Surfin Safari

P1020251by cheri

One of my fitness goals is to be able to stand up on a paddle board in Hawaii and keep my balance. I’d also like to be able to pull myself back up on my board after I invariably fall off. Of course, I will need arm strength to paddle around the bay and wave back at the beachcombers. I can now do 8 push ups, so I am on my way.

But let it be said that  I’ve never been comfortable in the ocean, even in a kayak. Out in San Simeon Bay in my own yellow boat, I feel like a vulnerable banana who will become food for a Great White shark. When I heard the news report of a sea otter hurdling itself into a kayak, I paddled feverishly for the beach and was dumped by a mini-wave into the sand, where I had my teeth flossed a’ naturale.

But in my fantasy world, I am a fearless surfer. No wave intimidates me. Like a dolphin, I sail up and out of the froth and then dive back deep into it in perfect arcs.

Last weekend, as I looked through my Lumix lens at the biggest waves ever to greet my eyes and listened to the deafening roar of each set of three twenty-footers (or more) pounding the shore with the ferocity and stamina of an angry water god, Nature’s capricious moods thrilled me.

P1020242I ordered a smoothie at the little hut by the shore and prayed that a brave surfer would enter the water and create the physical contrast I hoped to capture. The Smoothie God (non-alcoholic) delivered on her promise.

P1020264One leg out. Can he catch the wave?

P1020313He does. My camera cooperates. I spill my smoothie in my excitement and haste. The waiter and water rush over.

P1020258Across the bay by Fleming Beach, people challenge the warnings.

Fleming Beach, Kapalua, Maui

Fleming Beach, Kapalua, Maui

I put my camera on the table and try to drink the last bit of smoothie. No one can hear the rumble I create at the bottom of the glass because the ocean noise is deafening. I can be uncouth!

The surge of wind, water, air, and smoothie tell me, ” Get thee to a gym so you, too, can ride the waves…”

I go immediately.

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About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
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17 Responses to Surfin Safari

  1. Wishing u surfing success!

  2. ShimonZ says:

    Sounds great. Even if you’re at your best in the little yellow boat, you have the imagination to bring the surfing experience to the page.

    • Cheri says:

      Thank you, Shimon. I am blessed with a fertile imagination which has gotten me into a lot of trouble throughout the years, especially as a little girl. Thinking of you in Israel and sending you strength and resolve. Keep writing and photographing.

  3. wkkortas says:

    You want to be a surfer? Was it the Elvis movies?

    • Cheri says:

      OK. My second boyfriend Mark W. was a surfer. He took me to Santa Cruz for our first date. I laid on the surfboard and he paddled us out to the waves. (You have to picture what that looked like because I am not going to put it to words.) When I described our position to my father, my father told me I was never going surfing with a boy again. That was my attraction to surfing… my hot date.

      Fast forward 47 years. I see people my age standing up on a surfboard and just paddling around the Hawaiian coastline. They have perfect balance, strong quads and hamstrings, and rock-solid arms. I, on the other hand, am on the beach–with a tropical drink in my hands and a Scrabble game at my feet. My husband is way out in the ocean snorkeling. He emerges from the surf looking like Adonis with a little belly. I share my desire to paddleboard and he laughs. That did it.

  4. shoreacres says:

    Eight pushups! Look at you! That’s more impressive than those glorious waves you’ve brought us. Well, as impressive. Those are some waves, for sure.

    I watch the paddle-boarders from my computer from time to time. I have a view right down the main fairway of our marina, and it’s large enough for kayakers, paddle-board sorts, and Sunfish sailors. The paddle-boarders tend to appear on the weekend, usually in the early morning, when the water is smooth. Smooth seems to be important for the sport. Or smoothies. Whichever.

    One thing’s for sure. You’ll never catch me on a surfboard, or probably even a paddle-board.YOLO, and all that, but I’d prefer to extend that “once” for as long as I can.

    • Cheri says:

      Good strategy, that YOLO. Since IOLO, I hope to extend my lifespan by being capable of doing 25 push-ups and maybe paddle-boarding. I have been a needy and wimpy rower in my kayak, usually needing a tow into shore.

      I’m pleased you enjoyed the photos. Enthralling to be there and hear them.

  5. Your photographs are stupendous. Each, is worthy of enlarging and filling a wall to remind of the continuous, thundering roar and of our puny existence. I love the sea and all its uncompromising moods and demands

    Those foolhardy observers are not so much challenging the warnings as seduced and offering themselves as a sacrifice to Nature herself. A little more cunning than that is needed to take on the elements: I’m sorry I didn’t put on a better show for you.

  6. Richard says:

    Your photographs are stupendous. Each, is worthy of enlarging and filling a wall to remind us of the continuous, thundering roar and of our puny existence. I love the sea and all its uncompromising moods and demands

    Those foolhardy observers are not so much challenging the warnings as seduced and offering themselves as a sacrifice to Nature herself. A little more cunning than that is needed to take on the elements: I’m sorry I didn’t put on a better show for you.

    • Cheri says:

      Nest take on those punies on the rock, Richard.
      I adore the ocean and wish I were more comfortable in it.
      Like mountains, wild rivers, and vast deserts, the sea does have a humbling and meditative effect on the ego.

  7. Christopher says:

    It’s the end of a perfect day
    For surfer boys and girls
    The sun’s dropping down in the bay
    And falling off the world
    There’s a diamond in the sky
    Our evening star
    In our Shangri-La

    This song does it for me each time I see, or think of, beaches, waves, and surfers.

    If music be the food of love………….

  8. Brighid says:

    Love your great pictures. I have a new to me sea kayak… it has only dumped me out twice so far, proving that age and wisdom do not necessarily go together…
    Push ups are best done on a comfy mattress….

    • Cheri says:

      I’ve been reading your blog, Brighid. Is it a sit-on-top kayak or one that you are down in (and thus, have to know how to do the “roll”?). My push-ups are very painful. Since I hurt my wrist last year in golf and have to wear a brace, doing push-ups the traditional way are impossible. I have to do them up on my knuckles. Hope your dad is doing ok. Your last blog indicated he had some health problems.

      • Brighid says:

        It is a sit in kayak with a rudder thingy, I love it! Moves through the water so nicely. I still have to learn to roll it in deep water, it was in a foot of water when I did it…lol Dad has been cleared for the next step, the biopsy. Just waiting on the surgeon now! Thank you for asking about him!

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