February 27, 2010 (Saturday)
The phone calls started early in the morning. Tsunami is coming, which I knew about the night before from news reports.
All day spent watching TV. We're not in the evac zone (but very close), so we were staying put. Also, we live in a two-story walk-up and have a rooftop observation area, which would put us on the third floor (the recommended minimum safe height).
Waited. Watched. One channel was streaming very cool video from a Web cam looking at Hilo Bay that showed the very distinct ebb-flow of surges. Other than that it was a waiting game.
As soon as I got the impression from news reports that things were okay (e.g., authorities wanted to give all-clear but would wait an hour to be cautious), I headed to the beach. The reported roadblocks were gone, and I drove to my usual place. It was a circus. TV trucks and onlookers everywhere.
As soon as I pulled up, there was an awesome set coming through that screamed "going off." Three surfers were already in the water. Technically, the all-clear had not yet been given. I grabbed my board and scrambled to the beach. I was the fourth person in the water.
It was so-o disappointing. Very weak and sloppy. Nothing near as good as it had looked from the car. As some of the regulars came out, they were all excited that the surf was sizeable and un-crowded. It got crowded very quickly.
I started on the outside and pretty much was forced to surf the inside if I wanted to ride anything decent. It was crappy.
When I got out and back to the car, I could see that it was just another Saturday afternoon. The water was choked with people. Gawkers were lingering. Some had grills fired up and were lounging around. No destruction to see, but that's no reason to stop the party.
Posted at 10:31 PM
February 26, 2010 (Friday)
Regular again. Much bigger, about twice the size. Better? Negative.
Many of the regulars were out. Kinda crowded but everyone spread out. Very disappointing. Weak and gutless and sloppy.
Saw a friend who had been windsurfing. Invited me to join him and some friends to canoe to the Mokulua islands this evening. He said conditions will be perfect. Calm winds, almost-full moon rising half an hour before sunset, etc. I declined. I don't venture beyond a five-mile radius from my beloved neighborhood. Sad, isn't it? In fact, if I had my druthers I'd never leave my apartment except to go surfing.
Posted at 10:48 PM
February 25, 2010 (Thursday)
Regular. Really, really, REALLY bad. Worse than it looked, and it looked pretty awful. Small and blown/sloppy.
Posted at 8:03 PM
February 24, 2010 (Wednesday)
Would it be a repeat? Looked good from the cars. Where should we go?
Crowded everywhere. Several options. We decided on BM's.
Several longies. Really a drag because we're used to having this spot either alone or with only a few others. It wasn't good, which made the kooks harder to accept.
There was so much promise and potential. Southern groundswell, check; optimum direction, check; light winds with smooth surface conditions, check; optimum tide level, umm...perhaps. The dealbreaker was the highly infrequent sets.
It was getting desperate due to the scarcity of waves, and soon the kook longies all disappeared. The brother of the kid who was with us yesterday had come and gone, as well. My friend couldn't take it and paddled down to Regular. He said it would improve because he was leaving and making the sacrifice. You guys know what he meant.
And he was correct. As soon as he paddled away, the sets started up and I scored some fun lefts. In fact, the rides I had were really good. I managed to blow it on the wave of the day, though, a left. That was my low-point. It stayed fairly consistent, and I lingered for about 45 minutes and then called it.
Posted at 8:11 PM
February 23, 2010 (Tuesday)
What a difference a day... Super-frickin' good.
BM's with a friend. We had been hesitant and almost opted for the A-framer. It was crowded elsewhere, so of course we were relegated (by our own selves) to the hinterlands and periphery.
From the cars, it looked okay. I did notice that some of the rights seemed to be bowling and dumping. Lefts seemed doable.
My friend did the lefts and I went directly to the rights. What I found was the best BM's I've experienced that I can remember. Head-high to slightly overhead, wide-open, and lined-up walls going forever to the inside of the next reef. I could've gone in after half an hour. My first handful of rides had me grinning, and I was giddy with excitement.
