february 2010: hawaii

Hawaii: The Philippines to Hawaii (by air)


North Shore, Oahu

The skipper (second from right) [Photo by Nakajima]

The skipper (far right) and a few of his mates dropping in [Photos by Nakajima]

Five things we have learned

1. It is possible to complete two complaint forms relating to separate instances before 8.45am.
2. Never fly Philippine Airlines ever again.
*Almost scammed to pay US$150 above the standard sports equipment charge (presumably to go in the cashier’s pocket). The first mate threw all of her toys out of the pram and took matters to the top… but refrained from lodging the completed complaint form when the cashier apologised and told her he would lose his job if the form was lodged. Ouch. Heart strings…
*No vego meal as preordered.
*Surf board bag torn.
*Nose snapped off surf board.
*Wrong US immigration form given to passengers.
3. In the competition of life between the skipper and the first mate: the skipper is the better surfer and kite boarder; the first mate is the better rock climber and ice skater; we each think we are the better free diver. Not that life is a competition….
4. Yellow is the new white. It is tough to pick out the skipper from the beach at The Bay when most of the people in the line-up are super fit looking, have short dark hair, are wearing black long arm short leg wetsuits and are riding big yellow boards.
5. Despite spending five months in Hawaii over the past five years, the skipper still cannot do the “handshake”. It always ends with him missing the last grab/loop/twist/punch/whatever-it-is and generally feeling awkward.

Shore dump. Waimea Bay.

Ry-Fry and…

the skipper on post-bay highs

Four of the best bits

1. The North Shore
*The same bumps in the bike path, the same shops, the same people working in the shops.
*The bike path.
*The sunsets.
*The surf that goes from four foot sloppy onshore to 12 foot grinding tubes kissed by light offshore winds within an hour.
*Matt’s place.
*Ryan, Aki and Kichi.
2. Surfing The Bay and Ry-Fry’s Bombora. Like stepping off a cliff strapped to a 9’6” surfboard. Fun.
3. Ice skating. In celebration of Aki’s birthday and in winter Olympic spirit. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! American sportsmen and women are awesome. The best.
4. Hanging out with Toby.
*The Ward Rafters.
*The book store.
*The shrimp farm.
*Yacht club and marina fix.
*Island tour.

The first mate on her way to Freddies….

surfing Freddies….

after Freddies

Four of the worst bits

1. Plane travel. Nine planes. 34 hours in the air. 8 hours 20 minutes travelling to and from airports. 29 hours 55 minutes at airports. Pre-departure procedures included everything short of a public strip search. Toiletries, undies, dirty clothes etc. laid out on tables for all to see. Grilled by immigration. Photographed. Fingerprinted. Eyeball scanned. But the system remains flawed. We felt humiliated but not safer.
2. The decline in the first mate’s surfing performance. Smashed on 11 waves before standing up. Hassled and dropped in on by packs of six year old girls. Humbling. So much for nailing this surfing thing. Useless.
3. American money. Obama, your people do not need pennies. They need 50 cent pieces, $2 notes ($2 coins would be better) and bigger dimes. We contend that freeing your people from the burden of small change would go a long way toward solving your domestic and international crises.
4. Missing Zinc.

The skipper: sunset at Sunset


The wild west

Nature report

*Tsunami. One. Hawaii shut down. The North Shore evacuated. The surge recorded on Oahu measured about 1.5 foot.
*Turtles. Loads. In the line-up at Freddies and Kammies. Surfing the shore dump at Runways. Friendly little fellas.
*Whales. Pods breaching and spraying within a mile of the shore.
*Seal. One. Sunbaking on the beach at Pipeline.

Ice skating birthday girl

Style and….


Surf report

Favourite break this month:

Skipper – Pipeline
First mate – Freddies

*Backyards. Fast rides. Barrels.
*Sunset. Consistent solid waves. Grinding inside barrel section.
*Freddies. Peaks. Forgiving. Consistent.
*Ry-Fry’s Bombora. Outer reef. Big (really big) waves.
*Runways. Deserted beach-break-style peaks over shallow reef.
*Velzyland. Right peak. Fun walls sucky barrels
*Kammies. Peaks. Long rides.
*The Bay. Premiere big wave spot located at Waimea Bay.
*Pipeline. One of the sickest waves in the world. A few on it.

The magical fairyland that is the bike path

The Fribergs and the Rowneys

Big sunglasses

Dive report

The skipper inadvertedly did a bit of free diving, without flippers and attached to a 9’6″ “float”.

To the Ward Rafters with Toby. Live gypsy music in a private loft. Awesome.

Drawn to boats… marina in Honolulu. Zinc would love it. Next time?

Book report

The skipper read:

*Man and boy : Tony Parsons (1 star) – Pathetic bloke and his pathetic life.

The first mate read:

*Father Brown : G K Chesterton (2 stars) – A poor substitute for Conan Doyle/Agatha/Chandler.
*Man and boy : Tony Parsons (1 star) – Metro-sexual mumbo jumbo.
*Wolf Hall : Hilary Mantel (4.5 stars) – At last, a Booker Prize winner I love. Charming Cromwell. Really?
*Time bites : Doris Lessing (4 stars) – Delightful Doris. An eclectic mix of essays about authors, books, Sufism, Africa, cats.
*The French lieutenant’s woman : John Fowles (4.5 stars) – Fabulous. But Victorian England, ugh.
*The story of Sushi – an unlikely saga of raw fish and rice : Trevor Corson (4 stars) – Yum! Use your fingers and shove it in your mouth in one go. Surprising to discover the skipper eats sushi the “polite” way.