A Box of Chocolates-- 10/20/96

Throughout the week, gusty trades blew in the 15-30 mph range. The forecast for a small south swell proved to be just another false rumor, and the North Shore lay dormant. The weekend wasn't looking too promising. Fortunately, the winds started easing off a bit on Saturday, so we planned to hit the east side of the island in search of some wind swell action. It was the best we could hope for.

On Saturday night, my wife and I watched Forrest Gump for the umpteenth time. Does everything have a preset destiny (like Lt. Dan thought), or are we going through life without a path (floating like a feather in the wind)? Hmmmm...

Picked up Jimmy and Jerry real early--they were both rarin' to go. I guess last weekend's fun session kept them stoked and eager.

We headed out to this military base on the east side, hoping to catch some good solitary action. At 6, we reached the gate, and were waved through. However, after a second glance, the gate guard yelled at us to stop. He had seen Jimmy's surfboard in my car and told us that they were enforcing an old rule where you couldn't surf on Sundays till noon.

Fark! There went our plans. We were pissed, but couldn't do anything, so we u'eed around and headed east looking for waves around the coast.

As we passed by Makapu'u, things weren't looking too promising. I thought the recent winds would have cranked up the shorebreak more, but it wasn't even head-high. Oh well. We pushed on to see if Sandy Beach's Full Point might be working.

Just passed Makapu'u is a scrub area where developers have been trying to start building houses and a golf course. Don't know what the status is out there, but the Save Sandy Beach coalition is sure to be watching.

At Sandys I talked to my good friend Wendall Aoki who was setting up a HASA (Hawaii Amateur Surfing Association) contest. I guess we weren't surfing there. After getting the latest scoops, I asked him about this surf spot near the scrub area known as Allen Davis. He said it might be good and pointed me the way, so we backtracked and checked it out.

(BTW, I'm one of the minority that believe that surfing contests are a good thing. Hope this doesn't spawn a flame war.)

I had never surfed there before (neither had the others), so you know there was a little bit of apprehension in the car. The waves looked decent, but not great. There was no one out so we didn't know what peak to go out to. But then again, there was no one out!!!

We paddled out off the semi-rocky shoreline and into the unknown. The swell seemed to be angling in at a 45 degree angle, creating some long, head-high lefts with peaky sections. Since it was still early, the winds were fairly light, sometimes bordering on being glassy. However, there was lots of chop as the swell interval was short.

When we got to the lineup, we soon realized that it was a bit more challenging than we thought. There was an inside shelf that sucked up the water with an incoming wave. Don't know what the tides were like, but this shelf produced a small 1-2' double-up step. Not terribly dangerous since the reef was fairly flat and deep (4-5 ft on the inside), but enough to make the ride a little more exciting.

Jerry jumped into it like a kid in a candy store, paddling for everything and doing fairly well on his bodyboard. Jimmy had a more difficult time negotiating the drops on his shortboard, but eventually got into it and caught some nice ones. As for me, it was a welcomed relief to be back on my bodyboard. I had fun taking some late drops and even got a couple of "small-kine" tubes.

At about 8:30, the light breezes turned into a constant side-onshore wind; it was as if someone turned on a big fan. The waves got a little bumpier, but it still had fair form.

Throughout the session, only about six other people joined us, and they never headed for the peak. We pretty much had the break to ourselves the whole time.

During the session, we somehow got into a conversation of Jimmy drowning. Jerry and I jokingly said we would take his wetsuit and surfboard. On my very next ride, I took off on this small inside wave that closed out. I straightened out, only to be engulfed by the lip. As I was tossed around, I scraped my elbow on the reef. Served me right for the bad joke--always respect the ocean.

Later, we paddled in, knowing that we scored. If we had gotten onto the base, there was no way we would have gotten the quality of waves that we did.

It was a really interesting sequence of events that finally led to us surfing at Allen Davis. First, there was no ground swell anywhere, then we got barred at the gate, next we couldn't surf at Sandy's because of the contest. Was it destiny that eventually led us to Allen Davis, or pure chance? Well, sometimes life is like a box of chocolates... you never know what you're going to get!

Aloha from Paradise,

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