Thursday, August 11, 2005

Summer swell

Lapoa looks at me with her big brown eyes, her tail wags hopefully as she beams her wish to me: "Please take me to the beach, please take me to the beach." I quickly aquiesque and together we walk the 50 yards to the gate. Along the way, Nani the puppy joins us. This puppy never ever misses a chance to join Lapoa and I. She must have hidden cameras or something. Nani always overflows with joy and loves to lick Lapoa's face. Lapoa is too old for this puppy nonsense and always turns away and tries to discourage the puppy's affections.

On this particular morning, the surf is up. As up as it ever gets in the summer at least. A North Shore local sits in the sand and watches the waves as they slap the reef. I say: "Looks like Sunset is breaking."

"Yeah, I was out there from 5 to 8. There were 3 of us."

He turns and starts talking to some other dude. I let the 2 dogs frolic around in the sand. Lapoa runs into the the water. Nani digs a hole. Lapoa trots a bit too far down the beach, I whistle. Soon, she obeys and runs towards me. We three leave the beach.

I see Liz in her kitchen, mention the waves, she's into it. "I have to hurry, gotta get Jade at noon." Liz decides to take the blue nine footer. Missing a center fin but ohh well. I grab the red seven footer. Liz gets in the ocean and paddles out over the shallow sharp reef while I give the red board a fresh coat of wax. The waves are as big as I have seen him since arriving this time. There is one other person out. A twenty something surf girl on a short board. She catches a few waves and makes some nice cuts before paddling in. I watch Liz catch a big wave and then she fishtails and sinks into the white foam. I catch a few on the seven footer. It feels really squirley. 3 days in a row on a 12 footer will do that. The waves are hard to read. Closing out in the middle where they're big and docile on the sides.

Time for Liz to go get little Jadey. We switch boards. It's then that I notice that my leash came off. Good thing I did not let the board go. I surf the nine foot blue. Catch some white foam. A wave comes in, somehow I am in the right spot, paddle a bit, stand up, cut to the left, backside. The wave sounds like a slow motion kiss and I am in the middle of it. A few more waves and I paddle in.

Caio climbs in my side of the Exporer, sits in the back seat and puts on his seat belt. I drive him all the way to his swimming lesson in the above ground pool. Took us 18 minutes. I drop him off and head to a park that we passed on the way. Walk across the grass. Stare at the ocean. Look around. Observe all the trash. Beer bottles. Ciggarettes. A black towel is draped over a bush. I find a fairly flat area in the shade of a tree and begin to move in the slow motion dance/martial art that is tai chi. As I move, I see a turtle in the edge of the water. He's pretty big. Submerged. I noticed him because he sticks his head out to breathe every 15-20 seconds. As I continue, another turtle becomes visible when his black head soundlessy breaks the surface of the water for a 1 second sip of air. It occurs to me that the story of the tortoise and the hare can have a sequel. These two animals could have a race in the water. Hmmm. After 15-20 minutes I walk back to the Explorer and drive a minute up the road to get Caio.

Now, it's time for soccer practice. Time goes quickly. Ken is the coach. He seems very competent and capable of teaching the fundamentals to the boys. After they scrimage amongst themselves, I suspect that they will have a good season.

Back at Backyards, watching the waves. Many surfers are out. It is around 6 PM. I thought that I might surf but the crowd out there makes me think twice. Hunger leads me back into the kitchen. Make a salad, start cooking up some Lentils and then Roberto walks into the house. "Michael, do you want to kayak?"

No hesitation: "Yeahh, lets do it."

We get out in a hurry as the surfers all paddle in. The waves are head high as we plow thru them and over them. Soon, we are stroking the water in synch, catch a decent wave, Roberto, in the back, steers us, keeps us in the meet of the wave. We ride along the wall, shopping for barrels but there aren't any for us today. Paddle back out, thru some waves, over others, the front of the kayak angles almost straight up in the air and the slap, we hit the water. The clouds turn orange around the sun staring over the edge of the ocean. The clouds turn grey as an extended lull gives Roberto and I a chance to talk about this day. The "A" wave comes, we paddle paddle paddle. This one is the best of this sesh and takes us almost all the way to the beach. Caio, Braden and Ryan are standing on the wet sand, they jump up and down and wave their hands, excited and stoked from watching us ride the waves.

Thank you ocean, mahala Poseidon, good night Apollo.