Posted by: newenglandsup | March 17, 2009

More Maui

It was all about distance and downwinders the 1st five days we were on Maui. We were supposed to race on Saturday in the Kihei Canoe and Kayak Club’s Son’z relay race but it was cancelled due to conditions. The wind was honking offshore along the route so it could have been messy.

So instead we decided to make a run from the Kihei Wharf to the Four Seasons.

It was Bill, Sue, and I for this run. Sue’s 1st downwinder, I think I was more nervous than she was. She did great, she just couldn’t get back in against the heavy NE winds. We nicknamed her Molokini Sue after this since she seemed to just want to head there the whole trip. Thankfully Bill had a long line on the leash plug of the Penetrator and the Starboard 12-6 that Sue was riding has a leash plug on the nose. He had to give her a tow a couple of times to get her back inside. I was struggling myself to stay inside on the Foote 12-6. You really had to paddle hard and surf the swells all left in order to keep from heading for Tahiti. Had to knee paddle a few times against the wind to get back in just to be sure we would be able to land where we wanted.

The following day conditions were much the same with the winds even a bit harder and still NE. Bill and I did the same run again in the morning and then a big crew met up at the wharf for another immediately after. 18 Standups, a mix of downwind boards and regular. Lots of standupzone folks there. Kicking myself for not taking a bunch of pictures. I was too busy talking and getting ready and once on the water it was all business. Very cool seeing a big group launch at once and start flying down the coast.

My head was acting up for much of the trip due to a headcold and this day it was really bothering me. I felt old and slow. Even the kids were pulling away from me. I had a great view of everyone in front of me and was still having a blast catching glides but still bringing up the rear. We were about a mile into it when all of a sudden someone comes shooting up from behind and says “howzit”. We chatted for bit then he takes off like he has an engine onboard and catches up to Bill who had sat down to wait for me.

The two of them are sitting as I go past and Bill introduces me on the fly to Jeremy Riggs. I had heard about how good Jeremy is but to see him is another matter. Proof that aliens exist I think. Jeremy gives me a couple of tips that all sound very logical and easy and then demonstrates just how easy by accelerating away with just a few flicks of his paddle….must be the anti-gravity device embeded in his board. Just amazing to watch.

The group got very spread out….some folks going way outside…some staying way inside. We were in the middle but decided we needed to get further in as we approached the cove. A bunch of folks were going in at the Cove and had to go to their knees against the wind to make it. We did the same just to get in a little easier. One of the guys had missed the Cove and grabbed on to a mooring buoy to take a breather and the lifeguards came out on a jetski to rescue him. A bit of a overreaction but I guess I can’t blame them. They can’t tell from shore how he’s doing. As a result of that and radiotalk the lifeguards at the next beach whistled us in as we passed to speak with us. They had seen us on our knees and took that as ‘survival mode”. We explained it was simply to get us further inside so we could easily make the Four Seasons and continued on our way.

Swinging a little wide around the next reef found us in some nice swells and I was flying on a long glide when I noticed a huge turtle dead ahead. I started yelling at him to get out of the way. I just missed him as he went under. I’m not sure if there was a turtle convention going on right there or what but I came across 4 more in quick succession. Yelling definitely seemed to help warn them, they all dove much sooner.

The rest of the paddle to the 4 seasons was pretty uneventfull. The wind died a bit as we approached and the water got very choppy/confused. It felt good to drop into the water at the beach after two downwinders back to back.

We were glad to hear that everyone made it in safely later on. The conditions were definitely tough. I was glad Sue had decided not to go with us…we would have seen Molokini for sure.

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  1. Hi Sir.
    Any idea if there are similar blogs like this related to read?

  2. Sure…if you look at the blogroll on the right you’ll see links to a number of them that I frequently visit.

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