Monday, July 31, 2006

Sunday sunny Sunday

A few random photos from yesterday at Thousand Peaks.

Here's a dog trying to catch water drops.

Here's the same dog trying to catch a wave. Got to paddle harder, dude!

Here's a couple of sexy legs.

Here's Willie K about to go surfing. No, he looked like him, but he wasn't. Look at the light in the foam on the water... boy, it was sunny! You can tell from the hat of the dude... he bought that last time he visited Tutankhamen's pyramid!

Here's everyones favorite Italian waterman going backside (picture and definition stolen from Ulli's blog:

And, last but not least, here's a video from the road back home. We'll see if I can get a DUI over the internet... It was supposed to be a very short one, but I received a phone call and it got a little long. Worth waiting for the end, though. At least, I think. You guys will let me know...

Friday, July 28, 2006

rider in the storm

Today I came home about 5pm. It was rainy and windy, because the remnant of Hurricane Daniel hit the islands. In addition to the wind and the rain, the storm brought some decently sized windswell that allowed me to score an unexpected fun session at Hookipa.
I rigged my 4.7 in the rain and I got in the water at 5.30, only sailor out in the company of a bunch of brave surfers (Michelle among those).
This first picture (thanks to Sharon that quickly stopped by), shows the sail that used to belong to my friend Bob, who died recently at 77. If I didn't look for that sail at the shop (Bob had just trated it in for a new one), now I would not be thinking about him. Hence, I think it was a good idea.
Thanks to the guys at Hot Sails for letting me have it and thanks to Bob's wife, Hanna, that doesn't mind if I use it.

It was stormy out there...

But there were some waves!

A little chop hop. I could have thrown a forward loop instead... if I only knew how to do that!

Little surprise at the end. I just got this short video of today's session. It shows, again, how stormy it was. It also shows some remarkable windswell.

Video Hosting - Upload Video - Photo Sharing

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The FUJIWARA effect

Here. Let's learn something (and smile for the good news...) from uncle Pat Caldwell's forecast...

Into the long range, the jet stream chart today shows a sharply meridional, or south to north, long wave pattern with a ridge (poleward loop) over the Tasman sea and a trough (equatorward loop) filling a 3000 nm wide area east of new zealand. This type of pattern is associated with the largest southerly surf received in Hawaii. A storm from the subtropics was pulled into the trough today, with low pressure deepening rapidly with 50 knot winds centered at about 35°S or 3000 nm due south of Hawaii. With the abundant tropical moisture, this storm is shown to feed the very broad occluded low pressure system that tracked east below new zealand and is now due south of Hawaii about 4500 nm. The subtropical source low is show to do a fujiwara effect, or pulled into the mother low as it wraps around toward the south. The effect should result in a unusually deep low pressure of 936 mb by Thursday morning. Hurricane-force winds should result over a relatively compact area in the 175-180 degree band, but a broad, 1500 nm wide and 1000 nm long fetch of 30-40 knot winds should set up between this low and new zealand in the 175-200 degree band. Meanwhile, another shortwave travelling along the jet track is modelled to enhance a storm just east of new zealand late Wednesday into Friday, setting up another fetch of 40-50 knot winds in the 190-200 degree band. The net result should be an extended period of high to extra-large surf locally, with peaks next Tuesday and again next Thursday and Friday. Models suggest a relaxation to normal or below normal surf locally for the week starting 8/7.

I better book some massages in advance...

Monday, July 24, 2006

uh... this is good!

If you are surfer, you live in Hawaii and you understand a little metereology (and if you don't... what kind of surfer are you?!), you'll be happy to see this map.
All those lines SE of New Zealand so close to each other mean gale force winds. This kind of sea level pressure configuration is there pretty much since last thursday and it will stay there for quite a few more days.
This means big swells on the south shore of the Hawaiian islands starting Thursday July 27th and lasting 7 to 10 days.
Monday it's going to be reeeally big.
Here's my surfing strategy for the event: I'll surf moderately at the beginning and in the weekend. Then, when everybody else will be surfed out, I'll hit it hard... trying not to be hit hard!
That's the plan. But I do fear that I'll forget about it and surf my ass off right away and be surfed out myself by Monday. In this case, I'll have plenty of time to take photos/videos. The remnants of hurricane Daniel will increase the trade winds on Friday up to 40 knots. And for those brave surfers out at Maalaea it's going to be tube time.
Maybe I will squeeze in a wavesailing session in Kihei.
Stay tuned.

