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

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Butterfly Effect 2011

A few weeks back I was sitting in my car as a hard rain fell, watching a group of women pulling weeds from the side of the Hookipa parking lot. Mud was starting to run down the pavement and everybody was soaking wet.  At that moment I had a difficult time envisioning how the fifth edition of the Maui Butterfly Effect would become yet another shining success.  However, within a few minutes the tropical showers ended and a bright sun came out.  The girls were soon gathered on the beach in a large circle practicing yoga in warm sunshine and all was well.  Well mostly.  The showers eventually returned along with an inconsistent wind, and the Hookipa lifeguards recommended that the down winder be moved to the sunnier and drier Specks location.

Which in the scope of things is no big deal.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.  You might ask just what is this Butterfly Effect.  In a nutshell, its a noncompetitive ocean sport gathering for women that takes place in various water sport locals across the globe. It started on Maui in 2007and since has spread to diverse locations around the planet, such as Hood River OR, Cabarete DR,  Fiji, Italy, and so on.  Tatianna Howard has been the main organizer behind the Butterfly Effect and she's done an awesome job keeping these running as smoothly as possible while growing the effect.  This year's Maui edition started with the a fore mentioned Hookipa weed removal and native planting.  After that came group yoga on the beach, a blessing for the participants, and the big down winder to Kanaha (which would have been from Hookipa if the wind had cooperated) for about 50 paddle boarders (SUPs), 25 windsurfers and 25 kiters.  The kiters actually did launch from Hookipa along with a few windsurfers (Nori and Junko) .

Julia was a group leader for the windsurfers, and I was an unofficial photographer, rigging caddy, cheer leader, and car driver.  After the girls launched from Sprecks, we all met again at Kanaha for a picnic catered by Flatbread Pizza, and then a beach cleanup under the guidance of the Maui Surfrider foundation.  If that sounds like a lot of activities, well it was, or at least I was tired by the end.  But that wasn't all!  That evening there was a fashion show at the Thee Salon in Paia (and I was the unofficial fashion show photographer as well), followed by  dancing at Moana Cafe.  Whew! Quite a day, but with smiles all around.  OK, here's my unofficial photos.  Enjoy!

These weeds are going down, rain or shine!

Julia rigged up for the Hookpia - soon to be moved to Sprecks - launch. But she was ready!

The always popular (for both photographers and participants) beach yoga...

Next stop Specks and some group photos.

The oh so lovely windsurfers were getting ready to launch.

As fifty paddle boarders headed toward Camp One and Kanaha.

A quick group hug and pre launch flight check for the windsurfers.

And then it was off to the horizon for the butterflies.

At the picnic site (near kite beach Kanaha) I was mesmerized by this amazingly detailed (and somewhat anatomically correct) carved stump.

Finally, as mentioned earlier, there was a fashion show in the evening. I got lots of pictures. Next post...

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's Lahaina Noon !!

Since the world decided to keep on living, we made it to a very important astronomical milestone. That magical time that occurs just twice a year in the tropics - Lahaina noon. It's when the sun at high noon (according to the sun, not a clock) is exactly 90 deg over head. It's when poles and tall buildings (assuming they're straight) cast no shadow. So Wooh-Hooh! Here's to Lahaina noon, which unofficially occurred at Kanaha at 12:32pm on May 23, according to my precise coconut water can measuring system. Here you can see the results...

Not quite there at 12:31pm - still a wee shadow...

But at 12:32 - look Ma, no shadow!!  These pictures are taken from three different angles just to prove the point. (PS - you can't take a picture from straight above, otherwise the camera shadow covers the can. Duh!).

