Saturday, May 29, 2010

First week in Hawaii

With a view like this, writing blog entries almost seems like a waste of time. But I have had a couple of days to enjoy the view here in Spreckelsville, Maui. We have been in Hawaii for a bit more than a week now - first attending a conference in Honolulu, then starting our windsurf vacation on Maui 2 1/2 days ago.

Honolulu is probably the loveliest big city that I've seen. On our first day off, we went windsurfing in Kailua bay. We booked a one-day "tour" online at Kailua Sailboard and Kayaks. They picked us up in the morning at the hotel, drove us to Kailua, gave us a locker, and pointed us to the beach (2 min walk). They has a trailer there, where we picked our equipment for the day (116l Synchro/5.9 for me, 106l/4.7 for Nina). The bay is beautiful:

The equipment was ok - riggs in very good shape, boards just a bit beat up. When we went out, we saw why - the chop & swell was a bit much for surfers used to flat water, like us. However, close to the reef, the swell was nice, big, and well organized, and helped me to do a few nice jibes where the push of the waves helped keeping speed.

One our second free day in Oahu, we took a surfing lesson (without the sail) with a very nice local lady. The waves in Waikiki are just perfect to learn surfing. After a 10 minute instruction on the beach, we went out and were told when to paddle and stand up. Since our boards were huge (11 and 12 feet), we got almost evey wave we went for. Lots of fun! I had taken a lesson before in the Dominican Republic, but the success rate in Waikiki was much higher - I think the waves are just a lot easier for learning.

Three days ago, we finally made it to Maui. It had blown 30+ almost every day the week before, but on our first day of surfing, the wind was light. I took a 118l JP SuperSport and a 6.9m sail (the largest they have), and had a blast. Nina was on a 112l FSW with a 5.4. Not many people were out - most either were taking a day off to rest, or have only small gear.

Yesterday, the wind picked up. After a morning drive to Lahaina, I went out for a short run on the 118l board with a 6.2 sail, but the combination was just too big. We went to the store and exchanged the 2 largest sails for small ones, and the boards for 93 and 85l FSWs. We then sailed using 5.4 and 4.2 sails. The wind was down a bit, though, so I was underpowered all the time, and even Nina was planing only half of the time. She had a blast, I was just fighting. When I got going, I found the board a bit to nervous - but perhaps I just did not have enough sail pressure to hang out. Of maybe I need a couple of more days to get used to the gear - this is the second-smallest board I ever sailed, and it's been three or four years that I was on something smaller. I remember that I always needed a week or so to get dialed into the conditions at Cabarete when I went there.

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