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

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 9
The honeymoon is over....all the bookwork and study is starting to get to me. No water time, no ocean time, and getting a little stir crazy. Fortunately there has been no wind. And the good news is that the wind is suppose to start to ramp on our last day giving us our final two days with perfect conditions, (with the exception of maybe no waves to go with the wind).
The long sessions spent sitting as not doing my body any favors as I am not used to sitting in one place for so long. I need action, my body craves it, my mind demands it!
Tomorrow we practice rescuing people on a jet ski with the Maui lifeguards, so I am looking forward to that.
Hopefully I can get a full night sleep too.
End of another long day....over and out....if anyone is bothering to read this dribble....

Day 8
Today was the first day of the last course, the hardest one that will take five days. Way too tired to write much of anything. 8 hours of bookwork and theory, followed by another hour and a half of homework to prepare for tomorrow. Smashed again!

Paying close attention to Dave Dorn from Action Sports Maui, our IKO examiner.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 7
Today was spent doing the first aid and CPR course which was much more fun than yesterdays experience. Everyone passed, there were two new students whom we haven't met before. Weather was still Kona condition and no good for kiting.
Went for a drive to Lahaina on the west coast. There I gazed across the Molokai Channel, something I have always wanted to see. It is where the legendary surfer Eddie Aikau lost his life trying to rescue his friends after their Polynesian canoe capsized while getting ready for a voyage to recreate how the ancients moved from island to island. It's a long paddle, big currents, and plenty of smiley creatures under there....
Day 6
Spent a whole day studying boat safety doing an online line course. Took more time than I ever thought possible. 600 pages of study, 8 tests, and needed an 80 percent to pass. We passed....
Rainy day and squally winds so we didn't miss much.
We had Kona winds which they might only get twice a year, and it sure kept me from going crazy...

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 5
Today we finished the first course and now have a day off tomorrow to go and explore and also a little bit of relaxation. Monday we do our first aid, and Tues we begin the last course which will take us to Saturday.
After finishing up our training with Dave Dorn at Maui Action Sports today we then headed to the other side of the island. We could have kited this afternoon but decided to go and check out the lava fields instead. Well worth the small drive.
Not sure what our plans are for tomorrow just yet, but will make a decision bases on the wind report. We have choices! Always good to have choices.......
Day four: All finished with the practical side of the course, almost finished with the theory. We are ahead of schedule which is good.
Highlights of the day are of the girl kiting with her dog on her paddleboard and a dude riding a hydrafoil.
Evening was spend doing a few board repairs, meeting some great people, and chilling out to some okay music at Charlies, an icon of Maui. They had a big guitar there, I went to play it but it was out of tune............

Friday, May 3, 2013

Day three

Today was day three of the trip, second day of the first course. We met at the canoe sheds to work on the theory side of things, meet all the candidates and our supervising instructor Dave Dorn. He is the head teacher of the International Kitesurfing Organization, the largest and most recognized teaching system in the world. Good guy to have has your teacher!
Spent more time shadowing students with another instructor and today I learned a couple of cool new ways to teach students, and I also learned something new from one of the candidates from Chili. Shows you that everyday there is something to learn.
Got to kite at lunch and the conditions were epic, (though no surf to speak of). Great big airs to be had, but our assessor asked us to not do anything crazy, just pull off some basics that are required as part of the prerequisites. My class finished an hour early as our student Kate from Brooklyn ran out of steam. She later got stung by a bee for the first time in her life and I spent 20 minutes calming her down before I could go out for my afternoon session.
Looks like more theory for tomorrow as the winds are suppose to back off for a couple of days. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Day 2 Maui

Today was the first day of training, and I must say it was a very interesting, but great day. I trained today with two very cool dudes from Chili. One has been living on Maui for two years, the other came for the course to open a school in the Alti Plano of his country. Weird thing is this dude looks just like my dad, (my dad passed away in the early ninety's )and it was kind of freaking me out every time I looked at him. Will post photos of both of them later. What was really cool is that he has set the Guinness book of world records for the kiting in the highest location yet on earth, (14 thousand feet I think). The other dude was Chili's 3 time national kiteboarding freestyle champion. Both are great guys and I never thought I would be doing my first day of training solely in Spanish!
Highlights of the day include snapping yet another fin while kiting in my own time this afternoon, laughing in Spanish, teaching a dude from Seattle named Bronco, and kiting with a very large green sea turtle where we had the most epic eye contact. One more little bit of coolness was watching the outrigger canoes racing on the inside. Very island style.....