Surf: 1-foot and lightly blown-out
Events held: Competitions opening ceremony, contest on hold
Nature’s call: Blessed are the meek . . .
Predicted: Looks like something red’s forming way down south

“These are my favorite kinds of days–days of absolutely nothing.”

So says “Noodles” Webster over a deliciously complacent breakfast time meal, a wet bounty of tropical fruit placed in a mound before the Australian twig and his companions. The possible irony in his comment is well-received with the day’s first laughter. Suffice it to say, this is not Webster’s first time in Tahiti. Fortunately, with such a boring day ahead, our crew won’t have to dig too deep for off-day distractions. Here’s a compilation of some fun things they might choose from:

Be a tourist.
This won’t be easy. But for the elite that do show up at today’s opening ceremony, they’ll leave with more than they’ve bargained for. First will be the Tahitian National Anthem, a treat of deep voiced singing driven by some sort of hyper, synthesized Polka. Then , for the grand finale, come the young kids on ukulele’s and the swaying splendor of beautiful girls dancing the Hula. Really, this day will turn out to be amazing. Which is too important to be boring.

Okay, this was actually the scene from last night, but it’s one that your happy correspondent knows very well. And since the nasty name-weighted whispers ran well in to dark, keeping him from the better half of his sleep, it’s likely the rumor mill will keep buzzing today. Especially since they have plenty of juicy material to choose from. Things like, “Did you hear that Neco Padaratz was too scared to show up?” Or, “Did you hear how {{{CJ}}} nearly died when he stepped on that Stone fish the other day?” Or even, “I just can’t stand surf journos’–they never give a true interpretation of our sport.”

At the events opening ceremony, later in the day, something very interesting will happen. A man will speak long and solemn in Tahitian ending with the Hebrew word, Amen. A prayer? Oh yes. And a necessary one.

Walking across the narrow footbridge that separates Hava’e Point from the end-of-the-road it’s easy to forget what happens out on that reef. A pretty lovers path winds you through a quaint little village. Peaceful lily pads float in a pond next to happy teal houses. Could this be the threshhold for surfing’s newest form of insanity? Hard to imagine when you hear Cory Lopez describe his participation in last week’s mack truck swell and one of Tahiti’s all time heavy days: “That day was a pretty heavy.” Now imagine his tone — like he’s recalling some hot session with Wardo down at super soft T-Street — and you too will join the concerned chorus of onlookers pleading, “God — please watch over our boys at Teahupo’o.”

Lord knows the rest of us will. Hagan Kelley