PS I feel like a girl wondering what dress to wear at an upcoming wedding...
I got plenty boards, but I feel I need a good 9.0 for this swell... I may need to do some surfboard shopping... wuh-uh!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

canoe contest video

This thing took me forever and I'm not happy at all with the result. But since I don't want to waste any more of my precious time on it, here it is the way it is:
Warning, it's about 13 minutes long, but on my computer it loads instantly. Please leave comments with your loading time related to your connection speed. Thanks.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Pat Caldwell's wave forecast

Into the long range, the storm track pattern is changing downunder. Models show a large jet stream trough east of new zealand setting up tomorrow and lasting into next week. A series of strong storms are expected to track S and SE to E of new zealand starting tomorrow out a week. This should lead to back to back, at least moderate episodes, but not unlikely to high levels if the storms unfold far enough away from the new zealand shadow and have long enough fetches toward Hawaii.

Kinel! Not only I like the good news, but I like the fact that I knew that alredy! Pat, your forecast is - no doubt - the best... because it always matches mine! ;-)

One week... I can't wait...


Today I taught two students, a brother and a sister. They were from the most materialistic country in the world. I don't think I need to mention the name of the country...
They were actually from the most materialistic state of the country. I don't think I need to mention the name of the state either...

The brother was holding a digital camera with some music coming out of it.
This is a digital camera AND an MP3 player, he said. I wanted both. And for $250 I could buy the camera and for just $50 a memory card so that now it can hold more songs than an I-pod.
Quite impressive, I commented.
The sister asked me: where're you from?
Really? that's so cool!
Oh yeah? Why?
Well, you just won the world cup, didn't you?
And that makes us cool? I didn't know that...
Then she asked me (no joke) if I had a pink life jacket to match her nail polish.
Of course, I replied: no, but this blue one will be a perfect match for your blonde hair...
She liked that.

I don't know what to say. I'm just happy that I still have a brain...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Kauai + full moon surfing

For Rowena (see comment to the post below this). Here's a few pics of a trip in Kauai in May 05. Let's start with a spectacular sunset in Hanalei.

Let's continue with one of the views that the marvellous hike on the Napali coast can offer.

And let's end with a handsome chap in front a water fall. Rowena, I bet you never saw that water fall. It's in a private property (and that sucks... specially if you're not the owner), and we had it all for ourself...
BTW, the naked version of the same photos is available for... make an offer.

