Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bread and Water

Friday after work I took a detour to baby beach. I had a couple of phone calls to make, so I sat by the ocean playing catch up with friends whilst eking out the last bits of the day.

It’s been calm all weekend with no wind and plenty of waves, here’s Chico checking out the conditions at Hookipa.

I was pulling on my rash guard at Kanaha as a friend (that was just leaving) gave me his report “John was on his stand up and yelled to his buddy ‘dude you’ve got company’ and there were a couple of 8 foot sharks behind him” Seeing my mouth form a long horizontal line he said “Hey don’t worry, they’re not bothering the 30 or so people who are out and there’s also plenty of turtles, it’s beautiful”! I can be flip about sharks as I’ve never seen one and truly believe they are misunderstood, still it’s not exactly what you want to hear just as you’re headed off into the ocean! I figured with my white skin there’s no way they’re gonna mistake me for a seal, so I paddled out thinking way too hard that I wanted to see a turtle.

I didn’t catch shit as it was too big on the outside and too small on the inside and while I didn’t see a turtle or a shark my friend was right, it was beautiful.

There's no such thing as 'too big' for the real surfers...Michelle is that you too deep and about to get worked?!

Double drop.

Looks like bread, tastes like bread and by golly post aqua I did what any self respecting quasi surfer would do, I baked a damn fine loaf of honey wheat bread! Now credit where it's due, all the kneading, baking and rising was handled by a bread making machine. Easy....yes?
Not quite, as this was GP's effort from three weeks ago and even the birds haven't eaten it!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Weekend getaways.

Saturday, I sat at Kanaha for a bit before rigging as I haven’t been sailing in a while. You’d think that would make me all fired up, but in my case crippling uncertainty grows exponentially and harmoniously with the number of dry days on land.

Inside the reef where (this time of year) I feel the safest I share the playground with a few dedicated tricksters. German Michael (as one would expect) is methodical and diligent, sailing everyday 2-3 hours practicing his freestyle and here’s Jay Lee mid........something.

The antidote to my doubt is the tiniest drop of encouragement and as Chico walked by asking why I wasn’t out yet, that was all that was needed to ignite my enthusiasm. It was a 4.0 day with lots of chop, mushy waves at lowers and the weird wave was sporadically showing its frothy head. It was a perfect match to my sailing, choppy, mushy, weird and sporadic, just not dialed in. If GP hadn’t been there to coach me a bit I may well have packed up right there and then. However support won the day and with my new mantra “speed is my friend”, I started to relax and find my inner sailor.

In a bold move, he bought his 81 liter Goya to the beach and had me switch boards. After a few runs I came back to shore to find GP there with Francisco. I’m a low end intermediate sailor who’s used to a flat 86 liter board, so my critique was not exactly technical “Bloody hell” I told them, “it’s like sailing on a sausage”! I’m sure Mr.Goya won’t be plagiarizing that quote while explaining the precise reasoning behind the domed shape of this particular wave board! However, the improvement in my sailing was huge, all of a sudden that elusive gap of sheeting-in far enough finally and effortlessly closed. My god what a lovely rush of euphoria engulfed me when I thought “I’m really sailing” and where oh where did all that doubt go?!

Sunday is fun day for most people and I'm no exception I packed up my toys and headed to Launiopoko to surf.

Fun little waves, clear water, lots of smiles and more than one moment where I was laughing out loud at my own ungainly style.

Not unlike this kid, who's a zen master!

It's all just good clean family fun, where you can work on your tan.....

....or not.

Show off your athletic prowess...

...or not.

And where you're never too old to play like the little kids....

and never too young to play like the big ones.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Camera Shy.

Well that was a short honeymoon! The feel, the look, the weight the dials, the features, the ease of use, the 4 x AA batteries, even the battery door are all perfection personified and then we come to the quality……ah yes the quality and here in lies the possible deal breaker. (Cosmo, wondering why I'm moaning about the quality when he's never looked more handsome).

Rats, drat and double drat, shame on me because I fell so soon for what I believed was the perfect mate but guess what, in one major area the Canon is flawed (will I never learn)! My girlfriends and I have always said you only get 80% of what you want in a man and there’s always that 20% you didn’t count on. The question is can you live with that 20%? (Tree and gear, despite not being human working in perfect harmony, proving my aforementioned theory total rubbish).

