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North Shore Oahu - March 2004
Warm Water Feels Soooo Good!

(Click on pics for larger version.)
Kam Hwy looking south from Waimea overlook
Alt.Surfing's Finest
Jim the Genius, Rod, Sponge
Future member of the Annapolis Surf Club? Sunset Beach.

Wednesday, March 24th, Bright O'Early with one heavy piece of luggage, an kneeboard travel bag stuffed with winter and summer surfing gear and the trusty paipo plus the gorging backpack. Hawaiian Airlines... after waiting in line for 15 minutes...

"Please go back outside and check-in with the curbside service."  Ten minutes later as I am about to check-in with curbside, "What's that thing? That'll cost you $50 or $80. Oh, and this bag is overweight -- there's an additional charge for that, too. You'll have to go inside and check-in at the counter."  Huh??? I almost never pay for my paipo board!

The line is now HUGE. Little ol' lady working for HA, "You might want to go outside and check your baggage curbside."  "Sorry, been there, done that."

I move up little by little. Twenty minutes later and second in cue and then, "Please come with me."  Ughhhh.  Off to the very last counter clerk, a very nice sweet, young blond that really works for Delta and can't stand HA's outmoded systems.  She charges me for the overweight bag but smiles at my board bag and wishes me a nice day. I fall in love.

The flight, baggage, rental car, hotel check-in doesn't come to closure for another several hours, many more hours.  I need to unwind and am anxious to get out of Waikiki. My travel mate and I head off to the North Shore to show him around. Make a quick stop in Haleiwa for some basic supplies (green cans and clear bottles, espresso blend coffee...) and head north.  Bill has never been here before so it's get acquainted time.

The surf and weather has been stormy all week. It is raining off and on. The swell is extremely disorganized.  First stop is Laniakea -- there's about 5 people out in the main line-up but not much is happening except for head pounds and bails.  A couple of young bodyboarders are riding the inside. Pop. Time to move up the coast. Check a few more spots, buy a new fin at Surf 'n Sea and head back to Waikiki to my latest rack.

Obligatory Food Content: Great dinner at the Thai restaurant near the hotel.

Saturday, March 27th. Morning session at Lani's, chest to head, mellow session, light winds early - more crowded by mid-morning. Tons' of turtles everywhere.  Big gnarly ones, but friendly. Early on one surfaced with its mouth wide open (must have really been a female) about 5 feet from me. Lot's of fun waves. Time to go pick up a rental board for my work buddy.

We headed up to Sunset where an alt.surfing friend and celebrity, Neal "Sponge" Miyake was competing in and helping to direct an "Old Styling" surf contest. By chance I (and Neal) also met a new alt.surfer there - Jim the Genius - we chatted for about an hour. Well... Jim mostly chatted, full of stories to tell about the good ol' life back East (including the DelMarVa) and boards/fins he makes for a living working up at the Encinitas shops at Lake Avenue.  Neal was busy competing and running the show so we had very little time together.  Missed Bud as well. We chatted on the cell -- he was up at Rocky Point. Next time good man!

After about an hour or two of story at Sunset, my buddy was itching to get the fun shape rental board out in the water so we moved on to catch some waves in Turtle Bay. Bill grew up in Virginia Beach and did some surfing there but had entered that Dark Age of Life, an extended period of no wave times. We paddled out from the inside near the cottages. Maybe not the best choice as Bill was noodled arm after 15 minutes of trying to negotiate the current -- it's been too long a time for him. Very few turtles at Turtle Bay today. About a dozen of us split peaks north of the pool.  The real nice left about 100 yds into the bay was teasing, but not pitching over today. Too bad.

Good long day, lot's of sunshine and some pinking skin.  The Aloha bikini stoke factor rated a 9.25 today :)  Diminishing swell tomorrow but we will be DP'ing nonetheless. Traded in the funshape for a bodyboard and flippers.

Food content:  Great breakfast of home fries and ahi at Cholo's in Haleiwa. Classic dinner at Zippy's with Leonard's malassadas chasers.  We missed Ono Hawaiian Food's by 30 minutes.

P.S.  Funniest thing happened to me on the north shore two days ago - I
was carded and she was serious!  For real.

I left town without former Annapolis Surf Club member Mike McCourt's phone number and email - bummer. Also, my regrets for not contacting fellow paipo rider, John Galera.

Sunday, March 28th.   Only saw one turtle today. Surfed mostly small surf in the 2-4' range with the occasional head-high plus set of two or so waves.  Fun, jamming time just north of Ehukai Beach (Pupukea).  One big brah told me not to "give him any more waves -- just take off and ride high and don't cut back."  Some jammin' chicks in their teens and one little 12 yo chick so pickled with stoke to be out there -- all surfed decently. We all had a great all-around good time -- this is what surfing stoke is all about.  Bill caught a few today and might want to get back into surfing.

Showed Bill a few more sights around the North Shore, including a drive up and around the sunset hills area and the sacred grounds of the gods overlooking Waimea Valley.

Last Will and Testament.  Tomorrow I start riding a 7-day swell on haze grey. Here's a hurried but necessary item for sea-going folks as I try to work out some of the kinks from so many tubes and slams of yesterday before shoving off on a USN destroyer across the Eastern Pacific to San Diego...

I leave my paipos to Chet Halleck, my wetsuits to Kirk Mantay, my fin collection to Chris "7 Eleven" Smith, my old wax to Jeff Marlow, my wave hog surf towel trophy to Neal Carver, my old surf sandals to Todd, my rockman lust to Paulskin, my spot at the Minefields groin to Brian Gable, my collection of blue sapphire and green tanq to Foon, my kahlua to Ken Walsh, my frequent flier miles to Keahi, my extra rolls of TP to Dumpy Filer, my desire to stoke large hot lefts to Snakin' Snake G., my 3rd World Driving license to Pat Hoge, and so much more that the rest of the Club will have to squabble over... 

Over and Out.

Too much sun?

Just the right amount of sun!

Contest Waves at Sunset

Jim and Genius and Bill
Talking Story @ Sunset

Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau
("Hill of Escape")

Bill and bodyboard at
Ehukai Beach

A Feathered Friend



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Last updated on: 04/20/04