Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hawaii 4-0, Part 2 - Let's Go Surfin' Now (And Other Aquatic Adventures)

There is just something about warm tropical waters, smooth sand and crashing waves to play around in that sooths the soul and we took full advantage of the ocean and shore on this trip.

On our first whole day on Maui, a Sunday, we kicked off with a nice four mile run along the coastal road to burn off some of the previous evening’s dinner and drinks. Sure, we were running, but what a view! However, that was all the “work” we did the rest of the day as we decided to take it easy and join our friends Matt and Kristine at their low key pad right on Napili Bay. Their little condo complex sat directly above the beach on the relatively unpopulated, but extremely beautiful stretch of sand. Playing in the waves, soaking up the sun and, well, not doing much else really fit the bill. This is a LONG way from cold, rain and stressful jobs and oh how good it felt. The nice Maui Brewery Bikini Blond beers didn’t hurt either.

Monday we decided to take surf lessons. This was something I always have wanted to do, and I figured if not now, when?

Joined now by our friend Sean who arrived Sunday, Matt, Kristine, Diane and I signed up for the lessons from the pros right in front of the Westin Resort on Kanapali beach. These guys know their stuff and from their tans, tattoos and attitudes…you know these surfers are gonna make sure you ride at least one wave under their tutelage. And they did. But first, they taught us the moves needed stand up on a board as it’s propelled through by a wave. After that it was out into the ocean where we took turns as instructors gave us tips and helped us catch waves by shoving our boards forwards at just the right time. After this “launch” you are supposed to through your moves to stand up and then ride the wave in. Diane rode one of her first waves in. Sean and Kristine soon picked it up. It took me a little longer, but low and behold I did do it at least once.

On one of my tries I picked up a surfing souvenir - a scrape to the palm of my hand from the coral that resides only a few feet under the surface of the water. Oh well. It proved to be an exhilarating couple hours…and we have pictures to prove it.

At left is a shot of me "up" on the surfboard...not a great picture or anything, but proof!

On Tuesday, we took off for the south coast of the island for some great snorkeling in one of the many little coral-formed bays that you can find there. Each of them is its own tropical fish bowl with loads of colorful and exotic fish – bright yellow, black and white spots, neon blue and pink, pencil thin, striped and more. Quite simply, some of the best snorkeling we’ve ever done. Below is a picture of the stretch of coast near where we snorkeled.

Our other water sports activities on this trip simply consisted of body surfing, boogie boarding and generally just dinking around in the waves at one of the wonderful beaches on Maui.

One of these outings proved to be a little costly too. After snorkeling, our group headed for Big Beach – a broad sandy stretch lined by palm trees and just about as perfect of a beach as you’d ever want. After greasing up with suntan lotion I picked up our beach football and began throwing it with Sean and my brother-in-law, Matt (not the same Matt as mentioned before). Standing in the surf flinging the ball around was really fun…until the ball came to me real low and I jabbed my hands downward to catch it. Lifting the ball out of the surf I instantly realized THAT MY WEDDING RING HAD FALLEN OFF!

Panicked, I looked quickly in the shallow water to see if I could quickly spot and scoop up the ring. But, it was not to be as a wave came crashing through and then withdrew – either burring the ring or hauling it out to the ocean. After about 30 minutes of looking I gave up. Diane didn’t think it was too big a deal. After all, it didn’t lose HER and a ring can be replaced. At least if I lost it, it was to the ocean in Hawaii and not, for example, at a football game as was my near miss a year or so ago...which you can read about by clicking here. None the less, I was pretty bummed for a few hours. I guess I know what I’m getting for Christmas this year!

Next up, I’ll be back to post about some of the great places we ate in Maui.

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