Fun, sun, wind and gadget absorption
I've got 12 sailable days booked in that wind-mecca of Maui. This time
Hugh and I will be joined later in the trip by our significant
others. I haven't been sailing much in the dust-bowl of Denver, so I
can't wait to get on the water. First stop, Denver's airport.
Flights uneventful on delta. Planes small and pretty crowded. I manage
to avoid the omnipresent screaming and kicking kid behind me for the
first time in a while...It's a nice change.
Get into the Kahului airport and hook up with Hugh. We've rented a car from
Maui Cruisers, and it's just outside the terminal with the keys in it.
I now realize a single problem with our rental, we didn't make sure the
rear seats fold out. This should be fun trying to fit our windsurfing
gear in the car.
Hugh and I get dinner at the Paia fishmarket…Mmmm fish
As Hugh and I drive into the upcountry, we stop briefly at Hookipa to
check out the late-day action. The wind iscranking at Hookipa at 6pm.
Hugh and I take this as a good
Hugh wonders aloud as we head into Haiku if the wrecked car display
we've seen so far is a far-flung island wide art project. There seems
to be a number of wrecked/rusted/abandoned cars along the highway and
at the beach, most artfully graffitied.
| Hookipa Beach Park must be part of
the wrecked car art-project.
We find Hula Hale without much effort, though the 90 degree
right-turn-to-stay-on-the-same-road in Haiku was interesting. Cute
place. Lush and quiet.
We meet Steve
the owner and Asia, the resident Rhodesian Ridgeback.
seems very nice and tells us he’s just starting to windsurf. We decide
to unpack, and Hugh begins to tap at his internet connected pda like
it's a crack-feeder bar and give me minute to minute weather bouy
readings from the impending tropical storm in the gulf of Mexico. I'm
interested, but that fades after the first 2 hours of every 10 minute
Day 1 on the island. Breakfast at Anthony’s. No ono, but the eggs
benedict was great.
We head into the Kahului to find the car-rental company to get the
paperwork signed. At Mauicruisers, we find there aren't any of the
compacts with folding seats, so what we've got is what we've got, no
swapping. Oh well, it should add more flavor to the trip.
Pick up gear at HiTech. Anthony is still here and it's nice to see him.
Get to Kanaha and have
the first of the what will be many Hugh-techno-funky-moments. Hugh and
I have sailed Kanaha
over 40 days over the past 8 or so years. I'm getting out of the packed
cruiser and Hugh requests a
moment while hunched over his beeping and booting pda.
"I'm going to check what the wind is doing ?"
"Hugh! Put down the toy and pick your head up.....we can see
it!! We can walk to it!!"
The humor of the situation wasn't totally lost on Hugh. We walked the
50 yards we've walked many a time and looked at the crystal blue
I take out an RRD 81
liter wave board and gaastra 5.0. It’s supposed to crank. Head
out underpowered on the 5.0. Fiddle with rigging, assuming the winds
going to pick up. Hugh is going good on his 80 liter and 5.0….damn
these extra 30lbs I have on him. Also, Hugh has the uncanny ability to
plane in about a wind-wisper-breath. I've learned long ago to NOT use
Hugh on the water as a sign of windage. Most everyone else is slack and
not moving on the water.
At about noon, I get powered, then
well powered at about 12:30. Small wind-driven waves at uppers and the
triangle breaks. Nice floating jumps and a few small surf-rides in. At
about 1 the wind backed off a bit, leaving me with sporadic planning.
At 2:30 head back
to the shop and get a rrd 90 liter board. 30 minutes of
planning and the wind backs off a bit more. A 5.8 twin cam and slalom
board would have been the call. It's day 1 so I'm not too
disappointed at the couple of hours sailing I got. I'm trying to
conserve the skin on my palms with gloves, which appears to work, at
least on day 1.
Dinner at Colleens in Haiku was the call, great gourmet pizza, other
looked good as well. Quiet relaxed atmosphere, just the call. We get
back to Hula Hale and Hugh goes to work on the laptop/pda. I surf the
local channels with little good results....I've just been ruined on
network TV by my ReplayTV/pvr. We crash at the advanced hour of 9pm.
Wake in the night to
hear pounding rain. Close windows and go back to sleep. Wake and the
rain is still pounding. Hey, it's the upcountry, there's a reason
everything is green around here.
