chocolate waves

I know I should have a picture, but I figure its enough of a miracle for me to just post this as is. So you'll have to take my word for it that the waves are way too big to surf. Flew in on Thursday and drove straight up here to the North Shore. Stopped at Foodland for important provisions like bacon and beer on the way up to Sunset Beach. Arrived here to the yeowling of the Welcome Wagon, a.k.a. "Fortitude". Named by some previous Aussie guests, he's the feral Siamese tabby who lives under the house and lords it over all. He expects to be fed, asap. "Yo,'Tude!" I yeowled back at him as he wove himself through my legs. Ick. "Happy to see you made it through another year! Even if this is Hawaii, you're such a fierce kitty. You are the dude with 'tude!"

Friday the 16th dawned to big WNW winds and dark incoming clouds to the west. One of those Kona lows fresh in from Japan, no doubt on it's way to poor Seattle. Waves as big as apartment buildings. Beach closed to even the big wave surfers. Big enough but too sloppy and violent to hold the legendary Quicksilver (refer to future post). Suddenly, 5 or 6 KITE-SURFERS!!! appeared next to the house and all launched. My very favorite extreme idiots doing my very favorite extreme sport. Right next to the porch. I am beyond lucky. Watching those guys do what they do so well also deserves its own future post (which one of you liars out there told me there's
no homework with a blog?). Anyway, being true watermen, something told them to get out of the water, and they disappeared. At 1 pm, the radio was talking about how Waimea Bay was 'liquid chocolate', referring to the intense churn. By 2, all the waves on up to here were big capuccinos, brown with cafe au lait foam and dumping unimaginable amounts of brown sugar sand on the beach.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, "This place is not real."

Long story short, the air got as juicy as it possibly could, the front hit, the wind roared in off the Pacific at near hurricane force (60 -70 mph), the rain came sideways, and it kept it up until early today. This morning the humidity was gone, it was cooler (plunged to 74), glorious blue skies, but the waves are still too big to surf. Beach closed. Perfect.

I am here. Blogging is not for here. Not now anyway.

Monday, January 12, 2009

goin island

we be goin island
later dudes

Sunday, January 11, 2009

little big guy

A good way to start your day is with a chocolate puppy fix.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I can't wait

First light to long past twilight, no wave is ever wasted.

switcheroo yahoo!

It's now 10 days into 2009. I'm still on my old iBook G4. There's a new MacBook Pro in it's box on the floor across the room. It's waiting to step into the fray; it'll have to keep on waiting. I'm handing it over to a MacPro to transfer all my files, etc., while I'm gone. More on that later... Meanwhile, in yet another attempt to 'spress maseff in this blog without assist (clearly, I'm cyber-masochistic-stubborn), I've switched browsers from Safari to Firefox. Safari is definitely not copasetic with Blogger. Like a really bad blind date. I'm hoping Firefox can dance. So please forgive all typos and squashed toes.

While I'm gone where? Back to the North Shore of Oahu. Sunset Beach. Where the waves are huge, the surfers are beyond fear, there are no restaurants or hotels, and tourists last for maybe an hour and are gone. Hoodies and flipflops are de rigueur. Definitely my kind of place.

I'll now attempt to attach a picture from last year to this bad boy. It was the first one taken on the very first morning from our porch. Something told us we were in the right place. We're going back next week.

P.S. OMG! IT WORKED!!! Woo-hoo!