Friday, 18 March 2011


Hey Guys-

Quick Maui Update...

Maui's been FIRING these past couple of weeks! We've been sailing
every day for a couple of weeks now. Tuesday, we had a little gift
from the Northern Pacific in the form of a very large swell ...and
those large swells mean one thing: JAWS!...

The place was extremely busy with tow-in surfers, kiters, and now even
regular surfers catching the waves armed with only the power of their
arms to motor themselves into the behemoths! ...that takes some
SERIOUS cojones, respect!... Of course, with the trades blowing, lots
of windsurfers took advantage of the amazing conditions and there were
about 15 or so of us out there.

My boat ride was a little late and I did not get there until about
15:00 PM, but it was a day about as good as it ever gets out there
with only very few occasional west bowl sections closing in,
otherwise, there were a lot of very clean and smooth peeling
waves ...and of course, lots of VERY large sets as well! As it's been
the case in recent swells there, some of the guys are pushing more and
more, with ensuing incredible action, and obviously the occasional
gnarly wipeouts.

The last time I sailed there, it was more than a year ago on a
miserable day of sitting there for hours on end for the wind to
finally come up enough to sail, and rain/drizzle/grey skies and large
chop giving the place an eerie feeling as we could barely see the
coastline. With little experience I misjudged a wave and ended up
taking a large section of the west bowl on the head (The Windsurfing
Movie II) ...still to this day not too proud of it, but it's better to
know what that feels like and have some comprehension of the powers in
place than going larger and larger without knowing what that really
means, so in a way it was a bad for a good.

As such, this time was somewhat redemption time, so I went again with
the idea of taking it one step at a time and getting to know and
understand the place better. I took increasingly larger waves at each
ride. Eventually I was looking at one of the real big ones that were
coming every 15-20 minutes, but with many people in the water and the
wind getting lighter, it was getting harder and harder. The paddle
surfers also came back out in the line up, so after more than an hour
of schlogging back and forth in the red zone, I didn't feel I had the
energy necessary and decided to call it a day while I was ahead.
Myself and a couple of other sailors sailed down the coast back to
Hookipa in a roller-coaster-like run amidst all the very large swells
that were breaking along the coastline.

We arrived at Hookipa at the same time as a very large set exceeding
two masts in height ...not much after the session at Jaws, but not
wanting to push my luck at the finish line, I elected to let it
through and come in on a "smaller" wave right behind it. The ocean
was as frothy as a freshly poured Guinness on St-Patrick's day and it
was very strange to sail in over 6-8 inches of thick foam blowing in
the wind, but touching terra firma was equally nice.

Back at Maliko boat ramp shortly after, we had some serious problems
with the axel on the boat's trailer breaking right as Jason Prior was
pulling the boat out of the water ...we tried transfering the boat
onto another trailer, but without success as the trailer wasn't sturdy
enough ...another broken trailer later, we were finally able to call
it a day, just as darkness was falling.

There were various wipeouts, jetskis lost, major adrenaline rushes and
so many more stories at Jaws that day ...Robby and Kauli both had good
scares, but in the end, everyone made it home safely and with a grin.

Jimmie Hepp was kind enough to give me a few pics ...and he also
posted a few photo albums on his Facebook page ...if you're not
"friends" with him yet, you should do so, his pictures tell many tales
of an incredible day many will remember for quite some time, Jaws as
good as it ever gets!...

Since then, the wind had been blowing harder and harder on Maui ...and
there is no sign of backing off as long as the forecast goes ...Maui
is truly delivering this spring!

More to come where this came from!

Much aloha and happy St-Paddy's day,


P.S. Picture from "Jimmie Hepp on Facebook"!

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