Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Spot the difference

A new job means a new bike. Those are the rules, right? I am more than content with half a new bike this time around. The hypnotic GIF below reveals that not only did I build a new bike, but I simultaneously tidied the kitchen. I am a domestic god.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

What I did on my holidays

Last week flew by in a blur of preparations, travel arrangements, transporting of awkward 16-foot long surfboards, among other new experiences. Rather than try to make a story out of all of that, here are some moments I remember the most clearly.

This photo shows the paddlers heading out to the downwind SUP race from Moliko Gulch to Kahululi a few days before we came back for me to have a go.  Though I continuously fell off (occasionally onto my head), tied myself up with the leash, and generally flapped around in the water for most of the way... I did experience a few satisfying rides on the swell and slightly got used to the weird (to me) SIC downwind board. I can see how this would a lot of fun when you have the skills for it.

This is how you would expect a volcano crater to look, right? Well that's exactly how it looked, except those are clouds blowing by, not steam from the ground. Very spooky.

These strange creatures are Silversword plants which live up in the Haleakala volcano crater where we spent two days hiking and camping.

This less-strange looking creature is the once-extinct Hawaiian Goose, or Nene. The few hundred Nenes living in the wild all live in the same small part of the crater, making them pretty easy to find for a rare thing.

The landscape in the crater changed every few kilometers from forest, to black sand, to this. Only mild camera trickery was involved here (I turned the contrast up a bit). It felt like we were in some sci-fi movie set or perhaps a life-sized Google Earth. Weird things happen when stuff that's supposed to be underground ends up on the surface.

We escaped the other tourists at the Lao Valley and hiked up this creek to find some swimming pools where the local kids were building dams out of rocks. If they hadn't been there, I would have probably done the same.

On the main street in Lahiana there's a huge Banyan tree with all sorts of weird appendages and dangling roots.

We took the ferry over to Molokai and had a day to explore the place before the big race. This is the end of the road at the east of the island.

This was the pule (prayer) circle at the start of the Molokai to Oahu race. This is part of the traditional outrigger canoe racing culture which has crossed over to SUP, and makes a very welcome break for thought during the pre-race rushing around.

...and finally, Lina reducing the distance between her and Portlock on Oahu. After a couple of days on the relatively undeveloped Molokai, landing on Oahu near Honolulu felt like being deposited in the middle of a TV set. I've never been a fan of visiting the places you're supposed to visit and really appreciated seeing some of the less marketed parts of Hawaii. As ever, getting advice from the folks that live there helped us find the things we really enjoy. I hope one day we will return for more downwind SUPing, hopefully with more of the time spent SU for me.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The fiftieth state

I got back from holiday this morning. Here are some pictures of things until I get around to writing something:

Hawaii 2013, a set on Flickr.

The main event of my trip was Lina's race in the Molokai to Oahu paddleboard race. The weather was kind to us (though not to Lina's flight home today) as tropical storm Flossie held off until the race was over. Her are some pictures of that:

Molokai to Oahu 2013, a set on Flickr.

...and now I've gone and made a video. Don't get seasick watching it.

Molokai to Oahu from Andrew Dye on Vimeo.