Windsurfing, surfing, Maui, The Gorge, and random rants.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dog Days of December

It's December 21, the shortest day of the year and the first day of winter. And it's been nothing but hot and steamy on the islands with no wind. It reminds me of late August on the east coast. HHH we used to call it - hot hazy humid. Good time for some afternoon couch napping. Not something I normally experience on the winter solstice. But hey, it could be worse.

Two years ago we were back in the Hood at this time. It snowed for two weeks straight leading up to Christmas and never got above freezing. I had a lot of shoveling to do!

Then after the snow, it rained hard for two weeks (flooding in the town plus rain on the ski area) and after that several weeks of an inversion settled in the gorge (freezing fog!).  So actually, right now I don't mind hot and humid so much.

But some wind would be nice.  We have had some nice surf sporadically.  The north pacific is currently in what the weatherman call an "omega" block. Sounds like a cheap sci-fi film from the 70's.  But this is for real. We got low pressure to the west, a high way up north, and another big low to the east.  A picture tells the story...

The good news there is another decent north fetch is setting up to bring some nice surf for Christmas day.  All those new surf boards are going to get wet!  There's also an outside chance the trades might sneak in the day before.  I'm not holding my breath but maybe we'll get lucky.  We got lucky one day last week and I got a picture of Julia coming in to prove it...

Other exciting news from other blogs...  Jeff at Maui Windsurfing reports that the meeting regarding the kiteboarding FAA waiver didn't change anything.  The controversy from the windsurfing side was that a month or so ago a kiter had initiated an altercation with a windsurfer or two and this occurred in Uppers where kiters are technically not allowed. The kiter knocked down a windsurfer (after some verbal back and forth my wave stuff) and then tried to run over said windsurfer who was still in the water.  To me kiters are generally not a problem in uppers as long as they don't crowd everyone out.  It's sort of the same situation that SUPs and surfers are going through.  Kiters can generally out maneuver windsurfers and because they require more room in general (hello 50 ft lines)  they can possibly take all the waves.  But again this is normally not an issue with most kiters in Uppers. Be nice to find out who the one bad apple is and specifically ban him though.  But that story didn't come up so looks like no changes and hopefully we'll all just get along.

And moving on to other news... I got a story.  In my last post I mentioned coming down with a sudden fever and feeling lousy for a week.  Actually I'm still not feeling 100% and it's been three weeks since this started.  Anyway, last week I got a call from the doc and it turns out they sent my tests to Oahu to screen for typhus, just in case (takes more then a week to process the test).  Well it turns out that's what I had.  Lucky for me they put me on exactly the right anti-biotic (doxycycline) two days after symptoms started (when I had a temperature of 103) and that was early enough to avoid major problems - at least that's how it appears.  This is murine or endemic typhus, not to be confused with typhoid fever (completely different) or epidemic typhus (which is a slightly different bug and is the plague like typhus that has killed many millions in the past).  Murine typhus isn't quite that bad but it can still be deadly and/or cause pretty severe health issues.

So Maui actually has a fair amount of this typhus going around.  I had no idea.  Some years they've had as few as 5 cases, other years 40 or more.  And the health dept told me many cases are unreported.  The good news is I'm now immune.  Whoot!  As for how I got it - who knows?  It's spread by fleas that can come from small furry mammals.  I've decided that I might be a victim of the Kanaha wild cats who overrun the park every night.  Cute but deadly!

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