Published: October 27th 2002October 27th 2002
Thanks to Jack.
I arrived in Honolulu airport with very little knowledge of Hawaii save Magnum PI in the 80's and I used to work for a company that choose an Hawaiian name for itself - Kokua Communications
- the word Kokua in Hawiian means Help (more or less). The company went bust after about 18 months, after a long and drawn out funding process that from one day to the next changed from "We're funded" to "We're doomed". So long dot com.
Arriving in Honolulu on Wai'ki'ki beach I instantly realised that this is a big tourism centre. I have never seen so many Japanese people congregated in one place before, and I lived in London. I'll one-day go to Japan so I expect that to change, but for now Honolulu holds the record. 90% of the rest of the people I see are American tourists. The remaining few percent are local Hawaiian's working in the tourist industry.
I have 7 days in Hawaii, I have one objective, to learn to surf. I was told it's pretty easy on a long board to catch a wave and ride into shore. So on day two of my stay in Hawaii, I went
down to the beach to take a lesson. Jack - a local Hawaiian guy works for one of the rental companies on the beach, for $25 he promised to get me standing on a wave within an hour and after that hour I would be ready to go surfing on my own. Probably not on the North Shore but on the baby waves in Wai'ki'ki bay I would be safe.
True to his word within 15mins I was in the water and waiting to catch my first wave. With a push from Jack I was moving rapidly towards shore. Up to my knees... nice, step one, step two, up to my feet and into the water. I was pleased to have almost made it on my first wave, on my second I managed to stand. For the next hour I surfed, with variable success, once nearly killing a Japanese guy on an inflatable (what he was doing in the surf section I don't know, Jack was not impressed).
So in one hour I learnt to surf, I'm no expert but I can stand and steer away from obstacles, I have been told where to line myself up with
to ensure the best waves, and tomorrow morning I'm going to hire a board for two hours and try again.
Other activities on the Island include Pearl Harbour, Diamond Head (a mountain), snorkelling and generally lazing around the beach. I have found cheap junk food to ensure that I don't starve, and have found a 7 eleven for cheap booze, I think I will enjoy my 7 days in Wai'ki'ki.