While in Florida, I checked out a USA Today and read that Kalapaki Beach on Kauai was closed due to a fuel spill.
Nestled in Nawiliwili harbor, Kalapaki has never been known for its wave quality, but it is where I started riding real waves back in the late seventies. Needless to say, it is a place that is near and dear to my heart, and this news was very disheartening.
The water there has always been dirty from all the ship traffic and from river runoff. I guess we just accepted it back then.
I caught it really good one day all by myself. When I exited the water, I found a sign saying that there was a sewage spill, and the beach was closed. It's no wonder that I got an itch over my body the next few days (maybe caused by my imagination, or maybe not).
Another time, I was bodyboarding with a small group when a little brown fin sliced the surface of the water. In my mind I tried to deny the obvious, and was waiting for a second fin to break the surface, indicating the undulating wing tips of a stingray.
No dice! The fin slowly rose out of the water until it was a full one foot high. Because the water was so dirty, we never saw the body, but we knew that it was a decent size shark. And it was less than 20 yards away!
Everyone just scrambled out of the water and onto the boulder breakwater. The shark eventually sank back down, never to be seen again.
Did we paddle back out? Oh yeah. But it was more a feeble attempt at defiance, than a brave stand. We knew who's the real landlord. We just caught a few to help allay the fear (kinda like getting back in the saddle), then bailed.
I hope Kalapaki gets cleaned up fast. It means a lot to many people, from both an environmental and recreational standpoint. For myself, it's kinda where the passion all started.
p.s. Ahh, what the hell. Check out Secret Spot 1. That was absolutely the best day I ever saw the place break. It's a rare beauty. Shhhh, don't tell anyone. ;)