There’s some fun to be had in the rain
THE sky was as blue as the water, and the ripples sparkled in what was left of the sun. All day, everything had flooded and the rain fell and there was no escaping it, no denying it. It was steady, soaking, it was Biblical, a sign that after 40 days and 40 nights there would be no stopping now. A sign that there was undoubtedly even more flooding to come.
And so I went to see the only outdoor sport that not only wouldn't be rained out but probably wouldn't even have noticed a flood -- and the sun came out.
It did look about a foot deeper at the Duke Kahanamoku Aquatic Complex pool -- "maybe a tiny bit," Hawaii water polo defender Amy Logan said, skeptically -- but the only ones wet were in it.
And we'll take it. What a treat to finally see blue in the sky.
"We've played in the rain all week," Rainbow Wahine goalie Meike De Nooy would say. "It was really, really nice to have one day not in the rain."
Do they really notice that, while swimming?
"Just the coaches," UH's Michel Roy said, "holding umbrellas." Hiding under their team's tarp, trying to stay dry.
No need, yesterday, as the Wahine battled No. 3 and defending national champ UCLA. And there were people there, a crowd, happy and warm and for once not worried about houses floating away.
"The whole day we thought the game was going to be canceled," Roy said. "Not because of us, but because of everything all around." Flooding. Roads closing. Ark building. That kind of thing.
But then everybody made it. And for a few precious moments, there was actually sun.
The Bruins were good. The Wahine played hard. The game is like soccer treading water, or basketball in the blue deep. A game of near drownings and near assaults. Aside from getting a ball in the goal the sport seems to consist of holding, grabbing, mugging, choking and the flop-like faking of such.
Afterward Logan held ice to her eye. It was bruised and swelling and turning black.
"She had a cut before," De Nooy said. "I said, did it open again?" Not this time, she realized: "No, it's the other eye."
"It's a tough game," Logan said.
It was an intense one, and the talented Bruins won 6-4. Roy got tossed by the officials. He stalks the poolside like a John Thompson in slippers and shades.
In the end there were raindrops, but only a few. It was the perfect day for this break. Football players have their Senior Walk, hoopsters a Senior Dunk. Water Polo has a Senior Float. They took to the pool again, riding huge doughnuts, overflowing with leis. Their smiles the last of the sunshine as the sky turned soggy gray.