It was one of those awesome times that makes you grateful to be a surfer. Beautiful, hot and sunny day with smooth conditions and un-crowded and fun surf with a friend.
Unfortunately, it didn't last. After the first hour, or so, it slowed and there were long lulls, which coincided with the bottoming tide. It started to pick up again when the tide started its upward swing. Then some young local rippers joined. By that time we were done.
One of the kids, a regular, who has the potential to go pro--his brother does the Japan longboard circuit--asked if it was good. I told him it was the best I've surfed it in a long time. He gave me a look of excitement that was half incredulous. I understood. Didn't matter. We scored.
Posted at 10:21 PM
February 22, 2010 (Monday)
BM's alone. Packed everywhere, so I sought refuge in sub-par quality, which is my practice. Lots of sitting. Boring.
Posted at 11:04 PM
February 21, 2010 (Sunday)
A-framer alone. The A is mostly a better wave compared to, say, Regular, because of its steepness, shallowness, push/power, and rip current (which makes it challenging to find the bowl). This was one of those days.
One ride was better than anything I've had in the previous two days and left me completed satisfied. Pretty enjoyable, albeit brief, and relaxing session with no stress.
Posted at 11:28 PM
February 20, 2010 (Saturday)
Forgettable session at Regular. Perhaps more wave action from the wind, but that's about it.
Posted at 11:13 PM
February 19, 2010 (Friday)
Omigosh, my friends, no surfing for the previous three days. That's the first time that I can remember in many recent years that I missed so many days willingly and not due to other obligations/commitments.
Did Regular with a friend. It was micro with nicely-groomed form because of the light north winds. Then it seemed to turn to trades, and the form got chopped up. Stayed out 45 minutes.
It wasn't as cold as it's been. Or so I've been told. It definitely wasn't as cold as the last time I was in the water.
That's the primary reason I haven't been surfing. It's been chilly (water and air temp). Actually, the main concern has been lack of decent-sized waves (although that's never stopped me before). That coupled with the weather and my aching, sore legs/hip from the GAR have all conspired to keep me on the beach, so to speak. (I'm also still trying to get over a slight but persistent head cold.)
That's okay. It was nice to take a rest. Body needed it.
Posted at 8:12 PM
February 15, 2010 (Monday)
The pain. The pain. I can barely stand/walk. It's a beautiful day, so of course I had to do my usual thing notwithstanding my condition.
Did BM's and M's and could barely get to my feet and do any turns. I'm severely beat up.
You see, for the entire time before the race beginning from the moment I committed to participating to the millisecond prior to the start, I had absolutely no doubt that I was going to walk the entire course. How else could I do it? After all, arthritis and poor conditioning prevented me from doing otherwise, correct?
And what subsequently happened simply reminded me of two things I take to be some of the facts of existence: (1) the future is truly unknowable and unpredictable, and (2) every person's life, in every aspect, is based on choice. I ran. Almost all the way.
Well, not ran in the sense that everyone else runs. More like slow jog. Very slow. So slow that some people who were walking were going faster. But I didn't walk except for some episodes of about 1-5 minutes. It. Was. Brutal.
The first mile marker that you see is three. They don't have one or two. Three. It's a cruel joke. My spirit and will to endure just about crumbled right there. But I would not be defeated in my quest to finish. The span between mile markers four and five were the most challenging and were when my desire was at its lowest.
What's funny is that some friends from work who i thought were behind me were already lounging at the tailgate party enjoying refreshments when I arrived. How'd they do that? I was one of the last to finish from my group. But I was happy to make it.
Posted at 10:38 PM
February 14, 2010 (Sunday)
Still some residual energy. It's been a good swell.
BM's with a friend. Small but doable. Can't say I had any good rides, though. Motivation was low.
So tomorrow I'll be embarking on some voluntary torture. Will be participating in the Great Aloha Run with several co-workers. First, I stopped running years ago due to shin splints. Further, arthritis in my knee and hip make extended walking uncomfortable and running undesirable (in fact, my doctor has previously "forbid" me to do any running because of the high-impact strain to the knee--but what do doctors know?).
