Flew out on United, landed at five local time. It's amazing how pleasant a flight can be with DS, an mp3 player, and copy of MC with twelve articles about the new Gizzixer. Mom, brother, and I ate at Coconuts. It wasn't bad, but a bit pricey/touristy.
We headed up the west shore to scout surf spots. We found the Kealia Beach shorebreak that ended up being the prime spot for the trip.
We wandered up the coast toward the spot and found Tamba Surf. Of the few boards they had to rent, I found a 6'-something Tuflite. With some red spray paint and a pin tail, my board could probably dress up as it for Halloween. Needless to say, it was a good find.
Kealia turned out to be pretty good, as I came back numerous times throughout the trip. It's a rough shorebreak. And the waves rebound off the steep beach to create some difficult shapes. Corners were hard to come by, but were most gratifying. Since the majority of the waves were very steep and quick, the rides and falls were anything but boring. My last session featured three or four large outside waves that cleaned everyone out. The kook:local ratio was approximately 1:1.
After Kealia we headed for the airport to pick Kris up and continued on to Poipu on the south shore. This reefy area features a small cove that was abuzz with snorkelers. The cove is sheltered by a finger of rock that catches all of the current. After paddling to the west side of the cove for a single right and a lot of waiting, I followed some locals to the reefbreak. It's a strong left, which is decidedly not my forte. When I eventually paddled off the break, I scraped some barely-submerged reef.
I at last busted out the 640 and housing for some underwater snaps and video. Great fun.
We headed up to the north shore to hike the Na Pali coast trail. The path runs along the cliffs a few hundred feet above the ocean and hosts some amazing views. Recent rain had left the surfaces muddy and treacherous so the going was very slow. Our destination was a beach only reachable by the trail. I use the term 'beach' loosely, as this shore was very rocky with no rideable break to speak of.
This brings me to the first of what will be several personal recommendations - basically darn good reasons to go back that you can mooch off of if you're like me.
Hike the entire Na Pali coast trail. It's long, it's treacherous, but it's awesome and completely untouched by the endless stream of vacationers.
Having explored the north, east, and south shores, we headed west toward Waimea Canyon. The mountain peaks at 3,600 feet and affords some excellent views of the island - provided your camera/eyes have a haze or red filter.
But the Waimea drive brings me to my second recommendation.
Rent a bike. There are rental places everywhere. Most of them do Harleys. Lame. But at a few places I saw sport bikes, tourers, and some dirt bikes. The paved road surfaces throughout the island are superb, the only hazards to street riding are rain and dirt runoff - neither of which sneak up on you. And there are countless dirt roads that would make for some excellent off-tarmac touring.
After seeing the Waimea sights we headed to Polihale State Park on the west shore. This included a five mile stretch of hard-packed dirt road teeming with rain-formed potholes. There were air dams and sideskirts strewn about, mom tried to make a contribution on the drive out. I took the wheel on the way back with Jon as co-driver and we had a blast - without bottoming out the car.
The beach is long, sandy, and deserted. There's a great view of the bluffs to the north and Nihau Island. The park allows drive-in camping, which is number three on the list of things to do.
Camp at Polihale.
One of the locals told me his surf spot was the north end of the beach - though it catches the full force of the wind coming from the northwest.
More to come...