Boatyard Mike Surf Vessels

There’s nothing in this post about voting out our esteemed president. Some hope, yeah; but nothing negative about the… dude.

EDIT- I woke up realizing I couldn’t let that go. I have been wondering about who, with so much truth available on what an immoral sack of deceit and seemingly bottomless self-centered meanness our power craving fuckwad of a president is, could continue to salivate each time he slurs out some new slurry of lies and just plain shit.

Make no mistake, like the people he has scammed in the past, you, if you are not someone filling your pockets in this new age cleptocracy, you are someone your leader, no doubt, considers a sucker and a loser. How much you have to lose is easily accessible. Oh, you might have to look somewhere other than Fux News.

Vote!

Vote!

My first SUP was, I thought, twelve feet long. As I have with every board I’ve ridden more than a few times, I thrashed the shit out of it; rode it over a few too many rocks, rode it onto a few rocky beaches. Surfing; that’s what boards are for.

By the time I got a newer board, that one was sooo heavy, soooo dinged up. I stuck up against a tree, hoping it would get lighter. Didn’t really work. Since I didn’t think I’d ever ride the thing again, I decided to strip it down and make a shorter, more responsive, lighter one.

My current board, a Hobie, is ten foot, six inches long, has carried me through thousands of waves, over many rocks, and is appropriately thrashed, poorly patched (drips, not sanded out), and, since I seem to be knee-boarding more and standing less, it seems proper that I go for a smaller board.

Yeah, but I still want it floaty enough to use a paddle. This is where the twelve foot comes in. After looking at the dead SUP and imagining how I’d cut some off the front, some off the tail, do a minimum of trimming, and, yeah…

No. The board was eleven feet, and, with a little cut off the front and back, with a skil saw, I suddenly had a really rough seven foot six blank. OOPS. I did, after stripping off the glass, throw it in the water to see if it would float me. Maybe, hopefully, not really sure. I’m also not really sure if, even if the blank did, if it as a further shaped and properly glassed board would.

So, after purchasing a couple of tools, including a plane for the stringer, and spending way too much time trying to get, like, one rail that matched the other side, I had roughly shaped a fat, downrail, pocket-rocking, fish-tailed, wailing vessel.

Yeah, well, that’s when I got ahold of Mike Norman, formerly nicknamed Mike-eee, not because there’s an E in Norman or anything, but to differentiate him from Mike Squintz. Well, Squintz has gone back to Florida, and, anyway, most surfers in the area called him Smoker Mike. Well, when he actually gives up smoking… Mike does work at the Port Townsend boatyard; not sure where, specifically, and he has been building a few surfboards lately, and, anyway…

Anyway, even though I heard Mike would have been farther ahead if I hadn’t tried to be all Skip Frye/Mike Hynson on the blank, I have made a deal with Mike; he finishes the shaping, figures out the fin setup, does the glassing. I might sneak in and do some graphics; oh, and some money will change hands, AND I will give Mike the 5’9″ Bic fish I got cheap and used from Al Perlee down at the Surf Shop in Westport, tried to ride. Once. Mike has kids who can use it. Even though I rode six foot boards for years (years ago now) a 5’9″ looks like a toy to me now.

Oh, yeah; and I was a bit lighter, also. Oh, yeah; and I said I would do a logo for Mike’s boards. Here it is:

I do need to make it a bit, um, simpler. Yeah, working on it.

Now, if it comes down to a few pounds that makes the difference between a paddle and no paddle… again, we’ll see.

Not Just Sad; Scary… RIP RBG

Definitely not a real surfer; does have friends, reaps benefits. Obviously women sit behind him, and, judging by the expression on women’s faces, think he’s one hot dude. I think the one looking more disappointed than shocked is his wife.
See the source image
She might not have been a surfer, but she is real.

I freely admit to being a Liberal; but, because it is so blatantly obvious, I must always add that I am quite a hypocritical Liberal. I believe in the causes, mostly centered around giving help to those who need it, but do little to push or even support these causes.

In many ways I’m pretty fucking conservative. Not so much that I only briefly considered dropping the ‘fucking’ from the previous sentence; but enough that I strongly believe a person should have a set of values and principles that he or she will try, and try hard to abide by. Key to this is living up to one’s word.