Not done yet. I got something to tell ya.
Tuesday night, I went surfing standing up on the 12.6 with the full moon. I called a few friends, but it's not easy to find somebody available for those kind of things, even in Hawaii. People (who work!) go to sleep early and most of the people I know are also a bit scared by being in the ocean at night (no blame for that). But I just had to do it. I surfed somewhere on the south shore in the afternoon and I hung out happily alone in Lahaina till it was time. I ate a slice of pizza at Gaby's pizzeria, took a walk on the beach, sat on the breakwall to check the waves, waited for the moon to pop up out of the thin layer of clouds pushed by the trade winds off the cliffs of West Maui mountain. When the moon rose, around 10.30, I got to my car. There were a few kids hanging out in the parking and I amused them waxing my board, getting ready to go surf.
I had surfed with the fool moon already a few times, but it was the first time standing up with the paddle. I was the first one to go out, and for 45 minutes I was completely alone. When you stand up on a 12 footer, you are completely out of the water and that helped me to stay calm. Fear was not what I was feeling. Rather bliss, I'd say...
The surface of the ocean was so smooth and glassy that I could see the rocks on the bottom. Positioning for the wave was a bit tricky. Not many reference points in the darkness. So I went on what I thought it was the break, and waited not long before I saw a black line coming. That's what the waves look like at night, even with the full moon.
Am I in the right spot? Oh, well... I guess I'll find out... I was. Here's how that first wave was: magic.
I need to get a little technical now, but it's important. Stick with me, don't lose it!
The first time I surfed at night was at Hookipa, on the north shore. I was catching the lefts, because I like them better. Going left at Hookipa means going east, towards the rising moon. So I could see the light of the moon reflected on the face of the wave in front of me. A vision that I will never forget. A moment in which I hoped I had one of those helmets that record feelings in the movie Strange Days. I didn't have that helmet, but that vision is still quite firmly planted in my brain. It sucks that I can't share it with you guys! These words are my best try, but they are far away from rendering that undescribable emotion.
Going left at the breakwall in Lahaina, instead, means going west. So the face of the wave was completely dark. It looked like a snake moving under a sheet of black silk... and I was riding it.
I just had to go by the feel, since the vision wasn't helping that much. And that enhanced the whole body experience, since the brain had one less information to compute.
Well, since I can't really see the wave, so why not turn my head back to check the moon? So I did and not only I saw a huge shining circle in the sky, but I also was amazed by the glowing of the white water of the wave breaking behind me. It was like an avalanche of phosphorescent snow rolling down the flat surface of the ocean...
It was unreal.
I caught 11 waves just like that. Then two surfers showed up. They were a bit loud (they probably had a few beers) and that broke the magic atmosphere. Plus, they were sitting on the inside and I couldn't see them. I didn't want to catch a wave with the risk of running them over, so I decided to leave... I had enough already.
Wait a moment. Shark pit (another break) is just 300 yards away. 5 minutes paddling? I'm not in hurry. And there I was. Paddling in the ocean, standing on a surfboard in the middle of the night, going to surf Shark pit, because Breakwall got too crowded... I just love when I do shit like that!
Guess why I didn't surf at Shark pit? 'Cause I couldn't find it!
Mmmm... is that it? No wait, maybe it's there... oh, forget it! Without the light of the harbor as a reference there was no way I could find it. As the moon went behind a cloud, I paddled back.
I was in bed by 12.30 and even though I was really tired I had a big smile on my face. Must be the same smile I have now, just remembering that night. That's one of the reasons because I like to write.

Can you tell?

Monday, July 10, 2006

one day closer

Lastly (actually firstly, since the posts are in LIFO order), here are the today's conditions at Launiupoko. I surfed there standing up on the 12.6 till a strong onshore breeze picked up.

You can tell he has no leash and is committed not to swim.

How about this shot? Look at the light in the waves!
I know, I know, the photo is too blu. It's the action shot setting that does that. Tough to fix, I'm afraid. I'll need to do some testing...

On the way home I stopped at another spot. It was light offshore and the ocean surface was incredibly smooth. On a break on the far left, where it usually closes out, the waves were peeling in a perfect way. Despite the tiredness, I hopped on the 12.6 again and paddled towards that perfection. I caught a few chest high beauties in absolute loneliness and then two things happened:
1) I was joined by a few other surfers that must have seen me (and that's no problem),
2) my paddle broke (and that's problem).
It was too good to leave. I dropped the broken paddle on the rocky beach in front of the break (getting it back at the end of the session required some tight timing manoeuvres) and paddled back out. This time laying down on my belly.
Believe it or not, it was better. Yes, the paddle gives you more mobility and it's easier to catch waves, but without the paddle I could grab the rail with the front hand and stick my back one in the face of the wave to slow down the board and wait for the lip to cover me before the close out. I got covered up a little. Not even close to a barrel, though. My first barrel is still out there. Every day, one day closer. Oh, that is going to be a post you guys don't want to miss!!!

What do you see?

On the way back the fool moon was just up on the orizon and I felt the urge to stop and try a difficult shot. By mistake I shot the first one with a 30 sec shutter opening time and that killed the already weak batteries. So, no fool moon for you guys tonight.
With the shutter open, I thought about turning the camera towards the highway and move it around a bit and then back to the moon. Here's what came out. I'm pretty sure somebody can see something in it... ;-)
Kind of psychedelic, hu?


