20 May 2010

Drama on the High Seas (Canoes)

In the late morning, I put on my sleeveless shorty and walked the short distance from our hotel on Waikiki Beach to Moku, eager to repeat yesterday's awesome surf session on the 8'2" NSP. Alas, the board was already rented, and the little shop had nothing else to offer that was around 8 feet long and not a soft-top. So I walked another half block to Koa, which had a bigger selection. I passed on an 8' fattie and took out a Koa 8-footer instead. I had only a couple of hours to surf, but it was just $15 for the rest of the day.
The board proved suitable but the surf was not as fabulous as yesterday, though still good, with many fun rides left and right. I got a stoking super long ride all the way in to the swimming area by the beach, and had just paddled back nearly to the lineup when a bigger set wave came through, sending kook boards flying toward me. I caught the whitewater in a little, and collided fairly gently with another board. Tossed into the water, I immediately turned toward the other rider with a "Sorry! Are you OK?" To my horror, he was floating face down and motionless. OMG! Dude, are you dead?! I swam over and touched his arm, and was relieved when he flipped himself and said he was alright. But still, he wasn't moving. I asked if I could help him, but he waved me off. Then I glanced at his longboard, which was modified with foam paddling and straps, and it dawned on me that he was in some way partly paralyzed. I offered to help him get back on his board, but he again refused. By then a couple of muscular Aussies had swum out to us from the beach, and he let them take charge of putting him right again. Guess maybe he just didn't want assistance from a girl. Feeling useless, I paddled back out. I saw the guy later in the lineup, lying facedown on his board, with another surfer pushing him at times. Of all the people to run into at a crowded break - and he was the only one - I had to hit a disabled guy! Bah.

While I was chatting with a woman from Vancouver (Darelle?), a sea turtle swam under my board, then took up brief residence under hers. Unfortunately he took a fancy to her leash, first nibbling it and then getting entangled so Darelle had to take off her leash to free him. After being so close to turtles in the ocean the last few days, it made me sad to see one later on TV, surfacing in a patch of spilled oil in the Gulf.


  1. Great shot of the canoe coming through. Looks like they got a fun wave.

  2. The canoe looked fun. But not as fun as surfing :-)

  3. Wow, that would have been freaky. I am glad you didn't actually ask him if he was dead!!