Riding day 2
Breakfast at the Pauwela Cannery. Good, but not as good as Anthony’s in
Paia.....Shhhh, don't tell anyone.
Driving is made more interesting by the fact our car had taken to only
keeping the wipers ON, with the switch having the options of
fast/faster, with each swipe making horrible noise. Hugh has pulled the
fuse, but now we’re going through bands of rain showers. Hugh is
pulling putting the fuse in on the fly, making for some interesting
driving. The jokes about the the man-hugh-matic wiper system
I rent a 5.7 and take out the 90 liter rrd wave/freestyle board. I’m
JUICED…holy moly. Hugh’s just about right on his 5.0, a bit overpowered
if anything. I flatten the sail with more down/outhaul and head back
The rrd 90 liter has one speed…planning. Triple the power
and it’s still going the same speed, just with more protest. It’s a
donkey to be sure, but this burro doesn’t handle being overpowered with
grace. I trade down to a 5.0 and I’m still overpowered. The rain is
pounding off and on, and when it’s raining it reminds me of riding in
the hurricanes…only I’d have to use a 3.2 rather than a 5.0. Looking
back toward shore, bands of dark water fly sideways as the top of the
volcano is bathed in sunlight. Rainbows dot the upcountry and
coastline. Great visuals, weird conditions. Best guess
is the wind is from 18-35 with an average of 25. In the upper break,
Hugh is getting the best jumps I’ve ever seen him get. The last few
season of good wind he's had are really showing. Hugh's getting really
high. I told him this on the beach, and Hugh wryly replied: “It was
more a function of having WAY too much power when I hit the ramps”
Pretty cool in any case. Nice to see your friends sailing so well.
After another hour and a half of bouncing through the surf, I decide to
trade the board in for it’s 80 liter brother…and yes, by the time I
get back to the beach, a mere 20 minutes later, the wind has dropped a
bit, and is now in the 12-25 with an average of 18. Not quite enough,
and I have to use a 2 minute puff to get back to the beach through the
lull that's sitting about 200 yards wide at the shoreline. That’s
alright, I tweaked my ankle burning in on a jump, and could use the
Adrianne arrives while we’re at Kanaha and we round up the cars and
gear and head out.
Our gang heads back to the house, showers and head to Jacques for
dinner. Jacques is quiet and striking an interesting combo of fern bar
and tiki hut. The food is always good, and the waitresses are typically
nice to look at. Nice looking waitresses might be the closest thing
local guys get to actually having a date. Maui has ski-town dynamics,
in that other than the tourists, there are an overwhelming number of
guys willing to give it up and live in/on a car/floor/friends couch.
There are far fewer women on the island. To quote a friend of mine from
the Florida keys.
"Don't worry man,
you won't lose your girlfriend, just your turn"
Bring your own if you're looking for women. The food at Jacques is
good, and we retire early back to Hula Hale. I nurse a beer, ice my
dings, and hang out as Adrianne and Hugh exchange e-based information.
Hugh hunched over the pda, Adrianne absorbed in her laptop. This is
supplemented by 4 hours of the Weather Channel's unending coverage of
the storm in the gulf. Hugh appears to be doing semi-real time
correlation between the two...I'm not sure to what end.
Toll so far: Ankle sore, arms getting tired.
Wake and go for a ~4 mile run. Ankle is really feeling bad from
yesterday’s tweak, and the first half of the run is unrelentingly
uphill. Slow would be the best way to characterize the run….no make
that really slow. Sloth slow, but everything is getting looser as
I finish the run-in-the-rain. Get back, shower and it’s off to Charlies
breakfast. Mmmmm…..breakfast burrito. The pound plus of eggs-n-goodness
should keep me going for the day.
At Kanaha, Hugh is walking Adrianne through some basic wind-theory and
Head to the shop and rent a 92
liter Anders Bringdal slalom board and a 2 cam Gaastra gtx 6.0. Get to
Kanaha and the wind is cooking. The maui race series is running and I
to drag the locals who are tuning up. The racers are fast but I’m
holding my own while dragging along side them…with one exception.
notice one of the sailors has a full knot+ speed advantage on me….which
over the course of a race == horizon job. Wow, that guy is FAST. I get
a better look and realize that it’s Anders Bringdal himself, all 230
lbs of Viking riding a raceboard with
a 6.4 sail….ok I don’t feel bad anymore. Looking down at the logo on my
board I think HEY I'm ON YOUR BOARD. The sailing is 100%
minute bursts where I give everything I have to controlling the speed
and board, then rest. About 3 reps of this mad speed, and I’m ready to
trade in the fast stuff for the jumpable stuff. Trade in the board for
an 80 liter HiTech blaster, and take out a 5.0 Have a great time
sailing uppers. Wind starts to die a bit at about 2:30pm and I head in,
tired and really happy.
