I was chatty and played the guitar much better, the notes came out in all the right places, after a long session of tumbling around in the waves. I took a couple of big drops on this first big day of surfs at Kawaihae. Sets after sets arrived, dumped their frothy loads in a hurry then lined up to do it over and over again, occasionally on surfers’ head. Wall after wall of eight to ten foot high tumbling avalanches of white water rolled over those who braved this first big day at the Kawaihae Break Wall, the Queen of the Coast when it breaks someone told me once. I arrived at 7:30 am and sat on the break wall to drink in the spectacle. Green walls pitched up higher and higher and further out, too big. They were closing out. My friend Paul Nelson was already there waiting for me. He had to wait until the beach closure due to yesterday’s tiger shark sittings was lifted. On a big day like today, we have to have a plan of attack, where to paddle, where to sit and when to commit to paddling out. Both he and I have experienced days of big waves where an hour of paddling barely got us to within yards of the main break only to get pounded back to where we started. I paddled out while Paul opted for more favorable conditions. I crawled to the lineup, really mine-up because I was the only one far right of everyone else. I stayed at that spot long as other surfers came then dissipated. The waves were closing out and a straight drop was the only way to get in a decent ride.
Late morning, a lip of a large wave hit me square in the back of my head when I hesitated. That karate chop was the bell for me to throw in the towel and head to shore, three and a half hours and four waves later.
Surfing makes me very happy, its simplicity, the sun, the water and the gift of waves that traveled two thousand miles across the Pacific for me to enjoy. I get this high that lasts for the rest of the day. My music just sounds better.