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!
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.
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.
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
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.
Just the right amount
Contest Waves at Sunset
Jim and Genius and Bill
Talking Story @ Sunset
O Mahuka Heiau
("Hill of Escape")
Bill and bodyboard at
A Feathered Friend