I spend the next hour or two helping Adrianne learn to waterstart
downwind of the swimming area at Kanaha. I'm swimming and treading
water about 50' off shore, helping to swim
gear into place for Adrianne, who is game, but getting a touch tired.
The 1kt or so of current and the dozens of landing/launching
sailors make learning to waterstart here a bit more of a challenge.
Adrianne is doing well, but fatigue and current are not your friends
while trying to learn. I shout till my voice is hoarse, and celebrate
like a madman when she gets up and going. Then it's the walk back
help to complete the beach-walk-n-waterstart-workout.
Dinner is at Polli’s in the small cowboy-turned-boutique-town in the
called Makawao, located in the upcountry. I get the "Army of Darkness
special" as Hugh put it. Mounds of meat
heaped on a plate. It's ribs chicken heaped about 8" high. This is made
more interesting by Adrianne's (I don't eat anything which has a
mother) and Hugh's ( I don't eat mammels) eating habits. A bit of
good-natured back and forth ribbing about the ribs and it's all good.
After dinner it's an early evening. Hugh is on the pda working wind
reports of the hurricanes in the gulf again, Adrianne is answering
email most of the evening.
Wake at 6:30am, Hugh continues his internet addiction by combing the
internet for every single piece of data to be had about Hurricane
Dennis which is setting up to pound the gulf coast of Florida. The
weather channel is on again. Even though I'm a windsurfer and generally
from the area about to be effected, I'm bored stiff about it.
We're dividing the gear between the Dodge Neon Adrianne has rented and
the non-folding aging Sentra. In retrospect, it would have been a far
better choice to rent something with folding rear seats.
Breakfast at Anthony’s. Ono benedict….Mmmmm… Head to HiTech looking to
turn in my gear for the day, as the wind was light at the beach in
Paia. By the time we get to the shop at 10:00am, the wind is picking
up. I take out a prototype spoon board in the 90 liter range which
looks pretty quick.
Head to Kanaha and rig a 5.7. Perfect. Great 3.5 hours of blasting
around in textbook perfect conditions. The board is great with the
exception of nose-first landing
from jumps. Nose first landings on a no-nose board are a known
weakness.....check, that one's confirmed.
Wind dies at 3:00pm, and Hugh’s life co-processor pda shows the wind in
about 25-30. We head south shore and the water is frothy. In the 10
it takes to rig up, the wind dies completely. Better that the wind die
as we’re rigging, as the few people out on the water are having a hard
time getting in. The wind literally went from 25 to about 4 in 30
seconds. Hugh and I de-rig and
head back to the upcountry. Do some pushups and shower. Hey, this is
news: It’s raining in the upcountry.
Wake and surprise, it’s raining. Head to Charlies for breakfast. Get
the burrito….Mmmmm huge....Mmmmmm again. It’s looking pretty windy by
Take the 5.7 out on the spoon and whoa….it’s really windy. Ride
seriously overpowered for about 1.5 hours, and it’s great. Get some sky
high jumps off the ramps at uppers….note to self spoon boards don’t
like to land nose first….Yup, re-confirmed.
Head to HiTech and get an 80 liter rrd wave board. Get back and rig the
5.0. With some minor equipment quibbles(footstraps too large for my
size 12 feet sans-booties, non-skid a skidding), have an awesome day. I
just about to head back from uppers to get lunch when I spot Hugh out
in the break. Spend the next 2.5 hours chasing him around. Hugh’s
sailing great, far better than I’ve seen him sail before. I’m
over-finned but getting some good jumps. The crappy DaKine footstraps I
have on the rrd don’t adjust small enough for my size 12 feet, sans
booties. In fact as I look at them, I’m still trying to decide why they
put the Velcro straps on the top of a rigid footstrap with apparently
about 2mm of length adjustment.