When I downloaded the world cup photos (see below), I realized that I had a bunch of photos in the camera. Quite a few blog worthy ones. Here we go.

Eventually trendy (uh?), but for sure unconfortable!

This young boy was ripping at Hookipa on 6/29.

Nice driving shot on the Baldwin Avenue. A big guy must me sitting in the passenger seat...

This is Veronica, the cutest little girl in the world. And on the left is David her 7 years old brother that I taught windsurfing to. Maybe their dad is checking the blog. Ciao Veronica!

I was sitting on the beach at Kanaha and Sharon showed up to practice her routing of rigging the sail, carrying the equipment, trying to beach start in the extremely gusty late afternoon wind, sailing 50 yards, attempting a jibe, falling, trying to water start in the other direction. Eh, windsurfing is not an easy sport to learn, especially in gusty wind... but don't give up!
Anyway, as soon as I saw her I hid in the bush. She dropped the board on the beach and went back to pick up the sail. I hid the board in the bush and waited patiently for her to come back. I was rewarded with this meaningful face.
"Where the hell is my board?!?!"

Campioni del mondo!

Yeah, whatever!
I liked watching the soccer world cup, but I think it was given way more importance than it deserves.
We human race are quite weird. What brings us to get out and celebrate the win of a sport competition hugging unknown fellow countrymen that eventually, if we just knew them a bit, we would possibly dislike...? Or that we will possibly say vaffanculo to (fuckoff in italian) at the first worthy opportunity (plenty of those if you drive a car in Italy...). I don't exactly know. But just to contradict myself (which is always a healthy thing to do) I did celebrate the Italy win with a pizza at Casanova's with some fellow Mauian countrymen. Here's the table.

One on them got a little excited and said:
"We're the best in football, we make the best cars, food and cloths. We are the best in the world."
"A' Mannu', have you been in a post office in Italy lately? We're not even able to make a damn line!"
"Oh, but you can't generalize..."
"You neither!"
Anyways, Pio painted the French mascotte (I'm surprised he didn't use a real chicken...) with the italian flag colors and it was quite funny.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

15 minutes to the start...

...and I don't have a forecast yet. Better, since I missed the Portugal one.
It's a 50-50 game and it's a world cup final... everything can happen. I just hope it's going to be a good game.
In the meantime, in respect of this blog's name, let me confirm that a small south swell is arrived and that the trade winds will be blowing to nuclear levels for a few days, creating a sizeable windswell. So, Mauian surfers/windsurfers have at least a couple of options.
So long.

Friday, July 07, 2006

let me try another forecast..

...well, considering that the NW swell never showed up, I better stick to the world cup forecasts.
Anyway, the south swell hit the equator buoy and we should see a rise from Saturday afternoon. Nothing too big, but still some waves to ride.
And finally, here's the forecast for tomorrow's game.
Portugal is going to win the loser final.
For Sunday's final forecast I need to wait a little longer for some further inspiration.
So long.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

little forecast(s)

a) Starting Sunday there will be waves on the south shore for at least a week.

b) Friday there will even be a small out of season NW swell! It's going to be windy, so fun sailing conditions at Hookipa. See you guys out there.

c) Italy will beat Germany in the game that is about to start in two hours.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Never again...

It feels like I've not been posting forever. You know, I just got back... I've been busy... there's the world cup... whatever...
But tonight I ended up on my blog (hey, if it happens to others why can't it happen to me?) and I checked how many contacts I had. These are today's values per country.

Wow! I'm not posting shit and all this people keep checking my blog every day?!?
I better post something urgently! I don't want to lose my fans...

Here's a video that I filmed last month in Italy. It shows my old place in Rome. I love it because it reminds me of my past life. And of how much better my new one is... without a tie.

Hope you guys enjoy it. Actually I hope you guys can see it... so far, in fact, it's still "awaiting approval" on vmix. Even though it may be rated "under parental control", I think that in the end it will be approved anyway... it's not THAT good... ;-)

Oh, by the way, check out Ulli's birthday present: