Seattle Seahawks, “the Wave” rolls on…. and on, and…

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It’s a bit disturbing, if not irritating, that the color I apply to the drawings doesn’t come through the cosmos and onto the computer screen. Please take my word, the original color is WAY more intense. Maybe this reflects how my calm demeanor is way more controlled than my inner Seahawks fanaticism.  Living on the northwestern-most chunk of the contiguous United States, I tend to believe any west coasters- Charger, 49er, Raider (jeez, even Arizona and, gulp, Denver) fans- should, at least for this game, root for the Seahawks. Hawaii, Alaska? Yeah, and… it’s not like everyone has to love the team whose play on the field reflects the bird that glides, majestically, on ocean updrafts; swoops, attacks, tears, shreds… while the Patriots; maybe they’ll wait until they see the whites of the eyes of… that may be too late.

If I could figure out how to change the size of… wait… Goooooooo0SeaaaaaaHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawksssssss!

Okay, and back to calm, mellow… waiting, waiting… eeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Something from Adam ‘Wipeout’ James’ Full Day Olympic Peninsula Sessions


I wanted to work on other things last Sunday, but the tides, wind, and the swell size and direction seemed to suggest the waves might be breaking on the Straits of Juan de Fuca. So, waking at 5:30, I was a little reluctant to text Adam, with whom I’d been in some cellular discussion, about hitting it. Not that fond of surfing weekends, it’s not my fault that sometimes that is when the occasional swell decides to show up.

So, we met up, decided, because Adam had no racks on his family/surf mini-van, and therefore couldn’t handle my big ass board, that we would continue on in my pretty-much-thrashed-out former work/surf van, semi-retired with 240,000 plus miles and something with the (automatic) transmission that causes it to (as Adam described it, worrying we wouldn’t make it there, and then, back) ‘act kind of like when you have a fish on the line.’ Yeah, kind of hesitant to charge up hills.

Still, we did make it to a dropping tide and one surfer out, Big Dave, big enough to ride an SUP like a longboard (without the paddle). Dave was a 15 year old gremmie when I, at 20, moved to Pacific Beach, and rescued my board the last time I surfed this spot. Thanks, Dave. By the time I got out, there were four or five surfers in the water, including the always-slightly-more-stoked-than-I-am Adam Wipeout. And that’s not easy for someone over, say, 12.

Once in the water, I commented to Dave, who was so-casually ‘owning’ the waves (Adam’s description), that he was standing up on every wave. Already out over an hour, alone, he said when he got tired he’d do a bit more kneeboarding. After I took off from my knees on my first wave, then, admittedly, shakily, stood up, Dave, paddling out at the time, commented that I “kind of stood up like a crippled-up old man.”

“Yeah. No; hey; let me warm up.” So, I did endeavor to catch more waves from the standing position, did a couple of the ‘fall off the back’ moves, at least one ‘fall forward in a potential face plant’ maneuvers, and decided I’d rather kneeboard or look shaky standing up than miss a good wave.

Somewhere in the session, with the swell dropping and the rights never showing up, I let Adam use my board. He, of course, was stoked. After he caught three inside waves from the standing position, and I was flopping around on his under-waxed 8’6″ Simmons twin fin tribute board, I took my board back.

Though SUPers can rightfully be accused of taking too many set waves, I have decided I also catch a great many inside waves surfers on regular, or even long boards, cannot. And, so many times, I would have been skunked if I didn’t have the board I traded work for as a backup.

So, surfed out, and having given him my opinion that no one under sixty should surf an SUP, I dropped Adam off so he could meet up with his family, go to Hurricane Ridge. The photo is of his son, about to catch air. Or so Adam says. It’s not IN the photo. Adam also seems to say the waves in every surf session he’s involved in, are ‘head high, at least,’ and claimed the waves got bigger once I got out of the water. “Adam, it was, like, 15 minutes, and, really, I didn’t see that many waves ridden, and, besides, really?”

I have been lucky to occasionally get to make the drive with good friends, and to see other surfers I’ve surfed with over the years, or even just met, in the water. Because of this, and the thrill of cranking into a solid wave face, looking down a long line, I remain, perpetually, stoked. In a ‘frothing’ competition, Adam… well, he’s in there.

Various Shots of Various Secret Surf Spots


[ABOVE] Offshore winds on a northwest shore. Photos by Stephen Davis.

[BELOW LEFT] Manageable (and average-sized) crowd at above average Westport. Photo by Adam (Wipeout) James.


[ABOVE RIGHT] Another Stephen Davis shot from classic West End Washington State.


[ABOVE LEFT] Another secret point break on the Straits of Juan de Fuca. Or, if it isn’t a secret; you try to find it at exactly the right time and tide and swell to do a little side-slipping into deep cold water. Photo by Keith Darrock.

[ABOVE RIGHT] A sunrise photo from Cancun by Carol Christiansen

Real (and annoying OLD GUY) Surfers

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I don’t know how the top line got all crooked. I thought I measured it. Well, old guys, don’t even know how to do computer illustrations. Incidentally, I want to make the statement, “I’m here to surf!” I probably can’t copyright it, or trademark it, but it does define my mindset when I hit the water. Always has. Not apologizing.

Still, I never use the ‘old guy’ card to excuse any perceived over-zealousness; just as I never used my youth to excuse my wave-hogging to the limits of my ability and the constraints of ocean and crowd.

And I do have sessions and particular waves that I’ll never forget. Until I’ve forgotten just about everything else. Oh, and there’s no semi-self portrait here. I never surfed Rincon, epic or otherwise; but I did, once, surf small-but-decent Upper Trestles alone. Once. I will have to work on something to do with how surfers tend to think the waves can’t be any good because no one’s out. Or maybe just one guy. I’ll never forget… hey, get your own memories.

Yesterday (no, like 1/13/15) and Today on the Oregon Coast


Here’s what we’re (most likely, and sadly) missing. Port Townsend’s surfing Librarian Keith Darrock returned to Oregon, where he was raised and learned to surf, took this photo of the Yachats rivermouth yesterday, the photo of the Ecola rivermouth near Cannon Beach today. He wasn’t expecting to find shirtsleeve weather in January, offshore winds, and enticing waves.  Tantalizing might be more like it. He didn’t bring his wetsuit or board. It seems like there might just be a few surf shops in the neighborhood. Stay tuned. Meanwhile… well, it’s all happening on the coast. Shhhhh!


Clean with offshores

Micah, a friend of Stephen Davis's, sent him this photo from an expedition to (the general vicinity of) Westport. Though the waves have been ill-angled and the swells too small for the Straits, the offshore winds and rideable-sized waves have been hitting the coast almost non-stop. Okay, maybe some fog.

Micah, a friend of Stephen Davis’s, sent him this photo from an expedition to (the general vicinity of) Westport. Though the waves have been ill-angled and the swells too small for the Straits, the offshore winds and rideable-sized waves have been hitting the coast almost non-stop. Okay, maybe some fog. Stephen said he thinks Micah is fine with the photo showing up on my site. If a bunch of surfers suddenly show up at Westport (and/or the general vicinity), it may be my, I mean Micah’s, fault.


NOTE: I started to have some ownership on the two words, real surfers, and to tell the story alluded to in the introduction (below). Maybe I didn’t realize I had so many other stories to tell; maybe I didn’t realize I still have a surfing life. So, I plan on serializing the novel that fictionalizes the real story and wraps other stories around it. It will, unfortunately, be in reverse order, but, after a few chapters, interspersed with other pieces, I’ll consolidate. When it’s all done; I’ll probably change the name to “Real Surfers,” what I always wanted to be.  I did a drawing, but I didn’t think it fit the mood, didn’t want to wait until I have the time to do one I actually like, so… here we go… thanks for coming along.

Love and Wars and Surfing and Some Amount of Magic

Surfing is part of the soundtrack; whoosh, wait, wait, wait, whoosh. Always has been. Well, maybe not surf itself; but it is the tides and winds, moving in waves, and the waves themselves, maybe even time itself, another wave, spinning ever outward, all providing the heartbeat of the planet. Whoosh…wait…wait…wait…whoosh.

