Friday, June 27, 2008

Waterpolo training

Hi everybody, its the smiling gorilla from the last post!!!!! So this summer has been a lot of fun for me. Im working full time as a server at really beautiful restaurant Ola at turtle Bay. We are super blessed because we can pay rent as well as put some money away for the future. (well, as long as we don't buy too many more boards) another thing Im doing this summer is playing with the oahu masters waterpolo club. "Masters" is just a fancy way to say over 20, it has no direct reference to the skill of those on the team. Anyways, we practice Monday and Wednesday nights for a couple hours just scrimmaging and stuff.

Well, the pool was closed this past Wednesday so another player who lives on the north shore asked me if i like to do an ocean swim since there was no practice. sure I thought, Ive done some long swims when i played Polo for BYUH, sounds fun.

I went straight from work at turtle bay and met mike at the sunset beach lifeguard tower. We agreed to do a swim to Ehukai beach park (pipeline) the lifegaurd tower roughly 1 mile down the beach, then rest, then swim back up the beach to sunset where our cars were parked.
we jumped in and started going. Mike is a super fast swimmer. he grew up here and has a giant shark tattoo on his hip. hes pretty hard core. All i wanted to do was to keep up with him.

In the water you cant help but smile as you do a work out and sight all the tropical fish at the same time. In the summer the north shore is flat so it makes a perfect swimming pool. we swam over some of the surf spots that we frequent and its so cool to see how the shape and form of the reef changes as you swim over it. It changes from small rolling white sand hills into hard flat reef with new live coral just growing because of the lack of giant winter swells. It turns shallow and hard at rocky point and then the puka's (holes or caves) start showing up all the way to Pupukea. we finally arrive at ehukai beach park. We're feeling the rythm and enjoying going with the current so Mike says to me, "wanna just go to waimea?"
Waimea was nearly 2 more miles down the beach and would be the longest single swim either one of us had ever done before. "sure" I said, as i looked down long stretch of hills. lets do it.
WIth out even touching the sand at ehuaki we rested as we treded water. we spat into our goggles again and the we were off. we went over the erie reef at pipeline, a reef that has claimes a hand full of lives every big wave season. we continued past log cabins and rock piles keeping our eye on the horizon we saw the natural lava rock jetty shooting out at Ke iki beach about a mile away, that would be our next pit stop.
This massive jetty seperates the shallow beach side reef and beyond it it drops down about 40 to 50 feet, just shallow enought to see the bottom when the sun is not hidden by a cloud. after we swim well past the jetty mike pops his head up and says that its a good time for a rest so we egg beater about a quarter mile from road out at sea in 50 feet deep crystal ocean and we talk a little about the last leg of this epic swim. from here we can see the top of the church tower at waimea off in the distance. he points out the different techniques to line yourself up with the most direct route into the bay. "see the telephone polls on top of the hill past the bay? just line up with those and it will take you in."
"ill just follow you," i said, but ill know where to look next time.
one more breath of air and then it was back into the abyss. we swam past sharks cove and didnt see any sealife bigger than us so we were ok but i was relived when we hit three tables and it got shallow again. around the point at waimea my right hand started to go numb like i had been sitting on it or something. just another 1000 meters and i was there. mike pulled away at this point and hit the beach a good 30 seconds be fore me. he looked at me as we both idly floated in the water knee deep and said, " well im tired"
though neither of us was panting or eveing breathing heavily, our bodies had had it!!!! here i am three days later feeling a whole lot better, but still tired. we were stoked we did. now we know its possible.
oh yeah, are cars are parked at sunset nearly three miles up the road!!!! luckily there were some ladies who had just arrived at the beach from sunset doing stand up paddle boarding. the had left a truck at waimea so we helped them with their enormous boards and they gave us a lift back to our cars.
Tonight (Friday June 27th) is our first game in town. I guess if i ask for a sub in the middle of the game it doesn't really matter how far Ive swam.
heres a couple pictures of the spots i swam over.

Sharks Cove


tutu lady said...

Wow! Stuart, I'm impressed! So, now you need to tell the rest of the story. were you able to swim tonight for the game? Or did you have to wimp out? That's great that you could play polo again. Wish we could be there to see those games.

karebear said...

whoa that is awesome! i would be freeaked out...and i'm glad you trusted the guy enough to do it safely. EDDIE WOULD GO! lol.

Nana said...

I loved this story! Your description was great, even for someone who has never been in those waters, I could picture the scene. Mom

Malia said...

My Man!!! Stuart you're so good! I'm so proud of you and your big swim! and also your game! I love you!!!! Thanks for swimming with me today too!

Michal said...

great post and great swim! that was amazing. glad there weren't any sharks at sharks' cove.:)