That has proven difficult many times in my life and career. “You said you were going to do such and such.” “Really?” “Really.” “Yeah; well then; okay; such AND such.”

I considered throwing a ‘fuck’ into that sentence.

Okay, maybe I’m more of a Libertarian; that would take some of the hypocrisy out of my self-analysis. Sure, it’s legal and all to smoke cannabis, for example, even before surfing, even if it makes you only think you’re ripping. Feel free. It’s just, I choose not to. Okay with you?

I very recently met a new pastor of a church I was bleaching and washing in preparation for painting. I know many of the congregants, enough to know that many, as is true across all religions, consider themselves conservative. Since my belief is that there is a higher power, but it is one that we cannot even begin to define or even comprehend, one we cannot possibly bend to our will or our traditions and rules and doctrines, and that there is, as far as I can tell, no group rate to salvation/heaven/nirvana/fill in the blank; spirituality is, it would seem, quite obviously, an individual matter. Free choice.I

I feel compelled to add that it’s find with me if someone doesn’t believe in a higher power. Again, it really can’t make a difference in who or what a higher power is. Or isn’t.

The reason I mentioned meeting the new pastor, about my older son’s age, 42ish, which, I told him, “Explains the Batman shirt,” is that I also told him that “I’m a Liberal; you know; like Jesus.”

Yes, then I added the hypocritical part; that Jesus started pretty much every sentence with (and you can check this out- look for the parts in red) “You hypocrites,” and that, while Jesus really pushed two big things; loving one’s neighbor and helping the poor; I pretty much have a bad record on both counts. Yes, my current neighbors are fine, but yes, I will go way out of my way not to drive past anyone with a sign asking for help/work/money/Trump-love.

It’s probably just power politics as usual, but the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has put a spotlight on the hypocrisy of McConnell and Graham, and their inability to stand behind their word. It must be added that McConnell’s blocking of Merrick Garland was a hard core political sleeze job only possible to explain, but not justify, as ‘we got the hammer, fuck you’; that obviously, according to this line of reasoning, does explain (again, not justify) his push to push another idealogue of his preferred ideals into a lifetime position deciding cases that folks have been lusting to have go their way for many years. Lusting. Hard core lust, with politicians running on vows to stop the horror of abortion, increase the wonders of executions, make sure anyone who wants weapons of war… you know the issues. Freedom. Well, freedom for this, not that; different list.

Here’s what I’ve always wondered: Do people really want what conservatives call conservative values, to return to some imagined better, ‘Leave it to Beaver’ time (beaver- not a code word) where people knew their place (this is code- you know the people they’re talking about). Scary.

Anyway; I have told several people that the next time there’s a swell that might find its way into local waters; whatever else is happening; I’m going.

I will, come hell or high water, try to live up to that.

Reggie and the Not-So-Subtle Gun-Reveal

It’s really REGGIE’S STORY, told to me, retold a few times, and now, it’s here at realsurfers.

SO, real surfer Reggie is at the Port Angeles Safeway. “You know,” Reggie told me, “the first word in Safeway is safe. I didn’t feel so safe.” SO, again, there’s two dudes, both with those dayglo kind of shirts meant to keep people working in the street from getting run over; and they’ve got on hats with the brims (Reggie claims this means something) “Really curved.” Okay. Now maybe he was trying to read whatever message was actually printed on their hats, and maybe he looked too long, but the dudes showed no sign of putting on their masks before entering, and “they had that look that was, like, daring someone to say something, but the one hillbilly looks at me… I’ve got my mask on… and he kinda pulls up his shirt enough, because he wants to make damn sure that I can see that he’s got a gun.”

Whoa.

“Yeah; and he makes sure I notice this; gives me this look.” Reggie adds what I would have to call an Elvis Presley snarl, though, if that’s too out-dated, imagine, maybe, Billy Idol; who, incidentally, Reggie includes in another story; some dude Reggie saw in a Seattle area Home Depot parking lot, the guy hanging out, promoting Trump, with an oversized truck flying an oversized American flag, and Billy Idol playing overloud on the guy’s radio. “Haven’t you anything better to do?” Reggie asks. “What, better than defending ‘merica?” The guy probably snarled when he was mouthing, “White Wedding.” More more more. Maybe that’s a different Idol song.

