This is the finished drawing, though I’m using this as the basis for one of several Christmas/holiday/solstice cards I’ve been working on. And I’ll do a color version of this.
It’s October 22nd, my older son, James’, 41st birthday, a day or two after (I think- I’ll check) James’ wife, Rachel’s birthday (younger- again I’ll check with Trish, who totally has these things memorized), and the day before Adam Wipeout’s 39th birthday (which I know because he wants to score some waves tomorrow).
I mention the date because I want some sort of proof, just in case… just in case a number of things do or could occur, just in case this idea is, if not original, at least different.
I’ve been working on some Christmas card ideas, and my thought was to have “Peace” in the palm of a hand; still going to do that one; but, since I was watching the WSL contest from Portugal… hmm… surfer standing in open palm, in the tube as the fingers fold over.
SO, this is the first (okay, second) sketch toward that end. LATER… oh, and happy birthdays…
HEY, REALSURFERS, my site is a mess. I’m aware of this. I decided it might be easier to just do a monthly thing, adding new stuff when it comes up; probably not a good idea, but… hey, here’s something I came across in my many-times-daily search for whatever information I can find to determine when I can best avoid getting skunked. IS IT A GHOST SURFER, or someone who went out in storm surf, found a corner of a wave in the corner of the bay, and got on camera? I don’t know; couldn’t help but share it.
OKAY, and, incidentally, it’s also Barrel-roll Stephen Davis’s birthday; and he’s lucky to have made it to this one. Read on; there’s other new stuff.
…ADAM WIPEOUT wades into the crowds in Southern California; ARCHIE ENDO heads back to Thailand; the (UNOFFICIAL) PORT TOWNSEND CREW (with HamaHama backup/alternate) hike (to a non-secret-but-unnamed spot) in, separately and together, and score; MANY SURFERS travel and get skunked; ANOTHER BEACH ACCESS IS SHUT DOWN, another ACCESS IS THREATENED; I sneak in a few sliders before THE WESTPHALIANS show up; and other news that doesn’t include revealing any secret spots on the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Steve at one of his day jobs, pre-roll.
But first… Headed up a Big Island highway at six in the morning on Friday the 13th, en route to his job (one of his jobs) as a crew member (and guy who swims with dolphins AND tourists) on a catamaran built and owned by legendary surfer Woody Brown; Hydrosexual STEPHEN DAVIS, in his words, “Nearly met my maker.”
“Oh,” I said, Saturday afternoon, Steve having called me back while I was on a slippery roof trying to finish a paint job; “But you’re okay. Right.” “Kind of. I’ll send you some photos.” “Okay. I mean, but you’re okay.”
“Mostly. The first thing I did when I got out of the car was say, ‘Mother-fucker!'”
We both laughed. Since he was okay, I was imagining Steve’s impression of me in boss mode, crouching-down, hands splayed-out, saying, “What the fuck?” Yeah, it’s pretty accurate; at work; never in the water- very chill, not as chill as Steve.
I didn’t look at the photos until a couple hours later. Steve’s quick reactions, no doubt, saved his life. A DISTRACTED DRIVER was in Steve’s lane, head-on. Steve swerved, the other car hit him in more of a glancing blow.
WAIT! WHAT! Yeah, a glancing blow that…WHAT! I had to text Stephen. It went like this:
“Did your rig flip?” “Several flips and spins. It was upside down when it came to rest. Had to kick the door open all laying on my head.” “Geez, man, just had a chance to look at the photos. thank you Jesus. Trish and I are en route to Mass.” “Ya. Super grateful.(emojis) Will you thank God for me please?” “Sure, already working on it, and trish has a bit more clout, and I’m sure your appreciation is noted. You were definitely barreled.” “Gracias. (more emojis).” A bit later; “Okay, mentioned your accident to the Priest. You’re all set. Be strong. No, you are strong.” “Mahalo (emojis).”
Now, please don’t think I’m like, super religious; but I am a believer in something mysterious and beyond our understanding. I think Stephen ‘Barrel-roll’ Davis is, too. I was ready to drop the ‘hydrosexual’ part of Steve’s nickname anyway; getting too many spam attacks from porno promoters.
OKAY, I have to go. I’ll get back to the other alluded-to news; but, ARCHIE seems to be stronger than when he arrived in the northwest after over 90 days in the hospital after a stroke in Thailand. Part of this has to be due to the above-mentioned Stephen Davis taking him to the pool in Sequim. “He lit up like Christmas,” Steve said. AND Archie is talking about getting back in the surf. Better. He better.
ADAM JAMES, on a surf-and-oyster-sales-related trip, surfed Pipes, twice at Swamis, another time at San Onofre (that I know of), tried to teach northwest-style surf etiquette to my old surfing grounds.
WAIT, here’s an UPDATE (October 16)- Now Adam has added MALIBU, VENTURA POINT, AND COUNTY LINE to his list of Southern California conquests. Nice business trip.
County Line from the rental van.
SO, parking in someone’s yard to access a rivermouth break west of Port Angeles, which has been shut down before, is shut down again. Plans for a Land Trust parking area are stalled, on hold, or just not happening, and the alternative is a long walk. When some surfers from Port Townsend hiked in from one direction recently, they found other surfers from Town who hiked in from the other direction.