Race starts at 7:00. There are various options: park at stadium, take bus back to starting line; park downtown, take bus back from finishing line; etc. Prediction: Parking and traffic will be nightmarish. Oh, yeah. It's gonna be fun, right?
Posted at 8:13 PM
February 13, 2010 (Saturday)
Smaller but still some stuff coming in. Windy and sloppy, thankfully, because it wasn't crowded.
Friend and I started at BM's. It was okay. Guess we lost interest because M's started to pique our interest and beckon. So we ambled over.
One of the regulars was out on a longboard and he was having a good time and could easily stroke into the somewhat slope-y and chop-riddled faces. I was having much difficulty. My friend was frustrated, too, although he was snagging much more. We both went back to BM's defeated and went in from there.
Heard there's supposed to be energy throughout next week. Is it shaping up to be another great summer?
Posted at 11:42 PM
February 12, 2010 (Friday)
Bigger. Friend went to BM's while I went direct to M's. It was okay, but kinda boring. Crowded too. Went back to BM's. It was too big for our usual peak, with the larger sets washing through, so we both went to M's and ended there. Uninspiring and ho-hum.
Posted at 11:26 PM
February 11, 2010 (Thursday)
Whoa, super fun at M's. Bigger. Windy (trades). Had it to myself initially and was scoring one after another. Surfing pretty well too. Did some good turns/snaps. Some that anchored in the back bowl were lined-up and going forever (particularly the smaller ones); some that went to the wider peak were good too. You had to be in the right place. Then it got slightly crowded, but everyone was mellow. Best session in many weeks.
Posted at 7:37 PM
February 10, 2010 (Wednesday)
So we were supposed to get some new energy, and it's here. Heard the morning was "going off," solid 3-4, nice conditions, and packed.
Did BM's with a friend. It was fun. And I was actually doing pretty well, even on the lefts. Felt relaxed and timing was good (for a change). Kinda redeemed myself after yesterday's downer session. Best time in a while.
Bigger tomorrow? More swell on the way? That's what I'm hearing.
Posted at 7:47 PM
February 9, 2010 (Tuesday)
Regular. Sloppy and choppy but the biggest it's been in some time. Empty at first and then packed with kooks.
The conditions, form, and size improved steadily until it was pretty fun. Too bad there were so many people. A local pro came out with his pro friend and they were killing it. Made me feel extremely inadequate. Made a huge crater in my confidence.
No sessions on Sunday/Monday. I was sick, sick, sick. Haven't be able to shake this head cold.
Posted at 8:04 PM
February 6, 2010 (Saturday)
Not feeling well, but couldn't stay home when it's so nice outside. Sunny and beautiful.
Did the A-framer solo. Small and doable at first then the clouds moved in and brought the wind; with the worsening conditions came degrading form and less consistent sets too. I needed to get in the water.
Posted at 9:11 PM
February 5, 2010 (Friday)
Ill. On Tuesday, went to the doctor for a routine physical. Got an H1N1 flu shot, and since then been feeling sick: light headed, sinus/nasal congestion, sore throat, low energy, coughing, sneezing. I only wanted a regular flu shot, but the nurses wanted me to get an H1 ("it's better"). I don't react to the regular flu shot. Thanks, ladies.
Posted at 10:21 PM
February 4, 2010 (Thursday)
A-framer. West-y with north winds and clean conditions/form. Initially low tide and sparse but then more consistent, bigger sets with rising tide. Better than expected.
Posted at 8:04 PM
February 2, 2010 (Tuesday)
Rainy and cold. Decided to take a rest and did some chores.
Posted at 2:28 PM
February 1, 2010 (Monday)
A-framer. Smooth surface conditions but some cross-chop. All-shoulder with no wall, one or two turns, and that's it.
Posted at 10:46 PM