North Shore, Oahu: Across the street lies the beach but the surf was a bit much for swimming. Instead, I sat in the shade and watched competitors in an International Surfing Competition. They surfed big waves, staying upright on their surfboards both going out and coming in. I had never seen surfing like that before. I’m glad I watched the surfing that day because the next day, the waves proved too high and hard for even those experts.
The next morning, while still in bed, I heard it start. The waves cranked up the volume with a deep undercurrent in the background and crashing sounds in the foreground. I took my coffee to the beach and admired those waves. Every now and then, a wave would build to a height so that when it broke, it looked like a wall crashing down. The still air felt smooth and silky. That was odd. I was twenty feet away from these majestic waves, and my empty coffee cup had not blown away. As the morning wore on, cameras on tripods amassed around me. Trying to photograph waves is like trying to catch a bird on camera,
On Maui, I watched more waves and more surfers riding the waves. Kite surfers stand with their feet strapped onto a surf board; they have a bar harnessed around their waist; they hold the bar horizontally with their hands and on the bar is attached the strings to a parachute. Some were pros and made it look easy. Others were clearly beginners but they were good to watch because then you could clearly see what needed to be done to make kite surfing work. Next to that, the wind surfing seemed tame; the wind surfers stand on a surfboard having a sail on it. One farm even featured surfing goats. Everybody wants to get into the act. I kept to snorkeling, away from the waves.