Thursday, May 16, 2013

Day 16
Homeward bound with one quick layover in Waikiki. Last mission: to honor the Duke, the man, the legend who brought surfing to the world. Without the Duke I don't know how my life would have turned out. His spirit lives in so many of us, and I came to his statue to honor him, and drink a toast to the values his ways taught me. Mahalo

Day 15

Had some time before our flight so we decided to climb up to the top of Haleakala Volcano. Driving from sea level to the summit of the crater took us up to 10, 035 feet. Pretty incredible to see the changing climate. We didn’t have much time up on the summit so we headed down. One of the highlights that people do on this road is to take a van up and ride mountain bikes down. Glad they wear full helmets!About a third of the way down we came across some bike riders on the side of the road, which turned out to be mother in distress. Her young son had been stung by a bee and crashed. I pulled over and assessed the situation and could see he was in pain. Poor little dude…abrasions on his knees, pretty roughed up. I calmed him down and went back to the van to get some ice as we had some frozen water bottles. When I came back I put the ice on his leg and asked if he hurt anywhere else, he said his arm hurt. I took off his jacket slowly and saw that his arm was broken pretty bad. I moved the ice over and held him while we waited for help. Meanwhile I just calmed him down, (and especially his mum) and made sure they would be okay. The police were there pretty quickly.
So, I guess the first aid course I just did came in handy after all.
Now I am in Waikiki just filling in time until our flight home….I can’t wait to get back.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 14
Today was just about the best kite I have ever had. Tropical water, head high waves, no crowds to begin with, and just able to squeeze this session in after the rain that we have had here on Maui. I kited for 3 hours non stop as going in for a drink of water is too much of a drama, the reefs are far out and the launching and landing are sketchy. I saw so many turtles today, had to dodge quite a few while riding waves. This was the icing on the cake for this whole adventure.
Tonight Al and I went to Dave and Suzie Dorn's hous from Maui Action Sports where we met up and headed to a Thai restaurant. From out of the ashes the Phoenix has flown. Hilarious that we had Thai on the last night here on the island considering my not so great adventures in Thailand. The food was great, company better, and now it's almost time to put this adventure to rest.
When I get home Tracy can show me how to do the blogs properly so those interested in kiting or those that want to learn can see updates and weather reports etc.
Smashed again, but in the best way....this has been fantastic.

Early morning Kanaha Beach....before the rains

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Day 13
Rest day today, bit rainy and squally, could have kited but I saw the forecast for home. Looking great for our arrival.
Instead of kiting I went for a message, and it was awesome. That perfect blend of pain and release without torture. I needed this so bad.
Had a bit of a drive around shopping with Al for his new harness. Bout time he smartened up his act. He actually lost points in his evaluation because his gear is so ragged. He needed to look a bit more professional, instead of homeless! He got a killer deal on a harness so he is happy.
Later we took a quick drive to check out the legendary spot Jaws, where some of the first big wave tow ins took place. They said it could never be surfed conventionally without a boat. Shane Dorian took out wave of the year by paddling in and now has lifted the game for everyone else. Now everyone is going to try to paddle in. Rules of the water state that all jetskis must stay away from a surfer by at least a 1000 feet. So he got a clear run!

Here is it from the top, what a beautiful spot, but out of my league for sure.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Day 12
Okay folks, end of the session. 12 straight days of bookwork, study, practical and now final. It's official, I passed all the courses. Finished with an overall average in the mid 90's, so I guess I did okay. I am so glad it's over, but I am happier that I did the course and the knowledge that I gained out of it.
Today's student was a really killer girl named Elsa from Kentucky, a bluegrass musician and singer, and she rocked my boat. Tons of fun and a great student. She showed up in a convertible Mercedes for today's lesson. With only one previous days lesson I got her flying the kite with the board on her feet, all with very limited time as we had to swap with our other candidates.
Afterwards there was a celebratory dinner which was fun and we all got to destress.
Next two days are all mine. Wind is now back on, the swell is up, and I can't wait. It's like having dessert ready for me.
Maui has been pretty good to me so far!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Day 11
I have always been a fan of the number 11. Such a beautifully balanced number. Day was just like that, perfect balance of learning and teaching. Today we worked with real students for the first time, absolute beginners. I had so much fun working the two different girls who thought that maybe they might want to take up the sport, to at the end of the lesson they were both saying that they were so stoked they were taking it all up and committing. It gives me so much pleasure to share my stoke for something and translate it to someone else so they catch that same feeling.
In truth, being the first time teaching in VERY challenging conditions I was a little apprehensive. But as the day progressed I could see how much fun my students were having.
I have learned some awesome skills to take back home with me, ideas that never occurred to me, some tried and true methods, and most importantly methods to make the learning safe. This makes me feel more confident that I can teach any willing student safely and with fun. This course has been extremely valuable and I can't say enough about Dave Dorn from Action Sports Maui in his ability to make this all fun. He comes up with some really great "one liners" and antidotes and shared experiences that helps me focus on these new skills. Really sweet stuff.
Big test tomorrow, two hour written exam followed by more teaching, and the another ride skills evaluation, and then an outcome.......bring it on!

Wrapping up the afternoon at Action Beach Kanaha

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Day 10
Today was infinitely more fun then the last few days. We had a small amount of book work and a mini test this morning, but we had it at the canoe hale (pronounced haaaa leh). Better environment, more my style of learning.
Afterwards we then set up launching kites and rescuing from a jetski with the North Shore life guards. These dudes are killer, so fit, very ocean aware watermen. And they were really nice guys. Today we worked with Jeff, Hawaiian local and super dude. Showed us all the ins and outs of rescuing, where they cover, how they do it. We then took turns rescuing each other.
Later in the day we began to present lessons to our fellow candidates in real situations. Afterwards we all evaluated each other, which was followed up by our examiner Dave Dorn giving more pointers on what we did or did not do, how we might improve our technique. It is all starting to come together and no doubt this course has been so worth it. These skills are helping us relate the message to our students with clarity, focus, and ease of understanding.

Tomorrow we work with students and continue more hands on approach with our technique. Stay tuned