Planet Haolewood

A toolbox, a change of underwear, and a surfboard.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Yesterday was the last day of work before my boss left on a two week vacation so it was a bit of a hectic and as it turned out LONG day. A few minutes after I got home my phone rang and I saw it was my boss no doubt calling to tell me one last thing he forgot to tell me before but instead he said merely, “Middles is epic.” I had just cut into an avocado which I had planned to make into the guacamole which forms the centerpiece of my favorite food, the burrito. But upon hearing these words I dropped the avocado, shoved a hastily prepared peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my mouth and headed out the door with my surfboard.

My boss lives a short walk from a spot at the beach where he can easily scope out the surf conditions at his favorite surf spot, Middles. The North side of Kauai doesn’t get much surf during the summer and Middles lies dormant but every once in a while there will be a fluke swell that lights up Middles like a visit from Santa in July. The National Weather Service website hadn’t said anything about it and these summer swells tend to disappear quickly so it’s a good idea to take advantage.

Middles, aptly named, lies in the middle of Hanalei bay and it takes about ten minutes to paddle out to it. “Epic” turned out to be a bit of an exaggeration. The waves weren’t that big but the lack of wind gave the ocean a glassy quality and the only sound during the lulls between waves was the little splashes of the other surfers hands paddling through the water.

I’m a little hesitant to write about surfing because I just don’t think I can do it justice with the written word. I’m afraid it would be like a postcard of The Grand Canyon; it’s just not the same as being there. But I suppose a postcard is better than nothing so imagine a visit to a chiropractor, a masseuse, a personal trainer, a psychiatrist, a priest and a lover all wrapped into one and you’ll have an idea of what a good day surfing feels like. It can be all of those things and yesterday was especially nice since not only were the conditions sublime but it also came as a complete surprise.

I didn’t get out there until six and it’s only light until about 7:30 so as the clouds burned pink with the afterglow of sunset the other surfers paddled in and I was left alone, the last one out, waiting for one more wave to carry me home.


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