“So, Dad; it has to be fiction?”
“Because… you know our memories are…”
“Corrupted? Flawed? Inaccurate?”
“Hmmm. Ha. Yeah.”
“Maybe your original story could be enough. Jeez; I’ve heard it for years; headed for San Onofre; you and Phillip Harper and Ray Hicks and…”
“Dru; I’ve asked Ray. He doesn’t remember this trip. Others; yes. I think it was always Bill Buel. See? I edited him out; stuck Ray in, because Ray was… because I never liked…I mean, Bill wasn’t my friend; Ray and Phil were.”
“And you were riding with Bucky Davis, your surf hero…”
“For a while. That’s part of it. If I broke down my… shit; it’s really just another surfer coming-of-age story, but, at such an, an almost unique angle. If …and, if I could break down my surf history, to, like, chapters; it’d be illustrated with the times I went surfing with Bucky Davis. Like five or six times over five or six years. Grandview, New Break, Swami’s, the last time… your mother was there… at the beach by the state park… South Carlsbad. and part of this, this bigger story, is how my image of Bucky and…”
“Matured. And there’s the love story; Bucky and Phillip’s sister. Trish.”
“Yeah; and, again, I don’t really know. We never know about other people’s lives… or loves, and I’m such a fucking romantic, I wanted that to…”
“To work out. But that’s all… it’s the hidden story, Dad; the, um, interplay between what you thought, that so many things were magic, magical; and what was real. The, I guess, surface story, is of you guys going from Fallbrook, across Camp… Camp?”
“Camp Pendleton, 1967; the Vietnam War in full swing, and the Marines, really, were all just a couple of years older than Phil and Ray… I’m sticking with Ray, and I; and Bucky was… he was right at draft age. And the war; everyone thought, was going to go on forever.”
“Well, it didn’t. New ones. But, you know, some other stuff happened on that trip.”
“Yeah. Yeah, it did; but, this far removed, this far gone, it seems… stopped by a Highway Patrolman and hassled before we even got to the back gate, running out of gas, pushing the VW up a couple of hills, coasting down, pushing it into the little PX outpost in another tent camp as marines marched by, us all cool surfers and they ready to go to… see? It seems like fiction, even to me; like I’ve seen it before.”
“But you did. And… see, even I know the story. And you did surf at San Onofre.”
“The surfing was almost incidental; I don’t really remember it, specifically. Another session. Just like with Ray, huh?”
“But the story; it ends up at Tamarack. Tamarack, right? After Bucky tore up his Dependent ID card, and couldn’t ever go back on the base; and you’re riding shotgun… for once. Right? And Phillip and… and we’ll say Ray; they’re asleep in the back, and Dylan comes on the radio.
“It was ‘Rainy Day Women #12 and 35.’ Rare on ’67 am radio.”
“Right. And, pretty soon you’re singing along, beating on the dashboard. And pretty soon, maybe because this was the perfect song for the perfect scene; you could see and hear the waves, just about to get glassy…”
“The afternoon glassoff.”
“The soundtrack and the… the soundtrack. And now; I love this part; Bucky, so, to you, ultra cool; Bucky’s beating on the dashboard, also, and you’re both trying to sing along.
‘Everybody must get stoned.’”
“Ev-ry-bo-dy mussssst get stoned!”
“Can you still see it?”
“There is magic in there somewhere.”
“Thanks. But, Dru; you know; now; because I… because real life doesn’t live up, maybe, because I’m going to steal other things I’ve seen, from other people’s lives, move things around; and, and, mostly, maybe, because I haven’t, um, lived up… it’ll be fiction.”
“Dad? Has your life contained enough… magic?”
Woosh, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait… woosh.

A Slightly LarGER VERsion of the Drawing for ‘Joyce Hoffman’s Bra’

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I posted the story before I finished processing the drawing; and then the drawing- I don’t know why- can’t seem to figure this stuff out- came out smaller than I’d like. So, I hit ‘edit.’ Not sure what happened to that version. Anyway, if you’re looking at this, just keep moving down to the next story. And the next, and…  Hey, Happy New Year!