This is getting a touch more critical as I’m getting some darn
big air, and am not too keen to wipe out with my feet jammed to the
ankle in the straps. This combined with mediocre nonskid is adding to
my fatigue late in the afternoon. The wind is relentless. Hugh and I
are pulling the who can jump bigger and I’m doing a pretty
thorough test of my rrd’s durability.
The board and my ankles
I finally decide to make the run downwind to get some food and
water. Hugh follows me and we make a great single tack hail mary race
downwind to Kanaha. By having too much fin and hoola hoops for
footstraps, the overpowered downwinder is much more interesting than
the brochure would indicate. It’s 4:40pm, we’ve been
sailing since 11:00…ok that explains why I’m tired. Decide
to bag it for the day, but it’s a tough choice as the wind is
Dinner at Colleens and the pizza is
still awesome. Watch Zoolander on the laptop and pass out at about
11:00pm. Thank god the weather channel is off, it was nice to talk to
my friend who I rarely get to see.
Wake and surprise….it’s raining. Today will be interesting to see if I
can get the Sentra to Paia with the gas it has in it. I thought there
would be a gas station in Haiku…..I was wrong. Oh well, at least it’s
downhill most of the way. ..
My arms are pretty shot. A massage is definitely in order. The gloves
I've been using are keeping the skin on my hands, but the larger
diameter grip they provide is greatly adding to my forearm
If you decide to get the fish benedict at Anthony’s…make sure to
specify which fish, I
got neither mahi or ono….something pink, gelatinous, and pretty disgusting.
Get to HiTech and for a brief moment, let my shop-advice-cynicism
fade much to my detriment…..The
straps on the 80 liter rrd simply could not be made small enough, and
my feet were too far in. I trade the rrd for the Quattro 83 liter, but
make the fatal error of listening to a shop rat on a tuning
configuration which saves
Shop Rat (SR) informs me the hula hoop footstrap thing is ‘good’ and
that’s how the wave boards are supposed to be sailed….I head to Kanaha
and it’s pumping….frothy whitecaps are abundant on the water. I rig the
5.0 and head out. A few tuning runs in and mid jump-gybe my foot is
wedged too far into the straps and I tweak my ankle on the splash-down.
I want shop-rat-blood.
I’m also cursing MYSELF for listening…I freaking
know better. I go in and put on my booties, which while on, make the
straps small enough for suitable use. I go back out and it feels like I
have a condom on….lots of the same
action, with less feel. The wind
drops and I almost have to swim the last 50 yards to the beach, being
down in the water with about 20 other sailors all saying the same
thing….SEND MORE WIND! I fly the sail overhead and a puff pushes me into
shore, dragging through the water. 83 liter board + sail + joe == tour of
I wait on the beach for an hour or so as rain-squalls roll in over the
Segue an hour. I see the windline is pretty far off shore I balance out
through the glass surfaced water, trying not to sink. I manage to make
the wind line. Fun rides are to be had, but the
water is gusty. 3-30mph in fingers of wind that reach out,
board sinking smooth windless water between. I’m getting some good
jumps, but the
gusty conditions and wave (crap) sails aren’t at their best at
controllably powering up, or managing the higher wind gusts with much aplomb.
A short note on the bulk of wave sails. They flat out suck. No nuts on
the low end, unstable when overpowered...yeah they are light and power
up/down quickly, but in the summer conditions at Kanaha, Bump and jump
sails, like the Sailworks Retro are far better suited to the sailing
than these down-the-line waveriding thouroughbreds.
is taking a loop lesson, and I don’t see him much other than a single
run out with his instructor, pro windsurfer Collette.
The wind fills back in about 3pm and it’s steady till the end of the
day. I hate wearing booties which have now a trace of grit in them
which is working itself back and forth…..Grit + water + friction
== less skin.
Where is that shop guy when I
want to twist the head off his body?
"Kill the prime
minister of Maylasia…..OBEY MY DOG!"
Dinner at Polli’s again in Makawao. Good burrito, slightly overpriced.
A few beers, ice ice baby on the forearms and knees while watching
Hugh and Adrianne work their electronics. The only conversation is
about what either of them is reading on their widget. Occasionaly Hugh
will pick up his head, ask me a question about work marriage or
whatever, then turn back to his pda immediately. It's to the point of
being humorous. We're vacationing in Hawaii, and the hotmail account and weather channel
are the only things interesting enough to discuss.
