Windsurfing, surfing, Maui, The Gorge, and random rants.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Days of Kona, Nights of Thunder
If you like interesting weather then this has been the winter for you. I just looked at the weather maps for next week and ... and... I have to save that for my next post. Anyway, until a few weeks ago I thought Maui wasn't capable of producing any real thunderstorms. By real I mean the kind that can hit say eastern Virgina or North Carolina (where I grew up actually) in the late spring or early summer. The kind where continuous lightening flashes for hours and hits things really close by. The kind where thunder wakes you out of bed, goes all night and rattles anything loose (like your brain). The kind where a non-stop deluge of heavy rain floods roads and causes mud slides and turns benign streams into raging torrents.
So we've had two storms like that in the past few weeks. Kind of cool actually! Not only that but we've had more than a week of continuous kona winds. Not always strong enough for kona sailing, but definitely nothing from the usual trade direction. So not much windsurfing lately for team us, though we did have one awesome day last week in Lowers, before the konas started. There were head high to logo high waves, not too strong wind, and smooth faces. Ahhh, more of that please!
Since then it's been mostly about the surfing. We had a great day last Sunday surfing lowers, which was extra exciting as the kona winds were blowing a ton of spray over and behind the wave faces, right onto those of us hanging in the lineup. Never experienced that before and have to admit it makes the waves seem that much bigger. I only got two good wave rides (I discovered it's hard to catch waves when the wind is blowing you backwards) but they were probably the best waves I've ever caught in my still nascent surfing experience. Once on the wave it was buttery smooth, and wave face was held up by the off shore winds so the ride was much longer than usual.
Two days ago the kona winds were strong enough for windsurfing. Julia and I decided to head to lanes to watch the mostly pro crowd in action. The following pictures came from that day. Hope you enjoy!
Lately there have been these big glowing clouds at evening ... very pretty but don't count on getting any sleep tonight...
At Hookipa there was some big surf at the end of the rainbow.
The kona winds added a nice veil of spray to the larger waves. Kuau was looking very gnarl.
The waves of Lanes and Hookipa
The windsurfers were all down in lanes. Very light winds on the inside, gusty on the outside, and very ridable waves in the middle. These shots include Kai Lenny, Jason Polakow, Robby Swift and others.
Francisco with a new hair cut (easier to wash, but harder to recognize)
Pascal who was the final sailor to come in and is the king of kona winds.
The winds were getting lighter in the evening. It was definitely not easy getting back to the beach.
Meanwhile up at Hookipa the surfers were putting on their own awesome show.
After all this amazing action, weather, and scenery, on the drive home we were blessed to see the beacon of spiritual light that comes from the Church of the Sacred Glowing Coke Machine.