Wednesday, February 03, 2016

2 3 16 morning call

I'm gonna describe an extraordinary experience I had yesterday.

I caught a left at Kanaha on my windsurfer and I was riding it backwind of the sail. Instead of explaining what that is, I'm going to conveniently use a magazine cover shot I somehow managed to have: the wind is coming from the right and I'm leaning on the sail rather than hanging on to it.

The photo belongs to a series of six 2010 posts labeled "everything is possible" that I would recommend reading if you care about learning something more about me and hopefully finding some kind of inspiration. I strongly recommend to scroll down at the bottom of the link and start from chapter 1.

Ok, back to yesterday's left at Kanaha. As you can imagine, from that position I had a good vision of the upwind part of the wave (the one to the right of the photo) and... of the beautiful shark that rode it with me 20 feet upwind of me!

For the purpose of this story, its size and kind don't have any relevance, but I know you guys want to know, so it was like 6-7 feet. Not huge, but not small either. I could perfectly see the dorsal fin (no black tip) and the very streamlined brown body, but I couldn't really see the details of head and tail, so I don't know what kind it was.

For the first part of the wave, he was riding it off the back like dolphins do. When the wave closed out, he kept riding it underneath the white water. What really impressed me was how steady his body was. It seemed that he wasn't using his back fin at all to propel himself. It looked like a torpedo shot by a submarine and he rode it - with me - all the way to the shallow channel. When there was no more white water to ride, he disappeared.
Not that I really remember, but the whole thing must have lasted at least 20-30 seconds or more. He was definitely aware of me (he kept a steady distance with me even though I was going sideways on the wave), so he was definitely checking me out, but he also looked like he was enjoying the ride.

One of the many inspiring factors that led me to the decision to leave my previous life in Italy and come to Hawaii was a book called "The dolphin" by Sergio Bambaren.
Very similar to the more famous "The Jonathan Livingston Seagull", the book describes a dolphin that leaves his pack to fulfill his dream of searching for a perfect wave and he finally finds it on a tropical island and rides it with a couple of surfers.
"Who knows", I thought at the time, "maybe one day I'll ride a wave with a dolphin too".
Well, yesterday I rode one with a shark and Chapter 7 of Everything is possible was written.

The graph of the NW buoys shows 3 peaks in the current swell. I marked the first two in the Waimea and Pauwela buoys, you can expect the third one to be reached in the next few hours.
The 5am reading at Pauwela is 8.8ft @ 14s from 329° (NW), for me once it's that big it doesn't matter if it goes up to 10 or not. It's too big for my tastes at Hookipa and I will go somewhere else. Sometimes, that's all you need to know, really.

Wind maps shows a decent fetch NW of us and a strong Tasman sea one that is unfortunately going to be heavily blocked by New Zealand.

MC2km map at noon shows another day for wind related sports. Early morning should be allright for surfing instead, specially down the coast.

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