Wake and it’s cranking and surprisingly, NOT RAINING. Have leftover
pizza for breakfast. Do light calisthenics to work out the increasing
stiffness. My forearms are shot and lower back is brick stiff. Things
loosen up with a few quarts of coffee and some asprin, so I'm ready to
face the day.
We get to Kanaha, and I rig a 5.0 on the Quattro 83 liter. Hugh and I
are about 50 yards apart and SOLIDLY powered as we beat upwind from
Kanaha to Uppers. Everything is feeling good when I feel/hear *SNAP*
and am instantly falling backward still holding on to the boom. The
board and sail stop about 30 yards away, and I swim, boom-arm in hand
I briefly wonder if Hugh saw the boom break...but this lasts for only
a minute. My brain processed the question and realized it wouldn't have
mattered if Hugh saw or not.
A few years ago Hugh sailed by me after my sail and board disconnected
in the Kanaha Uppers reef-break about a mile offshore and a mile
upwind of our starting point. On the plus side to this event, Hugh got
some great jumps as he sailed past my $1800 floating-away rental board
as I treaded water and tried to keep my $1000 rig from sinking. A
total stranger had ended up saving the day and my wallet by putting a
hand on my board which prevented it from from floating into the
Finishing the thought I figure if I'm sailing with Hugh, I'm just
about sailing alone. It's
Powder Day rules once Hugh gets planning.
are no friends on a powder day" -- snowboarders/skiiers mantra
To be fair, I'm sure if I were actually drowning, Hugh would stop, but
that's pretty much what it would take.
I'm now in the interesting position of having one boom arm working.
...or so I think. I'm in the no-mans land between Kanaha and Uppers and
there are few sailors in the area. Karma points to the nice woman who
stopped and asked if I could use some help, then offered to keep and
eye out for me as I fought my way in. Free beer to you if I run into
you at a bar sometime, it was appreciated.
Bad design on the boom, when the arm snapped, I naively assumed I
could flip the boom over and use the good arm to get in. *CLANK WRONG*
This boom had a back-end which was a single piece of pressure attached
plastic. When one-arm broke at the front and back-end, the other arm
snapped at the back end as well. My sail is still connected to the
tail piece, which is now telescoping down the attached boom
arm. I'm looking at the jagged end of the remaining boom arm and
hoping it isn't going to destroy the sail. I pop the sail from the
water, do a clew-first waterstart and head down wind as out of control
as a Texan on a black diamond mogul field. Yeehaw, I'm
planning, clue first, wildly overpowered and scared stiff. I'm
holding it together for the 45-5 ratio. 45 seconds of wild planning
followed by a hammered wipeout and 5 minutes to rest and reset. I get
within 100 yards of the beack and HAMMER TIME! The wind picked up
another 10-15 knots. I get swatted into the liquid with a body numbing
I wait for the gust which is blowing the water sideways to abate. No
luck, the wind is near gale force. For the first time I'm happy I had
wear booties to combat the huge footstraps. I'm standing chest-deep on
a rock, 100
yards from shore fighting to stay in place against the now 3 knots of
surface current. I can't swim the rig in, I'll end up downwind of kite
the time I got 100 yards forward. I can't sail in, clue first, the sail
draft completely unstable as the sail clew moves 6" in and out with the
sliding tailpiece. I can't derig without getting taken by the current.
I settle for flying the sail LOW to the water in the waterstart
position, one hand low on the mast, other hand grabbing the
plastic-skrim foot of the sail and slowly body dragging the 100 yards
in just downwind of the swimming area. My right arm is completely shot
by the time I get in. Holding on for dear life to a wet plastic
sail-foot took about everything my forearm had and then some.
I head to the shop with steam coming out of my ears, almost hoping to
get a hard time from the shop rat over the broken boom. SR looks that
"I've never seen a boom destroyed so completely"
Craptacular. I get a new boom with less extension and a smaller sail and head
back to the beach.
I rig a 4.5 and get
spanked by the violently frothing ocean. I pick up 4.2, flatten
out the sail and head out. Gusts in the high 30’s.
A really young pro rider Kailani is heading toward me as I'm walking
the 4.2 toward the water.
||Kailani on a calm morning
With wide eyes Kailani looks at the water and shouts:
The gusts at about 40 kts. Hugh
planes on a 3.3m sail. It's insane, it's all good, it's all nuts. I'm
raging/jumping and wiping out, grinning the entire time. After an hour
or so, I'm
DONE for the day. I have a hard time derigging as I can't feel my
left hand. Perfect timing, it's time to pick up MY CHICA
at the airport!
Dodge out from the beach in a mad search for a lei and one of those
ridiculous dancing dashboard hula girls I see everywhere. I find them
both and head to the airport. Sherrie and I have one of those very
modern miscommunications where we were both waiting for each other
about 50 yards apart. Get the girl, a big kiss later and we're
heading to the Paia Fishmarket. Mmm….fish sandwich.
Got my babe, had fun sailing in nuts conditions, ate a great dinner,
and I'm feeling the island stoke.
Sherrie booked a private lesson with HST (Hawaiian Sailboard
Technique) for Thursday morning. She has sailed a few times, and didn't
want the day-1
beginner lesson, so a private it is.
Wednesday night, we get a call from HST and find out one of their
canceled, but would she mind taking a lesson with a single sailor who
wants about the same not-first-day lesson?
Sherrie grudgingly agrees to the two person lesson.
Up early and breakfast at Anthony’s. We get to Kanaha to find the
two-person lesson is now a 3 person lesson, with one of the people
never having been on a board before, and an
instructor-in-training to help. To make this more fun, everyone
is having to wear a life jacket adding to the joy of this experience.
The calm morning is eroding as the dry-land-this-is-a-board simulation
continues. The instructor notes Sherries impatience and asks:
"Do you want to get on the water?"
Her eyes bulged and she strained out a emphatic:
I hang out and take pictures.
They finally head to the water at about 10:30am, and the lesson
concludes at about 11:30. By the time we get to HiTech, rent a
barge for Sherrie and rig on the beach, it's blowing 25. Super, guess
that's day one for her....Oh she tries to give it a go. Sherrie makes a
run and gets creamed. Less quite a bit of skin she decides to call it a
We decide lesson over for the day, and head to HiTech and take the
spoon board and 5.0 ham it up for the camera.
After the ham-session, we pack up and head toward Hula Hale in
the upcountry, stopping for some pictures at the ever beautiful Hookipa.
Take pics at Hookipa at
end of day. The 14mm Sigma lens Sherrie rented for my eos rocks.
Sherrie is doing her usual take-one
for every 5 pics I snap. Even more annoying when she has more great
pictures to show for less raw film....I guess that's what skill behind
the lens gets you.
We run into Steve at Hula Hale and he offers Sherrie a
learning-to-windsurf pointers video. Steve and his lovely wife are just
fantastic, everything you could ask for in a host.
With some displeasure we realize Sherrie’s Nikon N70 35mm camera
has decided to die. This is significant as I shoot with a Canon, and
the 4 lenses we have for Sherries Nikon don't work on the Canon. Ok,
time to standardize on a brand.
Sherrie and I take off a touch early to get breakfast as Hugh and
Adrianne are having breakfast at the house.
We get to the beach and have one of those wonderful disconnect moments
with Hugh. Hugh has my rigging in the Neon, and I need that to trade it
in on barge-friendly equipment. Here is the glitch.
Hugh has a cell-phone which was built roughly in the 14th century. It
has required the headset plug-in for at least the last 3 years as the
speaker portion of the phone is completely inoperative. In addition,
the phone doesn't ring reliably. I try to call Hugh to arrange a
time/place to meet and pickup gear. Over the next 1.5 hours I
repeatedly get his voice mail, which is full and won't let me leave a
message. I don't have Adrianne's cell phone number. About an hour
and a half later, Hugh and Adrianne show up having spent the morning
kicking around Paia and getting the gear they were going to ride for
I inquire as to "What happened?" and Hugh blankly tells me I should
have called him. Adrianne, much to her credit had suggested to Hugh a
few hours ago that they should give us a call to see when/where we
Hugh, apparently knowing his phone doesn't ring reliably still came up
with his solution:
"If they need us, they can call us"
Hey my phone didn't ring, they must
not have needed anything.
This bit of logic nearly leaves me speechless...which is a good thing.