Well that's certainly exciting.  Personally I think Lahaina noon should be celebrated as much as all the other silly astronomical dates, such as winter solstice (shortest day, sun reaches lowest point in sky), spring and fall equinox (length of day and night are equal, sun is 90 deg over the equator), and summer solstice (longest day, and for those outside the tropics the sun reaches the highest point). The cool thing about Lahaina noon is 1) in the US it only occurs in the state of Hawaii which of course is the only state situated between the tropics.  So you got to be here to dig it. (why isn't the HI tourism dept promoting this big time?) 2) anyone with a can of soda can determine when it occurs.  Since most school kids drink like 20 sodas a day they should have no problem with this experiment.  It's not so easy to figure the other solstice dates unless you have one of those Egyptian pyramids where a tiny beam of light on exactly the right moment lights a magnifying mirror which ignites a flame which burns a rope and unleashes a giant boulder which chases Indiana down a steep path and so on.  3) Hey, you got no freaking shadow!  That should be cool enough.

So for the next two months the sun heads a bit north of us here on Maui, and the north side of buildings become the sunny side and all that moss starts to wilt. Like there is any moss here (hint: NOT!).  But speaking of moss, we will be back in Hood River in eight days.  The weather there this week calls for lots of rain, high temps around 59, river temp is only 54 and it's flooding as we speak.  Nice.  I'm sending some of my Lahaina noon sun vibes up there - hope that helps.

As for windsurfing, it's been spanking windy for the last three days or so and looks to continue all week and perhaps the rest of the summer. We had what may be the last decent  swell last Friday when sets of perhaps 10-12 ft showed up on the north shore.  I sailed lowers and I'm sure I won't see anything like that until our return to Maui in the fall. Missing it already!  Meanwhile a potentially decent sized (head high) SW swell is just showing up on the leeward shores.  You never know on Maui what will sneak past all the islands from that direction, but a few days of surfing sure would be nice.

Anyway, Lahaina noon - enjoy it!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's the End of the World ...

... and I think you know the punch line. So it's another freaking beautiful day here on Maui and I guess the world isn't ending so soon. Fortunately not, as we have some late May moderate NW swell aiming at the north shore right now with some medium to high level south swell on tap for next week. Wouldn't want to miss that! Speaking of next week - it's our last full week on Maui, and then we take - what is effectively now a summer break - back to Hood River and the Gorge. We're looking forward to HR and all the fun a summer in the Gorge entails. And yet we will be missing our friends and the island life in general. Maui is an addicting place I must admit. If you get used to the lifestyle here and it's a life you enjoy, then it may become difficult to live anywhere else. Let that be a warning for those who visit too frequently.

Some of the three people still following have asked me "what's up with the two month gap in posts"? Well not much has happened in two months. Actually not true! In fact just the opposite - simply put, I've been very very busy. The thing is I have this regular job. I'll spare the details but it is in the area of developing software for a west coast startup. Which periodically has major releases and we've just been - in fact are still going - through that process now. I wake up most days around 5:45 and put in a regular work day, which ends around 1-2-ish. Then it's usually off to the beach for a few hours of sailing, surfing or whatever. I work from a home office which can in theory be anywhere, though in practice is best to be either on pacific time or, as it turns out even better, Maui time. Anyway it can be fairly challenging work when deadlines approach. So after working a full day and then a few hours of playing in the surf, when I get home I have about zero desire to fire up the PC and sit next to a desk. The couch or bed is a much better option! (Maui midnight = 8:30 for me). Unless there's something really dramatic to report (like the end of the world or lack thereof). I know, it's a tough life. Let me show you how tough - here's a typical morning view from my office after my "commute"

The sunsets from here aren't too bad either...

Whenever I step outside my office the local cats attack..

Back when winter was still "raging" we had an all night lightening storm that took out our power for a bit.

So now that my work load has lightened slightly I'm going to try to push out a few more posts sooner than every two months.
Such as...
- The epic sessions "Reach for the Sky" didn't quite happen but I got some nice practice photos
- Our Goya gear and why we love it so
- 2011 Butterfly Effect
- Another Paia fashion show
- What's it like to spend an entire winter on Maui (hint, not too shabby)
- Fins, fins, fins
- Videos - I've seen some cool ones, maybe I'll do another myself some day
- Helmets - I wear one, maybe you should too?

Copyright © 2011 Jamin Jones, All rights reserved.