So, so, so, the snarling dude and his color-matched partner do the white guy shuffle through the Safeway doors; no masks, and the main billy grabs a cart, turns, again, to Reggie, says, “Black carts matter.”

I’m not sure if that’s a punchline or not. I found the story more unsettling than amusing. Reggie, who always claims he was raised in a tough part of Seattle, and that he’s had guns actually pointed at him on several occasions, and that he has bought and sold vans, which he restores and turns into camper-ready rigs, sort of was amused, but he said, when I offered to post the story here, and, if he wanted, change his name, that, “No, the punchline is that Reggie is actually white.”

Very white. I have described Reggie as “kind of a pretty boy with neck tattoos.” That may be insensitive. Not sure. I could change it to something with a more macho tone like, uh… well, I do have it on good authority that some of the women surfers on the Olympic Peninsula call him Reggie ‘good abs.’ Good authority as in I heard it from a woman surfer.

Anyway, surf’s still non-existent out here, the smoke’s heavy, air unbreathable, Trump supporters are prowling the parking lots and supermarkets, and, uh, let me see if I have a photo of Reggie.

Little towhead Reggie. Now imagine him thirty years older, tattooed. Yeah; pretty scary. Don’t take off in front of him.

“Swamis” Too Big

Stuck inside because the winds that blew smoke from fires in California and Oregon out to sea has shifted. The smoke has moved up and come in full strength (thickness might be a better word) with the onshore flow, that push not enough to offer any real surf. There is enough stagnant air, probably about a pack and a half a day’s worth (not sure how to quantify this for vapers, those who inhale vapors, on purpose), that makes even the non-running-type work of painting seems hazardous.

Or maybe it’s an excuse to stay inside and write.

I worked on tightening several chapters of “Swamis,” and then wrote the following. This will most likely not make it to the completed manuscript, but, partially (mostly) because feedback pushed me toward more fully covering the death of Joseph DeFreines, Senior; which I have, mostly gotten out of the way, I have been forced to consider that “Swamis” is just too fucking much for one book.

The characters have been established, the storyline set in motion. In the original, unexpurgated version, there were more references to how the events from 1969 affect the future lives of Jody and Ginny and Baadal and Jumper and Portia, and others. If I cut the story off somewhere before the mystery of who killed Chulo is resolved, possibly, that could be the second part of a trilogy, a book centering on the (fully) adult characters could provide a wraparound that would… yeah, I could do this.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep writing. And, not to be too political, I feel compelled to add that… okay, I have a story, true life, featuring gun-toting, non-mask-wearing non-surfers and their interaction with a heavily-tattooed surfer outside a Port Angeles Safeway. OH, and, still, no surf on the Strait, no place to surf if there were waves. Not political. Here’s the excerpt:

CHAPTER FORTY-FIVE- SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2020

I am currently 198 (pages out of 291) through a full manuscript rewrite, this triggered by the feedback from bloated, confusing unexpurgated draft containing somewhere in excess of 123,000 words.  With a hundred pages left to go, having deleted somewhere around 64,000 words, “Swamis,” right now, is back up to 121,725 words, and, with as much as I plan to cut out some of what remains in the story, I am increasingly aware that I can’t (partially as in, I am not willing to) eliminate enough.

The manuscript in which I actually got to ‘the end’ was saved, one copy printed, several copies sent out, somewhere before the pandemic, before the shutdowns and the election meddling and the rest, before the smoke from the way-worse-than-usual fires. 

“Swamis,” the story, it too big.  Trilogy?  Maybe.  I’m looking for a place to cut it off, a place to pull out.   All I can give you is words, and as Ginny Cole said about a black and white photo of a sunset, a person’s mind fills in the colors.

Access Denied- Again… Thanks, A-holes

News travels quickly; bad news travels quickly-er. Early yesterday, mini cell phone networks were buzzing/ringing/chiming with news that the trail leading to and providing legal access to an only-recently-reopened (officially, after over forty years of being, officially, off limits) spot that, on the rare occasion that a swell enters the Strait of Juan de Fuca, has, yes, waves; has been officially, closed down. Yes, the trail and the parking lot, complete with two sani-cans; closed.