Hugh was further baffeled by the ancient services apparent lack of
voice mail when he checked it, though it was still full when I called.
I think Hugh has service on the Stonehenge network. When I suggested
that he 'might' want to upgrade his phone, Hugh assuaged my
disenchantment with "Oh I've had a new one for some time, it's in my
desk at work" ...someone tell me he's kidding.
Annoyed, we decide it's better Sherrie ride in the back passenger seat
than go through the time-waste exercise again. We have the sails and
masts wedged in from the passenger foot well diagonally back to
the drivers side back seat. Everything fits, just barely, which Sherrie
occupying the 6 cubic feet not stuffed with gear.
Sherrie and I head to S. Shore in search of wind suitable for learning.
We rig up under the trees and take out our Fanatic 155L boards.
I'm sailing next to Sherrie and giving pointers. The conditions are
about 0-28 mph in 5 minute shifts. Sherrie is sailing well, and we're
generally staying upwind. We're heading toward the shore when we see a
black cloud of smoke over the low sand dunes on the beach. The problem
is this is right about where we've parked our aging Sentra. Uh-oh, I
hope it's not our car which is smoking. In any case I really hope our
camera equipment is escaping the blaze. We get to the shore and I
offer to take the boards and rigs in as Sherrie checks on our gear.
Turns out the field 20 yards from where we've parked is on fire.
We wait for the trucks to take off and decide to head back to the north
shore. I rig a 5.3 and sail well powered for about
an hour. Puffy wind, but the AB spoon was awesome about getting through
the holes. My hands going super numb, so an hour of great sailing is
In our haste to get some sunset pictures of Lahaina, I park in a line
of cars in weirdly lined parking spaces. Turns out there's a small 'bus
parking' sign on the other entrance to the lot, and I have a $50
parking ticket waiting for us when we get back from dinner.
Dinner is at Kimo’s in Lahaina. Adrianne ends up paying more for
vegetable sides than we pay for entries. I guess it's expensive to be a
vegetarian. Ohpakapaka(pink snapper) was
spectacular. We then start the long long
long drive back to Haiku from Lahaina.
Arriving at Hula Hale, I don’t ice my forearms, this is a mistake. I
keep waking up with the pins and needles feeling in my arms. My right
is worse than my left, and jokes about degraded dating potential keep
We wake and the morning pattern continues. Breakfast at Anthony’s.
Right hand randomly going numb to the point where I'm having a hard
time driving the car. Sher and I get the 155L Fanatic barges and make
the hike up into the cove. Nothing like carrying 25lbs of board
overhead through the sand for 400 yards...twice. I
rig the 5.3 and cruise around Sherrie. She’s sailing great and we go
back and forth until about 1pm when the wind picks up. I get the 90
liter Anders Bringdal wave board and head to Hookipa. It's typical
Hookipa summer conditions. 8-28mph puffy wind. The AB wave board is
super, floaty enough during the lulls, and controllable when powered.
sailing pretty well for a while, then start to get tired and get
I play Idiot-in-the-surf-getting in. Almost get gear trashed in the
shorebreak on the
smallest day I’ve ever sailed Hookipa. I head into shore and hop off in
thigh deep water, and dink around trying to lift my gear with a hand I
can't feel. Failing to look back I get pummeled by a small wave, and
the sand filled backwash washes over the sail, pinning it to the
bottom. I react fast and run backward into the surf while lifting the
sail as much as I can to get air under it. The next wave washes the
sand off and a gust pulls the sail back into the air. I feel like a
complete moron for the close call.
A bit of rest later and it's back out.
Hookipa is blowing high 20’s on the outside
and ??? on the inside. Get a few bad-glass smooth windless moments and
get rinsed. Not bad with the very small waves, but the current and
rocks are still disconcerting. I can’t feel my right hand while
sailing, but the numbness is coming and going at random times.
darn tired at this point. I get a few good jumps in the break, but
make it a more on/off prospect when coming off the wind-shadowed beach
through the lineup.
Hookipa is playful, but I’m darn near trashed and decide to call it a
day after 2.5 hours of solid sailing. Get a great cup of coffee
in Paia at
the end of the day, then head to the upcountry. Dinner at
Colleens. I can’t
sleep much and keep waking with numb hands. Somewhere around 2am
I’m out of it but fully awake. I get up and ice my arms, which allows
me to sleep the rest of the night.