Aghhhhh and here in lays my camera angst. For the majority of photos this baby is a dream, but when I’m at The Point at Hookipa, neither the Auto, Sport or the newly tried today TV aperture/ISO settings give me the crisp and sharp image I’m looking for and that ladies and gentlemen is a big bloody deal. So do I adapt, working with this fantastic foundation learning to love it warts and all, or do I ditch this puppy, keep my standards and look for the next fish in the sea? (Above is a mildly acceptable image from today's big surf, but it was just one of a few satisfactory pici's out of many taken).

As an aside having tested the 20 x optical zoom it works beautifully with the self timer and a stationary object......could it possibly be me? Lemme know wotcha think.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I'm in love!

The object of my desire has been a bit elusive, but after many dates with the Nikon and then the Sony, it was love at first click with the Canon Powershot SX 10 IS . I have to thank my bro for playing cupid, though how he knew from across the pond that I would be a match with this particular make and model is still a mystery to me. Anyway, I'm in the blissful honeymoon stage of relationship and forsee (as one does) a long and happy liaison in my future, finally!

I've barely got to page 6 of the instruction manual and truth be told, feel like I need a night school class to understand most of the jargon. However, here's a little preview of the magic qualities (that I've unearthed so far) of this stunning camera

And with my 20x optical zoom I can surreptitiously capture all the boy's best bits. The Maui male uniform is so much better than a suit and tie.

But before I bid a fond adieu to my other cameras, here's a final snap that begs the caption "OK-one of us should probably not be buying ice cream"! ...judgemental, hell yes, but funny none the less.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Growing pains.

I’m becoming mildly obsessed about the food I feed my body. Having just read Barbara Kingsolvers’ Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I couldn’t help but wake up to the tragedy that has become the American chemical plant that most of us consume and pretend is nutritional cuisine.

If you consider the amount of poisoned, genetically modified, and well travelled garbage we eat, it’s no wonder that in the West cases of ADHA, Alzheimer’s and Obesity are on the rise. Not to mention the fossil fuel consumption in transporting said poison and subsequent burdon on our health systems (personal and national). We are voluntarily polluting ourselves and our environment and for the most part we don’t even know it…..or even worse, we do know it and don’t care.

My Dad worked as a wholesale Fruit and Veg merchant his whole life so I’ve always had a fondness for markets, finding them a real hub of any village, town or city. At the end of each week he received a ‘goody bag’ of produce with the silent caveat “Just in case you were thinking of nicking something-here’s some free stuff so you don’t”! Therefore we were a vegetable rich family, though I confess to sometimes scoffing at mere receipt of free potatoes, carrots and onions….."where are the Uglis, Satsumas and the other really good stuff"? Clearly back then I was already missing the point, ungrateful for the staples and already lured by the imported exotics.

Despite my taking those veggies for granted I do remember they had real flavor, something that has been genetically removed these days in favor of shelf life. I guess with 7 billion people on the planet to feed I can understand the logic, but I for one am sick to death of eating dead tasteless veggies, which is why I started my own garden using seeds from Europe.
(Ooofff that was a tough paragraph. I'm still grappling with myself "should I put the 'U' back in flavour & favour?")

So today when I went to our local farmers market in Makawao I had that same giddy glee as when I used to opens Dad’s weekly goody bag. “What did we get, what’s in season and wtf is that”?! The relief I had in talking to local farmers who knew their product inside and out, the soil, the growing time, what they fed the chickens and the passion and pride they had in selling their produce was deeply satisfying. And cheap…….!

Look at lovely Andrea (aka Superagentatlarge) with her bountiful produce, Sistah, your Poha Berries were bloody delicious, proving a tiny point that you don't have to import exotic produce especially to a place like Hawaii. It all brings a whole new meaning to the term 'local'.

As for my own garden well, it’s a bit of a see-saw ride between gratification and disappointment. Look at this beautiful egg plant but there’s only one and its taken two months (at least) to show up. Plus wtf are those white lave looking things just waiting to bury themselves into the flesh of my dinner the day I harvest it? Still, when it is cut from its green umbilical cord I will no doubt require an audience and an enthusiastic round of applause, not dissimilar to that of parents at a crap school play.

It’s a humble start and I notice in these uncertain times I feel the desire to dig for victory and become mildly self sustaining. It sounds like a crazy notion but the idea of growing the main stay of my own vegetable intake (don’t worry I’m not going native) is absurdly appealing to me. Time will tell, in a few books from now will the inspiration of Barbara Kinsolvers quest to feed her family for a year have disappeared or properly taken root?