AND, AGAIN, people who camp out overnight in a parking area/access to another rivermouth spot are SERIOUSLY RISKING the closure of this area. IT IS PRIVATE PROPERTY. Park somewhere else. Please. Thanks. As far as surf etiquette is concerned; it takes some nerves to tell a local at any break that, “Hey, that was my wave.” And, I think Adam is planning on hitting Malibu before he comes back home. “Excuse me, but; you know; I’ve been waiting, and…”
Jeffrey Vaughn seemed to be enjoying the waves (part of this is that there were waves). It was stormy, west wind blowing (this is sideshore on the Strait of Juan de Fuca), and, maybe it was the tide, maybe the angle, but waves that, typically, hug the reef and peel, were, mostly, closing out, rolling through.
Waves were breaking on outside, Indicator reefs. Rain squalls, clouding the view to the west, would approach, roll through, further chopping-up the lines. Then pass by. Sun would, randomly, break through, adding blinding reflections on ribbed wave faces.
Some waves, that should have been lefts, almost looked like rights. I know better, usually, than to drop into these chunky, deeper water waves. You can drop into a long wall, speed for fifty yards or so and pull out, as you would on most beach breaks, or drop down under the first closeout section, pull back into some non-critical, not-steep wall, and bounce around well past the fence (this is the measure for a long ride at this spot).
Still, even on more lined-up waves, there was a tricky inside section that, if you made it, it was great. If you didn’t you’d get punched, pitched, or, again, be forced to drop down, try to work past it. Oh, I guess you could straighten out.
Jeff was taking off on the outsiders, big smile on his face, dropping-in while I’m going up the face, looking to see if the next one is going to break farther out; and he was picking off some of the up-the-reef peelers, dropping in with his patented and classic South Bay longboard style, hands on the wall as he wailed toward the inside section.
When he got out he climbed up on top of his Mad Max-meets-heavy-duty-off-roader-adventurer van, snapped some shots of Big Dave and, yeah, me. Thanks, Jeff.
Top-Discussion mid-session (I was out for about three hours, then a break, then an hour or so more, Dave was out when I arrived, still out when I left- at least 6 hours straight) with Dave, mostly about how access to a favorite spot has, again, been cut off. Or, maybe, about how he’s sometimes mistaken for me, and vice-versa. He’s five years younger, and was a Crystal Pier rat (his words) when I moved to Pacific Beach, San Diego, at 20, in 1971.
Second shot-Me setting up for the tricky inside section. Yes, there were bigger waves.
Third shot- Dave setting up for the tricky inside section. And, yes, the camera takes two feet off the height of a wave and adds twenty pounds (minimum) to the size of a surfer.
Bottom- Dave vertical. There were bigger waves. Really.
NOTE- While I was taking a break, drinking two cups of coffee, one of three guys loading up in a black jeep parked next to me, after taking a couple of cell phone shots of Dave, said it’s nice that someone like me is still ‘out there.’ “Thank you, young gentleman,” I should have said, instead of asking, “You mean old?” Of course he did. Maybe this, and the unspoken challenge of Ironman Big Dave, made me go back out for ‘five more waves,’ that, when it glassed-off, turned into fifteen or so. It was either that or that I’d peed in my wetsuit. Either way, thanks for the photos, Jeff; thanks for the waves Juan.
…it’s semantics; often how we interpret an event is in our orientation.
Orientation as in, ‘the house faces west,’ or, where one is located on the sliding loop (generally thought of as a sliding scale between left and right wings), pretty strong and solid in the middle, where most of us are, a bit sketchier and more broken up as it heads toward, and close to, a final connection at the place usually thought of as the lunatic fringe.
That’s where the shaky and tenuous bridge, the point of agreement, and possibly the only one, is distrust.
I usually say it’s a shared distrust of the government, but, more recently, I have to believe it’s distrust of all of the various groups considered ‘other’ or ‘them,’ or ‘they,’ and a disbelief in (or denial of) arguments and positions ‘they’ state as if they were facts. Facts?
Again, it’s orientation; which corner one backs him or herself into.
All right, I almost took a stand on only one of the issues that have become screaming points; one set of zealots, possibly jealous of the traction the opposing zealots appear to be making, steps a bit closer to the edge, yells a bit louder.
You and I have worked our way into positions on the same issues. Then, constantly, there are new events and new tragedies. Too many. Too constant.
No, actually, most are repetitions of the same events and the same tragedies we’ve seen before, but happening to or with different players, different victims. Maybe we’re shocked, maybe we’re numbed. Maybe, occasionally, we should stop listening to the screamed accusations and echoes, look back toward the middle.
I’m happy to talk about almost any issue. Happy to listen. I have a loud voice, but I try not to yell.
HEY, this is something I wrote for my blog, “Stuff That Goes On,” at ptleader.com
I do have some surf stories I want to tell, but, I figured I might get a few more people to read this if I also posted it here. The cartoon is another one submitted to and rejected by “The New Yorker.” Thanks for reading.