Wake early, Sherrie's sailing in the cove. She’s on a 3.7 and
fanatic 155liter again. The wind in the cove is quite fluky. She's
starting to get the hang of sailing. We head back to the shop and check
to see if it’s too late to register for the GPS measured Mauispeed
event in progress
on kite beach. It is too late, so I take out an 81 liter HiTech and
head back to Kanaha. WAY overpowered on a 5.3. I come in and rig the
4.7. Sail is plenty powered, but the board is really twitchy. Seems
fast, but that may have just been a general lack of control. Add
snot-surface non-non-skid and I’m not a fan. I sail for 2 hours and
a great time despite not really liking the board.
Dinner at the Paia Fishmarket….MMmmm. Hard to argue with a place that
servers great food for not much money. Sherrie and I enjoy a few beers
while soaking in the lush breezy upcountry and crash early.
Monday, the last day
We wake and start the pickup/cleanup of Hula Hale. The surfmobiles get
loaded and we head to breakfast at the Pauwela cannery.
Great food, breakfast complete with tottering idiots pontificating on
cows, the war in Iraq and whiskey in a repetitive been-on-the-island
and smoked way-too-much-dope manner.
Take out the Fanatics barges again. Sherrie is really sailing well.
fluky wind almost offshore at points in the cove. The wind is pumping
early, but Sherrie is still doing well even in the wind approaching 25
as we exit the cove. The non-skid has taken it’s toll on Sherrie and
her legs are a bit of a mess. The cushy blue-decked Starboards would
have been great for learning as the Fanatics have the sandpaper
I head to the shop and take out an RRD 80 liter wave board and rig a
5.0. TOO MUCH as the wind is now 31-36. I survival sail for about 30
minutes then decide to go smaller. The boom is making a disconcerting
squeaking that’s leaving me with previous trips last-day-boom-breakage
swim flashbacks. I rig down to a 4.5 and head out... Perfect. The 2 days
of higher wind
have generated a pretty good wind swell and uppers has some great
jumpable, and occasionally ridable surf. Huge air over a shallow reef
makes for some puckering moments.
Durability check on the rrd ? Landed flat a few times from around 15
feet…..no worries. Only complaint with the setup is mediocre
nonskid…but at this point I might just have slippery feet. This board
actually has footstraps which are adjustable...how about that?
Sail for 3.5 hours until 4:30pm, when I decide to make the run from
uppers to the beach.
Get in with time to spare and return the gear to HiTech. Drop off a few
cases of beer
for the guys in the shop as a thank you for all the work they did for
me. Pay the gear tab and re-pack the car, now with stinking beach-soaked wet stuff.
There’s a mild smell of ass emanating from the surf, beach, and
the car-marinated clothing we’re stuffing into plastic, then into our
suitcases. Good luck to any TSA person who has to rifle through
Weight check, I guesstimate after picking up Sherrie's suitcase and it
appears to have gone on the Oprah->Binge diet. I'm
guessing her case
has to be at least 70 lbs. The new baggage limit of 50 lbs makes
packing a bit more annoying, as my suitcase is about 15 pounds
empty. I check my case and it's a bit light. I take some of Sher's
stuff, then put a bunch into my carry on…..Turns out we pegged it,
Sherrie’s suitcase is 48 lbs at the counter. Bonus.
After doing the baggage-for-carry-on-swap outside HiTech, Sher and I
get dinner at Da Kitchen and eat a Hawaiian plate lunch style
dinner. Great food, and they aren't shy on the portions.
Head to the airport and get drinks while looking down the runway. My
flight takes off on time at 10pm and it’s another early morning
in LAX…. It makes me feel good to know Sher paid 2/3 my ticket
price and has 4 fewer hours in her return trip….thanks
I'll be back, the perfect wind and beautiful island are just a great
destination...but this time I'll rent a car with folding seats!
Twelve of twelve days sailed. Smallest sail used. 4.2 Biggest 6.0(race
Favorite rides. Both Anders Bringdal prototypes, the racy spoon and
90ish liter wave board.
Sails: Gaastra manic, pretty ok for wave sails, only other option at
HiTech was Ezzy, which I find soft and gutless.
Best dinner: Paia
fishmarket. Best breakfast Anthonys.