My wife and I are fond of Tunnels. The last time we were here our 28 year old son, Matthew, was two. We remember him padding along the water’s edge with fins on his hands, a snorkel and mask on his face. He was blonde, tan, and ever so cute. He’s still cute. He’s still tan but the blonde is gone. If he was here, he’d be surfing Tunnels.
Yesterday we parked at Haena park and walked to Tunnels. We had two sessions and found sea turtles as the sun sank low in the sky. The water was an aqua marine color we hadn’t seen all week. Maybe due to the onslaught of trade winds that’s had the ocean choppy and rugged since the day we landed.
With just a few days left, we have more to pack in, including a hike out the Napali Coast, and another paddle boarding session at Hanalei. Check out the two minute video if your gills are dry.
There are roosters in Kauai. If you’ve been here since Hurricane Iniki hit in 1992, then you may know that it blasted the island with 170 mile per hour winds and did some $1.8 Billion in damage. I heard a stat yesterday from a Taro Farming Tour that the wind meter, mounted on the mountains above Hanalei Valley, broke off when the wind registered 200 mph.
Most locals agree that wild chickens proliferated after Iniki destroyed chicken coops, releasing domesticated hens, as well as roosters being bred for cockfighting.
The Roosters are bright and colorful. Startling in their beauty with iridescent feathers. They strut around town with the contenance of a king. They seem to sleep from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m. Other than those hours they are active with their loud cock-a-doodle-do. Some of them sound like rooster imitations; like me imitating a rooster.
While the NeNe is the state bird, the Rooser is clearly the most widely recognized. During a visit to Lydgate Beach Park we saw a new family of chickens. The chicks were fresh from the egg, tiny, and following mom in a nice neat line.
The birds have total range of the island. Restaurants, shops, parking lots. Check out the short video of Roosters on the prowl.
Donna and I celebrated on the eve of our 30th. We paddled around Hanalei Bay on the north shore of Kauai. We rented 10-6 Laird Hamilton SUPS. They are big and heavy, but I caught my share of waves at the reef and Donna paddled to the end of the Hanalei River. I took a little break, ate a cookie, then paddled up the river to find her. That’s what I do. Find Donna.
There were fish, turtles, herons, egrets, flowers, rain, and DONNA. I found her just below the bridge. We paddled back in the rain to another stunning sunset. Even caught a few outrigger canoe teams working their stuff. Check out the scene with this 1 minute video.
It’s summer and the living is easy. At least it got that way once I got all my video production jobs out the door. The past few days have had plenty of shapely, little waves to wipe away the woes of work. Not that I mind the work, but this year, for whatever reason, it got a bit overwhelming. Now it’s time to play a bit, and, of course, continue to write.
In the mean time, check out the little surf, set to some street beats, and filtered with a bit of cartoonish fun.
My son, Matthew, and I surfed into sunset on summer solstice. We used to do this every year, but I wasn’t surfing last year, or the seven preceding years for that matter. But then I got into SUP. Then SUP surfing. So Matthew and I planned an outing for Tuesday evening, not realizing that the actual solstice was Monday, but hey, we were close.
We got in the water about 7:30, and got out just before 9. The sun had set, and we had wide grins. My wife, Donna, was there to greet her lads. Matthew, by the way, had never surfed a SUP, but he’s a fitness trainer at Empowered Fitness, has great balance, used to surf a long board with grace and agility, and boy did he take to SUP Surfing like a duck to water. Check it out.
We were packed for a Bolinas outing. We’d planned to paddle the lagoon, check in on the nesting herons and egrets, maybe snag a few waves at one of the surf spots.
The sleepy little town of Stinson Beach is set against the steep western flank of Mount Tamalpais. It’s really quite the treat just standing at the shore looking out to sea, or up the coast toward Bolinas, or over your shoulder to the massive mountain that holds this little town so carefully.
We had a great breakfast at Parkside Cafe, scouted the surf for long enough to know that there might be waves at Bolinas, then hit the road for the last stretch. But by the time we got there the beach was packed, the town was heading toward bumper-to-bumper traffic and it was already 75 degrees.
We paid a short visit to Audubon Canyon Ranch. At least we could see the heron and egret rookeries. But there were none this year. There’s speculation that an increased population of bald eagles may be the culprit.
Onward to Point Reyes Station where we put in to paddle up a creek. Lagunitas creek to be precise. What we found was quite stunning. Maybe a half mile of water just deep enough to paddle. There were cormorants, turtles, and the odd cow in the rolling meadows beside the water. A few fish jumped along the way.
If only I’d brought along the GoPro. But we did visit Spirit Matters, the lovely little shop in Inverness Park that hosts so many treats for the spirit. Donna found a Kwan Yin seated on a turtle, just like the ones we saw in the creek.
The next day, back in Pacifica, I snagged a few little waves right out my own front door. Check it out, all set to some nifty little jazz. Hey, it’s only a minute.
I’m shopping for a new Stand Up Paddle board. My current SUP was fantastic when I got it last summer. But now I have a bit of experience and am ready for an upgrade.
I’ve tried a few and have found that what looks good on paper, or even looks good on the rack or on the floor, isn’t always the one to get. Trying before buying appears to be a pretty good bet, unless you’re willing to grow into the board while flailing and falling and I’m really not.
I thank my friend Eric for giving me the chance to try aKings SUP. The boards are magnificent, and light, and if you check out the two minute video below you’ll see that in the right hands the boards are simply delicious.
I’ll keep you posted on what I end up with, at which point I’ll have a near new F-One Manawa for sale along with it’s expensive FCS board bag.
Now sit back and check out Kings SUP at Santa Cruz’s Indicators surf spot.