Author Tony Garcia signs on the North Shore
Honolulu, Hawaii - Febuary 1 - It was
evening when I stepped off the plane at Honolulu International Airport. As I
waited for the shuttle bus to take me to Waikiki I was in an expectant mood.
I had left a flat and rainy California and there was a North Shore swell
according to the online edition of the Honolulu Advertiser. So I checked
into my hotel with sweet dreams of North Shore waves even though I still had
a few things to arrange. I needed a surf board, but I figured I could rent
one near the surf break. I also needed a bike since it's about one of the
best ways to get around Oahu.
The next day I woke up bright and early and
rented a bike, then went for a morning swim. It didn't look good, the sea
behind the Duke Kahanamoku statue was choppy, so I swam in the sheltered
cove in front of the Surfrider Hotel.
The bus dropped me and my bike off on the
North Shore at Sunset Beach. I could see there was indeed a strong 6-8 ft.
swell running accompanied by a brisk 15 knot Northwest wind, in short it was
blown out. "You should have been here yesterday" were the only words of
consolation heard at Sunset, Pipeline, Pupukea, Waimea, and Hale'iwa, but
how many time have we all heard that before.
With surfing not an option other
opportunities presented themselves - in particular to socialize with some of
the North Shore residents.
One of the first contacts I made was with
North Shore Lifeguard Fernando Santos at Ehukai beach or better known as
'Pipeline'. Fernando has a Dutch/Indo wife and is one of those unique
individuals who puts his life on the line for his fellow man. Thanks guys!
At a supermarket parking lot at Pupukea I
met surfboard glasser Guy Frazer and friend Krishna Hemperly. It is amazing
what kind of conversation starts to flow on a surf-less day; we talked
about the fine points of Buddhism and Islam as the shoppers wheeled shopping
carts to their cars.
The one of the many high
points of the trip was the encounter with beachboy Johnny Gomes at Canoes.
He told the story of how Duke Kahanamoku surfed a wave caught somewhere off
Diamond head clear across Waikiki to the harbor about 7 miles. He told me
how Duke trained for the Olympics by racing boats that were going in and out
the harbor. For me Johnny epitomizes the 'Aloha Spirit' that is still alive
in Hawaii. Keep the faith Johnny!
With no surf the following day
there was some time to do a little shopping I bought a new Boardworks epoxy
board at the Blue Planet surf shop. The ladies there really know their
business. At Local Motion I picked up a FCS board bag for the new surfboard.
Manager Frankie Thompson gave me excellent service and I left some books
with him for the reading pleasure of his staff and coffee shop customers.
Blue Planet -
Local Motion -