Thanks.

The signs posted early said, “Site closed due to misuse, trespass and parking violations. No walk-in use allowed. Violators will be ticketed and towed.”

Yep.

No, it wasn’t you. Of course not. You didn’t camp in the parking area, or, if it was full (and, granted, the inadequately-sized lot was sometimes, on rumor and speculation, full before dawn), park on the street or blocking someone’s driveway; you didn’t go off the trail despite signs; you didn’t vandalize the outbuildings nearby, you didn’t bring dogs despite the signs; you didn’t build a fire or leave trash or crap in the weeds or in the driftwood. It wasn’t you.

You would certainly agree that whoever did ruin a doubtlessly good thing, not designed solely or even primarily for surfers, is, doubtlessly, an asshole. Or several assholes.

Speaking of which, the stated reason the access was denied around 1980 was that people had disrespected the area. Shit. Yep. On the beach.

It wasn’t me. I first surfed the beach in 1979, shortly after moving to the northwest. You had to drive perilously close to the front door of a person who was, one, almost always there, and two, not obviously fond of surfers. Still, early Port Angeles surfers had brokered a sort of truce and you could drive straight out, turn and go on a rough road over the riprap, to a spot with trees and, on rare occasion, waves.

Again, someone fucked that deal up; but, surfers being persistent, other ways in were developed; down a cliff, through a river and around a point. Eventually, a local resident offered access, less and less secret; and never popular with other locals. When he died, that access was gone.

Somewhere around noon on Thursday, heavy equipment was brought in, big blocks to keep vehicles out of the parking area. Done. Blocked. Barricaded.

Access denied.

Many fickle surf spots on the Olympic Peninsula have been shut off by private landowners controlling the access. Neah Bay is closed, as is La Push. Covid is, yes, part of it; but the folks who might otherwise be hanging out at Hobuck have been concentrating at other spots. Some of those parking areas are, despite general ignorance on the subject, on private property, kept available only through a longterm agreement.

They could be shut down. Access denied. No, it wouldn’t be your fault. You would never camp on someone else’s property without permission; leave trash, blah, blah, blee blah. Not you.

It’s Labor Day weekend; it’s going to be hot; the ferries and highways headed west are probably already getting packed. It’s currently 7:46 on Friday. Good luck.

This from a guy who surfs on his knees

I was on my way back home, south on Surf Route 101, and, as is part of most of my surf expeditions into the cell-free zone (not free if you pay roaming/Canada fees), I had lists of things to get in the Vortex that is Sequim.  So, checking out at Costco, I notice the checker, on the other side of plexiglass, has a black facemask with images and writing.

Oh.  I was, of course, curious.  “I, um, can’t read everything on your, uh…”

He pulled the mask taut, and, though I can now read it, he tells me what it says.  “Stand for the flag, kneel for God.”

“Oh.  Okay.  That’s, um, a little political, isn’t it?”

“A little, maybe, but that’s what I believe.”

“Sure.”  Pause while I sign the check.  “Um, uh, what about if someone’s, say, on his knees, but he’s doing this?”  I make the sign of the cross, punctuated, as I often do, with a throwing out of the right hand as a sort of shout out to God.  I know what it means; an acknowledgement that I have serious faults.  I kind of figure God also gets it.  God, after all.

“Oh,” the checker said.  That’s it.  He’d already told the girl who asked if I wanted any boxes that he was going on break in eight minutes.  My receipt was on the cart and I was shuffling toward the exit.

It took a while before I thought, if he was, and I’m pretty sure he was, referring to football players kneeling during the national anthem, a gesture referencing the social injustice that can be denied but not, evidently, corrected; I could have mentioned that I have observed, when a football player is seriously injured, injured enough that the game has to be stopped, other players, from both teams, gather around the medical team and the injured player, and take a knee.

Are they insulting the flag?

How would I know?  I was busy thinking about how many waves I caught, how many hodads and kooks and rippers were around, what other spots might have been breaking; almost forgetting that, though I’m certainly not above praying for surf on the way out, I am a bit lax in thanking God for a beautiful day and a few fun rides.  Yeah, that’s from me, kneeboarding; not out of any disrespect.